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54 Commander (6V) turn signals

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  • Electrical: 54 Commander (6V) turn signals

    I give up. I don't understand the wiring of the turn signal dash indicator lights on this car. When I got the car the PO had installed a new wiring harness during the restoration. It appears to be factory correct, it has the right color codes. The PO had never been able to get his signals to work. I discovered the running light and turn signal wires were interconnected on the terminal block in front of the radiator. I corrected that wiring and the signals on all four corners of the car started working properly. Then I noticed that the dash indicators both blinked regardless of which directional signal was on. One is at full brightness and the other is only slightly dimmer. My first thought was insufficient ground to the bulb sockets in the dash so I pulled them out and applied a direct ground using a jumper wire off the battery positive, no change in operation. Then I started looking at how the wiring is connected to the sockets.

    There is a black wire that would feed the center post of each bulb. Then there is a green/white wire connected to the body of one socket and a brown/white wire that connects to the body of the other. Apparently this is the same green/white and brown/white wires that go the front signal lamps. I am having a hard time understanding how this can work. The socket body plug / snaps into the metal dash which is grounded. How can a signal wire connect to the socket body if the socket body is being plugged into the grounded dash? Is this the way the wiring is supposed to be or did the harness manufacturer screw up when they attached the wires to these sockets?

    If this is how it is supposed to be can someone please explain this circuit to me.
    Wayne
    "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

    sigpic

  • #2
    Turn Signal indicator light

    I have a 1950 Champion with factory turn signals and it's possible your 6 volt '54 is similar. In this case, the turn signal indicator lamps are NOT grounded to the chassis as are the other lamps on the car. That would explain the wire locations you see. Not sure why you are getting strange illumination but it suggests a current leak somewhere in the system. My car also has dual bulbs front and rear for the turn signal circuit.


    Originally posted by wdills View Post
    I give up. I don't understand the wiring of the turn signal dash indicator lights on this car. When I got the car the PO had installed a new wiring harness during the restoration. It appears to be factory correct, it has the right color codes. The PO had never been able to get his signals to work. I discovered the running light and turn signal wires were interconnected on the terminal block in front of the radiator. I corrected that wiring and the signals on all four corners of the car started working properly. Then I noticed that the dash indicators both blinked regardless of which directional signal was on. One is at full brightness and the other is only slightly dimmer. My first thought was insufficient ground to the bulb sockets in the dash so I pulled them out and applied a direct ground using a jumper wire off the battery positive, no change in operation. Then I started looking at how the wiring is connected to the sockets.

    There is a black wire that would feed the center post of each bulb. Then there is a green/white wire connected to the body of one socket and a brown/white wire that connects to the body of the other. Apparently this is the same green/white and brown/white wires that go the front signal lamps. I am having a hard time understanding how this can work. The socket body plug / snaps into the metal dash which is grounded. How can a signal wire connect to the socket body if the socket body is being plugged into the grounded dash? Is this the way the wiring is supposed to be or did the harness manufacturer screw up when they attached the wires to these sockets?

    If this is how it is supposed to be can someone please explain this circuit to me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Widdls;
      I have enclosed a Web page address to Studebaker Parts.Com Wiring Diagram page. The diagram for 1954 Accessory's does not show a black wire going to the front directional signal bulb. It does show the Brown and Green white wires connected too the bulbs and the socket shell of the bulb being grounded. The wiring diagram looks the same as was used on later Studebakers.

      https://www.studebakerparts.com/stud...ediagrams.html
      Ron

      Comment


      • #4
        Hadn't thought about the possibility that the part of the socket that the lamp body contacts may be insulated from the metal clips that snap the socket into the grounded metal dash. I will check that out tonight.

        Ron,
        I should have been more clear. The black wire goes to the center bulb post on both dash indicator lights. This wire is shown on the 54 accessory wiring diagram. The wiring of the dash indicator lights on the 54 is absolutely different from the same wiring on my 61 Hawk. The wiring on my hawk makes perfect sense to me and is easy to troubleshoot.
        Wayne
        "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

        sigpic

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        • #5
          Some reading here:

          http://www.studebaker-info.org/Tech/...s/turnsig.html

          I made some contributions to that info back when....

