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View Full Version : Electrical: Tail light wiring '57 Scotsman. Frustrating.



Pepse
06-17-2018, 10:39 PM
I think I am missing something in what I am doing. I got new tail light harnesses (installed in the housings) and proceeded to connect them to the rear harness from the frame. The tail light harness has 2 wires and the frame wiring has 3. I know the black wire from the frame harness is for the backup lights. So, when I connect the 2 wires from the tail light harness to the frame harness I have nothing, but if I take a wire for the tail light and ground it to the frame I have a tail light. What am I missing?

Later. Pepse.

StudeRich
06-18-2018, 01:55 AM
A few Nomenclatures need to be clear here first.

The Wire from the Tail Lamp Assembles are just 2 wrapped "Wires", one for Tail Lamp and one for Stop and Turn. Not Harnesses.

The "Rear Wire Harness" from the Dash area has the Red Fuel Sending Unit wire, a Left Turn, a Right Turn, a Tail Light (usually Black with a Yellow Tracer stripe) Circuit to both Left & Right, the Licence Light and a unused back-up light Wire on Scotsman.

Of course at both of the Tail Lights you would only see the 3.

In order for the Tail light to come on by Grounding a normally "Hot" when switched on wire, there would have to another "Wire" from somewhere attached to the Tail Light, unless you are seeing Sunlight, not a Lit Bulb!

So WHAT wires were connected to the Tail Light and WHAT was turned on at the dash for the "Testing?

Was the T/L Housing mounted and Grounded?

Were the Turn/Stop wires at the Steering Column from the Main forward Harness to the Turn Signal Switch properly connected?

UPDATE: OK on review 4 times of your Post #1, I realized that maybe what you did not say is: the Tail Lights OR on the side you tested, the Turn Indicator was ON (AND the Ign. Sw.) were switched ON, so one wire was Hot and grounding the other gave it a course to Ground through the other Bulb filament to Light one of them and the Bulb, Bulb Socket or T/L Housing was not grounded.

Pepse
06-19-2018, 11:56 AM
Okay I went out to the car and wrote down the taillight wiring. Left side: taillight wires green/white stripe and white, wires from frame harness: white/green stripe, black/green stripe, and brown. Right side: taillight wiring green/white stripe and white, frame harness: black/green stripe, green, and white/black (or green) stripe. The taillight assemblies are mounted to the body. Also, there is a black wire in the middle of the rear frame that I am sure is for the license plate light. Using the headlight switch in parking light mode. I can only do the taillights as the wiring harness under the dash is mostly disconnected from the steering column. Not sure why my father-in-law did that. I did take pics of the wiring. The wires coming out of the firewall don't exactly match the wire colors from the steering column. I have a wiring diagram but I can't figure out the area I need to work with.

Another note. This car was stripped of all external things like taillight assemblies, headlight assy's, trim (what little there is on a Scotsman) license plate bracket and license light housing, bumpers, and the housings that the front parking/turn assy. signal goes into and a few other things like the wiring under the dash that I mentioned. I have put most of the parts back on the car except the front panels that hold the park/turn assy's., because the front bumper is bent and I can't mount the left panel.

Hopefully I got everything needed at the moment.
Later. Pepse.

rockne10
06-19-2018, 06:44 PM
Jim,
FWIW, you might want to procure the Shop Manual, Body Catalog and Chassis Catalog. It sounds like just having a wiring harness schematic would benefit you greatly.

Pepse
06-20-2018, 01:08 AM
I do have those manuals on a CD ROM. Like I said I have a schematic but it doesn't help me as to where the wires are coming from and going to the steering column. I would hope one of those 3 manuals would have pics of the area or something besides the schematic that would direct me to the area in question. Probably hoping for too much. Also, it is a pain in the dupa paging through these manuals on CD to try to figure out which one has the info I need.

Later. Pepse.

StudeRich
06-20-2018, 02:44 AM
Without the Parking lights grounded and connected to the Turn Signal Switch through the Flasher, the Rear Turn Signals will either Not Light, or Flash rapidly depending on a Std. or H.D. Flashing Unit.
So that is ONE reason why the Rear Turn Signals do not work and why the Tail Lights do.

