Tail light malfunction

Electrical & Ignition

  1. 69 R/T

    69 R/T Well-Known Member

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    Here's one to try to figure out. My 1969 Coronet's tail lights don't work at all. The brake, turn signal and reverse lights work, just not the tail lights or license plate lamp. I checked all the fuses and they're OK. I took a test lamp to the fuse box and all were hot with ignition and lights on, however, after removing a tail bulb from the socket with the blinker and lights on, only the blinker side of the 1157 bulb socket activated the test lamp, not the tail light side. That circuit is not getting power.

    This car has been restored and most of the wiring harness is new or mint condition. Funny thing is that it worked several weeks ago. Any clues? No night cruises until I get this fixed. I've only had the car a month, I'm ready to hit the streets when she's legal again. Thanks guys!
     
  2. GTXperience

    GTXperience Well-Known Member

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    Ted, could it be a possible ground issue?
     
  3. 1badstroker

    1badstroker Well-Known Member

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    Check the turn signal switch. I had a 68 charger many years ago that had the same issue and that seems to some to mind. I attached the wiring diagrams. Check and see if the tail lights are tied in to the turnsignal swith. Good luck.

    69CoronetA.jpg

    69CoronetB.jpg
     
  4. 69 R/T

    69 R/T Well-Known Member

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    Since it was working, maybe it is a grounding issue. Where would I find the grounding lead to the body?
     
  5. greencharger68

    greencharger68 New Member

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    Tail Lights

    I had some of the same problems on my 68 charger, some b bodies have a ground wire under the rear lower seat cushion, also check the turn signal ass. under the steering wheel one of the wires may have broken or as in my case the switch ass. plastic was warped.

    I was able to bend it back into place and it is working great now. hope this helps, I took many things a part on my car that had never been touched since my dad bought this car new.
    best
    Dave
    http://greencharger68.tripod.com/index.html
     
  6. Rick@Laysons

    Rick@Laysons FBBO Vendor FBBO Sponsor

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    Couple of things to check.....make sure that the screws holding the metal instrument housing to the dash frame are good and tight and making good contact to the metal dash frame, this is a path of ground for the running lights thru the main headlight switch.

    Second, there should be a ground wire coming from the outside tube of the steering column to the metal dash frame located under the dash where the steering column attaches to the bottom of the dash frame.

    I used to have this very same problem on a 70 Charger I used to own.
     
  7. 69 R/T

    69 R/T Well-Known Member

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    Fixed It!!!

    Well, here's what happened. First off, no grounding lead under the back seat. I pulled the kick panel and tested the harness connector with a test light, hot on both ends...good. I went to the harness in the trunk and poked half way between axle hump and lamp housings, hot there too...hmmmm. At the harness bend it gets thick as the four tail lights and license plate lamp leads all junction to the feed from the light switch. the 40 year old soldering connection and the cloth tape had worn out causing it to disconnect at that point.

    I corrected that and I'm back in business....Woo Hooo! Thanks for all your great suggestions, ideas, tips and schematics. See ya'll on the streets boys!
    Ted
     
  8. 1badstroker

    1badstroker Well-Known Member

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    Cheap fixes are good
     
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