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1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)

This is a discussion on 1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped) within the Classics forums, part of the General Discussion category; So I have been for the past two days trying to find the reason why my 80 chevy 1/2 ton ...

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    1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)


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    So I have been for the past two days trying to find the reason why my 80 chevy 1/2 ton 2wd shortbox has no tail lights. Brake lights and blinkers work fine. So far I have checked the fuses (visually), replaced the light switch in the dash, cleaned up and replaced the ground behind the drivers side tail light housing, rewired and replaced a bulb housing on the drivers side that looked corroded, and I have inspected the split in the harness at the end of the frame. I also chased the wiring down the frame rail looking for a open area but found nothing. Is there any thing else I am missing here?

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    Re: 1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)

    are the correct bulbs installed? Don't laugh, I've seen it more that once.

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    Re: 1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoP View Post
    are the correct bulbs installed? Don't laugh, I've seen it more that once.

    Yes I believe so, there are three bulbs total. The upper bulb is a dual filament and from what I got it is for brakes and blinkers. there is another one below it which is the same size but a single filament and I am not getting it to do anything. there is also a much smaller bulb which is on the side of the housing which I believe may be the running light which is what is not working. I switched a few bulbs around from my parts truck today and before I took out the light switch from it all the lights were functioning properly. I am however kicking myself in the a** for not taking the lens covers off and actually seeing which bulbs do what. I assuming that the lower bulb is for the reverse light which is on the bottom of the lens. and no I have not checked to see if I have funtioning reverse lights.

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    Re: 1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)

    X2 on checking for the right bulbs.

    When/why did they stop working, you just got it that way, someone worked on it and then they quit, etc?

    Are any/all of the other park lights working, on the front and/ or the dash lights?

    Get a test light, and look under the back, near the frame rail/bumper mount area. you should see a rubber plug, about 1" in dia. pull it apart, check for corrosion. it'll have 4 blades in it, one each for park lights, reverse, left turn/brake, and right turn/brake. See if you have power to here for each one.
    Then, get a power source, either an extra battery (remember to ground it to the frame as well) or a long lead from the truck battery (AND PUT A FUSE IN IT!!! DON'T ASK HOW I KNOW THAT'S IMPORTANT!!) and feed power to each circuit, see what works and what doesn't. Last, if anything still doesn't work, try leaving the power fed to it, then run a ground from the side of the bulb, and touch a good clean ground point somewhere.

    Another place to check is if is has, or ever had, a trailer light plug on it, no one ever does a good job wiring them, normally just scotchlocks and a little tape, because they need lights right now and they'll "get around to fixing it later". It's common anywhere in a salt belt, a pinhole or cut in the insulation and the wire inside will corrode and break, but you can't see it

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    Re: 1980 Chevy 1/2 ton no tail lights (totally stumped)

    Quote Originally Posted by TroyB890 View Post
    So I have been for the past two days trying to find the reason why my 80 chevy 1/2 ton 2wd shortbox has no tail lights. Brake lights and blinkers work fine. So far I have checked the fuses (visually), replaced the light switch in the dash, cleaned up and replaced the ground behind the drivers side tail light housing, rewired and replaced a bulb housing on the drivers side that looked corroded, and I have inspected the split in the harness at the end of the frame. I also chased the wiring down the frame rail looking for a open area but found nothing. Is there any thing else I am missing here?
    I had the same problem. It ended up being a short in the wiring, deep in the truck that I couldn't find. I had to have it re wired, sucked balls. I tried everything as well, it had to do with the trailer wiring I believe as well that was installed before I bought the pick up. Hopefully you find the problem.

    Matt

 

 

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