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Replacing parking light bulbs...

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AMX2020 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AMX2020 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2020 at 11:19am
Thanks George!

I did spray a little WD-40 into one of the sockets thinking that things might need a little lubrication underneath the phenolic plate to work properly. I was leery of putting too much in there as I wasn't sure if it would affect the electrical connection. The plates do depress on each socket but likely not far enough to allow the 1157 pins to rotate at the correct location (for some reason I can get the LED in there).

How are the housings removed from the bumper? Do I simply pull back on the housing from behind the bumper or do the housings need to be rotated in some fashion? Once the housings are removed can you access the area below the phenolic plate?

Regarding the headlight switch modification, that's a great idea. Looking at the TSM it doesn't appear too difficult to remove the switch however with these old cars you never know - didn't think I'd have issues changing a bulb :) According to the TSM you depress the shaft release button to release the switch shaft and knob assembly. Do you know if this release button is easily accessible?

I noticed on your signature that you've owned all your AMCs (except the Javelin) from new - very cool!
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george w View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote george w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2020 at 11:54am
The parking light housings have two studs that secure it to the bumper with 2 nuts accessed from the back side of the bumper. I think that if you take the housings out (it's easy) and work on them "on the bench" that you'll be able to get the contact plates moving freely. You shouldn't need to get behind the contact plate. You just want to clean things up in there, get it moving freely and then clean and dry it out. The contact plate should have about a 1/4" of in/out travel. Don't worry about the WD-40 or the PB Blaster affecting the connectivity. Once you get this moving as it should you'll be able to get any remaining residue out of there with some solvent, compressed air or even a couple of rags.

As for the headlight switch, it's easiest to remove the instrument cluster and possibly the tach first to gain easy access to the headlight switch body. Pop the battery cable off and then simply pull the headlight knob out after pressing in the release button on side of the switch body. There's a bit of a detent there but it will slide out with a wiggle or two. Once the knob and shaft is out you can unscrew the retaining nut from the front and the switch will be free to unplug.

If you've never removed the instrument cluster before that's easy. Reach up behind the dash to the left of the steering column and feel for the speedo cable going into the back of the speedo head. Unscrew by hand the locking collar on the end of speedometer cable and pull the cable out an inch or so from the back of the speedo. Then remove the plastic instrument cluster hood and remove the 4 screws holding the instrument cluster to the dash. Drape a thick towel or something soft over the steering column so that you don't scratch the top of the column when you pull out the instrument cluster. You can only pull the cluster out a couple of inches until you can reach behind and unplug the round wiring harness connector from the back. You may have to unplug the parking brake warning light socket if it didn't pop out already. Once the cluster is out you should should be able to get to the headlight switch release button. If the tach is in the way you may need to simply unscrew it and pull it away from the dash to get some clearance.
Long time AMC fan. Ambassador 343, AMX 390, Hornet 360, Spirit 304 and Javelin 390. All but javelin bought new.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AMX2020 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2020 at 12:40pm
Right, actually I've had one of the housings out (via removal of the 2 3/8 nuts), I thought by 'housing' you meant the blown plastic piece with the wires that go into the assembly from the back.

OK I will look into removing the gauge cluster, I was thinking of doing that anyway since the tach is not working. There is no light in that pod either. Not sure if just the bulb is out or if there is no power to the tach. The fuses look OK. Any idea if the tach requires power to work? I remember hooking up aftermarket tachs years ago, 3 wires, one to ground, one to the battery and one to the coil. Perhaps the lead to the battery was only necessary for the tach light, not sure. It's an HEI distributor on this car, I checked the 'Tach' connection on the distributor, there are wires are plugged in there.

Speaking of the speedo cable, while I was poking around underneath the car I noticed the cable actually sitting on the exhaust, the insulation was melted through (hopefully it still works). I wrapped electrical  tape around it and pulled it away from the exhaust with a zip tie. It's still pretty close to the exhaust though, a couple of inches away.

I've come across quite a few loose connections on this car, I didn't have any backup lights but found that the connection to the switch at the trans was loose. One of the headlights was super dim, again a loose connection. The horns didn't work either, a connector was off at each horn. All pretty easy fixes so far, except the parking lights of course.





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george w View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote george w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb/15/2020 at 2:25pm
The factory tach has a separate socket with a single bulb. The socket may have popped out of the back of the tach or the bulb may be burned out But.. in order for the tach to light the tach housing has to be grounded. When you take off the dash hood to expose the instrument cluster you should see a little flat copper jumper between the upper left instrument cluster mounting ear and the right mounting tab for the tach.
As for the tach operation, it has it's own two wire (yellow & blue) harness that connects the tach in series with the regular ignition coil. I have no idea if the factory tach can be used with an HEI setup. I suspect not. I'm sure there are those here on the Forum that can advise you.
Long time AMC fan. Ambassador 343, AMX 390, Hornet 360, Spirit 304 and Javelin 390. All but javelin bought new.
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