Perko Masthead Nav Bulb Replacement

Hey Ray

Member
Jan 11, 2016
62
San Rafael, CA
Boat Info
1997 330 Express Cruiser
Engines
Twin Horizon 8.1
What's the secret to changing out the bulbs? There does not seem to be an easy way to remove the old bulb as there is a recessed mounting on the bottom and a very rigid contact plate at the top. Also, I'm a rookie when it comes to anything electrical. How would I test that 12v are getting to the bulb? I have a voltmeter but not sure where to hold the contacts on it.
 
Not sure which one you talking about, but some of them thread off.

As far as where to put the meter leads, again it depends on the bulb type. For festoon bulbs (long fuse looking bulb with contacts on either end) the meter leads would go one each to the tabs. For bayonet base bulbs, the outer can is ground and the center contact at the base is +12V. There are other bayonet bases where there are two contacts at the base (B10 I think), they would be ground and +12V
 
Here's a pic. Doesn't appear to be threaded on the bottom but even if it is, it's fit in so tight on the top there is no room to go up and get the bottom out of the base, if that makes any sense.
 

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I replaced mine a few years ago with a LED. I'm standing on the top of my radar arch trying to get it in there and it was a PITA...
 
Here's a pic. Doesn't appear to be threaded on the bottom but even if it is, it's fit in so tight on the top there is no room to go up and get the bottom out of the base, if that makes any sense.
OK, I thought you couldn't get the lens cap off... so like Mitch says, push down from the top and pull it out. That's a festoon type bulb.
 
I'm glad you asked this question....I didn't want to look like a fool for not seeing an easy way to remove it either. I didn't spend much time while I had the lens off a few weeks ago. Seems like it should be spring loaded and you push it down but it didn't move and there's not enough clearance in the socket to pull the bulb sideways to clear the top.
 
I'm glad you asked this question....I didn't want to look like a fool for not seeing an easy way to remove it either. I didn't spend much time while I had the lens off a few weeks ago. Seems like it should be spring loaded and you push it down but it didn't move and there's not enough clearance in the socket to pull the bulb sideways to clear the top.

Can't tell from the op's pic but is it possible that the black socket itself slides down to create enough clearance to remove the bulb?
 
Nope that's molded as part of the base. I'm thinking mine's corroded and wouldn't push down. Will take some tools up on the hardtop with me next time I give it a go.
 
I'm pretty much in the same boat as quality time. I've had the lens off a couple of times and really tugged to try to get the bulb out but no luck. I didn't specifically "press down" so I will but everything seems to be pretty rigid. Will report back.
 
The contact on the bottom is a coil spring. Hence, the push down recommendation.
 
I have found it is very tight. The spring does get some corrosion and dirt on it (the fixtures are not well sealed). I put a bit of WD-40 on mine when I changed bulbs. The old bulb broke with the force I had to use to push it down. The new one was really tight going in too.
 
I have found it is very tight. The spring does get some corrosion and dirt on it (the fixtures are not well sealed). I put a bit of WD-40 on mine when I changed bulbs. The old bulb broke with the force I had to use to push it down. The new one was really tight going in too.

I did the same when I changed the bulb in mine....I just broke the old bulb to remove it and squirted some WD-40 around the lower socket....I used a screwdriver to press down on the lower contact to loosen it up before installing the new bulb....

cliff
 
I am also trying to replace my bulbs because they are either burned out or maybe there is corrosion. As @Hey Ray mentioned, I can't get them out :(

I can push the front bulb down slightly but not enough to get it out. The bulb just seems to push slightly into the base and it absolutely won't rotate forward at all. I've changed these festoon style bulbs before but I've never had to fight a design like this. The rear bulb won't budge at all so there must be corrosion. I'll try the wd-40 suggestion next weekend, but I still don't understand how the bulb clears the top.

Any other suggestions? Just wd-40 and then push like heck until the bulb breaks?
 

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I'm pretty much in the same boat as quality time. I've had the lens off a couple of times and really tugged to try to get the bulb out but no luck. I didn't specifically "press down" so I will but everything seems to be pretty rigid. Will report back.
Maybe spray a little WD-40 in around the mold base before you try pushing it might loosen up the spring catch
 
I replaced the whole thing last season because I couldn't push the bulbs down far enough to remove them.

For several seasons, I had to resort to using a pocket screwdriver behind the top of the bulbs to break them and then removing the pieces and installing the new bulbs.

New ones will go in without breaking...
 
It's got to push up or down but it will definitely come out
 

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