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312Icarus's picture
Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 437

So, I got my new LED bulbs from CDRC today (see LED head light thread) and ran into another problem. While installing the LED brake/tail light bulb, I discovered that my socket was damaged. One of the copper ears that the bulb lands on was loose on it’s rivet, normally a simple matter to re-pean the rivet but...The screw terminal that shares the rivet with the ear was so corroded I couldn’t get the screw out. I clipped the wire, applied a ton of PB blaster, head the terminal with a vise grips, and worked the screw back and fort trying to get it loose, the result was breaking the screw flush with the barrel of the terminal socket.

To make a long story short, i drilled the rivet out, and the ear (clip) came off with it. Since this was a hot terminal, it has to be isolated from ground so I couldn’t simply rivet it back on. Being a cheap bugger, and not wanting to spend $50 on a new socket assy I chose a different approach.

The clip is isolated from ground via a piece of Bakelite between it and the lamp base. Over the years, the heat from the bad connection had turned that Bakelite to dust. I fashioned a replacement for the Bakelite using a strip of plastic from an old credit card. I then used a copper pop rivet to mount the clip to the base, backing up the credit card with a copper washer. Then to attach the wire, since the terminal barrel was toast, I simply drilled a hole in the side of the clip, and soldered a wire to it. The wire in question was shares the lead with the license plate lamp, so 2” of wire soldered to the clip, and then attached to the other post and I was good to go. The clip is now certainly more secure than it was, and ought to last. I will probably bite the bullet someday and order an new socket assy.

The point of this is...if you are clever, often times when you think you are dead in the water, a different solution comes to your mind.