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88 Roadster 3rd. Brakelight ???? Help!!

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
Help!! I have an 88 with all 3 bulbs in the 3rd brake light out. I find it hard to believe that all 3 bulbs would go out at the same time.Is there something to look for? I do not find a seperate fuse? How do I get to the light to check the bulbs? I took out the fuel door, took the tag off,dropped the spare carrier still can't get to it. All help will be appreciated. TLS
 
J

johnny80

Guest
Yes, it's possible. On my 88 the third light bulbs used go once every 3-5 months. Depends on the age of the bulb, corrosion on connection etc. I cleaned up the connections treated the rubber lens seal with silicone and then replaced them all and haven't had any problems since. Our vettes are pushing 20 years so little things will go first. Also, be careful not to touch the bulbs with your bare skin, the oil will eventually heat up and cause premature wear of the bulb. I have a coupe so the replacement was a bit different. Someone here will get you through the dilemma. If you haven't already, get a Haynes manual for basic help issues. It got me through mine. Good luck.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2004
Messages
2,240
Location
Northern Indiana
Corvette
1987 Z52 Black Convertible
Try taking the License plate off. That is the way I got almost all of them. I think I went through the top for one.

The job is a real PITFA, and I was saying very many choice words while doing this :mad. If you try going through the filler door you have to take the rubber stuff out around the filler neck. Good luck....you'll need it.

Remember to NOT touch the bulbs with your fingers, they are the special bulbs that the oil off your skin will fry them, then you have to do this "fun" job all over again!
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
So are you guys saying that you think it is probably the bulbs and start there? I didn't think that all three would go at once, but I have not had a Vette this new before either. If the bulbs are bad will they turn black like a normal bulb? I cannot get my hand up through the license plate opening to find the nuts, I will try getting it on a lift somewhere. Thanks !!
 

vetteboy86

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2003
Messages
2,760
Location
IN
Corvette
1986 Black "Indy 500 Pace car replica"
I think you can go through the filler neck area for this job. If you aren't sure test the bulbs when you get them out. If they work you know you have a connection problem at the bulb, or a problem further back.
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
I got the light bar out last night. But as stated above I need an ohm meter.. I had one and could not find it. Probably loaned it, but to who? I will get one today. Thanks for all the help..
 
T

tdr1919

Guest
I got the light bar out last night. But as stated above I need an ohm meter.. I had one and could not find it. Probably loaned it, but to who? I will get one today. Thanks for all the help..

It can also be caused be a faulty voltage regulator, it will cause the weakest links to go first. Check you voltage with a multi meter shouldnt be more than 14.5 running.
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
I checked the bulbs and all are o.k. I bought a new ohm meter today.I checked the wires at the light bar with the brakes on and I had power , checked again I had power. Put the bulbs in and nothing. I checked the wires a 3rd. time no power.I had my wife stepping on the brake pedal while I checked ,Is it safe to assume that the brake light switch is getting warm and failing?
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
What I am thinking is that just the side of the switch where the blue wire for the 3rd light plugs in is bad? Maybe an internal short in the switch? I hate electrical work !! What makes me think it is in the switch is that it works till it gets warm!
 

SPANISHVETTS

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2002
Messages
1,143
Location
El puerto de Santa Maria Spain
Corvette
before 60,63&82 now 90 383 Stroker & 91 ZR1-Sold
Look for a bad ground first. 90% of the electrical problems with our plastic cars are caused by bad grounds.

Trace the ground from the lamp socket back to the ground point on the chassis. Use a test lamp that draws at least 20 watts for this check. A meter will not draw enough current to find a broken or corroded connection.
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
The black ground wire goes into the harness along with the blue. So I ran a wire from the frame to the ground wire at the light. Still nothing!
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
I hooked up a battery directly to the 3rd. light. it lit. So I know the fixture and bulbs are o.k. put everything in the ass end back together. I ordered a switch from Ecklers today. I am not looking forward to trying to get under the dash.But that is all i have left..
 
T

tdr1919

Guest
Did you try pulling the leads off the switch and using a jumper to short them together? take the switch out of the circuit and see if the condition still exists. a switch is not going to cause some bulbs to light and others not,
Like Spanishvette says, it is most likely a connection
 

ecss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
649
Location
Windsor Mill, MD
Corvette
89 Brilliant Red Metallic
There's not alot of room to work under the dash so you might want to remove the driver seat and track.

Easiest way is to remove the bottom cushion. Place your hand under the front cushion and you'll see a bail wire. With your body push down on the top of the cushion and at the same time, pull the bail wire down to unhook it. Then remove the bottom cushion and electrcial plugs if you have sport seats.

You'll see 4 bolts holding the plastic seat tray to the seat track. Once those bolts are removed, pull out the rest of the seat. If you have power seats, move the track to gain access to the four nuts holding the track to the floor panel. On the front of the seat tracks you pry out the plastic pins and pull the black plastic trim covers off to expose the front nuts. Unplug the electrical plugs and pull out the seat track.

Now you can lay on your back and work on the brake switch.:D
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
I will try the jumper wire today. All the lights work when hooked to a seperate battery. The 3rd light worked for just a few minutes and then quit when in the car . I think the switch gets warm and then closes! I am going to get under the dash today, so I hope I find something.. I ordered a switch anyway, $9.00 i'LL HAVE IT..
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
I finally got under the dash. It was the switch as suggested above I took a jumper wire from the hot orange wire a jumped it to the blue for the 3rd light. The 3rd light came on.. A big thanks to all that took the time to help, thanks again..
 
J

johnny80

Guest
Gotta love the Corvette Action Center! This site has been such a great help for me also with my 88. Glad it worked out!!!
 

tls630

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Messages
354
Location
Cape coral Fl.
Corvette
69 roadster 88roadster
Thanks again to all who helped out!! I put the new switch in today and it works fine. Got every thing back together and ready to go. thanks again.
 

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