TWChamp
06-20-2018, 06:46 AM
I always buy the 3 books for my cars. I don't like using CD's.

doofus
06-20-2018, 06:54 AM
Pepse, borrow a print copy of the wiring diagram, have it blown up to 48x48 in . tape to some cardboard. priceless! Luck Doofus

52-fan
06-20-2018, 07:44 AM
Pepse, borrow a print copy of the wiring diagram, have it blown up to 48x48 in . tape to some cardboard. priceless! Luck Doofus

This helps me too. I always enlarge whatever area I am working on and sometimes I use colored pencils to trace the wires I need to work on. This makes it much better than trying to follow the black lines on the original page.

TWChamp
06-20-2018, 07:57 AM
I've seen colored Studebaker wiring schematics on ebay.
I take my wiring and lubrication chart pages to the print shop and have them enlarged.

Mike Sal
06-20-2018, 12:25 PM
Taillights on a Scotsman.....I figured they just used candles or a barn lantern....

Pepse
06-22-2018, 01:28 AM
Yes Mike Sal, it has real taillights. 12 volt bulbs even:).
Anyway, it looks like I need to ground the black backup light wires to the taillight housing and theoretically I should have lights.

Later. Pepse.

TWChamp
06-22-2018, 07:11 AM
Yes Mike Sal, it has real taillights. 12 volt bulbs even:).
Anyway, it looks like I need to ground the black backup light wires to the taillight housing and theoretically I should have lights.

Later. Pepse.

Did I miss something here?
This doesn't sound right. If you have a backup light wire, it's to power the backup lights, if you have them installed.
It's not to supply a ground for other lights.

Pepse
06-22-2018, 12:30 PM
So then the 2 black wires are to be grounded somewhere on the taillight housings?

Pepse.

TWChamp
06-22-2018, 02:59 PM
Can you post a picture of your car's wiring schematic, or at least the wiring for the taillights?
I don't know of any steel bodied car that used separate ground wires to the taillights.
The body acts as the ground side of the circuit.

StudeRich
06-22-2018, 04:10 PM
IF in FACT, those Black Wires ARE Backup Light Wires, they would be Dead having NO Backup Light Switch to Power them, so SHOULD do nothing.

Of course if your in-law cut them under the dash or under the Hood and connected them to "Something", ... who knows!

Test them for BOTH Hot (+) AND Ground (-) with a Test Light, under No & Yes Ign. ON and Left and Right Turn ON & OFF, Parking lights ON and OFF.

Pepse
06-23-2018, 12:16 AM
TWChamp,

here is the wiring diagram for the '57 Scotsman. 73378

TWChamp
06-23-2018, 06:22 AM
The only ALL BLACK wire I see in the rear is the wire to the license and trunk lights, which should have power any time the lights are turned on.

Pepse
06-30-2018, 10:55 AM
TWChamp, I see what you mean. The wire I was referring to is black/brown stripe. I connected the wires under the dash and nothing changed. But I discovered I need a turn signal flasher can. Also, at the front the 5 lug junction block is rusty. True it mainly deals with the front wiring but when I hook up the parking/turn signal lights they do not work. But they work if I hook them directly to the bat pos/neg terminals.

StudeRich, since all the wiring seems to go where they are supposed to go I seem to have a major ground issue or...............? Also, I gotta find out if the brakelite switch works. Might be another reason nothing is going right.

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
08-22-2018, 01:40 PM
Okay, I finally got back to working with the wiring problem. I decided to start at the front with the 5 lug junction block. It was wired wrong (my father-in-law apparently removed it to sand and paint that area). So, I wired everything from left to right facing the car; the schematic has the block going North and South instead of East and West. So, the result is: headlights work, no park or turn signals, taillights work, pass. brake light works. Turned the key to ON and the left turn signal indicator is a steady glow. Check for turn signals and nothing; left or right. No noise from flasher can either (flasher can is new). Now in reference to the front park/turn signals both assemblies are quite rusty (Stude Intl does not have any assemblies for the '57 or '58). I can remove the bulb from one but not the other. Might be my problem?? ( A club member has a couple '58 Stude wagons but he is next to impossible to get ahold of). Also, there might be an issue with the wiring harness from the steering column to the main harness. There are a couple wires from the main harness that color-wise don't match the steering column harness or what the wiring diagram has. And I am 99% sure everything with this car is correct and not modified.

