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Old 06-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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'72 Sovereign Tail Lights Are Shot

Three of four 4" tail lights do not work due to severe corrosion (see pics). I have a couple questions regarding replacement.

1. How do I remove the light casings. I assume I drill out the two reverse rivets, correct? I suppose the reverse rivets mean that the light casings are 37 years old, eh?
2. Where can I buy replacement lights and how much are they typically?
3. Are the 3" "lights" simply reflectors?
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:10 PM   #2
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72 Sovereign Tail Lights Are Shot

Greetings MelloMike!

I believe that Inland RV has the 4 1/8" replacements in LED form available in their current website offerings. See part numbers: 65990 and 66000 at:

Inland RV Center Inc.

Kevin
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mello mike View Post
Three of four 4" tail lights do not work due to severe corrosion (see pics). I have a couple questions regarding replacement.

1. How do I remove the light casings. I assume I drill out the two reverse rivets, correct? I suppose the reverse rivets mean that the light casings are 37 years old, eh?
2. Where can I buy replacement lights and how much are they typically?
3. Are the 3" "lights" simply reflectors?
You will need to remove the metal cans. They are held in place with a couple of pop rivets.

The 3 inch part is a reflector, nothing else.

Andy
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:32 PM   #4
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Greetings MelloMike!

I believe that Inland RV has the 4 1/8" replacements in LED form available in their current website offerings. See part numbers: 65990 and 66000 at:

Inland RV Center Inc.

Kevin
Thanks, Kevin. Are the LED lights the only replacements now available? Also, if I use the LED replacements for the brake lights will the Fiber Optic Light system still work?
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks, Kevin. Are the LED lights the only replacements now available? Also, if I use the LED replacements for the brake lights will the Fiber Optic Light system still work?
Those LED lights for the tail and backup lights, are sealed units.

The fiber optic tail light monitor is not compatible with sealed LED lights.

We tried to have several hundred of those cans made.

The manufacturer was not interested.

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Old 06-21-2009, 09:41 PM   #6
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72 Sovereign Tail Lights Are Shot

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Thanks, Kevin. Are the LED lights the only replacements now available? Also, if I use the LED replacements for the brake lights will the Fiber Optic Light system still work?
My understanding is that the metal pots are no longer available -- lenses alone were still available not too long ago. Dallas Peak (DPeakMD) refurbed his 1972 with common auto parts and new lenses several years ago. I am not certain whether the fiber optics would adapt to the LEDS or not -- getting the fiber optic cable to the point where it could "see" the LED lights is where I think the difficulty would lie as the lense and light fixture are probably a single sealed unit.

Kevin
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Old 06-22-2009, 08:21 AM   #7
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This thread may help you some:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f447...hts-52782.html
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
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Can somebody explain the process to refurbish the existing pots? Sounds like some soldering will be required.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:11 PM   #9
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My personal opinion: Trash the old lights.

I replaced my rusted & broken lights after more than a year of screwing around with different parts and sockets.

I went to Napa, bought the LED's, and after a few minutes on the belt sander, everything fits.

As far as the taillight assembly goes, I chose to make mine removable from the outside. This is probably a sin or something, but I used 4 automotive speed nuts in the corners and spliced in removable electrical connectors. Can't see any difference from five feet away.

The LED's are ten times brighter and got to be much safer. I wouldn't hesitate doing it again for a second.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:17 PM   #10
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Can somebody explain the process to refurbish the existing pots? Sounds like some soldering will be required.
How do you refurbish rusted away steel?

Difficult task, to say the least.

Replace them with LED's and have a beer.

The replacements will probably only last 30 years.

Andy
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:36 PM   #11
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My personal opinion: Trash the old lights.

I replaced my rusted & broken lights after more than a year of screwing around with different parts and sockets.

I went to Napa, bought the LED's, and after a few minutes on the belt sander, everything fits.

As far as the taillight assembly goes, I chose to make mine removable from the outside. This is probably a sin or something, but I used 4 automotive speed nuts in the corners and spliced in removable electrical connectors. Can't see any difference from five feet away.

The LED's are ten times brighter and got to be much safer. I wouldn't hesitate doing it again for a second.
Thanks, Dan. The ONLY thing holding me back from LEDs is the fiber optic reader. I like that and would hate to dump that.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:37 PM   #12
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That design was prone to problems. I don't think I'd trash them. They're really not that far gone. Just pull the metal cans and replace the socket. You can find these lots of places. You need a double bayonet for the brake/turn and a single for the backup. Clean up and repaint the cans. That will give you a good reliable connection. I put bright aluminum tinfoil lining in the can to reflect more light out the lens. Those lenses are designed for a point source of light (like the incandescent bulb) so if you go the LED route it's better to replace the entire piece ala' DanB than put in LED bulb replacements and reuse the same lens. The LEDs are spread out. Make sense?

From the pic it also appears you've got the fiber optics intact as well. Bonus if you keep the original lights. Loose them with the LEDs (unless you do something fancy).

If you need new lenses, look for a gasket to fit between the plastic lens and the metal can. I remember if I bought the red lens it didn't come with one, but if I bought a clear lens it was in the package. Grote makes them. Keeping the water out of these is the key to making them last longer obviously. Good luck!
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:34 PM   #13
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That design was prone to problems. I don't think I'd trash them. They're really not that far gone. Just pull the metal cans and replace the socket. You can find these lots of places. You need a double bayonet for the brake/turn and a single for the backup. Clean up and repaint the cans. That will give you a good reliable connection.
Thanks, Dallas. One question. Did you solder the new sockets to the bottom of the can? Two of my sockets are completely loose with only the hot lead keeping them in the can.

Yes, the fiber optics work. That's why I want to refurbish the existing lighting.
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Old 06-22-2009, 05:18 PM   #14
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It's been awhile since I did this, but I think I butt spliced the hot wire. The lights were grounded only through their physical connection and with all the corrosion there I felt that was part of the problem. Mine were intermittently going out and I'd have to jiggle the bulb base to get a connection back. Not an ideal setup. I can't remember exactly, but I got the bulb base fastened to the can somehow. I remember only have like an inch of wire to work with on one side. That was frustrating!

Since then I've bought the '75 & '78 and those lights are a lot easier to work on. You can remove the buckets and get in there and grab the wires and work on them.
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