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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got a 1965 El Camino and the right tail light/stop/turn signal didn't work. The wiring was a mess, in fact the wiring for the sockets for the lower light bulb on both sides was missing. So, I ordered new rear and front wiring harnesses from NPD and installed the rear one tonight. Fit great and had the missing lower socket wiring and took just a few minutes to install. Almost all the plastic hanger tabs fit up with the holes which I figure is pretty good for an aftermarket harness.

I took my old style battery terminal wire brush along with electrical cleaner spray and cleaned out all the sockets so there would be good contact with the bulbs. Plugged in a new light switch and pulled it on and behold, only the left side comes on. A test light shows power to the socket wiring on the right side, but when I put it all back together and install new bulbs (and I have switch using 5 different new bulbs in each socket, including swapping with the left side bulbs), the left side doesn't work.

Is there some kind of ground wire running from the frame to the tail light housing? I can't figure where else I could be having a ground problem. Do the tail lights ground through the back-up lights or license plate lights? Grabbing for straws I know, but I am at my wits end.

Any thoughts?

Jay
Arizona
 

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VINTAGE MOTORHEAD
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On your car there are several ground wires for the lighting.One is routed to the RF headlamp and connects to all 4 lamps. Your taillight housing should be providing ground from the body.
 

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Is there a ground from your negative battery terminal to your body ? Sometimes if there is not a proper ground from battery to the body then there will be light issues due to lights not being able to ground out .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is there a ground from your negative battery terminal to your body ? Sometimes if there is not a proper ground from battery to the body then there will be light issues due to lights not being able to ground out .
I will check that out in the morning. Thanks
 

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some of those old lamp assem. will loose the connection between the socket and body.with the lights on take a jumper and go from the bumper to the light body and see if it lights up if it does the lamp body isnt grounding to the car body.if it doesnt light,touch the bulb itself with the jumper if it lights then you lost the connection between the socket and lamp body. i fix that by soldering a ground wire to the back side of the socket and hooking it to one of the lamp mounting bolts
 

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when i sat touch the lamp i am refering to the brass part of the bulb that just sticks past the socket
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
when i sat touch the lamp i am refering to the brass part of the bulb that just sticks past the socket
Thanks "ccc" I tried your trick and it showed the bad ground. The tail light housing bolts were tight, so I pulled the bolts and cleaned up the threads on my wire wheel and reinstalled them tightening them up good. That was the fix!

I also pulled the ground screws on the front headlight ground wire, cleaning it the same way, and voula, it fixed my right headlight problem as well.

Thanks again for everyone's help. I'm really enjoying this truck, or is it classified as a car?

Jay
 

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Glad you got your lights are working . Where I am located my 72 gmc sprint is listed as a truck on my insurance/registration papers and the part stores list el caminos as a truck so guess i would consider it a truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I went back and looked at the owner's certificate and they do list it as a "12PU", which I know that the PU means "pickup." Don't know what the "12" means though.

Now, my weekend job is getting the turn signals working. I got a front wire harness from NPD, but the connector at the firewall is wrong for my truck, so I have to send it back. In the mean time, I'm just going to cut and wrap new connections until I can get a new wire harness that works.
 

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1/2 PU would make sense.
1/2 ton.
Even though Station wagon with 1/2 the roof cut off would make sense too.

Be glad you don't have to run it across the scales to document the weight like you have to do with pick up's in Washington state.

Idiots.

They also told me my thrashed 80 Elky was worth 2600 hundred bucks when I went to license it, they have a book.
I laughed in the lady's face and pointed to it right out the front door and asked her if the state could cut me a check and I would give her the title.
 
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