OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Discuss all things Model T related.
Forum rules
If you need help logging in, or have question about how something works, use the Support forum located here Support Forum
Complete set of Forum Rules Forum Rules

Topic author
mgarrett
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:30 am
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Garrett
Location: Palmer, Texas

OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by mgarrett » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:49 pm

I know there are some electrical whiz kids on this forum - I've read some posts/threads exhibiting impressive electrical knowledge and would sure appreciate some sage electrical troubleshooting advice regarding a problem I'm having getting my turn signals to flash/work correctly. This could apply to any 6 volt car, so I'll try to be brief...

Installed a Signal Stat 800 turn signal switch in my '40 Ford and wired it to work additional add-on bulbs as the signal lamps in front (not the tiny park lamps), and then spliced into the stock tail lights as directed by the wiring diagram. Still 6 volt system using 6v bulbs and a Wagner #535 6v 3 prong flasher. The front bulbs are 6v #209. Brake lights work as they should. I have wired it according to the factory diagram (see below) and have it connected to a "hot all the time" power source. The system works, sort of, but the interval between the pulses is VERY short and the flash rate is VERY rapid - almost quadruple the speed of normal flashers. Consequently, the lamps are not very bright since they are flashing so fast. It's very difficult to see them working in the daytime. Am I missing something somewhere? Is there something in the circuit to check that might be causing high resistance or...? There are no dumb questions at this point. I'm completely stumped!
:(
Attachments
signal stat 800 schematic.png

User avatar

Squirrel
Posts: 138
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 9:54 pm
First Name: Jim
Last Name: Forbes
Location: Sierra Vista AZ
Board Member Since: 2020

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Squirrel » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:18 am

Some flashers flash rapidly when they are not loaded enough, this is so you can tell that a bulb is burned out. The 209 bulb you are using has a lower CP rating than the 1129 bulb specified in the drawing.

It might just be that the flasher is working like it is supposed to, but not how you want it to work.

Try adding another bulb to the circuit, just to see if it will flash the correct speed with 3 bulbs connected, instead of 2, That will tell you if I'm right...or not.


D Stroud
Posts: 888
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:45 am
First Name: David
Last Name: Stroud
Location: Mound City, MO 64470
Board Member Since: 2011

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by D Stroud » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:50 am

In years past, I learned that if you added more bulbs to the circuit, such as pulling a trailer, the flasher needed to be upgraded to a heavy duty unit. As I recall, the flashers worked by the heat generated in them, more lights/load made them flash faster. And there you have almost all of my electrical knowledge. ;) Dave
1925 mostly original coupe.


Chris Barker
Posts: 69
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:08 pm
First Name: Chris
Last Name: Barker
Location: Somerset, Eng;and

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Chris Barker » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:41 am

I agree with Squirrel. The hot-wire flashers have to have a certain current to work.

(By the way, I and others have discovered the hard way that modern solid-state flasher units that are not load dependent, and work with LEDs do NOT, repeat NOT, like the Model T environment.
All is fine.....until you start the engine!)

Probably the trembler coils' RF emissions, but could be dirty DC off the generator.


mtntee20
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:51 pm
First Name: Terry & Sharon
Last Name: Miller
Location: Westminster, CO
MTFCA Number: 32583
Board Member Since: 2017

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by mtntee20 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:41 am

Are you trying to use your turn signal system on BATTERY or MAGNETO?

Most turn signal flashers are designed for DC only and while running on magneto, you have "AC" current, more or less. So, does your system work better when using just the battery?

As was stated above, flasher units work on heating the breaker element. An amp meter at the flasher will tell you what amperage you are drawing when using different functions of your turn signal system. Keep in mind, 6 volt systems do not have the same illumination output as more modern 12 volt systems. Measure the amperage and compare to the specs. of the flasher unit you are using. This should tell you if you're drawing too much or too little amperage to operate the flasher unit properly.

Lastly, does you controller have a 4-way flashing mode? If it is from the 1940 era, it probably does not. If it does, do the lights act the same on 4-way as they do in regular operation? This could tell you if you have an over or under current problem. FAST flashing in older systems is often a sign of OVER current draw. You may have to find another flasher with a higher current rating.

Good Luck,
Terry


Phillip
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:33 pm
First Name: Phillip
Last Name: Lee
Location: College Grove, TN
MTFCA Number: 50230
Board Member Since: 2018

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Phillip » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:48 am

I had the same problem.
I purchased an electronic 6 volt flasher for a motorcycle and now the turn signals work as they should.

