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Technical Taillight Socket Conundrum

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Brian Lundgren, Mar 18, 2021.

  1. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Brian Lundgren

    Hey everyone,

    I have what I suspect is a late Model T "stop" taillight that I am getting ready to wire up for my coupe. It has a quirky dual bayonet socket and I'm not sure if I should continue to run this type of socket or if I should gut the housing to install something else. I am planning on running an 1157 on the bottom for running/brake light and an 1156 on top for the "stop" light. Probably will be LED and with the inside painted gloss white for better visibility.
    Does anyone have any experience getting these sockets out? The housing is a little crusty and fragile so I am wary of giving it a proper beatdown with heat and hammer. On the other hand I think it may have originally used something like the socket I have linked down below, does anyone have any experience with these (Pictures, how do the wires attach to the socket)? I would rather run the original style sockets, but if they are a serious pain in the butt or are unreliable, I am willing to be persuaded away from them.


    IMG-9227.JPG IMG-9579.JPG IMG-9580.JPG
    DylanHill1931 likes this.
  2. 3quarter32
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 379


    No help on your question, but LEDs do not work very well with stock lens. 1157s will work maybe better.
  3. You may have the right idea on how to correctly wire the lights but you wrote it wrong. The "Stop" and the "Brake" bulb is the same thing and is the brighter bulb that goes in the top half. The bulb for the lower half is less bright and is wired to be the Taillight and come on with the parking lights if you have them, or with the headlights if you don't. It's possible to use a dual filament bulb in the bottom but that's overkill for the Brakes....... unless you mount a pair of these housings, like some owners do, and want the Turn Signal function. (I suspect you know all this already but just messed up when you wrote it. In that case, my comments may help a wiring beginner some other day.)
    As for the sockets, you're getting good advice already so I have nothing to add. Well, I guess I could add that these lights are still reproduced and available new. But good sockets in your old housing would probably result in a better quality unit.
    egads likes this.
  4. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,378


    I generally leave the socket in the housing as is. If you go to a heavy duty truck supply house, they will have new socket repair assemblies to put in the sockets that consist of a rubber piece or a spring' , a new wire with a button(s) on the end and the Bakelite flat piece that always get broken. Query; Grote socket repair assemblies The issue with the bulbs is that the pins are offset and the socket isn't. They have the retainer slots for pins across from each other that aren't offset.
    I grind or file the offending one off the bulb base and place a dab of solder on the base where the pin should be located across from the other pin. Make a couple spares to keep in your vehicle as you now have a 'custom'
    If you go with LED's the places like Snyder's and Berts have the kit that goes inside the housing, no socket removal necessary. No need to hose up your housing
    Brian Lundgren and egads like this.

  5. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,022


    $28.00 for a complete new taillight assembly on Amazon. 61zuNH-24PL._AC_SL1200_.jpg
    KoolKat-57 likes this.
  6. Napa has the yellow repair kit for sockets, the one shown is a single wire type that I used for dash light bulb but they have different repair kits for other sockets. HRP

    egads likes this.
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,676


  8. As above just replace the "pigtails". Paint the inside white and good to go.
  9. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Brian Lundgren

    Thanks for all the suggestions everybody. Those connector/pigtails from United Pacific are just what I have been looking for, the order is on the way!

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
    egads likes this.
  10. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,716

    sloppy jalopies

    Ditto on white paint on the inside of the buckets...
    unless your lights are pointed upward ['39 tail lights on '34 fenders etc.]...
    the sun's reflection off the white sort of blocks out the 1157s...
  11. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 931


    Problem is he needs this type of contact assembly, except a single contact version which may be a bitch to find.
    It may be possible to customize his housing (the pin offset will be different) and use these contacts but it will probably be just as simple to replace the sockets with those needed for the intended bulbs. If it were mine I'd put a dual element on the bottom for tail/turn (assuming using turn signals) and a single element on top for brake only.
  12. 24riverview
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 931


    Not sure those will work for you, unless I'm completely missing the point (entirely possible :D) those are designed to replace a 1157 type bulb and supply leads for LEDs.
  13. Maicobreako
    Joined: Jun 25, 2018
    Posts: 127


    Or just use the 1157 and 'burn out' the brake light filament .
  14. Vimtage Iron
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 551

    Vimtage Iron

    I may be wrong but his housings do not have the lip on the end of the socket to hold replacement pigtails, those are set up for a socket on one side and a bulb on the other, you'll need to get Model T sockets to make them work, or install new style sockets in their place.

    Ahh rereading the above posts you need what Jim has posted.
  15. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,764

    from Oregon

    You can cut the existing sockets off flush with a die grinder or parting disc. Then use a unibit to drill out the remainder of the old socket. After that buy replacement 1157 sockets from OReilly's or Autozone and install them in the old holes. They come with spring loaded tabs to hold them in, but I use some JB Weld around the edge to seal them. Once set up, I use a screwdriver to bend the tabs over inside and they're super secure. Then just wire them into your brake and taillight circuit and you're good to go.
    Brian Lundgren likes this.
  16. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Brian Lundgren

    1971BB427 has won the official back up plan award if those other sockets don't work. Used the United Pacific part # and grabbed them off Amazon, they should be here this weekend. Will follow up after I get everything set up!
  17. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,088


  18. Brian Lundgren
    Joined: Jul 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    Brian Lundgren

    Tman likes this.
  19. 30dodge
    Joined: Jan 3, 2007
    Posts: 459

    from Pahrump nv

    Your light looks like a Dodge tail light, it used two single filament bulbs.

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