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Old 02/25/2006, 03:37 PM   #1
Perkchiro
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Tail Light Restoration

Tail Light Repairs
Thought I would pass along my experience in tail light restoration. Upon inspection of my tail light sockets, I found A LOT of rust and corrosion. In short, the light sockets were shot and in need of new springs and contacts. The correct 1157 bulbs would not "seat" in their respective receptacle holders. I did an internet search and found a website that sells new original type Ford sockets that fit into the tail panel perfectly. These new sockets were prewired with the correct internal contacts and just had to be spliced into the harness There are a variety of other electrical items at this website: www.oemsurplus911.com. Keep in mind that each socket requires a good ground in order to work properly. Inspect your wiring harness for cracks in the insulation and repair with solder and shrink wrap tubing for a lasting repair. Remember also that the chrome tail light "doors" if purchased new,are often sold with a flat back perimeter and this must be removed with Laquer thinner and be all chrome to be correct for the GT/CS. I also lightly sanded the tail lamp receptacle units and repainted them with reflective paint. These are often faded or darkened after years of use, and will not allow the tail lamps to reflect well when braking or driving at night. I used Rustoleum, Bright clear metallic finish Chrome #7718 and this turned out well. In addition, my tail light lenses were scratched and broken. I purchased a good used original set from E-Bay. I understand that you can also restore old lenses with restoration kits from Eastwood. New reproduction lenses are also available from most mustang supply houses. Here is a picture of my completed tail panel, minus the lenses and chrome doors. Good luck with your tail light restoration!
Steve
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Old 03/06/2009, 01:31 AM   #2
aemoo28
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I'm glad I found this post. Trying to figure out why one bulb won't screw in and work. The ground maybe is faulty- it's very rusty and from what I hear should not be. Bulb checked and works. Do I really have to take off the whole rear to fix this problem?

PS I'm having so much fun finding another problem with my car, looking online here and ta da! Finding the answer is easy because there's alway someone who's gone thru this trial before me! The pictures are very helpful too.

ISO well behaved, dependable, and determined CS.
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Old 03/14/2009, 10:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aemoo28 View Post
I'm glad I found this post. Trying to figure out why one bulb won't screw in and work. The ground maybe is faulty- it's very rusty and from what I hear should not be. Bulb checked and works. Do I really have to take off the whole rear to fix this problem?

PS I'm having so much fun finding another problem with my car, looking online here and ta da!
What you don't know is that when you pull one rear light bulb out, it makes your inner rear view mirror fall off the windshield.

You didn't know that?
Call it "quirky".

When your CS was at Ron's driveway that fateful day, I noticed that your taillights were bright, and worked well. I told Ron about the irony of them looking so good, after everything else being "so bad"!....!!

I'd first try pulling out the bulb, and then taking a Scotchbright pad to the inside of the socket, and the bulb, too, to take off the oxidation and crud. Try that, and see what happens. Also note the little metal contacts that touch the bottom of the bulb. They need to be clean, AND push themselves against the bulb with little springs. When the bulb is out (and power off), check them out with your fingers. A small shot of WD-40 (use the little red straw to spray it in there) will help loosen up the contacts, as well as improve the electrical contact.

Try that.

(and do this while the super-super glue is drying on the windshield clip for the mirror).

Paul. :-P
 
Old 05/01/2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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I forgot to post this the other day.

This is probably not concours stuff but thought it would be good for anyone looking.

I got the Spring 2009 Edition of Mustangs Plus Restomod catalog the other day at a show and they have a few items for the tail lights on the CS now.
2 of the 3 parts, wiring kit and panel look like they are made by Dynacorn (the new Mustang body company)

I don't see this on their site yet but here is the info from the catalog.

68 CA SPECIAL TAIL LAMP WIRING kit available for $189.95.
Item #14517 on Page 8.
Manufactured by Dynacorn.

Incorrect year in description but
1967-1968 CALIFORNIA SPECIAL METAL TAIL LAMP PANEL for $224.95 from Dynacorn.
This is the outer piece with the lights and gas cap cutout

1968 CA SPECIAL HOUSING for $139.95.
These are the 2 pieces where the bulbs come through.

Rich

1968 Acapulco Blue GT/CS 289 * 1996 Red GT Convertible *
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Old 05/15/2009, 11:47 PM   #5
aemoo28
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Thing is this- now that middle bulb is working, shines as bright as day with the rest of 'em. However now the brake lights are not working, yelled the man driving behind me today. Probably because the rear view mirror, as Paul says, is still attached to the windshield. Gotta love these old cars...

ISO well behaved, dependable, and determined CS.
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Old 10/20/2012, 04:10 PM   #6
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Here is the link to the replacement sockets.
http://www.oemsurplus911.com/automot...ckets/8534.htm

NAPA also has a 3-wire socket for those who want to reduce grounding problems.
At least I assume that's what the extra wire is for.
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...463_0366058444
I ordered 6 of these but they haven't arrived so I can't comment on whether they work.

If you don't want to cut your wiring harness the original sockets can usually be fixed but it requires cutting the boot at the base of the socket, so no matter what something is going to be cut.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 10/20/2012 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 10/20/2012, 04:55 PM   #7
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Here's how I restored my sockets.

The first photo shows the crimped portion of the boot that needs to be removed, and how the boot looks once the crimped portion is removed.

The second photo shows the damage the crimp creates on the wires because I think the crimp was made with some sort of a hot iron type crimper. Be sure to tape or wrap the wires.

The third photo shows the stuck springs.

The fourth photo shows how the springs look after a generous amount of WD-40 is applied and the springs are gently twisted and pulled out with pliars. More WD-40 cleans off all that goop.
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Last edited by Mosesatm; 10/26/2012 at 09:15 PM..
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