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MG TD TF 1500 - rear light problems

I have three questions that I need an answer to if possible.
1)What could be the problem if tail lights work but the brake lights will not?
2)Is there a trick to getting the chrome ring on the rear light into the black seal around the bulb?
3) Has anyone ever had trouble getting a bulb in the rear holder? It will push in but will not turn or stay.
I guess these seem like simple questions but I am still in the learning phase and I'm not making A's and B's.
Thanks for any help

Bud W
S.A. White

Virtually all of the recent brake light switches seem to fail. Short across the teminals (to each other) to see if the lights come on.
George Butz

Regarding the bulb, not fitting, make sure that the base is the same as the original, and that the contact in the bottom of the socket, isn't corroded , so it won't move, allowing the longer new-bulb base , to fit....
The old bulbs tend to have the center of the base wear, and the spring in the socket, corrodes in that position.
You may have to push the spring down,(carefully), with a screwdriver tip.
E.B. Wesson

Bud, in case you don't know, the brake light switch is a little round thing about 1" in diameter about in the middle of the chasis just behind the master cylinder under the car. Mine failed just like your's. You can get a new one at Napa, etc. There are 2 wires that service it but very flimsy. They break easily, I know! Check them first before buying a new switch. It is safe to remove the switch to replace it if you have to. The fluid is not under pressure unless you press the pedal. Very little will seap out. Let us know how it goes.
efh Haskell

Bud, you've probably already looked at this but worth a comment. Check the flank of the lamp base and ensure that they are the same as the socket. Some lamps have pins that are parallel and others are offset, one higher than the other, using the correct one will allow the lamps to be pushed in and turned once you have checked what Edward Wesson has described.

Brian Smith (1950 TD3376)


On my '53 the turn signals and brake lights are on one fuse and the rest of the lights are on another. Both circuits are 35 amp U.S. measure and I have a lot of 35 amp fuses in case you have trouble finding any.

Bobby Loughridge
B. F. Loughridge

Bud It helps getting the light bulb out to use a piece of 3/4" heater hose press one end of the hose on the bulb and turn it anti-clockwise. This will usually rotate the bulb to get it out. If the brake light switch is bad, you have two choice on replacing it. The first is to get a replacement switch from NAPA and make or purchase a brake light relay/arc suppression circuit - see the article, Brake Light Relay in the Other Tech Articles section of my web site at: This will keep the new switch from failing in a very short time. The other alternative is to purchase a heavy duty brake light switch from Ton Francis Wiring Order P/N SW-32. This switch will hold up fine without the relay/arc suppression circuit. Cheers - Dave
David DuBois

Thanks for the great response. Regarding the bulb the end is the same. Both are offset. It will push in but will not turn. I'll check for the corrosion. Will let you know how the others go as I check them out. Thanks again.

Bud W
S.A. White

This thread was discussed between 30/09/2011 and 01/10/2011

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