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1938 RIGHT HEAD LIGHT BULB KEEPS BURNING OUT


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On my 38 Special my right head light buld "the originial bulbs" keep burning out. I'm 99% sure it's not a wiring problem, rewired 3 years ago. I put the new brighter bulbs in. I know some thime the glass breaks loose when you install them, but I super glue mine at the base before I install them... any ideas? It's alway the right side bulb...

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Hi,

I saw this thread this morning and thought about it during the day, and I had three thoughts.

Thought 1: Having no relays means you possibly are getting less voltage at the right headlight than at the left due to corroded contacts in the Buss bar from which the wiring is distributed. But, if there is a voltage drop across the wiring from the LF fender to the RF fender, then the right side bulb should last longer than, not shorter than, the left bulb. So, scratch that idea from my thoughts. :-(

Thought 2: How can the two headlight pods be different? All I can think of is the ambient humidity in the right headlight pod as compared to the left pod. Does it leak? Is the drain hole (if there is one) clogged? Is there a bad gasket at the rim? Is there condensation inside the right side pod in the cool mornings? I would expect that a wet environment could affect the hot bulb adversely.

Thought 3: Perhaps the right bulb originally burned out normally because one always goes before the other one does. Of course you replaced it, as a good Buick owner would. But what brand did you replace it with? And are the subsequent replacements of the same brand as the first replacement? Are they from the same lot, say, a box of ten from China via EBay? Perhaps your newer bulbs are from a manufacturer whose quality leaves something to be desired when compared to the bulb that you started out with.

This certainly is a puzzling issue. Please keep us advised when the solution is found.

--Tom

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Sorry to have a foreign car show up on your forum but I have always had the same problem with my car. Until last month it had been my daily driver for 53 years. In that time I have driven it 400,000 plus miles (at least half at night). I have replaced 5 bulbs (4 on the right and 1 on the left). I believe that the one on the right recieves more vibration and bumps than the one on the left. The curb side of the road seems to always be rougher than center. Tis is why they burn out sooner.

By the way I have owned two Buicks, a 29 coupe and a 53 coach. I would probably still have the 29 except that sentimentality won out over quality as my Pontiac was bought new by myGFrandfather.

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Thanks for your reply. Here is some answers to your replys. The car is never in the rain, garage keep, gaskets are good, bulbs are from Bob's, I think his products are very good. Had the generator rebuilt 2 years ago, puts out 7.3 volts, my thoughts are heavy discharge at idle,then to 7.3 out put may be a problem, or head light switch, remember it has one position that turns the right head light off when you are passing a car. I will replace the buss bar, and the right socket. which could be shorting, but looks new. This will be my start. Thing is I never drive the car at night, but I'am tonight, I have clear bulbs in my fog lights and will depend on them.. thanks for all your replys no matter where your from.

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