User avatar

Mark Gregush
Posts: 2201
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:57 pm
First Name: Mark
Last Name: Gregush
Location: Portland Or
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Mark Gregush » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:53 pm

I had issues with the modern flasher doing the too fast flash using standard 6 volt turn signal bulbs (1158's I think). Swapped it out for old stock flasher solved my problems. You can find them on eBay.
I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :shock:

1921 Huckster
1925 Cut down pickup


tdump
Posts: 577
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:00 pm
First Name: Mack
Last Name: Cole
Location: North Carolina

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by tdump » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:59 pm

I had issues with putting a turnsignal setup on my 47 Pontiac, I converted to 12 volt but to use the rear brake lights with the old switch I was working it,I had to use a convertor like you buy at UHAUL for pulling a 4 wire trailer with a Toyota or something that has yellow turn signals seperate from the brake lights.I can't remember the exact wiring details but it works well.
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'


J1MGOLDEN
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:39 pm
First Name: James
Last Name: Golden
Location: Bowie, MD
MTFCA Number: 14294
MTFCI Number: 13562

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:08 pm

That flasher works by current heating a metal strip that flips open to interrupt the current and turn the lights off momentarily.

A 4 way flasher needing extra current would probably work normally.

They make an electronic 12 volt flasher that will et you add extra lights, like towing a trailer will add lights that will still flash at the same rate.

I'm not sure if 6 volt electronic flashers are available.


Jeff Hood
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:25 pm
First Name: Jeff
Last Name: Hood
Location: Long Beach, CA.
MTFCA Number: 25636

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Jeff Hood » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:38 pm

As Squirrel said, you are probably not drawing enough amperage with the small front bulbs. A 535 is a thermal flasher meaning that it has a bi-metal spring that curls as it heats and pulls away from the contact. The interval between flashes is determined by the time it takes the spring to cool and straighten out. Not enough load means a short cooling period and a quick flash. That is why there is a fast flash when a bulb is out. A quick look on the web shows that various 535 flashers are rated up to 5 amps, or 32 candle power, or up to 4 bulbs, or 50 watts. You said you spliced into the tail lights, probably meant stop lights, as you said it was according to the diagram, but double check since the stop light filament draws higher current. Also make sure that the stop light switch now goes through the turn signal switch and not directly to the lights as it originally did.

Also, if you are still positive ground, make sure that you are switching negative wires, and not running positive current through the switch. I also seem to recall a discussion many years ago about using these turn signal switches on positive ground cars (Model A.) If I remember correctly, there was a problem with the pilot light (the one on the switch that indicates the flashing.) Since the modern switches are made for negative ground but now attached to a positive grounded steering column, the pilot bulb was causing a problem when switched on. When a single pilot is used for both directions, it gets its ground through the filament of the front bulb that is not flashing. I think the solution was to leave the pilot bulb out.

User avatar

RajoRacer
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:18 pm
First Name: Steve
Last Name: Tomaso
Location: Longbranch, WA
MTFCA Number: 14972
MTFCI Number: 15411
Board Member Since: 2001

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by RajoRacer » Sun Jul 12, 2020 8:42 pm

I just wired up a stock Model A - 6 volt, positive ground with a Signal Stat 900 w/pilot light. I installed all LED lamps with the both rears having a inline resistors - all worked good AFTER I removed the switch & ground the thick paint off the column, including the pilot lamp. I used the flasher that came in the kit.


Topic author
mgarrett
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:30 am
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Garrett
Location: Palmer, Texas

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by mgarrett » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:43 pm

Very informative and helpful observations from everyone, thanks. I will be looking into some of the questionable areas mentioned in my setup to see if I can uncover the culprit. Back later with further developments.


JRSpada4
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:39 pm
First Name: Jim
Last Name: Spadafore
Location: Fairmont,WV
MTFCA Number: 49891
Board Member Since: 2016
Contact:

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by JRSpada4 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:05 pm

I bought one of the 7 wire kits from the vendors a few years ago and had the same issue with flashing way too fast. It was the proper 6 volt flasher with 6 Volt bulbs. The flasher was defective out of the box. Replaced it and all is well.


