I've been doing some work on the car lately. The heat riser was broke and stuck open, so my dad came over and helped me remove it. He came over to tune the carb, but insisted that we fix the exhaust problem first. We had to unbolt the exhaust from both manifolds to be able to get the heat riser and exhaust manifold out. The left side exhaust pipe gasket had blown, which explained the ticking. The choke wasn't set right and made the car run rich, hence the black plugs:
The tail lights weren't lighting properly. The running lights and brake lights worked, as did both turn signals. But, both back-up lights on the right were on continuous with running lights. I pulled the panels off inside the trunk and found a fine mess of wiring:
Above is the driver side wiring. The wire with the new red butt-splice wasn't connected to anything and found that it had to connect to the old red connector on the left. The wiring going to the socket on the right was almost broke and/or exposed, so I crimped new wires in it's place.
This had me sort of laughing. Someone probably came up short on wire and had to splice 3 short pieces together to make the connection to the WRONG wire. It should've went to the old red connector instead. The center holes on the tail light mounting plate had duct tape covering them, and so did some of the lenses. The inner right lens didn't have tape over it's center, so that must've explained why it showed a back-up light on, because the light shown through. I don't know if there is an actual cover or plug that goes in it, so I taped it closed, too.