TheAMCForum.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > The Garage > Electrical - non engine
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - 68 Ambo Wagon-Tail light bulb access
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Click for TheAMCForum Rules / Click for PDF version of Forum Rules
Your donations help keep this valuable resource free and growing. Thank you.

68 Ambo Wagon-Tail light bulb access

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Message
Bruce Clarkson View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Feb/09/2013
Location: New Bern, NC
Status: Offline
Points: 466
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Clarkson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 68 Ambo Wagon-Tail light bulb access
    Posted: Nov/04/2020 at 5:10pm
Folks,

I have a new-to-me 68 Ambassador wagon.  (Really enjoying the car so far.)  I need to get at a tail light bulb and don't see how.  I pulled the four screws in the lens and wiggled as much as a dared but nothing moved.  Who remembers how to do this?  On my 67 Ambassador hard top, its easy access from inside the trunk.  But it does not look so easy on the wagon.  I'm sure this will be obvious in hindsight but I don't want to screw up an otherwise good taillight and lens.

Thanks,
Bruce Clarkson
Bruce Clarkson
Back to Top
george w View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2013
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 2384
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote george w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/05/2020 at 2:52pm
It sounds like the lens is simply stuck in the housing by the lens gasket.
Try using one of those flat, plastic, trim pry tools to free the lens from the housing. Possibly a spray of WD-40 in around the edges may help free the bond. The gasket is probably going to be toast. At least new lenses seem to be available on eBay should you break the lens. There's a NOS pair on eBay right now complete with gaskets for only $ 24.95. Can't beat that !
This would be a good time to replace the original 1034/1157 bulbs with red LED bulbs. You'll want red rather than white to get the best light output match with the red lens and you'll also want to use bulbs that have a round lens with some leds on the end. These will really make a big improvement in the rear lighting especially when braking. You'll need to change the turn signal flasher to the electronic type so the flashes will be at the proper timing intervals.

Edited by george w - Nov/05/2020 at 3:00pm
Long time AMC fan. Ambassador 343, AMX 390, Hornet 360, Spirit 304 and Javelin 390. All but javelin bought new.
Back to Top
george w View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2013
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 2384
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote george w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/05/2020 at 8:57pm
Slight correction, the pair of lenses on eBay are for a 67 but there's at least one NOS 68 wagon lens on there as well.
Long time AMC fan. Ambassador 343, AMX 390, Hornet 360, Spirit 304 and Javelin 390. All but javelin bought new.
Back to Top
tomj View Drop Down
AMC Addicted
AMC Addicted
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2010
Location: los angeles
Status: Offline
Points: 5275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/05/2020 at 9:00pm
I'm with George W. I didn't comment cuz I don't know that model, but I've had various similar, and my 63 wagon stuck all the time.

I'm sure too the gaskets are toast. But I had very good luck "making" gaskets from silicone (below). Today I would spring the $15 and use Right Stuff by Permatex -- it's inherently removable.

There's likely gonna be issues in there -- all old AMCs tend to ahve these issues. THe reflector was just chromed pot metal, they get white spots and oxidize, etc. Leaking shrunk gaskets accelerate this. Fairly ordinary.

The sockets develop high resistance, which makes them get hot, plus electrochemical corrosion, and you can clean them out, re-form the dented brass rivet-style contacts, etc. But they tend to degrade fast...

My suggestion and probably others is to buy high quality LED replacements. Look carefully at how the discrete LEDs are clustered on the "bulb", you want a bunch pointing sideways, etc to fill the whole cavity with light like the old lamps did.

LEDs will draw a fraction of the power/current, and if you buy good ones, will be MUCH brighter at the same time. This will stress the old sockets far, far less. And don't burn out, so you can leave that lens on for longer too.

I made gaskets by very carefully laying a bead of silicone on the cast housing, it's hard to get even thickness, doesn't have to be too pretty, just even. Then let it skin over/partly cure. Then put very thin silicone paste on the lens mating surface, and *just barely* install it. Then tighten the next day. DOn't plug up the breathing notch.

RIGHT STUFF would be far, far superior. It peels off. Its expensive.

This is how I did my 68 American. The ref LEDs partly make up for the faded red plastic of the ancient lenses. I should at some point spring for NO$.

1961 roadster american, 195.6 OHV, T5
1968 american, 199ci, T14
AMC pages: http://www.sr-ix.com/AMC/

Back to Top
Bruce Clarkson View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Feb/09/2013
Location: New Bern, NC
Status: Offline
Points: 466
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Clarkson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2020 at 6:36am
Thank you all.

I agree that the LEDs are a good deal.  I've installed them on my '67 Ambassador and like them.  BTW, I had all the socket corrosion and bad ground problems there but systematically made sure everyting was grounded and clean in order to get success.

I've delayed further prying on the new wagon's tail lights until I've got some replacement lenses in case I mess up what I've got.  Everything works for the moment but I'd like to get LEDs in those tail lights too.  (I'm going to just hate it if I crack those lenses.)

Thanks,
Bruce Clarkson
Bruce Clarkson
Back to Top
tomj View Drop Down
AMC Addicted
AMC Addicted
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2010
Location: los angeles
Status: Offline
Points: 5275
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/13/2020 at 8:23pm
Originally posted by Bruce Clarkson Bruce Clarkson wrote:

I've delayed further prying on the new wagon's tail lights until I've got some replacement lenses in case I mess up what I've got.  Everything works for the moment but I'd like to get LEDs in those tail lights too. 

You got it man, spot on!
 
1961 roadster american, 195.6 OHV, T5
1968 american, 199ci, T14
AMC pages: http://www.sr-ix.com/AMC/

Back to Top
Bruce Clarkson View Drop Down
AMC Nut
AMC Nut
Avatar

Joined: Feb/09/2013
Location: New Bern, NC
Status: Offline
Points: 466
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce Clarkson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/17/2020 at 11:44am
Got the spare tail light lenses.  Then I could better understand what I was trying to pry out of the taillight extension.  With that knowledge, it all worked out fine.  Thanks.

BTW, I had forgotten about the flasher issue.  I already had the turn signals converted to LED and the existing heavy duty flasher worked fine.  I put the tail light LEDs in and no such luck.  Not enough draw to make the flasher work.  Could have added resistors but instead put in a solid state LED compatible flasher.  The brake lights are much more "modern" in the amount of light they put out.  Although not perfectly period correct perhaps its a bit safer.  

Bruce Clarkson
Bruce Clarkson
Back to Top
george w View Drop Down
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Supporter of TheAMCForum
Avatar

Joined: Jan/27/2013
Location: New Jersey
Status: Offline
Points: 2384
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote george w Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov/17/2020 at 5:49pm
The LED bulbs also light up faster which could make the difference in preventing a rear end collision. Between the added brightness of the LED bulb and the faster light up time it behooves one to change to LED rear lights just as a safety precaution measure.
Long time AMC fan. Ambassador 343, AMX 390, Hornet 360, Spirit 304 and Javelin 390. All but javelin bought new.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.03
Copyright ©2001-2019 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.125 seconds.
All content of this site Copyright © 2018 TheAMCForum unless otherwise noted, all rights reserved.
PROBLEMS LOGGING IN or REGISTERING:
If you have problems logging in or registering, then please contact a Moderator or