7 Guests, 1 User
Tonycando

Author Topic: No Taillights  (Read 7092 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline blupinto

  • Pinto PooBAH
  • ******
  • Posts: 3872
  • FeedBack: +63/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • My Original Blu '72

  • Total Badges: 9
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Mobile User Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Fifth year Anniversary Photographer
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2017, 12:04:53 AM »
Yes, the side markers and rear license plate light work.  The taillights are getting power- when I put the indicator to right or left, the taillights blink as if I pulled the hazard switch (the parking lights blink normally).  I cannot pull the car apart, as today I got a nasty gram from my idiotic HOA complaining and threatening to fine me for replacing my alternator belt outside as opposed to in my garage (no room in garage). 
One can never have too many Pintos!

Offline nnn0wqk

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • FeedBack: +24/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Poll Voter Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2017, 10:09:37 AM »
What is the number on the bulb for the tail lights?

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2017, 11:03:42 AM »
To answer the last two posts in one:

The bulb is the very common 1157. It has been used almost universally with the older twist lock lights for decades.  It is a TWO filament bulb. Meaning it is two light bulbs in one.  The dimmer filament is the tail light.  The brighter filament is the COMBINATION Brake and Turn signal.  This is why the turn signals or brake lights working have no relevance on the tail lights working. They are powered independently and light different filaments.  However, since they share a common socket it does prove that the grounds are good.

  This leads me to believe 99% that the brown wire to the tail lights is either disconnected or broken. And it is somewhere "near" the back end of the car because the side marker and license plate light are functioning and share a common power source.  I'm not sure what side of the car the wiring runs down, but I'd assume the drivers side. Thus I would follow that brown wire (may be wrapped with others in black tape) from the tail light going toward the point of origin (most likely sideways before it goes forward) and see if you find the problem. The wire may be intact, and connected. It might be that the connection somewhere down the line is corroded . So, if you find ANY connector separate it and check.

Offline nnn0wqk

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • FeedBack: +24/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Poll Voter Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2017, 03:41:49 PM »
"However, since they share a common socket it does prove that the grounds are good."

Actually no that does not prove the ground is good. If you have a bad ground what will happen as long as you are only trying to use either the tail light or brake light is it will back feed through the other filament and find a ground in the other circuit. That is why when you test brake lights and tail lights you want the tail lights on and then step on the brake. If you have a bad ground then you will not get a light at all.

Looking at the wiring diagram that I have it shows that the mark tail lamp and license plate all share the same feed from the light switch. Which tell me you have a bad ground at those tail/brake light sockets. The other clue is the fact that you say the tail lights blink which would indicate to me a bad ground. What I would do for testing is bring a temporary ground wire from the frame to the light socket, does not need to be anything fancy, vice grip the wire to the frame and scrap a clean spot on the side of the socket and hold the wire to it and see what happens. I could be wrong but I sure do not see where you have a power feed issue with the other lights working.

Offline Wittsend

  • Pinto Master
  • *****
  • Posts: 2258
  • FeedBack: +241/-0

  • Total Badges: 8
    Badges: (View All)
    Tenth year Anniversary Mobile User Topic Starter Poll Voter 1000 Posts Linux User Windows User Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2017, 12:01:09 PM »
"However, since they share a common socket it does prove that the grounds are good."

Actually no that does not prove the ground is good. ...

In this case she said the grounding points were sanded to clean metal, and that she had brake lights and turn signals.  Thus my assumption of good grounds. Also, if the current was passing through other filaments, in essence wired in series now, wouldn't that cause the functional bulbs in that circuit to dim?  As an example; there is no ground (on one side for the example), the brake lights come on but one side is passing through the tail light filament and finding a secondary ground. Shouldn't that brake light be dimmer?  There has been no mention of that.

Becky, I understand how persnickety HOA's can be. But, running a wire momentarily from the light socket housing to a bare metal spot on the car (like the hatch latch) takes all of 5 seconds -or less to do. All you need is about 3 feet of wire and even an unraveled metal coat hanger scraped of it's coating will do. Just turn the lights on, hold the wire to the metal grounding point and the metal on the bulb socket. If the tail lights light, it is a ground problem. I'f not, it is likely a wire problem. You only need to hold the wire long enough to see the tail lights light up ..., or not. Just a few seconds  This will forever end the debate about the problem being a ground - or not.  When you say you "cleaned to bare metal" was that at the socket to the housing ..., or the housing to the body ..., or both?  It needs to be both.

