so a buddy of mine stopped by and we were standing in the
driveway talking when I noticed some broken red reflector material on the driveway.
“hmn, I thought, there must be a busted tail light around here.” So I checked the ones in the driveway… nope they were good.
Weird. So, where did it come from?
After he left I went back out to check again and then I noticed one of the
covers on the little clearance lights on the back of my truck was missing. On my ’65 C10 truck they sit on the side of the tag, on that flat area below the tail gate.
Oh, now I see, it fell off somehow(old decaying plastic) and I ran over it!
Now, my first thought was to just take them off, as they weren’t original
anyway, but they had been screwed in place and I thought the empty holes
would just add to the ugly.
Then I pondered,” maybe I can find something to pop on as a lens”. Off to
the parts store I went.
The 1st store had something with almost identical lens, but they were
mounted three on a metal strip, nope, not what I needed, but might work in a pinch if I just need parts.
Then at the 2nd store, I couldn’t believe it, the exact same lights were there on the shelf, but new, whooo! This never happens to me. So exciting! Right?
Then then next day it is time to put the new lights on. Now, the old ones have already been mounted, the holes are there, the wires are there. This should be a remove
and replace operation, right?
Of course not! Because as we know, old trucks and really old automotive plastic is fun!
So I unscrew the sheet metal screws holding the light on, no issue there. Then
the screws don’t want to come out of the plastic housing. It had a metal
component in there and the natural elements have caused the screw to bond together with that metal piece and after being such fast friends for a long time, I guess they did not not want to let go of each other, joy. It took some destructive man handling to remove the screw, but eventually I got it out of the mangled carcass of the decaying plastic.
After I figured all of that out I wired up the new
light, screwed it into place… pulled on the headlight switch and…. no lights.
I then break out the electrical checker meter… am I getting voltage? Is there a
short in my ancient wiring? Hmmn…? It turned out one of the holes the metal screw
goes through on the plastic light housing is metal, which completes the circuit for the light by grounding it to the body.
I guess the rust was being too good of a insulator rather than a conductor. I then had a brilliant moment of “Caucasian modification” inspiration hit me and I took a few strands of a stripped copper wire, stuck ’em in the sheet metal screw hole and ‘ta-da’ we
now have contact, circuit complete… shiny lights!
The old light on the other side went all to pieces when I took it apart. I went through a
whole ordeal trying to separate the old screw from the metal inside the plastic again.
I swear it took my longer to take it all apart than it did to put it back
together and wire it up. I had to do the strands of copper wire trick inside the screw hole on that side as well.
Whatever works, right?
Because, OLD trucks are fun!
(repeat until believe)
At least I have shiny new red lights now instead of ugly empty holes.
While I was almost done with this project I looked around at all the tools I had out
and I thought: how many tools does it take to replace two lights?
This is why we have so many tools, right truck folks?
Merry Xmas everyone!