66-67 Dodge Charger Source Guide

Tail Lights Q & A


Brian: My rear right-hand brake lights don't work if I step on the brake, but do work when I signal for a right turn. Although my rear harness does need replacing becuase of the state of the insulation, it seems that that won't fix the problem. Anything specific I should look at?


Rick: The culprit is likely the contacts in the steering column. The brake light circuit passes thru the turn signal switch. Pull the wheel and carefully remove the actuator and its insulator gasket. Those little copper squiggles are what stand between you & working lights. Thre are sliders top & bottom, remove carefully they have to go in exactly as they came out. Then pull out the left side copper trace with needlenose. Where the contact is, it's probably got carbon buildup. Clean with emery cloth, and treat with Deoxit D5 (corrosion inhibitor) if you have it.

Reinsert it, and use an awl to gently bend it so it makes good contact in the curved area you just cleaned. Clean the copper contact areas of the sliders and replace them. While the wheel is still off, you can check to make sure both sides of the brake light circuit have voltage and are making good contact. gently bend copper traces as needed until everything works.

Replace insulator gasket & actuator and test turn signals. When all is well, install wheel. Of course, this only works if the switch contacts are the problem, but it seems to be common with '66s. No repro turn signal switch available, but some on this list have modified the '67 style.