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wiring 1157 bulbs

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  • wiring 1157 bulbs

    I am doing a full 12V rewire and can use the tail-light sockets from my 52, but I have no old wiring to reference. Maybe somebody can tell me which side of an 1157 bulb is the higher, brighter turn signal filament?
    To ask another way, if you had the bulb in your hand looking at the bottom of it, and the lower post (nearer to you) was on top, there would be a contact on the left and the right. Which is tail light and which is turn signal?

    Question 2 - I have an original backup light housing but no socket. I have a 2 wire 1157 type socket that snaps in perfectly. I can wire the feed for the reverse light into one side and just cut the other wire off. But I was thinking I might just solder the feed wire to BOTH from the socket. Will the one wire light up both filamets OK you think?

  • #2
    Dan The easiest way to tell is to ground the bulb and put 12v to the contacts. The brightest is the turn/brake. That's how I do it, no confusion that way.

    I'd be leary about wiring both contacts together if the lens is plastic. Could make a melted mess. If glass, probably no problem because the light won't be on long.



    • #3
      Dan - For Q 2, I'd be headed down to my FLAPS and picking up a socket designed for a single filament bulb... they're dirt cheap.

      '57 Transtar Deluxe
      Vancouver Island

      Are you planning to attend the NW Overdrive Tour in Parksville, BC
      May 23 & 24, 2009?
      Mark Hayden
      '66 Commander
      Zone Coordinator
      Pacific Can-Am Zone


      • #4
        thanks guys. 52 lens are glass FYI.


        • #5
          For a heavier version of the 1157 bulb go to the 2057


          • #6
            This topic came up again for me, (I'm finally wiring the front). I found this picture that helps.

            Rather than just trust it, I did hold the socket up against a battery as Bob suggested. The picture is correct. Its the bump on the left (when the lower peg faces you) that is the brighter filament for turn signals and brake.



            • #7
              I take it that you are converting to 12V? Otherwise you'd want to use 1154 for dual filament and 1133 for single filament (and 1158 for dual filament if you happen to have original dual filament sockets for non-indexed pins, but you said you were replacing the sockets.)


              55 Commander Starlight
              55 Commander Starlight


              • #8
                If you have the rear glass off, try foil with a sticky backing
                on the surface surrounding the bulb. I did this for my 52 and
                you will see a brighter reflection in the tailights. It may not
                be LED lighting, but it is brighter than stock.


                • #9
                  When I tested mine using a 12V flat (transistor radio) battery, when I wired both terminals together, it made nearly no difference in brightness. So I wired in just the brighter (longer element inside the bulb) as the only active one for the turn signals I added to my 51 Champion. In that application, I added a new socket that operates only as turn signals, leaving the running/stop light sockets as they were.

                  Clarence in Virginia Beach