Author Topic: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps  (Read 3821 times)

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Offline Chris

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Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« on: July 31, 2011, 06:04:31 PM »
I just rebuilt a set of parking lights for a guy and I made sure to take some pictures and show everyone how easy it is.

Steps:

1. Sand blast the housings inside and out.

2. Knock out the old contacts by flipping the housing over and using a screw driver to press the contacts and base through to front side of the socket.  The socket on the housing is pressed fit so you want to reuse these and only replace the plastic insert and contacts from the new donor sockets.

3. Insert the new contacts and seat inside the socket (it will click into place). The new contacts are taken from any of the replacement sockets that you can purchase from an autoparts store.  There are different types to choose from however all you are interested in is the spring loaded contacts innside the socket and the round plastic base (insert). The new socket that I purchased from Autozone are around $3.50 per side and you simply throw the new socket away after taking the contacts from it.

4. If the old boots from the sockets are in good condition, slip these back over the wires with a heat shrinkable tube and solder the wires from the new sockets to the old connectors. Now is probably a good time to wire brush the old connectors. Once the wires have been soldered together, slip the heat shrinkable tube over the soldered connections and apply heat to seal everything up tightly which will protect the connection from dirt and moisture.

5. Mask everything up and be sure to protect the new contacts and inside the sockets. Spray with a quality rust protective paint, unmask and you are ready to install new amber bulbs.

Remember that you can buy new lenses and gaskets from www.DamnGoodAutoParts.com (I hear the guy that offers these is really cool   :headbang:)

Enjoy,

Chris
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 06:55:47 AM by Chris »
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Offline Weldar

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2011, 10:54:44 PM »
Chris - Very nice. Do you blast with glass beads or something else?
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Offline Chris

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 07:17:25 PM »
I normally use glass bead in my cabinet since it's a pretty gentle agent that can be used on everything from plastic to metal.  It doesn't last as long and can be more expensive however it beats switching media everytime I want to blast something different.   :icon_thumright:

CHris
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Offline option B9

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 08:24:45 PM »
    Hi Chris
     
          Great tech tip, I've been rebuilding those parking lights for years now, doing it the same way but instead of using the heat
shrink tubing I use the boot at the Dist cap end of old spark plug wires  ! It fits right on.

                                                       Tony G
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Offline Chris

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2011, 02:44:31 AM »
Tony,

Each time I rebuild these and I get to the boot I think about what could be used to replace it and I never thought about the boot from a sparkplug wire.

That is ingenuius and I'll be using them from now on... thanks for the tip.  :icon_thumright:

Chris
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Offline elagache

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Would a connector be "more better?" (Re: Rebuild your parking lights)
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2014, 04:38:21 PM »
Hi Chris and mid-60s Buick A-body fans,

I'm finally taking my first carefully look at your instructions and "I'm getting idears" from your last photo.  It may not be that, but is that a connector rather than a point where you can splice the wires?

I was wondering if might be more robust and convenient to get my hands on a beefy 2-connector connector for each side and secure the original wires to one end of the connector.  I would then get the wires from the new bulb socket part secured to the other half of the connector.  Then to wire up the housing in the car, just plug the connectors together, cover-up the merged connector with a few turns of electrical tape for extra security, and voila!

Has you (or anybody) done it that way?  Is it more hassle than it is worth?

Cheers, Edouard  :occasion14:

Offline Loren At 65GS

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2014, 11:27:06 PM »
Edouard,

Yes that is the factory connector on the end opposite of the lamp portion. It plugs into a female connector that is part of the front light and horn harness.
There is no need to add tape when the correct male and female connectors are used. They lock together.

  Loren
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Offline elagache

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Silly me! (Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps)
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2014, 01:58:14 PM »
Hi Loren and mid-60s Buick electricians,

Yes that is the factory connector on the end opposite of the lamp portion. It plugs into a female connector that is part of the front light and horn harness.
There is no need to add tape when the correct male and female connectors are used. They lock together.


Silly me!   If I had thought about how the car would have been put together on the assembly line - of course the parking light housing would have to come apart from the wiring harness.  I just spotted the connector on the driver's side of the car.  Alas, the one on the passenger side is . . . . well, obscured by all the Vintage Air hoses and wiring! Releasing that one may be more of a challenge!

Thanks for your help!

Cheers, Edouard  :occasion14:

Offline elagache

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Two additional tips. (Re: Rebuild your parking lights)
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 05:49:51 PM »
Dear Chris and mid-60s Buick electricians,

I finally got around to to swapping new contacts for my trusty wagon's front parking lights.  It worked exactly as Chris describes - Thanks for the instructions!!  :icon_thumright:

I can offer two modest additional tips.  If you want to save a little time and have a NAPA auto parts handy, ask for their: 787109 Double contact bulb socket:

http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Result.aspx?Ntt%3d787109%26Ntk%3dKeyword%26Nty%3d1%26Dn%3d0%26D%3d787109%26Dk%3d1%26Dp%3d3%26N%3d0

It is exactly the part Chris used and it will save you a few minutes of staring at more generic auto electrical parts than you ever thought existed.

My other discovery is that it is really helpful to save the old rubber boots if you can.  The contact points are attached to the wires so the wires must slide in and out as you insert or remove a bulb.  Trying to replace the rubber boots with heat-shrink tubing could bind the wires and make it harder to get a bulb in or out.  I managed to rejuvenate the 49 year old boots and put them back on.  I suppose everybody has their recipe for restoring rubber - so give that a try.

When I finally put everything back together I had this very odd feeling of déjà vu.   Yeah, I remembered that satisfying "click" when the bulb smoothly locks into the grooves, but I haven't experienced it in . . . . . . something like 30 years!!!

Thanks guys for helping make my "old" wagon feel new again!

Cheers, Edouard  :occasion14:

Offline tsollazo

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 09:10:09 AM »
Hi Guys!

Just used this process on my parking lights. Worked awesome! Nothing like the peace of mind of having "fresh" working terminals in the light socket department  :occasion14:

You can use the same terminals and springs for the back up lights. They are a single terminal 1156 socket which means you'll just use one in each socket. Mine were in decent shape. They had some corrosion on the springs and some ancient dielectric grease on them. Probably would have been fine but for $2 and 10 mins of work and peace of mind, why not!! :icon_thumright:

Tony

Offline tsollazo

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 07:49:11 AM »
Here are mine. Rechromed and restored with the process above and with Chris 's lens kit!


Offline Chris

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Re: Rebuild your parking lights - 5 Easy Steps
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 09:40:38 AM »
Here are mine. Rechromed and restored with the process above and with Chris 's lens kit!

Better than new and ready to last another 50 years!   :icon_thumright:

Chris
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