My lights now work only when I remove the lens and jiggle, or push in on the bulb. When released, no light. Reading the message boards 2009-2013 You suggest running a dedicated ground wire from the socket to the light bucket (proper name?) see picture from 2011?
Question, any better methods and I am a novice solderer Procedures clean to bare metal, heat, flux, solder with good hot electric solder iron?
some of older posts plus picture from the past board postings
By Allan Bennett on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 12:52 am:
The trip to ground in T headlight is a tortuous one. The bulb body has to ground to the socket via the side pins on the globe. The socket has to ground to the lamp body, either through the layers of paint we put on the bodies as we restore them, or through the focus screw and the same paint layers. Then the lamp body has to be grounded to the fender bracket, which in turn has to be grounded to the frame. Hence Dan's comment.
The more usual problem is the ground between the socket and the lamp body. My son Anthony, the auto electrician, solders a wire between the socket body and the headlight bucket to make sure of this.
Allan from down under.
By Royce Peterson on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 06:49 am:
Its not too complicated is it? You need a good solid voltage on one wire and a good ground on the other. Should take less time to fix than it did to read what everyone has typed.
By Erich Bruckner, Vancouver, WA on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - 09:50 am:
Royce, That's what I thought too. I did all the usual fixing of the socket area and removed a bunch of paint there. Figured it was a slam dunk. One of those little quick jobs that ended up taking three times as long as it should have. Now think of all the jobs you put off because it seems to lengthy, then it turns out to be not as bad as you thought after you get into it. Mostly it's the first kind though.
Got two bright ones now....Thanks all.
By Jeff Hood on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 12:42 pm:
I run 6V on my Fordor and have very bright lights. People don't believe that they are really 6V.
First, make sure that all ground connections are clean and tight. This includes headlight socket to housing connections, it only slides in there so it needs to be clean and snug, and also clean up the rust and paint around the adjusting screw to make another good connection there between the socket and housing, and make sure that there is a good clean connection from the headlight bracket to the frame! Also check the resistance between the frame bracket and the frame itself.
Second, replace the wiring! 90 year old wiring has lots of resistance, especially if the car was outside or in a barn. You can get every piece of wire and new headlight sockets and plugs from all of the vendors for around $150.00. The headlight sockets are important because the little spring that pushes the contacts against the bulb and also against the plug become weak when they overheat due to poor connections, which in turn causes an even poorer connection. With clean connections, new wiring, and sockets, you should have nice bright lights. The only other thing I did was change to a "Fun Projects" voltage regulator. It may or may not help, but I have very nice lights, and I have even added some extra tail lights for better visibility with no problems or reduction in brightness. I believe that the voltage regulator works much better than a cutout.
If there is a thick coat of primer and paint on the fenders and on the light mounts, chassis and all the parts in between, it may be preventing you from getting a good ground between the light and where the ground is connected from the battery to the chassis. I have heard of folks running a separate ground wire directly from each light to the chassis to ensure a good ground, or you can ensure a good ground by making sure there is a portion of bare metal contact between the parts until reaching the ground wire. Jim Patrick
Here's how I grounded mine. It works.
For a black era car you can put the ground wire under one of the nuts holding the headlight bracket to the frame. That's one of several locations that will work.
First off Dave if pushing in on the bulb causes it to light your + contacts might be dirty or not hitting the bulb contacts (or a worn spring) so it might not be a poor grounding condition at all. However, if it is a poor ground and you can't solder worth a darn sand a clean spot on the "bucket" (socket), put a mini hose clamp on it and slip a striped wire end between the socket & clamp in the cleaned area & tighten slightly. As I don't like improvements that show I'd ground it as shown in the first photo and make sure the mounting stalk is clean & tight.
I have done what Steve has, only wound the two wires together and back through the rad. hole . then down under the frame to the hood shelf bolt (after cleaning the frame there). It just looks better in my opinion.