ModelTWoods
Posts: 205
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:53 am
First Name: Terry
Last Name: Woods
Location: Cibolo (San Antonio), TX
MTFCI Number: 20180

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by ModelTWoods » Wed Jul 15, 2020 12:30 pm

mtntee20 wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:41 am
Are you trying to use your turn signal system on BATTERY or MAGNETO?

Most turn signal flashers are designed for DC only and while running on magneto, you have "AC" current, more or less. So, does your system work better when using just the battery?

As was stated above, flasher units work on heating the breaker element. An amp meter at the flasher will tell you what amperage you are drawing when using different functions of your turn signal system. Keep in mind, 6 volt systems do not have the same illumination output as more modern 12 volt systems. Measure the amperage and compare to the specs. of the flasher unit you are using. This should tell you if you're drawing too much or too little amperage to operate the flasher unit properly.

Lastly, does you controller have a 4-way flashing mode? If it is from the 1940 era, it probably does not. If it does, do the lights act the same on 4-way as they do in regular operation? This could tell you if you have an over or under current problem. FAST flashing in older systems is often a sign of OVER current draw. You may have to find another flasher with a higher current rating.

Good Luck,
Terry
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in the original post, I thought that I read he was working on a 40 Ford; not a Model T.


Topic author
mgarrett
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:30 am
First Name: Mike
Last Name: Garrett
Location: Palmer, Texas

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by mgarrett » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:05 pm

Please see my original post...the turn signals are installed on my 1940 Ford, but as I stated, could apply to model T also.


DontKnowMuch
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:13 am
First Name: James
Last Name: Sanford
Location: Lucas, TX

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by DontKnowMuch » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:56 am

I am looking for a source of 6 volt LED bulbs with the 1156 pin configuration. I want to install them in some accessory Model T tail lights and turn signals.
Please let me know if you have a source.
Thanks


mtntee20
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:51 pm
First Name: Terry & Sharon
Last Name: Miller
Location: Westminster, CO
MTFCA Number: 32583
Board Member Since: 2017

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by mtntee20 » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:38 pm

James,

I had to go to the UK to get mine. They were sort of a special order since I wanted two white/red and two white/yellow. They were expensive but the only ones available at the time. Sorry, I do not remember the vendor.


Jahn_Wright
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:39 am
First Name: Jahn
Last Name: Wright
Location: Rio Rancho, NM
MTFCA Number: 20168
Board Member Since: 1999

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by Jahn_Wright » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:45 pm

Try the company SuperbrightLEDs. https://www.superbrightleds.com/ They have all kinds of bulbs including 6 volt in 1156 base. I also got some headlight bulbs from them in 6 volt.
Jahn
1925 Coupe--owned by my Grandfather

User avatar

Novice
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:25 pm
First Name: Jim
Last Name: Davis
Location: Tomball,Texas
MTFCA Number: 49832
MTFCI Number: 24686
Board Member Since: 2017

LEDLIGHTS.COM

Post by Novice » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:46 pm

LEDLIGHTS.com a good source for 6 & 12 volt led replacement bulbs 1156,1157 and a lot of others.
Attachments
74475t.png
74475t.png (25.87 KiB) Viewed 360 times
ba15d-60-smdt.jpg
ba15d-60-smdt.jpg (2.94 KiB) Viewed 360 times


J1MGOLDEN
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:39 pm
First Name: James
Last Name: Golden
Location: Bowie, MD
MTFCA Number: 14294
MTFCI Number: 13562

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:36 pm

Those lights stay on until the current heats a strip of metal in that little can.

The metal is two different types fused together, so it bends when heated, due to a different coefficient of expansion for the two metal types.

The switch points go through that strip, so when it gets hot and bends, the circuit is open and the lights go out.

The greater the current draw the faster this happens.

There is a similar 4-way flasher can that would leave the lights on longer, but I don't recall the number.


J1MGOLDEN
Posts: 111
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:39 pm
First Name: James
Last Name: Golden
Location: Bowie, MD
MTFCA Number: 14294
MTFCI Number: 13562

Re: OT but can apply to Model T - turn signal wiring mystery

Post by J1MGOLDEN » Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:43 pm

When I was stationed in New Zealand in the late 1950 era, I was surprised at all the items they rebuilt, when they were just thrown away in the USA.

One item was that little flasher can, that normally only needed the points polished.

The can was crimped around the base and that metal was straightened to remove the cover.

The points were polished and the unit was tested.

If it passed inspection the cover was replaced and the metal was again crimped down.

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic