1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue? - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-19-2011, 06:30 AM   #1
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1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue?

Hey guys, in my 1983 Mustang GLX convertible, the computer picked up on a faulty brake light and a light in the interior lit up to show me that it wasn't functioning properly. Once I was home, I put a brick on the brake pedal and looked at the lights. The right one was out but the left one was fine. So I opened the trunk and just pulled the break light out of the socket and it lit up again. The bulb looked a little hazy so I replaced it with the same, correct bulb. In fact, I replaced both brake lights. Also, a ground wire was unattached from it's post on a metal part of the trunk's interior post so I crimped it back and tightened it. Just to be sure this wouldn't happen again I sprayed the sockets with electrical contact cleaner. About two days later I hadn't noticed my warning light in the interior (it's a little red LED, kinda difficult to notice in the daylight) and my friend told me that he saw me, and that my left tail light was out. I made sure he was positive - it was the left light that was out, not the right light like before. I checked the wiring in the trunk, everything checked out okay; no loose wires, and when I wiggled the wires around the lights constantly stayed lit. Sometimes if I'm driving, I'll notice the LED tell me that a brake light is bad and then 10 minutes later it works fine; I know the LED is functioning properly. Sometimes both lights will randomly start working again. Right now there's nothing that I can do except see a professional but I want to make sure that before I do that, there isn't something that I can do to fix this. Any help would be appreciated, as this is pretty important, having brake lights that is... Thanks in advance guys!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
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1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue?

It sounds like you've already found the problem yourself bec you mentioned if you tinker with the wiring or giggle the wiring harness going to the brake lights it seems to keep the lights working.I'd change the sockets for those lights and add brand new wiring going back as far as possible on the old harness then attaching the same thickness or gage of wire to it and the new sockets.Just use wire o-ring connectors and create a solid new ground use new screws and attache the centre wires of the dual bulb socket to the new ground wires.


Hope that helps and best of luck.By the way there are heat shrink tubes that you can slide over the wires once you wrap the wires , solder them, allow the solder to cool down you can slide them over the soldered connection and heat up the tube with a lighter and seal them.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:17 AM   #3
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1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue?

u might of did something to the wiring try to move them around and if that don't work then u might have to take it to the shop
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:33 AM   #4
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1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue?

Wiring issues are never fun to deal with. An intermittent problem more so. Using a test light on the power wire and moving the wire with the light socket can be helpful in a situation like this just to verify where the fault lies. Remember if it was shorting out it would be blowing fuses. You didn't say whether or not you have ever had an actual bad bulb. I would tend to believe the fault lies in the ground side of you electrical system for the lights. You didn't mention if the signals/flashers also were not working. I believe this is within your capabilities to fix. there are only two possibilities. Bad power or bad ground. Isolate which is the problem and work from there. Good luck
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:02 AM   #5
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1983 Mustang Tail Light Issue?

You might want to check the connectivity in your brake light switch since you seemed to have eliminated the possibility of it being a bulb/socket issue, but intermittent problems like this are notoriously hard to diagnose. Using a test light to test the entire circuit is also a good idea.
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