          Jeff in ND

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          • #6
            The '54 uses a 3 wire flasher. The sockets for the dash indicators are insulated from the dash, and ground to the black wire going to the flasher.
            Dwight 54 Commander hardtop

            Comment


            • #7
              Jeff, I just finished reading the article on the tech page. That explains how it works quite well. Now that I know how it is supposed to work I feel quite confident in the modification I was planning to make tonight. I am going to loose the "light out indication" but I don't really care about that anyway. I just want the dash indicators to work the way they should.
              Wayne
              "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a signal problem once where the dash light would flash with the turn signals and the problem was with a dual filament bulb, one filament opened and contacted the other filament causing a separate circuit with in it self and running power in all directions. Confirm all the filaments in the bulbs. It took me two weeks to find the problem.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Wildils;
                  My error. I did not look carefully enough at the diagram. You should must have a 3 terminal flasher; if not the following is not true. . Easy to understand if you only have one dash indicator light. The P terminal is energized at the same time as the L terminal; It lights when either direction is selected.
                  If I read the diagram correctly this is what is happening. When you signal for a right turn the Green and white wire that goes to the right front turn bulb is energized it is also connected to a Brown wire that goes to the right dash signal bulb. The white Brown from the left front directional bulb is connected to the Green wire that goes to the Right dash bulb. (the common black wire to each dash turn indicator is from the third terminal (P) on the flasher and is hot any time the L terminal is energized.) When the flasher opens; ground for the right dash bulb is established through the left front directional signal bulb.
                  If the car was mine I would be tempted to change the wiring to the way your 61 is wired. Should be easy to do and then you would not need a 3 wire flasher.

                  Ron

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It does not have to be redesigned. Just figure out what is wrong and repair it. Folks who always want to redesign things just don't know how much work they make for the next guy.
                    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ron Strasser View Post
                      Wildils;
                      My error. I did not look carefully enough at the diagram. You should must have a 3 terminal flasher; if not the following is not true. . Easy to understand if you only have one dash indicator light. The P terminal is energized at the same time as the L terminal; It lights when either direction is selected.
                      If I read the diagram correctly this is what is happening. When you signal for a right turn the Green and white wire that goes to the right front turn bulb is energized it is also connected to a Brown wire that goes to the right dash signal bulb. The white Brown from the left front directional bulb is connected to the Green wire that goes to the Right dash bulb. (the common black wire to each dash turn indicator is from the third terminal (P) on the flasher and is hot any time the L terminal is energized.) When the flasher opens; ground for the right dash bulb is established through the left front directional signal bulb.
                      If the car was mine I would be tempted to change the wiring to the way your 61 is wired. Should be easy to do and then you would not need a 3 wire flasher.Ron
                      Ron, it sounds like what you are saying WOULD BE true, IF '54's had only ONE Dash Indicator Light like a '59-'64 Lark or Lark Type, of course it will not be true on a '54.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I modified the dash indicator circuit last night to work the same as my 61 Hawk. They now work as they should. As for taking care of the next guy, whenever I modify something about a cars electrical circuit, I also modify the appropriate wiring diagram and it then stays in the car.

                        As for this turn signal circuit, WOW. I am an electrical engineer. I design control systems for big emergency diesel generator sets to make a living. Speaking as an engineer, I can understand how easy it is to try to design in some fancy feature and end up making a circuit that is overly complicated and prone to problems. Sometimes it's best to just keep it simple. When the fault happens at the nuclear power plant, you want the emergency diesels to start and do their job. If you have a bunch of bells and whistles designed into the control system you just increase the risk of them not starting because some doo-dad has failed that really wasn't needed anyway. I feel the same way about this turn signal circuit. I see no point in making what should be a simple and reliable circuit overly complicated and prone to weird happenings just to get a "blown bulb" indication. IMHO.
                        Wayne
                        "Trying to shed my CASO ways"

                        sigpic

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