WTB - 82 Spider Tailight of Bulb Socket - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 05-11-2008, 05:50 AM
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Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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WTB - 82 Spider Tailight of Bulb Socket

Need driver's side (or both) tail light assembly; or just the bulb socket for the double contact bulb.

please contact Dale Poole
dale_poole@unc.edu
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Old 05-11-2008, 02:09 PM
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Have you checked your local auto parts store for a replacement socket? Just this morning I found a great selection at an Advance Auto Parts, and with just some simple mods was able to replace the socket in the center brake light on my '87 Spider. First time in 10 years it's worked, and I spent ~$3. My '74 Spider has some dodgy sockets, too, and when I get to that task, it will be more of the same for me. No more wire-brushing corroded contacts, the new sockets are usually plated to resist corrosion, and the new springs make better contact with the bulbs.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sacamano View Post
Have you checked your local auto parts store for a replacement socket? Just this morning I found a great selection at an Advance Auto Parts, and with just some simple mods was able to replace the socket in the center brake light on my '87 Spider. First time in 10 years it's worked, and I spent ~$3. My '74 Spider has some dodgy sockets, too, and when I get to that task, it will be more of the same for me. No more wire-brushing corroded contacts, the new sockets are usually plated to resist corrosion, and the new springs make better contact with the bulbs.
Yes, I did. I tried several from the local auto parts store. There is very little clearance behind the taillight assembly on the '82 era spider so none would work. They are all too long. It could be made to work if willing to drill a hole in the sheetmetal but then the socket end would protrude slightly into the trunk area. The stock socket sticks out the back only about 1/2 inch and the connections are at a 90 degree angle. Some models of the Ford Taurus and Camaro/Firebird use a 90 degree angle socket but I'm guessing they will still be too thick. Did you use one from Advance Auto that had a 90 degree connection? If so, that may work. All the ones I found were straight (which makes them too long).

Thanks, I appreciate the help.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:31 AM
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Ah, you're right, clearances are pretty tight back there. I did end up using a socket with the leads coming straight out, rather than 90 degrees, but I was able to trim down the tail on the little rubber boot and got just enough clearance with the center brake light on my '87. You might be on to something with the GM/Ford plastic 90 degree sockets, though, or something similar. maybe even from a motorcycle or trailer, since their lights are usually in much smaller housings? If you can get to one of the large NAPA stores (we have a big warehouse store around here, and then smaller satellite stores, too), they've got catalogs of stuff like that, and they've always let me browse for what might work.

Getting better, and by that I mean BRIGHTER, lights on the rear of my '74 Spider is something high on my list of things to do, as I'm always driving with one eye in the rear-view mirror, afraid of getting hit by someone in an SUV. You can't really put higher wattage bulbs in, as the heat will melt the lenses, and I've tried (several years ago) LED's, but they were weak and the light was very directional. My impression is that the newer LED's are quite a bit better, but I haven't tried any yet. Think about those big multi-LED flat-pane brake lights in a newer Cadillac, and that's what I'd like to have.

On my '87 I have the rear "fog" lights and original brake lights wired in parallel, and just installed a flasher module for the center brake light: Page 1
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:43 AM
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Brake Light Bulb

I have also looked at an alternative for the brake lights to grab the attention of the driver behind. I found online a LED 1157 bulb for a motorcycle that is wired to a device that has some type of inertia switch. They claim that under normal braking, the brake lights come on as normal. Under panic braking, the brake light strobes.

There is also the kind that strobes briefly everytime you brake:

1157 1156 Superlumination.com leds (Automotive Replacement Light Bulbs, Headlights, Foglights & Lamps)

After I solve my socket problem, I'm thinking of trying one of these.
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