Monday, September 13, 2010

The case of the fickle bulb failure

Most of you know I drive an old 89 Volvo. Well, the brake light went out on the right rear side. There is removable panel in the back to get to the bulbs. The bulb holder is removable by turning the holder counter-clockwise. The whole holder comes out so you can change the bulb easily. Re-assembly is in reverse order and the three bulb connections line up with three stationary points on the light assembly. Well, now that the car is 21 years old, the three stationary fingers that make the connections are worn out and one even broke away. I modified the assembly by removing the bulb holder, drilling small holes in the connection tabs, soldering three wires to the tabs, covering with shrink wrap, and crimping male spade connectors on the other end of the wire I just soldered. I removed the stationary connection tabs on the light assembly, and plugged my new wires into the original with the spade connectors, replaced the bulb connector. Hmm, with the stationary tabs removed from the light assembly, the bulb holder would not fit tight in the light assembly. A small block of wood with some duct tape wrapped a few times around it, fit behind the bulb holder and wedged it in the light assembly neat as neat. To change the bulb, I only need to pull out my block wedge, remove the bulb holder from the light, and pull it out from the compartment. I made sure my new soldered wires were long enough to pull the bulb holder out far enough to change the bulb. Cops love to pull ya over for a stupid light out! Long live Gustoff, the Volvo!

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