A little work on lights

I received a care package from Saturn Surplus last week that included a 3 bulb left rear light repair kit and an M35 front wiring harness (which will hopefully be converted to an M38a1 harness soon).

So today (my first day off) I started by removing the left rear light. Once I got it in the shop I soaked it down with PB Blaster and put some heat to it. The screws wouldn’t budge and I ended up messing both of the heads up. PLUS, there was NO WAY I would’ve been able to get the 3 smaller screws in the bottom out! I ended up just trashing that light.

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So then I pulled my spare one out of the parts bin and went ahead and installed it on the Jeep. No work needed – it looked brand new inside!

I decided to go ahead and install another left tail light on the right side so that I would have 2 brake lights and (hopefully, when I get the M35 wiring harness installed) turn signals. Funny thing is – I had 4 wires on the right side! I am going to have to do some investigating to figure out what they are all for.

So anyway, I pulled the right tail light off and took it into the shop. All 5 screws came right out – the inside of this one looked good too. The guts came out in 1 piece.

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wp-1486690783217.jpgNow getting the new guts out back in was another story – an exercise in patience for sure! I fed the wires through the back of the housing and started the 3 small screws into the plate and rubber grommet – it was a pain trying to get to them AND pushing down while trying to get them started! I succeeded after about 10 minutes. Next up was getting the lower bulb socket bracket installed – fairly easy, just had to find 2 more 8-32 screws and washers. Last was the upper bracket with 2 bulbs. After trying to start one screw for a couple of minutes, I realized that neither of the upper holes were tapped! So I had to look for a tap (luckily I had one) and work around the bracket and wires to get these holes tapped. Once that was done everything went together without a hitch. I now have a new second left tail light for a grand total of $16.50 + shipping!

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I took it back to the Jeep and bolted it in. I used my multimeter to check the feed wires on the main harness because you couldn’t read the circuit tags on the wires. I turned on the marker light and matched it up to the lower bulb. Then I turned on the Service drive and matched it up to the upper right bulb. There were 2 extra wires that had caps on them – I don’t know what for. I am hoping I can clean the circuit tags well enough to find out. Anyhow, I hooked up the 3rd wire to the brake light bulb. I used a board to hold the pedal down while I checked for brake lights – didn’t have any on either side. I had B.O. marker lights and Service drive lights though!

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Another funny (not funny, just odd) thing – when I went to switch back to B.O Marker from Service Drive, I happened to catch something out of the corner of my eye – the damn headlights were on! Why are they burning now when they wouldn’t before? Both high and low beams work – very brightly I might add (they are 12v). Anyhow, lights are sorted now – except for the brake lights which is probably the switch.

I moved on to the instrument panel spider next (I received ANOTHER care package from Saturn Surplus today with a spider and 10 male and 10 female Packard connectors). I laid the instrument panel face down on a towel on the bench and checked the manual for a diagram to hook up the spider. Once I got that put on I went back to the Jeep and started scraping circuit tags to figure out what hooked up where. After about 20 minutes I had everything except the speedometer hooked up and flipped the switch. I still have some things to sort out on that tomorrow! Not everything worked – the lights and High Beam indicator worked. The fuel gauge went to full. Temp didn’t move. Oil pressure went up as I was cranking the engine. Volt gauge is screwed up (I had to put the old one back in).

So that’s it for today. I don’t really have a plan for tomorrow yet, but I’m sure it will involve sorting the instrument cluster wiring and probably rebuilding the bellcrank.

Oh yeah, I placed my next to the last parts order today. I ordered an original spare tire carrier (needs some grinding and cleaning up), a bumperette and grill welting from QTM Parts (Quarter Ton and Military) – he sells a lot on eBay under username wcwfr4. I ordered windshield rubber from Midwest Military. And I ordered windshield bumper welting and pedal draft pads from Ron Fitzpatrick Jeep Parts (off eBay). Except for odds and ends and a trip back to Piedmont to get some used tires, all I have left to buy is interior. I have decided to run used tires for the time being instead of spending $800 on 5 new tires – and I will use the top from my other Jeep if I need one. Got to keep the costs down because I’m trying to pay for this thing as I go along instead of running up the credit card bill!