Author Topic: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...  (Read 324 times)

Offline AutoCad

1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« on: September 26, 2017, 10:18:15 AM »
Good morning. I was just scrolling thru the picture gallery, specifically the dealer brochure highlighting the features of the exciting new 1962 Cadillacs. On page 5,  I quote "...new slightly lower tail fins and new, vertical rectangular-shaped chrome bumper ends which house a single white lens for brake, backup and turn indicator lights" Am I reading this wrong or are mine wired incorrectly?? I think all I get in the lower rectangle is the running and back-up lights??? Signal and brake are in the upper fin light??  Thank you,  KenO
Been there and back, in my Cadillac...

Offline 62 Coupe

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 01:43:55 PM »
Ken, the lower light does everything the fin light does with the exception that it also does the reverse light function. So everything on both except reverse which is lower light only.
He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill

Offline AutoCad

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 03:27:51 PM »
I guess I'll have to call my wife out to the shop to do the tail light drill!! Thanks Dan.
Been there and back, in my Cadillac...

Offline AutoCad

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 02:54:04 PM »
Well, thats odd. The only red light I get from my lower square light is running light. But when you think about it, how would it look with the bright white reverse light and the bright red from the brake filament on at the same time?? I can see the bright white backup light overpowering the dim red of the running light...?? Or does the reverse light cut-out the lower brake light from coming on??? This is weird.
Been there and back, in my Cadillac...

Offline 62 Coupe

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 03:14:55 PM »
Ken, the tail, brake and signal light is a single dual element 1157 style bulb that has a red glass dome over it. That way, when activated, the red glass makes a red glow through the white tail light lens. There is a single element reverse light bulb in the lower half of the tail light. The tail light assembly is divided into a lower and upper section by a reflective metal plate. When the reverse light goes on it over powers the red light functions but because the white light is confined to the lower half, the upper half still glows red. The red glass dome is exposed equally above and below the dividing plate. I'll see if I have enough bits to cobble together some photos that make it clearer.
He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill

Offline 62 Coupe

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 04:31:29 PM »
Here is a photo of an old bumper I have in my shed. You can see the divider, the red glass "globe" and the reverse light which in this piece, is broken. The red globe is exposed both above and below the divider while the backup light is only exposed in the lower half. You should get the same 12 volt reading for running lights, brake and turn signal as you would from the fin light. The dark green wire is tail lamps and the signal lights are Purple on one side and pink on the other. The photo shows that the signal wire looks pink but according to the manual, should be purple. It could be that the wire has faded over the years. The backup wires are light green. I have also included a photo showing the bumper removed from when I installed new fuel door pins and springs. You can see the colours here as well as the fact that the wiring has plugs that connect through the rear trunk wall. You can also see that any serious work on the bumper tail lights needs to be done with the bumper removed from the car. For testing purposes, you should be able to get a Volt or Ohm reading from the body connector with the wiring to the rear bumper disconnected. Test through the wiring segment to the tail light using Ohms and from the body connector using Volts. I had a problem with one of my tail lights in the bumper and it turned out to be a bad ground as is often the case.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. Sir Winston Churchill

Offline AutoCad

Re: 1962 Cadillac tail light question...
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2017, 07:07:17 AM »
Thank you for the detailed explanation, Dan. This issue obviously requires further investigation on my part.
Been there and back, in my Cadillac...