More electrical work

More progress on the lights.  I am trying to get the tail lights back in.  First thing is to extend the wire for the right rear brake/turn signal.


I stripped the wires and twisted them together.

VT_20160903_135423    VT_20160903_135703

Next I soldered them with a soldering gun.


And finally protected the wire with heat shrink tube.


I ran a new wire for the license plate bulbs and pulled out the entire old mess.


The backup lights were not working too. Here is the switch.  More electrical tape madness.  That red wire runs back to the rear of the car.  Not sure what it was intended to do but probably it was an attempt to fix the backup lights.  More on that later.  I pulled this all apart and tested the switch.


The switch works but that little metal flag that is supposed to push the switch misses by a mile.  I think it got bent somehow.  So I got a screwdriver and bent it back.


Now the switch closes when I shift into reverse.  All good.  But there is still not continuity from the battery to the switch.


Gee, I wonder if this could be the problem?  This is 1/2 of a fuse connector that was supposed to tie the reverse switch circuit to the accessory side of the ignition switch.  So now I have to figure out where the other end is.


Now I understand what happened.  This wire ran over to the radio (which is no longer installed).  Someone decided they wanted a radio more than backup lights and hijacked the fuse holder.  When I eventually do a radio it will get it’s own wire and fuse.  So I reconnected the fuse holder back to the backup lights.


I connected the switch with new connectors.


Success!  With the car in reverse and the ignition on I get continuity back to the reverse lights.  Turn off the key or shift out of reverse  and the lights go off.


There is still one more mystery wire.  It was capped with a wire nut.  I pulled the wire nut and checked for continuity to the battery and to the ignition switch.  Nothing on either.  So I clipped the wire and replaced the wire nut with shrink tube.


The former rat’s nest is coming together.  This is all ready to hook up the taillight bucket.


Time to install the passenger side tail light.  Here are all the bits.  There were only two spacers on the car so I raided the hardware store and found a third.  The washer is because the new spacer inner diameter is too big.


It took several test-fittings to get the bucket to sit in there right.  Rust, time, and a total lack of precision assembly mean the spacers are not quite the right length.  I adjusted them with an angle grinder.


I installed the nuts and the bucket is installed.


I installed the lens using new stainless screws and a reproduction gasket.  The light look good and lights like it should.  I am holding off on the driver’s side until I get the steering column sorted out.


More messes to sort out.  The car originally had two flashers.  One ran off the battery directly and drove the hazard lights.  The other ran off the accessory power for the turn signals.


That was too much for someone so they twisted together the white wire (turn signals) and the pink wire (hazards) and threw them on one  flasher.  Then it was insulated with electrical tape.  This will be a mess to work out.


I used the meter and started tracing the circuits up though the steering column.  The good news is someone added fuses to all these circuits.  The bad news is that they were all just twisted together and taped.  I will have to fix all of these splices.  The good news is the turn signal switch and hazard switch seem to be working.  But the horn switch is not.  But I am out of time and working under the dash is killing my back.  More later.


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