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Brighten Up Your Early Mustang Tailights

There's nothing like having your brand new early model Mustang, one you worked on for such a long time, have a quick meeting with a newer model vehicle... A rear-end meeting that is.

How does it happen? It's those single bulb tail lights, behind an overly thick tail lens on the 64 - 66 Mustang that cannot be seen in daylight. These original tail lamp buckets are known for being very difficult to see. Not to mention that after 40 years, they probably only light up 80% of the time, due to the corrosion of the lamp sockets.

Well, there's a real easy fix that can be done in a single afternoon. See picture below, I added accommodations for two bulbs per bucket. Sure, it may look like a hack job, but the hose clamps in the picture below were only temporary until the epoxy cured.<o:p></o:p>




How to Get-it-done
The only parts I purchased were (4) 1157 bulb sockets and (4) bulbs 2057. I had a set of tail lamp housing gaskets hanging around. After 40 years, there was not much left to the originals. I also purchased can of Chrome Paint, and a tube of automotive epoxy. All weather / water resistant.

1) After removing the tail lamp assemblies from the car, push out the old sockets. They are pressed in.

2) Using a hole saw on a drill, I cut 4 circular 1 ½ inch holes in the tail lens housing. Please check the diameter of your new lamp holders before cutting your hole size.

3) Make sure the bulbs are far apart enough from each other so you can easily remove a bulb without interference from the other bulb.

4) Wire wheel the entire assembly, to remove all the rust, and debris.

5) Paint the inside surface with the Chrome paint. This one step alone adds a lot of reflectivity.

6) Place the sockets inside the housing.

7) Secure the sockets temporarily with the hose clamps.

8) Apply the Epoxy, and allow to dry at least 24 hours. I waited 48 hours since the epoxy went on so thick.

Final Steps
Once it is dry, remove the hose clamps, and trim any excess epoxy that may have escaped out the back. Smooth the epoxy surface on the fronts with a grinder.
Re-paint the housing outside assembly black to cover the trim work. Install in car, wire up the plugs, put on some sun glasses, and try your new lights out.

The Chevy guy you just passed will really appreciate being able to see your car’s tail lights way up in-front of him.


Best,
Mike




 

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Re: Brighten Up Your Early Mustang Tailights

Seems to me that this might be the answer. I will have to set up another weekend project.

Thanks
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
You may have to wait till spring, my car is under 3 feet of snow right now..... I can say with (2) 20 watt bulbs instead of (1) 12 watt bulb, and the crome paint in the bucket, actuallity it should be almost 4 time brighter.
 

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Mike, I own a FALCON and would like to do this and the question is a 2057 bulbs the 20 watt and they fit the 1157 socket and main question no affect on the old wiring.Thanks Ken N.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Same bulb socket, no wiring changes.

The LED Bulbs in a 1257 socket work good too, but they cost$$$$ and I am not sure they are brighter then a 20 watt bulb. They are deffinatly brighter then a 12 watt bulb.
 

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Re: Brighten Up Your Early Mustang Tailights

A nice write up Mike. That's thinking out of the box son. I'm rebuilding a 67 HT Fairlane and considering your ideas. Thatwould be cool as the older lights kind of look like torch lanters. Have you a final cost estimate?
 

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Re: Brighten Up Your Early Mustang Tailights

There's nothing like having your brand new early model Mustang, one you worked on for such a long time, have a quick meeting with a newer model vehicle... A rear-end meeting that is.

How does it happen? It's those single bulb tail lights, behind an overly thick tail lens on the 64 - 66 Mustang that cannot be seen in daylight. These original tail lamp buckets are known for being very difficult to see. Not to mention that after 40 years, they probably only light up 80% of the time, due to the corrosion of the lamp sockets.

Well, there's a real easy fix that can be done in a single afternoon. See picture below, I added accommodations for two bulbs per bucket. Sure, it may look like a hack job, but the hose clamps in the picture below were only temporary until the epoxy cured.<?xml:namespace prefix = o /><o:p></o:p>




How to Get-it-done
The only parts I purchased were (4) 1157 bulb sockets and (4) bulbs 2057. I had a set of tail lamp housing gaskets hanging around. After 40 years, there was not much left to the originals. I also purchased can of Chrome Paint, and a tube of automotive epoxy. All weather / water resistant.

1) After removing the tail lamp assemblies from the car, push out the old sockets. They are pressed in.

2) Using a hole saw on a drill, I cut 4 circular 1 ½ inch holes in the tail lens housing. Please check the diameter of your new lamp holders before cutting your hole size.

3) Make sure the bulbs are far apart enough from each other so you can easily remove a bulb without interference from the other bulb.

4) Wire wheel the entire assembly, to remove all the rust, and debris.

5) Paint the inside surface with the Chrome paint. This one step alone adds a lot of reflectivity.

6) Place the sockets inside the housing.

7) Secure the sockets temporarily with the hose clamps.

8) Apply the Epoxy, and allow to dry at least 24 hours. I waited 48 hours since the epoxy went on so thick.

Final Steps
Once it is dry, remove the hose clamps, and trim any excess epoxy that may have escaped out the back. Smooth the epoxy surface on the fronts with a grinder. Re-paint the housing outside assembly black to cover the trim work. Install in car, wire up the plugs, put on some sun glasses, and try your new lights out.

The Chevy guy you just passed will really appreciate being able to see your car’s tail lights way up in-front of him.

Best,
Mike



I found that if you use a # 2357 bulb it will have a rating of 28.5/8.3 watts of power & with that said you might not want to cut up your housings but try this bulb first & if you still need more light you can always drill 2 more holes. this light bulb is definately alot brighter w/out any mods.Still alot simpler fix & cheaper.
 
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