Later. Pepse.

jackb
08-22-2018, 02:11 PM
I went through this recently with my truck. What I found was mostly poor connections and grounds. My truck had recently been painted, so my light assys. were not all making good ground. I added grounds for the front lights (because my rears were all working), and then found both my park light bulbs were rusted into the socket. I eventually broke the 2 bulbs and had to file out the sockets with a chainsaw round file. Finally, I got all to work but I may need to replace the front sockets due to poor bulb grounds.

StudeRich
08-23-2018, 01:06 AM
Now that you are "back on this", reread Post #2 and 6 and all of these other good suggestions and get those old bulbs out of there, ground those loose Parking lights and things will start to make sense as to how this Car may be miss-wired at the column.

You can not properly TEST any wiring and connections until you are absolutely sure that all Lights actually work.

Pepse
08-26-2018, 01:14 AM
Yeah, I got to thinking that "ground" is what is really setting me back. I gotta get back and make sure everything is grounding good. I am wondering if anything could go bad with the Junction block. When I rewired it last Sunday everything was rusty, so I had a small wire brush on a drill and cleaned up under the block and wire brushed all of the lugs as well as the bolts the lugs connect to and put new nuts on each bolt. And assuming it doesn't matter which end I start with the 3 black wires I need to make sure the park/turn signal wiring is getting juice by attaching the wires directly to the battery. I've been thinking that this area is what is giving me most problems with the wiring.

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
09-02-2018, 10:51 PM
Well I spent 4 hours yesterday working with the electrical system. It's beating my Butt. Some of my problem is/was thinking in late 20th Century electrics. i.e. 3 wire systems. So, I cleaned up the parking lights, replaced 1 bulb hooked it to a 12 volt power supply I have and made sure it was working good. Went to the Stude and hooked them to the junction block as per the way I had it last time out. Well the parking lights worked but still no turn signals (front or rear). Checked out my wiring arrangement (up front) and it looks like I had it wrong. So, I re-did the park/turn sig wires and now only the drivers side works for the park lights. Heck I don't know what I am doing wrong. Over thinking? So, I decided again to work on the wiring under the dash. Some of my problem seems to be 2? wires that go to the fuse block (hence the pic of the fuse block). The burnt red wire and the possible black? wire that should go to the top of the fuse block (fuses are good). Not sure where the red wire is from/goes to. Also, I am giving the wires that come from the steering column as well as the wires from the 2 harness s that come through the firewall. So maybe someone can figure out what goes where. Here we go: What is from the steering column - Red/White stripe, White/Brown dashes, Light Green, White/Green stripe, Black, and Brown. Wires from the firewall harnesses: Green, White/Black stripe, Tan (Brown?), 2 wires together- Brown/White stripe & Brown/White stripe, Red/White stripe, 2 together- White/Green & White/Green, Black from smaller harness to Black large harness, and Red/Black stripe to Red/Black stripe. Now I have been staring at the wiring schematic in trying to figure this out. And I think it is getting the best of me. I have no help in this area. 75353

Later. Pepse.

PS: That is a different flasher can. As said earlier I have a new one.

StudeRich
09-04-2018, 02:39 AM
The Fuse Block contains the Stop Light & Dome Light Fuse and the Turn Signal Fuse.

Pepse
09-05-2018, 11:54 AM
Okay, so I need to figure out where the red wire is suppose to go (the burnt one), and I think a black wire is suppose to go in the connector at the top of the pic. Being that I have one brake light and no turn signals it is puzzling to figure out what is going on. I disconnected all the wires under the dash; which is how it was when I started this project. It is just that the electrical diagram doesn't help me the way I am looking at it. The fuse block isn't really going right. But then again I am probably over thinking and not seeing what is what there. Oh, I don't have a dome light anymore because my mother-in-law removed it when she re-upholstered the headliner and can't remember what she did with it.

Later. Pepse.

