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Old 04-05-2010, 11:20 PM   #1
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Tail light sockets

Has anyone sucessfully changed their 7" rear lights to be able to accept dual filament 1157 bulbs instead of the single finament 1156 type? I have replaced the amber lenses with red so all four are now red lights. I also found that by reconnecting a wire in the steering column that was cut during manufacture (on purpose to separate the signal lights from the brake lights) I was able to get all four to light up with the brakes and the outer ones still function as signal lights. The problem is that I removed the smaller stop/tail lights and no longer have any tail lights on the bus. If I can get the light housings to accept dual filament bulbs I can have them function as tail lights, brake lights, and signal lights. Do I need new light housings or can I just change the contacts in the socket?
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:55 PM   #2
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Re: Tail light sockets

Dorman makes ALL kinds of sockets and I think you could probably do what you're wanting to, but if you're going through all the work why would you switch to 1157's instead of 3157's? 3157's hold the bulb tighter (less filament breaking vibrations), are more watertight, and tend to make better electrical connections.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:03 AM   #3
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Re: Tail light sockets

True, 3157s are a better design. Either way would work. I was hoping to just pull the wire, spring, and insulator out of the socket and replace it with a dual conductor version, but the pins on the side of the bulb are not the same. The 1157 are offset and the 1156 pins are equal. I also thought about just replacing with LED housings but at $40 each it would cost me $160 just for taillights!!!
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:03 AM   #4
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Re: Tail light sockets

For the amount of trouble it would require to start swapping the internals of the socket I'd rather just get a whole new one, but that's just me. Be sure to tell your counterman to sharpen his pencil, break it in half, and sharpen it again. I know what those sockets cost and how much they are marked up and there is plenty of room for them to work with.
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:14 PM   #5
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Re: Tail light sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
You should be able to buy "generic" sockets at any parts store, just hole-saw a new hole (or maybe remove the old sockets and enlarge the hole with a pair of aviations to accept the new sockets) Just go slow so you don't make the opening too large since the sockets are a press-fit.

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Well that's a good idea. Why didn't I think of using those press-fit sockets! Thanks Smitty! Sometimes the best solution is just so simple it gets overlooked...
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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Re: Tail light sockets

Well...here's some before pics just in case anyone else has the same idea. I will post more after the conversion...
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File Type: jpg DSCN1105.JPG (184.0 KB, 231 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN1104.JPG (184.5 KB, 231 views)
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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Re: Tail light sockets

See that corrosion on the metal tab they mount to? That actually rusted clear off on my reverse lights which is how I ended up with a pair of trapazoidal beam tractor lights mounted in place of the 7 inch round beams. I would recommend that modification to ANYONE as my reward vision has improved tremendously as a result.
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Old 04-06-2010, 11:26 PM   #8
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Re: Tail light sockets

Smitty is the king!!! It took about 5 minutes to convert my lights to dual filament lights. All I had to do was bend out the rim around the existing socket and pull it out the back. Then the new socket just pushed in. I bend the little tabs to secure it and I was done. Almost TOO EASY!!!
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:10 AM   #9
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Re: Tail light sockets

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
See that corrosion on the metal tab they mount to? That actually rusted clear off on my reverse lights which is how I ended up with a pair of trapazoidal beam tractor lights mounted in place of the 7 inch round beams. I would recommend that modification to ANYONE as my reward vision has improved tremendously as a result.
Yeah, my reverse light housings are rusted pretty much off as well. I am taking a couple of the 7" sealed beam housings from the top of the bus and using them as high powered reverse lights. My clear covers are a perfect fit!
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Tail light sockets

Note to everyone. Before cutting the hole larger to allow a sealed beam light from the top of the bus to fit where your reverse lights are, measure how much depth you have. While the housing and the larger bulb fits behind the clear lens, and works great, my bus didnt have the depth to mount it. I will have to keep the stock reverse lights until I strip the interior further and modify the rear walls. I will be building it out a bit anyways, but it will have to wait until I get the rear wall redone to get the clearance needed to put in the sealed beam reverse lights.
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