Front turn signals

My plan back when I did the wiring last year was to put a set of Unity vintage fog lights on the car for front turn signals. But I waited too long and Unity discontinued their vintage line. They make the same lights for 80+ years and I miss out by 6 months.

Welcome to plan B. I found this set of 5″ fog lights with bumper mounts on e-Bay. I have no idea where they are from but I suspect a Chinese knock-off of the Unity 5″ lights. The hardware is metric, the finish on the bumper mounts is crude, but they look nice and will work fine.
After poking around a bit this is the mock-up I started with of where to put the light. The light bracket is clamped to the bumper bracket which I liked much better than clamping it onto the actual bumper.
Then I had a really, really, stupid idea. I thought the clamps would be safer and less likely to do damage. So I cut some rubber pads out of inner tube and gooped them into the brackets with Permatex. I hope you see the problem with this idea. I sure did not.
The supply wires to the lights seem a little puny for a 35W bulb. That is more than 5A @ 6V. I thought about rewiring the lamps but decided that I was over-complicating the problem. The lights are not going to be on continuously and the thin wire is short.
Before continuing the install I waxed all the chrome. Easier on the bench than in the car. You can see my stupid rubber pads here too.

For some unfathomable reason the carriage bolt one bracket was much longer than the other. I cut off the excess so I don’t impale myself on it when I am under the car.

Here is the positioning I settled on. I reserve the right to change it later…
In order for the light not be at an awkward angle but bracket has to be in close to the bumper to get it past that bend. This seems about right.
This is what it looks like from above. The bend in the bumper bracket is both down and away from the bumper so it only really works if the bracket is tucked in like this.

I was trying to get the lights lined up perfectly and having a lot of trouble. Then I found this. The passenger side of the bumper is a full inch closer to the car than the driver’s side. The brackets were probably bent at some point. If I get ambitious I will remove the brackets and compare. Hopefully the car is not all cattywampus. It might be. When I put seatbelts in I found the floor was not square… For now I just positioned the lights so they look right rather than so they are in the same position.

I used most of my remaining stash of reproduction woven cotton wire for this project. I need about a 2 foot section for each side with a bullet connecter on each end. All my bullet connectors are the crimp on type like you see in the picture. That would not look right.
I decided to solder the bullets on instead. First step is remove the plastic from the connector.
Next I tinned the ends.
I put the bullets over the tinned ends and soldered them on.
Finally I put a bit of shrink tube over the end of the connector just for safety. Here is the end result.

The new harness turn signal wires are located at the terminal blocks for the headlights. Here you can see the new wires running down along the radiator. They then go out along the bumper brackets then out to the lights.

At this point the lights should have worked, but they did not. That is when I realized my mistake. My idiotic rubber pads were keeping the lights from getting a good ground! So I took the pads off, cleaned the brackets, and bolted them back on again. This fixed one side but not the other. I cleaned the paint off the bumper bracket. That helped, but there was still a lot of resistance between the light and the bumper.

I have some thin brass shim stock. I curled one end, cut a piece, and put that between the light bracket and the bumper bracket. That improved the connection!
Here is the final result. If you look closely you can see the brass shim under the top bracket. The bolt is still a little long but it does not hang below the bumper. You can also see the light brackets “pinch” in on each other. This is due to the “hooks” on the bracket being much wider than the bumper bracket. This causes the light bracket to “tilt” a little back to towards the car. I might try to fix this by putting some sort of spacer between the bolt side of the light bracket and the bumper bracket.

Just for safety I used a little blue Loctite on the bolts. I also routed the wires as best I could. I need some clips of some sort to hold the wiring under the bumper brackets. Those are on order.

Success! But the indicator light on the turn signal switch still does not work. I will work on that next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *