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  #1  
Old 05-12-2010, 12:22 PM
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Question 1960 tail lights / waffle plate questions

I'm a novice at posting (and working on my car) so please be patient with me. The waffle plate on my Bird is dull and needs to be cleaned up. I was advised to use 000 steel wool on the metal and to use striping enamel to repaint the squares. The problem is that I can't even get the tail light sockets unplugged so I can remove the plate itself. I've tried pulling, twisting, pulling & twisting but with no success. I don't want to break them off. Can someone tell me what is the trick to removing them?
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:29 PM
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I'd get a mod to move this question over into the 1958-60 technical forum. You'll get more responces over there...

-Jon
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:13 PM
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Thanks, Jon! Like I said, I'm a novice at this...
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default 1960 tail lights / waffle plate questions

Hi Steve,

I just spoke with Bart ~ bcomo, who went through this procedure in the past when he had his '60 430MEL Black Raven. He also cleaned up his tail light assemblies and redid them. He got his black striping kit from John Draxler of Tbird Ranch.

Here is what he told me. To get those left and right tail light panels out, you have to take out the two inside trunk panels that are behind the tail lights inside the trunk. That will give you access to the lights and the bolts that hold those panels on. Take off the cardboard type panels, and then you should be able to pull out the light bulb holders. Then there are bolts there that hold the tail light panels in place. Take them off and that should allow you to take off the tail light panels. With them off, you can work on them on a work bench. Then you can unscrew the red tail light lenses and set them aside if you want to. Then you can begin the clean up process on the tail light assemblies themselves.

After he cleaned up the chrome on the tail light assemblies as best he could, then he pin striped them. Bart used the little black squares in the striping kit he got from John Draxler for the '60 Tbirds. It was time consuming to do but when he was finished, it looked like new again. John also has the striping kit for '58's and '59's. I used his striping kit to do my '59 with, though I did mine sitting behind the car on a chair. The '59 does not have those little squares to contend with. It has long strips to be put in place, so it was not nearly so bad to do.

Here is the link to John Draxler. http://www.tbirdranch.com/
His contact information is on the web page. You can email him or call him on the phone if you want to order his striping kit. Make sure he knows it is for a '60 Tbird.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:23 PM
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Default Thanks!

Thanks for the tips. I did remove the cardboard panels to gain access to the tail lights. The problem is that no matter how I twisted or pulled, they wouldn't come out. I could get one or two of them to twist about a quarter turn, but nothing would come loose. A friend told me to twist the sockets before pulling them out. Do I just need to use more force - and in which direction clockwise or counterclockwise? I'm sorry to be asking so many questions. I thought it would be a lot easier to do this.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:04 PM
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The sockets do not twist off like the modern vehicles. They are pressed into a plate that acts as a reflector. There is not enough room working behind the panel to apply the strength to break them loose. Penetrating oil may help, but the cramped quarters may again limit your success. I've attached a diagram which may help.
Carl
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:49 PM
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Cool

Steve I agree with Carl, lots of penetrating oil, patience and gentle pulling. The diagrams that Carl posted should help out to identify the parts.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:59 PM
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Spray a little Stoner "Trim Shine" on those pot metal taillight pieces. Works like magic. Makes stuff look like brand new. Seriously.

I also use it on my vintage motocross bikes. The plastics, the engine, the pipe. Sorta fills in the fine scratches and leaves a shine, but not nearly as shiny as if you used some greasy ArmorAll.

I buy my supply of this item at O'Reilly's or Checkers.
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Old 05-12-2010, 10:36 PM
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Hopefully Mike won't mind me showing off his work - he powder coated his and they turned out great.

The thread:
http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ght=tail+light

The web site:
http://4cornerzpowdercoats.tripod.com/id11.html

Eric,
registry 5347
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:12 PM
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Default Penetrating oil

Would 3-in-One be a good penetrating oil to use or should I look for something different?
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