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  • Electrical: Factory '51 turn signals

    My '51 Champion came without turn signals. At some point, someone added the accessory kind that clamp to the steering column. I was okay with them, but now they've broken and all I'm able to find to replace them are similar cheap Chinese designs in plastic cases, ones I'm sure won't last long.

    There are two sleeves on my car's steering column that are just below the steering wheel, held on with screws, right where the factory turn signals would be, and that may be the turn signal equivalent of the radio delete plates. Does anyone know if it is possible to install factory turn signals on a non-turn-signal column or would the entire column have to be changed?

    Is there a source for a good quality aftermarket, add-on turn signal switch assembly? Thanks.
    Last edited by dstude; 04-16-2019, 09:33 PM. Reason: forgot a word

  • #2
    A basic turn signal unit can easily be made with two standard 5 pin relays and a toggle switch, that can replace the bolt on unit.

    Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dstude View Post
      There are two sleeves on my car's steering column that are just below the steering wheel, held on with screws, right where the factory turn signals would be,
      Not sure what you mean by "two sleeves."
      Could you possibly post a photo of your reference?
      Brad Johnson,
      SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
      Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
      '33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight. '53 Commander Starlight
      '56 Sky Hawk in process

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      • #4
        Which column do you have?
        Attached Files
        "In the heart of Arkansas."
        Searcy, Arkansas
        1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
        1952 2R pickup

        Comment


        • #5
          My steering column is more like photo B with the same Plain Jane, three-spoke steering wheel with no horn ring, but my column is a larger diameter than the one in photo B. The column shown in B is smaller in diameter than the hub of the steering wheel; my column is the same diameter as the hub of the wheel, all the way down to the dash.

          At the top of my column, just below the steering wheel, there is a 1/1/4" wide section of column tubing that is held in place by four chrome phillips screws; it extends only down to the top of the three-speed shifting linkage. Below the shifting linkage and on the opposite side of the column toward the driver's door, there is a curved plate held in place with two more screws (what I originally thought was another section of tubing which I referred to as a "sleeve"). It appears to be exactly where I would expect a turn signal lever to be and appears to be a delete plate (or an access plate for something inside the column). I'm wondering if the column was designed so a dealer could install turn signals in a car that didn't get them from the factory. The column sure has that look.

          I'll take some pictures tomorrow and probably email them as I've had very mixed luck adding photos to forum posts. I appreciate your help.

          Comment


          • #6
            Like this?
            Attached Files
            Last edited by 52-fan; 04-18-2019, 06:22 AM.
            "In the heart of Arkansas."
            Searcy, Arkansas
            1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
            1952 2R pickup

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes. That delete can be removed and a factory turn signal switch can be installed (which gives you the return function). Be aware that the early turn signal switches are simple 3 wire switches that the stop lights do not go through. I did this on my 51 Champion that has the small column. I have 2 wires running to the back of the car for left and right and 1 wire for the stop lights. I added a socket and bulb to each of the taillight buckets.

              Seymour

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              • #8
                1951 was the first year that the car brake lights and turn signals used the same filament, so the brake light power goes through the turn signal switch.

                1950 was the last year that had separate bulbs for the rear turn signals in the cars.

                I know nothing about trucks.
                RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                  1951 was the first year that the car brake lights and turn signals used the same filament, so the brake light power goes through the turn signal switch.

                  1950 was the last year that had separate bulbs for the rear turn signals in the cars.

                  I know nothing about trucks.
                  Trucks were different, but my truck has had a 50, or so, car column swapped into it. That is why it has self-canceling signals. It was the only small column I had a picture of with the cover removed.
                  The truck has separate signal lights at each end.
                  Last edited by 52-fan; 04-19-2019, 05:22 AM.
                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Roy-

                    Are all of the small column switches without the brake light going through them?
                    Or, did only 51 small columns have the brake light go through it?
                    My 51 has the small column. I added the non brake type switch to mine.
                    Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
                    1951 was the first year that the car brake lights and turn signals used the same filament, so the brake light power goes through the turn signal switch.

                    1950 was the last year that had separate bulbs for the rear turn signals in the cars.

                    I know nothing about trucks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All of the 51 and later cars have the brake lights going through the turn signal switch, regardless of the size/location/design of the factory switch or whether the column has the large shield around it or the small column with separate shifter column.

                      The chassis parts catalog says the 51 turn signal switch is the same for all models of 51, and just the cover is different depending on whether the column has the sheet metal cover or not. That same switch fits 52 "custom models" with column type B.

                      All of the 50 and earlier cars require a separate bulb for the rear turn signals.

                      You might have put a 50 or earlier switch on your 51, or maybe an aftermarket switch.

                      The 51 and 52 "custom" models, the low cost stripped down cars, were the last ones to use the narrow steering column with the separate shifter column (column design B in 52-fan's very helpful picture). And the only switches that both fit column B and have the brake lights wired through them are all 51 switches and 52 "custom model" switches.

                      Column design B was common on 47-50 Champions of all trim levels. That means the 47-50 turn signal switch that is enclosed in the smaller case is much more easily found than the 51 turn signal switch with "custom models only" cover. The switches might physically interchange, but the wiring is different, as you found out.

                      I probably could have said all this in fewer words.
                      Last edited by RadioRoy; 04-19-2019, 11:14 AM.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Does anyone know what the specific differences are between the 531760 turn signal assembly for a '52 Champion and the 530466 assembly for a '51 Champion? Both appear to be made to fit where the delete plate cover is on the larger diameter steering column. How similar are the two switch assemblies? Thanks.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dstude View Post
                          Does anyone know what the specific differences are between the 531760 turn signal assembly for a '52 Champion and the 530466 assembly for a '51 Champion? Both appear to be made to fit where the delete plate cover is on the larger diameter steering column. How similar are the two switch assemblies? Thanks.
                          It may be just the color of the knob. The 51 knobs are gray and the 52 knobs are tan. The kits I have used come with all the correct connectors and sockets to plug into the existing harness.
                          "In the heart of Arkansas."
                          Searcy, Arkansas
                          1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                          1952 2R pickup

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It may be the construction of the lever arm. The 51 lever is round section steel rod and the 52 lever arm is either diecast pot metal in a vaguely T shaped cross section or stamped steel. I seem to remember seeing both types.

                            It may also be the shape of whatever contacts the steering column for cancelling the signal. The 51 has two wheels and the 52, other than the custom models, seems to have two pointed teeth, unless the particular one shown is missing its wheels.

                            See these pictures.

                            http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...06#post1139706
                            Last edited by RadioRoy; 04-21-2019, 01:44 PM.
                            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                              It may be just the color of the knob. The 51 knobs are gray and the 52 knobs are tan. The kits I have used come with all the correct connectors and sockets to plug into the existing harness.
                              Actually, the 50 and 51 and 52 knobs are tan, not grey. See post number 4.
                              Last edited by RadioRoy; 04-21-2019, 01:51 PM.
                              RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.


                              10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                              4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                              5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon

                              Comment

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