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Installing new turn signal bulbs

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 54LedSled, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    I know this sounds crazy but I am trying to install new 12V turn signal bulbs on my 1954 Belair and the housing they go in with not lock them into place at all. I can push them into the grooves but the bulb won't turn at all to lock them in. Anyone else with these cars have this issue? How did you get them to lock into place?

    P.S. I have the locking tabs on the new bulbs going into the housing the right way.
  2. pug man
    Joined: Apr 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,010

    pug man
    from louisiana

    Are you using 1157 or 1156 bulb? 1157 has stagered holes and the 1156 does not... Hope this helps....
  3. check your pin offset

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    I am using 1157A with the staggered posts. I fit the bulb in the housing grooves as they should be but the bulbs will not turn at all to lock in. I would imgaine it should take a heavy about of force to lock them in? Not sure what the hang up is. :confused:


  5. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    How hard were the old ones to remove? Take a round something and push the contact insulator down and see if it is free to move. You may need to take the socket apart and clean things up.
  6. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,685


    Clean the socket with a brush are sand paper. Clean the bulb base also. Add a bit of dielectric grease on side and bottom of the bulb. As you try to seat the bulb pull on the wires to help them move back as the bulb turns into the lugs.
  7. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,236

    from Quincy, IL

    ^^^^^^^^^^ this first. Also, make SURE the originals have the staggered posts.

  8. If the 6V bulb you took out was number 1158 you may be up sh1t creek. 1158 has the pins directly opposite each other and I don't know if there is a 12V bulb that is a direct replacement.

    1156 won't work for a turn signal/parking light since it has only one filament and a single contact.
  9. Guy's listen up here is something for everyone following this thread. If for example you have the correct bulbs and the correct offset and the correct socket, I want you to check this out. The new bulbs are all from 3rd world countries, that said the electrical contacts are not any where near a somewhat presise depth and yes this is important. See without a correct depth of the contacts, the nhew bulb cannot go in deep enough for the pins to accept the grooves in the socket.

    Now, take a very fine flat file and LIGHTLY touch up the two electrodes, and try again.

    Now before you start cursing me because there is very little material there to file, so you only need a few thousanth's, but this should do it. The electrode is very soft like a battery post, so just a few LIGHT passes with the very fine file and try again. It won't take much and yes you might ruin a bulb or two in the process, but you will know right away if you are making headway and this is the cure, all the best, TR
  10. For the first timers, use a flat surface and tape of square piece of FINE emory cloth to it and use a fiqure 8 motion with the bulb. One or two laps around and check in the socket, TR
  11. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,922


    What traditions said ^^^^^^

    I had the same problem with new bulbs a year ago, the teats were too long !!
  12. Thanks Fenders, modern mans downfall- the TEATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    The new bulbs suck, and so do Vintiques 47-48 Chevy tail light assemblies. I was having a problem with my brake lights not working and was able to wiggle the bulbs in the sockets. It would make contact if I moved it one way and not the other way. So I wrapped electical tape around the top part of each bulb to make them fatter. Now they are held in place tightly and can't move from side to side.

    All this Chinese crap coming into the States is really getting old. :mad:

  14. 54LedSled
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 362


    Okay thanks guys, ya'll are awesome for the quick responses. I managed to get them in. My issue was the springs wire terminals in the housing one of the one of the springs was majorly stuck so I used some pentrating oil and broke that sucker loose! =)

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