StudeRich
09-06-2018, 04:54 PM
Since the Dome Light is removed, NOW you need to find that Red wire from the Fuse Holder/Turn Signal Flasher Panel to the Dome Light location and disconnect it at the Fuse Holder.

Pepse
09-07-2018, 01:55 PM
If you look at the pic of the fuseholder it has a burnt in two red wire. So I am guessing that that is to the dome light. Which means I should be able to see the other part coming through the "A" pillar. But assuming that this is the burnt domelight wire then it would be disconnected and I needent worry about it. And in the pic there is a spot at the top center to the left of the flasher can that I think needs the black wire from the steering column.

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
09-09-2018, 01:16 AM
Well, I spent a couple hours Saturday working on the wiring. I know for sure that the front and rear wires are correct. So, I am left with trying to get the harness under the dash figured out. I have 2 wires that need a place to go -- White with a black stripe (from the main harness coming in) and the remains of a Red wire from the fuse block; burnt in two. The red wire might go to the brakelight switch as I only have the right brake light; but I can't find the rest of the wire. As it stands I have a working left front turn signal, no rear. And a working right rear turn signal and both front turn signals working at the same time but very dimly. It's driving me nuts.

Later. Pepse.

doofus
09-09-2018, 07:56 AM
pepse your fuse block/flasher assy is a later model unit.your stop light switch should have 2 wires,red7white/red.red goes to an auxillary circuit breaker. i have an original 56 champ harness on shop floor. when it's clean i will pm you and try to help, now you are working with different model parts and they dont always mathc up. Stand by and good luck ,Doofus

Pepse
09-09-2018, 11:26 AM
Yeah, the stoplight switch by the "A" arm has the 2 wires you mention. I cleaned them up and no change. As for the fuse block? The '57 Scotsmans were built from July to Sep. of '57. Being it was a very stripped down car I suppose it is possible some parts on the car are from '56 or earlier Studes. Looking at the wiring diagram one red wire goes from the stoplight switch to the fuse block/flasher can. And the other one (red/white) goes to the turn signal wiring. I see it shows the circuit breaker next to the light switch but only has a black wire from it to the fuse block. The diagram also shows an Instrument light switch that I don't have, or is behind the instrument panel.

Later. Pepse.

StudeRich
09-09-2018, 03:50 PM
Isn't the Instrument lighting controlled on the Scotsman by a third position on the Headlight Switch, or just automatically in Parking or Head Light ON position? They do not have the separate Instrument Light Switch like pricier Studes.

The Diagrams are likely for Champions, not Scotsman.
Remember that '57 AND '58 Scotsmen have complete 1956 Speedometers and Housings.

The only reason I mention that is, it goes to show how "conservatively" and "different" these lowest priced in America full size Sedans & Wagons were built. :ohmy:

doofus
09-09-2018, 08:42 PM
Stude Rich, my Champ Pelham only has 2 switches in dash. heater and headlite. the brightness of instruments lighting is by twisting the pull type lite switch.Pepse just located the old steering assy with wiring. origonal 56 champ "Fuse Block" is a 4 leg bracket, flasher can clipped to end, single fuse underneath flasher. your unit looks like a lark unit with 2 fuses and flasher. VA has me tied up mon & Tues but will get back on it wed. Hears luck to us all. Doofus

StudeRich
09-09-2018, 10:01 PM
Doofus, Yours is completely Different, it is a '56. No toggle switches.

Different Year, different Car. :rolleyes:

Pepse
09-10-2018, 11:40 AM
StudeRich,

The Scotsman has a toggle switch for the lights: up = headlights, down = parking lights, middle = off.

Later. Pepse.

StudeRich
09-10-2018, 04:06 PM
Right, I should NOT have said: "does it have a 3rd. position", my bad.

Of course it has Toggle Switches like all '57-'58 Sedans/Wagons as I said to Doofus.
So your Instrument Lt's should be connected to the Headlight and or Parking Lights circuit inside the Hd. Lt. Sw. to always light with either Parking or Head lights.

