Dale Berry spent 10 years rebuilding his ’56 Chevy Bel Air, replacing everything in the process. The car’s 0.030-over 327 has a mild cam and a 500-cfm Edelbrock Performer carb. A TH350 automatic transfers the torque back to a 3.08:1-geared rearend. Modern upgrades include a Vintage Air air conditioning (A/C) system, power disc brakes, and a 100-amp, one-wire alternator.
As Dale describes it, “About four years ago, the car was rewired by a friend who ran a shop that did wiring and is no longer in business.” Dale didn’t notice any electrical problems until recently, when he began driving the car at night. Dale explains that with the lights on, the instrument panel and rear tail and brake lights “start to blink when stopped at a traffic light for about two minutes with my foot on the brake pedal. It doesn’t occur immediately, which is why it takes a traffic light, not just a short stop at, for example a stop sign. It doesn’t occur under sustained braking, either. The headlights don’t flicker and none of the other front lights have the problem.” Dale tried improving the grounds at all four corners, soldering all wire connections and replacing the light switch with a brand-new one. None of that helped.
So we sent the El Paso, Texas-based car to the Adult Toy Factory. Located about an hour out of town in Las Cruces, New Mexico (or “Lost Causes” as owner Bob Nall calls it), the Toy boys do group-up street-rod and muscle-car builds and also sell mail-order parts. Nall assigned the fix to Ron Clapper, a former GM electrical technician and local Goodguys Rod and Custom Association rep.
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