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Discussion Starter #1
After figuring out our '67s problem in Troubleshooting, I've brought it here for ideas on repairs. Here's the deal:

I took a good hard look at the bulkhead connector and it seems the hot lead is right above the turn signal wire in the connector. Looks to me like the hot lead has overheated for some reason and melted the plastic surrounding it. This has evidently caused it to make contact with the turn signal wire below it and short through, causing the dash light and right front signal light to remain on when the ignition is in the 'off' position. I pulled the hot lead from the connector (no easy task), checked the turn signal wire and found the short had disappeared.

Now that I've found the problem I was wondering if any geniuses out there have ideas on how to go about repairing a bulkhead connector? Also, does anyone know why this connection would've overheated and melted? It's not fried to a crisp, but it definitely got hot. How do I fix it and how do I prevent it from happening again? If I can't fix the connector right away is there a way to wire around the thing? What's a good cleaner to use for those slip-fit electrical contacts? I'd like to give 'em all a good cleaning and then put some sort of corrosion-preventative on them. Some are a little green. I'm wondering if slow buildup of corrosion wasn't responsible for the overheating.
Thanks, and sorry for rambling on.

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Tom H.
Member #259
Indianapolis,IN www.iquest.net/~bharold/chevelle/
 

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Great diagnosis. I went out to look at my 67 to make sure the connector was OK. Here are the two things I would do in order of preference.

1. Get another connector from a donor car.

2. Remove and clean the old one with battery terminal cleaner, wire brush, fine abrasive paper or whatever it takes. Remove any melted plastic that is in the way. After everything is clean check every terminal for correct operation and placement. Then take some expoxy putty sold for radiator/exhaust repair and mix up a small portion. Very carefully fill in around the melted plastic making sure that the terminals stay in the proper position and the putty doesn't interfere with the operation of the connector. Clean off any excess putty that gets where it doesn't belong and let it set up.

I've done this sort of thing recently on electric motors and it held up under severe abuse and vibration.

I hope there are other suggestions as I really enjoy this type of fix. I reminds me of what "hot rodding" is all about.
 

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The individual terminals can be easily removed from the plastic. Use a very small screwdriver and probe next to the terminal from the face of the dash panel side of the block. There is a small slot next to each terminal. Insert the screwdriver here. It will release the tongue and allow you to pull the terminal out by the wire. If you need new terminals, NAPA has them. There called 56 series terminals cuz they were first used in 1956.

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Fred Aldrich
Web Site: www.GeoCities.com/~69_chevelle
 

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I agree with Gary; use an epoxy but make sure it is not a metal filled epoxy so that it will not conduct electricity. Maybe Radio Shack would be a good place to go if you are not near a good electronic supply store.As for the cause, the melting is the result of electrical resistance. Quite likely that is caused by connectors losing the mechanical grip from blade to socket or even more likely the corrosion from many years of exposure to the elements.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replys.
Fred, since it was melted the connector put up a real fight and wasn't easy to get out at all, though I used the method you described. Sometimes it looks good on paper, but in the real world...
I'd like to get a new connector, but knowing how hard those can be to come across I will probably go with Gary's suggestion at least until I can find a suitable replacement.

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Tom H.
Member #259
Indianapolis,IN www.iquest.net/~bharold/chevelle/
 
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