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early 80's "christmas" lights

-- [ From: Huw Powell * EMC.Ver #3.1a ] --

Well, my 82 coupe finally developed the classic "christmas" light show in
the rear.  We must all have seen, by now, some early style 5000 going down
the road with most of the taillights dimly lit, all at once, and then they
signal to leave the road and the bulbs all sort of flash randomly?

I must have been a fine sight, out there in the "fool's blizzard," with
random rear lights, signalling "right" no matter which way I actually

This problem develops because the ground tabs on the cluster insert get too
corroded to work properly and the current leaks back through the other bulbs
.  This also stops the cruise control from working since the brake light
circuit is slightly energized.

When it happened to my 83 5kt I drilled a hole through the ground trace and
ran a jumper over to the frame inside the trunk.  So I brought the coupe in
yesterday and guess what?  The coupe cluster already has a nice .250" tab on
the ground trace, with a clearance allowed for it in the lens/socket
assembly.  Boy that was easy to hook up a couple of 12" 14 GA wires and
ground them to the frame.

Cruise works again.

Also, while pulling the clusters from my parts coupe to check them out for
an interested lister, I discovered the previous owner (Erie you scoundrel!)
had artfully soldered some H3 bulbs (wattage?) into some standard single
circuit lamp bases - voila! custom extra bright brake lights.  They look
about twice as bright as my parking lights. 

Huw Powell
HUMAN Speakers

Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science....