Jan 11, 2005

Sense and Senility

S'truth, I know a hawk from a handsaw, and can tell metric from SAE, but damned, there are times when Mr. Goodwrench has nothing to fear from me.

Case in point--if you've been keeping up with me or this site in general, you know I like old vehicles. So much in fact that I spend a lot of time and money keeping one going, a 1971 GMC Sierra 1500 half-ton pickup. The joy, see, of old vehicles, in my opinion, right, is...wait for it...that they're simple to work on.

See the punchline?

My driver's side turn signal bulb blew out. Last month. No big deal, I've been changing turn signal bulbs since well before I could drive. So, one morning before work, Oxford stripe shirt crisp and clean, fedora on, sport coat buttoned, I drive to AutoZone for a dollar fifty bulb. Before I go in, I decide that prudence is always best, so I tell myself that I ought to go ahead and pull the burnt bulb, so I'll have an idea of what I need inside. I reach under the bumper, find the bulb's socket wiring and body with no problem. Familiar with GM vehicles, I attempt to push in and turn. Nope. Neither left nor right works. It wiggles, but won't come loose. No big deal, I think, it's just old and perhaps some corrosion is holding it in place.

I stand up, brush off, and walk in. Pick out a two-pack of bulbs, counter guy asks what it's for, I tell him, and he tries to correct me, thinking I have clear lenses and need an orange bulb. I tell him better. Head to the truck, attempt a removal again. No luck. Won't push in, won't twist, stubbornly refuses to move.

Headed to work, forgot all about it for a week.

Tried again a week or so ago, as I had to drive home that evening from work in the dark and the rain, and after struggling with it for a few minutes it STILL wouldn't budge. Was dressed for work again, so I skipped it, telling myself that I HAD to get under there ASAP with some WD-40 and get it loose.

Let it slip for another week.

Day before yesterday, got a litte time before work, dressed nice, I grit my teeth and decide it's got to be done NOW. Throw down a blanket on the driveway, grab the WD-40, and climb under. Notice light dust, no corrosion. Feel body of socket, thinking perhaps there's a pair of push-in clips holding it in.


Attempt to press socket into lens body to twist.


Getting angry, and being able to see that it wiggles, I tug downwards, hoping to loosen whatever is holding it in place.

It pops out.

Apparently old GM vehicles are sooo easy to work on that on the 1971 GMC Sierra 1500 the turn signal socket is held in place with a spikey metal crown that simply shoves into the lens body with a soft click and has just enough curve to it's shape that it holds in place, pointed upwards, so water can't get into the socket or the lens body.

I surrender to simplicity, for simplicity's sake.

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