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Discussion Starter #1
I'm new to the forum as I just bought by first GTO. It is having issues with the tail lights and I've identified that a couple sockets aren't working right. One is an aftermarket replacement socket that doesn't appear to have any way to snap into the tail light housing like the originals. The other socket has an issue with the contacts in the socket not contacting the contacts on the base of the bulb. I can push the bulb in and it lights up.

I'd like to replace one or both of the sockets but I can't seem to find anyone that sells a correct replacement socket. The ones I find that are supposed to fit a 69-74 GM cars, will fit in the tail light housing but they don't snap in. The previous owner duct taped the replacement socket to keep it in.

Am I missing something? Does anyone know where to buy a replacement?

Thanks for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's the same socket I'm finding everywhere else. It doesn't snap in. There is nothing to hold the socket in the housing. Am I missing something with this? My original sockets have latches on both sides that I have to push to release. There isn't anything like that on those in the Ames catalog or the ones that I'm finding at any other parts place.
 

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A few years back, I read an article on this problem and you can buy a replacement from NAPA that fits a chevelle that will work. You could also wedge a piece of metal between the socket and housing to hold it in place and use as a ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. That NAPA part looks just like all the other sockets. I'm going to have to figure out how to make it work.

I'm thinking I might be able to make some kind of clip or keeper with my 3D printer... If it works well then I'll post my results.
 

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I think what is in the Ames photo is correct. I just took these pictures of my '67.
This one shows the hole in the housing. You can see where there is a notch for the guide nub on the socket.

This is from the Ames catalogue. I circled the guide nub. It is right next to one of the copper clips for the ground. There is a copper ground on the opposite side.

This picture shows the guide nub on my socket next to the ground.

This last picture shows the black plastic tines that actually snap into the hole. There are 4 on one side and 3 on the other, with one of those being wider that the others. In my humble opinion the Ames socket is identical, remembering that my car is a '67. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the photos. Yes, the hole in the housing looks just like that and yes, the guide notch lines up. The problem I have is that the plug from the Ames catalog, and the others like it, is that they aren't staying in the housing. Maybe the one I bought is too cheap and not constructed well so the tines don't hold enough tension. In any case, the original sockets snap in and you have to squeeze them to release them from the housing. They don't look the one in your pictures. I'll have to see if I can get some pictures of mine tonight.
 

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Mine are original to the car as far as I know. And yes they are weak when it comes to staying in the housing. They will occasionally fall out, probably after hitting a bump. Old age and wear and tear. Good luck, and let us know if you find a better solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here is a picture of the original light socket. The arrow is pointing to the depressable latch that holds the socket in the housing. I was hoping to find a replacement that also has this but it seems I'm out of luck.


I was able to get the lights all working last night and I think they'll be pretty reliable. The problem is that one of the sockets has been replaced and it's the kind of socket that doesn't latch so it pops out. I'm going to work on making a clip/bracket to hold it in. My goal is to make something that doesn't require any modification to the existing housing and just snaps in...
 

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Ahhhhhh....now we see. That must have happened after '67. Hard to tell, but it looks like your socket's perimeter tines don't seem to have as much "meat" on them as mine, probably because the snap latch worked better. It's like destructive testing. Buying one from Ames including shipping, only to find out it doesn't hold well would be a bummer.

Take a look at the OPG one. It is same as the Chevelle for '69.

1967-73 GTO Light Socket & Wiring @ OPGI.com
 

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You do realize the sockets are twist ins???? insert the tabs and twist to the right.....
The '67 won't twist. The guide nub won't let it. Maybe the '69 does. BTW, where in NJ are you? We got our brand new '67 from Allen Pontiac in Belleville while living in West Orange.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You do realize the sockets are twist ins???? insert the tabs and twist to the right.....
I'm not sure who you are directing this at but mine don't twist in. They have the same notch in the housing like the 67 but the 69 sockets have the lock that you can depress and release the socket... The ones that were linked for the 69 Nova are twist lock sockets. Not the same as my GTO.
 

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I know this is a late response to the topic, but yesterday i took off the tail light lenses off my newly purchased '68 to replace a couple of bulbs and one of them had a tiny length of insulated electrical wire wedged between the base of the bulb and the housing (light does work). Now reading this thread i saw one of the fly by night cures was to wedge a piece of metal that accomplishes the same thing. Who'd a thunk? Guess i should get the correct socket now.
 
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