Offline nnn0wqk

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • FeedBack: +24/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Poll Voter Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2017, 09:23:09 PM »
Well I have seen lots of crazy things in my many years of turning wrenches. I have seen bulbs put in backwards and yes I know they are supposed to go only one way but where there is a will, murphy makes a way. That was the reason I asked what number bulb was in the tail lamps as I have also seen double contact bulbs that were only a single filament install in brake/tail lamp sockets.

Ford on the Pinto used a very strange way to get a body ground in 1974 and maybe other years as well. If you look at the OEM ground cable about half way down the cable is a clip that bolts the cable to the body. That was the original body ground. It actually worked very well when everything was clean. Most cables have been changed over the years. If changed to an ordinary ground cable then you needed to add a ground cable from the engine to the body or from the battery negative terminal to body. It is possible there may not be a good body ground anymore. Since it has been indicated that all electrical items except the tail lamps function the chances are very slim that a poor body ground is the issue but one could check.

So there are a couple of other quick and easy test that can be made with a test light that should help you determine if it is a power supply issue or a ground issue. With you test light connected to a good ground take the tip and touch the brass base of the bulb. It should not light up. If it does light and it could be anything from a dim light to a bright light then that would indicate you have a bad ground at that socket. Test both sides before doing anything else. If you see no light at all and if everything is good you should not see any light then go to step two. Remove the bulbs from the sockets and with the tail lights on and turn signal activated for which ever side you are testing probe the terminals at the base of the socket where the bulb makes contact you should see one terminal with a steady light and the other terminal that should blink which would be your turn signal. That test will determine if you have positive voltage feed for both circuits. If you do not find the expected results than address those issues. In looking at my harness tonight it appears there are three places you need clean metal for a good ground at the tail/brake lamps. First the inside of the socket needs to be clean to make good contact with the bulb, then the fingers where the socket snaps into the light housing and finally clean where the lamp housing bolts to the body.

Keep everyone posted as to what you find.

Offline dick1172762

  • Vintage Pinto Racer
  • PCCA Management Board
  • Pinto Sr. Master
  • ******
  • Posts: 2623
  • FeedBack: +362/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • I'm a llama!

  • Total Badges: 7
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #36 on: January 20, 2017, 11:13:45 AM »
VERY well written to say the least. And yes, we need to hear this out till it is finally corrected.
Its better to be a has-been, than a never was.

Offline nnn0wqk

  • Pinto Member
  • **
  • Posts: 98
  • FeedBack: +24/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Another Pinto Driver

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Poll Voter Windows User Tenth year Anniversary Fifth year Anniversary
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2017, 10:44:34 AM »
So did you ever get your problem resolved and if so what was the issue?

Offline blupinto

  • Pinto PooBAH
  • ******
  • Posts: 3872
  • FeedBack: +63/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • My Original Blu '72

  • Total Badges: 9
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Mobile User Tenth year Anniversary Poll Voter Windows User 1000 Posts Fifth year Anniversary Photographer
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2017, 09:10:19 PM »
Hi everyone! I'm sorry for the delay in responding!  Ongoing issues not Pinto-related happening over here.


My friend David and I had the car over at his house. The brake light situation was fixed with a (slightly) different brake light switch than the one I originally installed and a new pigtail. However, we STILL have no taillights when the headlights go on, and when I put the turn signal to R or L, the front signals work properly, but the rear ones both come on, a la hazard lights. lol. There is power going to the sockets, but now we thing we need a new headlight switch. David also swears there's supposed to be a third wire going into that socket, but the wiring there doesn't look modified in any way. I'll look in my 1974 Ford Shop Manual and see, though.
One can never have too many Pintos!

Offline LongTimeFordMan

  • PCCA VIP
  • Pinto Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 377
  • FeedBack: +181/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • 1973 Red Pinto Wagon

  • Total Badges: 5
    Badges: (View All)
    Topic Starter Signature Windows User Linux User Mobile User
Re: No Taillights
« Reply #39 on: April 04, 2017, 11:07:08 PM »
Hi.. as a test and temporary repair you might try connecting a ground wire to the  factory  ground wire where it connects to the tail light and see if the light works then.. if it does you can then either track down the ground fault OR just attach a ground wire to the body and splice it into the tail light ground which is probably a good idea anyway.

Heres a link to a wiring diagram pg 16 for pinto.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.gt40s.com/images/torino/72ford.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwix69Cot4zTAhVsyoMKHWqfBtYQFgghMAI&usg=AFQjCNFbJ-K_deDtVQH2SpYXeeOrSMN6WA&sig2=yAdu-LjCiwEqAKaj_gpBkw


The ground wire is black and attaches to a screw on the rh real quarter panel
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles