Friday, December 27, 2013

NoVA Car Repair Bleg

Need a reference to do some wiring on the Dodge. You see, it failed inspection yesterday. No, there's nothing wrong with the truck, but with the cap. You see, I never wired up the cap, and apparently Virginia is bugnuts insane in that even if it's an aftermarket part, it has to work. Even though a cap (topper/camper/shell, the plastic thing made by companies like Leer that go on the bed of a pickup) isn't standard equipment; even though many come without lights; even though the third light on the Dodge works just fine, it failed inspection because the brake light on the cap doesn't work.

Yes, I know I could do the work myself, but in the interest of time savings, I'd rather bring it somewhere to be done. I have the luxury of being able to walk away if the price is too high - I can always grab a friend or two and take the cap off and it will pass inspection. I'd rather just get it done so I don't have to wrestle with dead-lifting a 200+ pound shell off the bed of the truck, onto the ground, and then back up onto the truck an hour later once I have the inspection complete.

Any of my VA peeps know a good place for campers/trailers/etc. that might be able to hook a brother taillight up?

That is all.


Dave H said...

New York is kind of the same way. The minimum lighting requirements for being street legal are pretty simple. (Turn signals aren't mandatory, for example.) But at inspection whatever lights are there have to work.

I wonder if removing the lights from the cap and plugging the holes would get you through the inspection.

Anonymous said...

Decisions, Decisions, HMMM, which is cheaper pay someone to wire your cap in, or beers and hamburgers for the guys that help you take the top off and then back on.

Okay, in all seriousness, the options are simple. Locate a local Leer dealer and ask them what they will charge as they would be familiar with doing this, or locate the local U-Haul dealer as they also do wiring for hitches, etc. The last option is how handy are you? You could buy the parts to wire a harness that plugs directly into the tow hitch electrical socket. It becomes a quick disconnect to remove the Leer Shell at anytime or it can be undone when you wish to use the camping trailer. If towing a trailer hardly anyone will notice your brake lights on the Dodge anyway. Just a thought.


Geodkyt said...

I ran into a similar situation with back up lights that came one when the car was in ANY gear. Even though back up lights are not required in Virginia, having back up lights that didn't work as intended was a failure.

Solution was what Dave H alluded to --

Lights that are not present are not inspectable, unless they are mandatory. That's nearly a direct quote from the inspector.

"So, can I just remove the bulbs?"

"Nope, since the sockets are still present, you have lights that don't work. But you don;t need back up lights. . . "

"So, if you just cut the light sockets clean off teh wires, it's good?"

"Nope, I'm an official state inspector -- I can't remove equipment to make you pass. On the other hand, here's a set of dykes, and I'm gonna go get a cup of coffee before I officially start looking at you car."

Things may have changed in the law since then, but I don't think so. . .

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Locate the old man in your neighborhood that changes his own oil, can make an old mower run, etc. He'll have you wired in 1/2 an hour. If Illinois wasn't so far away, I'd come and do it.

Jim said...

While you're at it, have 'em wire up a cigarette lighter socket down in the bed, just behind the taillights. Comes in handy for plugging in such as air compressors to inflate the camping stuff, RV tires and the like.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Geodkyt said...

Very true, Jim -- 12V sockets in the back are Teh Bomb.

Wandering neurons said...

You buy parts and cheap dinner, I'll do the wiring for you. As suggested, will tap the trailer wiring harness for signal and ground.
I built the ZERT, you know I can make/fix stuff...

Old NFO said...

Sunday project? I've got nothing planned... :-)

Wandering neurons said...

I won't be back till late this Sunday, I'm in Ft. Bragg with kids and grand-kids. Next Sunday get-together?

Jay G said...

Wandering Neurons,

If the place I'm checking out tomorrow can't do it, you're on! Will let you know by this Sunday if assistance will be required or not - and THANKS!

MSgt B said...

That's got to be pretty much the only thing I don't miss about VA. They don't have inspections here in Bama.
You should see the bombers they have driving around down here. Daughter and I passed a Chevy Blazer yesterday with no driver's door.

In December. That was awesome.

W.N. should be able to fix you up in no time, just don't ask him what he does for a living.

Wandering neurons said...

JayG, you've got my contact info, let me know what works for you, if you get your local shop can't help.
MSgtB, thx for the kudos.

Unknown said...

Carlos at Wildfire Automotive in Woodbridge is my go-to guy for anything I can't/don't want to do myself.