BLINKER ON THE BLINK

John Gunnell |

This weekend we went nearly 500 miles in the ’53 Pontiac. The destination was a party in Illinois. About halfway there we noticed the front left signal light wasn’t working. Not a good thing when you’re that far from home and planning to drive home after dark. When we arrived I got the tools out of the trunk and tried to fix it. That’s a heck of a way to enjoy a party!

With everything taken apart, here’s what we found: A frosted looking bulb stuck in the socket; a corroded brass socket; corroded contacts on the fiber disc behind the bulb and a partly corroded reflector plate. Luckily, nothing was corroded so badly that it was ruined, but it was impossible to complete a repair at the party. We had two spare bulbs in the glovebox and each time we put one in the socket it didn’t work. We were not really sure if they blew or were just no good. We drove home with no front left blinker and the rear left one working rather strangely.

At home, it was pretty simple to make a better fix. We cleaned everything with a wire brush on a Dremel tool. It all cleaned up very nicely. The reflector still had a brown diagonal band showing at the lower right corner, so we sanded it smooth and sprayed it with Eastwood’s “chrome” paint, which works very well. The chrome paint will reflect a little light and it will prevent further rust. We burnished the contacts on the fiber disc and checked its spring-back action. Then we put in a new bulb and, viola, everything worked as it should.

Now we are going to clean up all four corners. We don’t need another blinker to go on the blink so far from home. 

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