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License Lamp

License Lamp (Series 1)

Victor Breen

I was recently stopped by police as he could not see my rear license plate at night. I gather the light buried in the bumper is a known problem. For anyone who has the same problem, here is how I did the fix.

The wires are underneath the rear bumper. They pull apart with the usual Jag plugs. I had power but with a poor connection re corrosion, so I cut off the plugs. It is a good idea to check for damage in the wires, make sure you have power, and replace if necessary. I would think you could get power from around one of the tail lights if necessary.

The light mechanism comes off after taking the nuts off from below just in front of the bumper. Pull the rubber guard between bumper and light off first, and than the case, glass and metal plate will lift out as a unit. The metal plate and glass come off after removing the two screws. My case was half full of water. The two bulb sockets were completely corroded, and broke off bending back and forth a few times.

I used a wire brush on an air tool (drill would be OK), and cleaned out all of the rust. I coated with a rust inhibitor (boat shops have this) and let dry overnight. The base was than primed.

I was able to find two suitable light sockets at the local auto parts store which are mounted on a small base with screw holes which I than mounted in the base. They were single pole, so I also mounted a ground wire under one of them.

I took the old gasket from between the glass and the base, and used it to trace and cut a new one out of gasket material. I also used liberal amounts of silicon sealant on the inner border of the chrome metal plate and screwed into place on top of the glass.

I also drilled a small hole in the bottom of the base although I'm sure it won't leak. (cough, cough). If the screws used to mount the bulb sockets stick out the bottom of the case, you will have to cut them off.

It is eaiser to re install if the assembly is put in place on the mount on the bumper, apply the nuts but don't tighten, put the rubber guard back between the bumper and the light assembly, finally tighten the nuts.

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