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Old 03-28-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Maryville , Tennessee
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73 Taillights more rust than socket!

Hello all, i'm about ready to tow my 73 finally, and am replacing all exterior lights. I had very dim, flickering taillights bringing it home but just got around to opening up those ominous looking old lens covers. OUCH! RUST! I have hardly any socket left! Just a handfull or rust in the bottom. I can't believe they were actually working. My question is, can i get some feedback on fixes for this? The wires are actually salvagable, and i see that they are grounded to the housing, and my fiberoptics still work, so i'm thinking of hitting the junkyard for some dual filament housings from a car and mounting them upside down in the sockets, so that the bulb is still placed right next to the fiberoptic as it should be, and the housings are far from the rusty mass in the bottom. I'll do my best to clean up the bottom of the housings, but i don't want to sit sockets down there again. Has anyone found a shallow LED replacement for this? Any ideas appreciated.

eric
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
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I did just what you described on one of mine...the other was ok. One of my backup lights is too far gone, and when trying to get the fixture out, I lost the wire to the inside.
It'll have to be repaired from the inside...when I tear out the bathroom to replace the floor. not a huge problem, though...don't need working reverse lights to be legal on the road.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:04 AM   #3
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1972 31' Sovereign
Pittsford , Michigan
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I have a 72 Sovereign that had the sme problem. I went to Napa and bought some LED tail lights and clear bulbs for the backup lights. Use a sanding wheel, it looks like a grinding wheel with peices of sand paper attached to it. They have that at Napa too. Get the pigtails for the LED lights as well. Take the rivets out and remove the old sockets and grind the hole round down at the bottom of the socket. I cut some of the back of the socket out to make room for the pigtail. Sand the hole for a tight fit and slide it in and seal with silicone. You will lose the fiberoptics, but the light are much bighter and you can really see a difference when you back up at night.

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Old 03-28-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdog View Post
I have a 72 Sovereign that had the sme problem. I went to Napa and bought some LED tail lights and clear bulbs for the backup lights. Use a sanding wheel, it looks like a grinding wheel with peices of sand paper attached to it. They have that at Napa too. Get the pigtails for the LED lights as well. Take the rivets out and remove the old sockets and grind the hole round down at the bottom of the socket. I cut some of the back of the socket out to make room for the pigtail. Sand the hole for a tight fit and slide it in and seal with silicone. You will lose the fiberoptics, but the light are much bighter and you can really see a difference when you back up at night.
If you don't have the patience or equipment to grind down the lights, Inland has them pre-milled to fit the holes in these trailers (shameless plug).
Seriously, if you DIY, be careful not to grind too much off, the lenses won't stay in place.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
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I replaced all my lights with peterson lights which I bought from Nothern Tool. I took the old airstream lights out from my 73 Overlander and pushed the peterson lights in there after I wired them. I had to grind down the sides just a little and they went in very snug. I put vulcam around them and they have worked great ever since. The cost was worth it.

Lothlorian
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:44 AM   #6
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1974 29' Ambassador
1966 20' Globetrotter
Central , Illinois
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socket replacement

If you are not ready to invest in LED lights yet or want to keep your fiber optic indicator lights, I just replaced the guts of one of my sockets with a part from Advanced Auto. It was Dorman part 85801.

If the sockets are totally gone, they did have a replacement socket part as well, but I did not check out how easy it would be to retrofit into the existing "can".

Good luck.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Corona , California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Hello all, i'm about ready to tow my 73 finally, and am replacing all exterior lights. I had very dim, flickering taillights bringing it home but just got around to opening up those ominous looking old lens covers. OUCH! RUST! I have hardly any socket left! Just a handfull or rust in the bottom. I can't believe they were actually working. My question is, can i get some feedback on fixes for this? The wires are actually salvagable, and i see that they are grounded to the housing, and my fiberoptics still work, so i'm thinking of hitting the junkyard for some dual filament housings from a car and mounting them upside down in the sockets, so that the bulb is still placed right next to the fiberoptic as it should be, and the housings are far from the rusty mass in the bottom. I'll do my best to clean up the bottom of the housings, but i don't want to sit sockets down there again. Has anyone found a shallow LED replacement for this? Any ideas appreciated.

eric
We have LED replacements for the round tail lights and backup lights used in the late 69 to early 70's trailers.

The original cans have not been available for a few years at this point, and the original manufacturer refuses to make anymore.

Andy
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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1973 31' Sovereign
Maryville , Tennessee
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thanks everyone. I bought new sockets at PepBoys (dorman ones) for the reverse lights, which were my worst. I'm hoping to clean up the taillight sockets and re-use, to keep the original fiberoptic. My only question now is, if i drill larger holes into the back of the reverse light housing (to drop in or flush mount my new sockets), how many inches of depth am i going to have before i hit the inner skin? hmmm. I shall find out if no one knows.

thanks
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