Next up: The taillight sockets. I decided it would be impossible to try to judge the condition of the contacts in these sockets without taking them apart and seeing just what was inside.
I have to admit that I was unprepared for how packed they were with dielectric grease. The grease in the first socket was so old and dried out that it just crumbled.
Here you can see that the contacts were buried in the grease. I actually had to dig it out to get the contact free.
It was actually quite time consuming digging out each of the contacts. The way that the grease was packed around, on and over the contacts was just not good. Dielectric grease is an insulator after all. This had to be introducing resistance into the circuit.
Here is the socket with the contacts removed.
I noticed that each socket had different numbers marked on either half, so I took pictures along with the bulb indicating where it went on the harness.
I was not feeling well over the weekend and worked on the rest of the sockets as I was able. The consistency of the next socket was more like play-doh and was a lot more difficult to dig out as it was more sticky.
The last socket was by far the worst and you can see that the contacts are clearly rusted. The grease in this socket was so dried out that it was just powder.
Once I had all the sockets separated and scraped out as best as I could, I soaked them all in all-purpose cleaner/degreaser and very hot water for 24 hours.
Our betta Quantum is just glad that I did not soak them in his tank!
Once they had finished soaking I scrubbed them all with more cleaner and a toothbrush.
Sara used some toothpicks to help dig out the left over crud. That grease was packed into everything!
You can see that the sockets look as good as new!
I plan to clean the contacts next, and I ordered some CAIG DeoxIT D5 Spray Contact Cleaner, Rejuvenator and Sealant to coat them with.