All the Lighting goes through the Relay on the back of the Hd. Lt. Switch, if it failed or has loose connections, bad wires, nothing works. :(

Rosstude
09-10-2018, 05:25 PM
I have a 57 wagon, basically a Commander. Done my share of wiring and troubleshooting, and had a good mentor.
Normally I need an hour or 2 with the schematic and the car to wrap my head around it.
Take it one circuit/system at a time, otherwise your head will explode.
Sounds like you have several problems.
I would suggest checking the turn signal switch functions with a multimeter on ohms if able. If the switch feels loose/spongy/crunchy it may not be making the proper connections.
I count 7 wires in my column. Six go to the switch, and 1 to the light on the shift indicator window for the auto trans.
You have 2 "hot' wires, one from the stop light switch, and one from the flasher. Then four wires going out the L&R front and rear signal lamps.
The stop light voltage from stop switch is routed straight through the turn signal switch when in its neutral position and out to the L&R rear.
When the signal switch is moved right/left, it brakes off the connection from stop switch voltage, and routes both front and rear from the flasher and out to the lamps.
Personally, I start in the middle so to speak, and would confirm the turn signal switch function with the battery disconnected, and use a multimeter on ohms and the schematic. Then likewise work out to the four corners.
Concentrate on one system at a time, as they take different paths. Like signals, then running lights, then head lamps, then accessories like dome light radio etc.

Pepse
09-11-2018, 01:39 PM
Okay, these are the things I need to shake the cobwebs from my head. I mean I did these kinda things like many years ago. Just trying to remember things is kinda hard. Which is why this Forum helps. I don't have anybody around here to help me. That is to stop over and give advice, pointers and whatever. So with your reply and doofus' posts I am able to go somewhere with this. In fact I now realize I can work with the wiring harness under the dash using a 12 volt power supply. I have a VOM multi tester. For whatever reason that kinda stuff was not clicking in my head. Now I have more to work with.

The turn signal switch is solid, no wiggle or anything like that. And of course I only have 6 wires. And this reminds me that my grounds for the front assemblies might need more cleaning; ain't gonna hurt.

And your "Take it one circuit at a time or your head will explode". Yeah, I have been overloading my head trying to get this figured out; doing 6 or more things at once. Of course I have always had that crutch Go all in instead of one piece at a time. I gotta slow down.

This will help. I needed that; to "Take My Time".

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
09-15-2018, 11:20 PM
Okay, I worked on the wiring again. Parking lights, front and rear. Brake lightS. Turn signals, only the passenger side front and rear. I have wires with no place to go. Here is the rundown on how it is they are connected: Everything is from the steering column to the main harness Brown to brown, green to green, black to Fuse Block, white/brown hash marks to white/black, white/green to double white/green (2 wires from main harness into 1 plug), red/white to red/white. Also, from the main harness I have a double brown/white (2 into 1, again). Now if I run a hot wire to the brn/wht brn/wht I have a working front left turn signal filament. If I unhook the brown to brown and put a hot wire to the out going brown wire I have a left rear brake light. I am missing a wire but I don't know from where. I posted a wiring diagram at Post 17.

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
09-16-2018, 06:37 PM
I got it. Sort of. Only time I have right now. Later. Pepse.

tim333
09-16-2018, 07:51 PM
Great news

StudeRich
09-17-2018, 12:30 AM
Since it sounds like you have to Power up the Front and Rear and Left & Right Turn Signals manually with a Hot wire, I think there is no Turn Signal flashing Power wire coming from the Flasher going into the Turn Signal Switch. Could it be the "missing wire"?

Pepse
09-17-2018, 01:16 AM
Okay, what I discovered is that I had the (from the steering column) brn/wht stripe connected to the wht/blk stripe. The wht/blk stripe is for backup lights. So, by hooking up the wires correctly I have the harness corrected. But, I don't have turn signals on the drivers side. The flasher can clicks but no lights front or rear. But I have brake lights, tail lights, parking lights and right side turn signals. When I step on the brakes with the turn signal to go left I have no light at the rear.

Not sure if I am missing anything.

Later. Pepse.

Pepse
09-18-2018, 11:21 AM
Let me make a correction. I just went out there and checked and the left rear turn signal does not work. I even put in the new flasher can and still the same. I will check the wiring this weekend.

Later. Pepse.