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1951 Trunk light issue
#1
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

RKS
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The trunk light in my 51 has the same problem my 55 had, somedays it is in good mood and works other times it tells me to get lost by not going on. The bulb is good is this a ground problem and if so what is the best way to correct the ground. If its not a ground problem any ideas? Thanks

Posted on: 2020/9/27 15:42
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Re: 1951 Trunk light issue
#2
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HH56
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There is a small switch inside the light assy that is not making contact. 55s have a rolling ball but 51 is a question of whether the switch is mercury or a rolling ball. In either case one or both contacts have most likely oxidized and the ball or mercury cannot complete the circuit. Sometimes vigorous shaking will knock the oxidation off but oftentimes it has become too thick or solid to budge and some kind of drastic action is needed. If it is a rolling ball often the housing end is pressed on and with some careful work can be separated so the ball and inner contacts can be cleaned but if it is mercury then that is in a sealed glass capsule and not much can be done other than replace it with something else.

I don't remember who did the disassembly and posted the exploded view but it shows a typical light assy that used a mercury switch as was on pre 51 models. The repair is one that I did on my light using a modern tilt switch. The tilt switch was obtained from a shop that does theft and burglar alarms for cars but I believe Amazon also has something similar.

I removed the old mercury capsule and replaced it with a plastic tube which is used as a spacer and replacement for the missing capsule. Spacer is also a means to pass and hold a wire from the tilt switch which needs to be formed into a new contact for the bulb. The tilt switch was mounted on a phenolic plate above the light assy and is out of sight. The plate is held in position by the light assy mounting screws but it is not really necessary if you want to just splice the wires together and find another way to mount the new switch. In this one, the terminal and plate is used as a convenient connection point for the new switch with the original wire that connected to the socket now going to a flat head brass screw recessed in the new phenolic insulator plate with the head also protected by some tape so it cannot touch the metal housing. The wire out of the new switch goes thru the spacer and end is soldered into a new center bulb contact.

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Posted on: 2020/9/27 17:17
Howard
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Re: 1951 Trunk light issue
#3
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

RKS
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Thank you so much for the info greatly appreciated

Posted on: 2020/10/2 18:03
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Re: 1951 Trunk light issue
#4
Home away from home
Home away from home

humanpotatohybrid
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Mine is sticking also on my 55 Deluxe (stolen off my 55 Panama parts car).

Will need to try this sometime. For now just tapping it makes it work.

Posted on: 6/10 17:57
'55 400. Needs aesthetic parts put back on, and electrical system sorted.
'55 Clipper Deluxe. Engine is stuck-ish.
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Re: 1951 Trunk light issue
#5
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HH56
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By 55 I think the mercury sw was gone and there is a steel or brass ball inside an enclosure that rolls when lid is raised. As it rolls down it connects the center button and a contact piece together to make the light come on. The ball or terminal corrodes, rusts, oxidizes or whatever and no longer makes contact. Some have been able to restore function on that type by removing the assy and shaking the @#$% out of it to knock any rust or whatever loose. I don't know if anyone has tried taking the ball assy apart for a more thorough cleaning.

Posted on: 6/10 18:32
Howard
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