Electric Sorting

The sorting on the white GTE continues and I moved onto the electrical portion of the job. This car was rushed together to make it to a show, so some of the gauges weren’t working. A new wiring harness was installed, but there were also a couple discrepancies. My job was to figure out how to make everything work!

With some documentation that listed the little number tags, and a GTE wiring diagram I slowly and methodically sorted the wiring.

New sockets were installed on the tail lights, but they were loose and falling out. I wasn’t a fan of the way these were fitting, so I wanted to find a better solution.

Luckily, I had a couple of old tail lights in my stash of parts with some original sockets, so I cannibalized them for the white GTE.

The old sockets have tabs that have to be carefully pried away without breaking them off, reinstalled on the other lights, and bent back in place. I have a small arbor press to bend the tabs back evenly and securely. The tabs need to be pressed firmly in place to make a good ground for the light to work properly.

We’re changing all the turn signal and brake lights to LEDs, so I had to check all the sockets and connections in the front as well.

I eventually got all the lights work, and mounted properly. Once all the LEDs are in, EVERYONE will see this car coming and going!

I had a weird thing happen with the turn signal switch on this car. In the center off position, the blinker wouldn’t stop blinking. I could feel the detent in the lever, but something wasn’t allowing the switch to turn off. The only choice was to disassemble the switch to see what was going on.

I found the contact for the turn signal had worn away the plastic that separates the left and right circuit for the blinker. With a little ridge of plastic left, the spring loaded contact would fall on either side of this ridge and cause the blinker to blink. I filled this area with some epoxy to separate the circuits. Now it works as it should!

I got the interior light to work, and we’re going to try out LEDs in this fixture as well. The wrong wattage lamp in these fixtures will melt the plastic diffuser, so I’m going to see if the LEDs are any better. Although LEDs consume less wattage, they still put out some heat, so I have found LEDs not the best solution for everything. For turn signals and stop lights, they’re great, but sometimes the color temps are not so pleasing. They’re getting better, but I have found some to be too cold or green in color. I still like the warm glow of an incandescent light in certain applications. The residential lighting industry labels their lights in color temperatures, but it’s hard to find automotive bulbs with these ratings.

Although I got the interior light to work, the passenger door wasn’t working properly to activate the light. It looks like the spring inside plunger switch gave up the ghost. I’ll have to check my stash again for replacement.