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  • Electrical: Speedster fog light switch

    The fog light switch on my Speedster has 3 terminals and a 30 amp fuse. Per the wiring diagram in the shop manual, one of the terminals is connected to the amp meter thru the fuse...the second is connected to the headlight switch...the 3rd goes to the fog lights. Why are there 2 hot wires when the headlights are on? .... Or is my switch broke...it is a 3 way switch, up is off, down is off and middle on.

  • #2
    It's made that way so fog lights will only operate when headlights are on low beam.
    "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

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    • #3
      It is one of those "Ahead of their time" features Studebaker built into their cars. Although your Speedster was built when not everybody had phones, those that did had landlines tethered to the wall by a cord, and you had to use your fingers to spin a rotary dial...some VISIONARY in Studebaker's design lab knew that someday, anyone lucky enough to own a 1955 SPEEDSTER...

      ...would have an opportunity to make the rest of us Envious by posing this question on an INTERNET FORUM!!! Lucky you!

      But...to answer your question, I think Dwain nailed it in post #2 above.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

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      • #4
        jclary, I don't know if your comment is ridicule, sarcasm or congrats....but thanks for the comment. I admit that I do have a problem figuring out how some switches work, but given time, I figure it out. Stay out of the coronas....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Vic Moreland View Post
          jclary, I don't know if your comment is ridicule, sarcasm or congrats....but thanks for the comment. I admit that I do have a problem figuring out how some switches work, but given time, I figure it out. Stay out of the coronas....
          Intended as good-natured humor (fueled by too much morning caffeine)...and if I ever get a chance to tackle my '55 President Coupe, I have a set of those cool "Fawg" lights to wire up.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            I have a 54 Champion sedan, the headlight switch has a spare terminal for a fog light that is only powered when the headlights are off. Some States and in our case some provinces only allowed fog lights when the head lights were off. The switch has three positions up for dash middle for head lights and down for off except for power to the fog light switch. The fog light switch receives its power from the head light switch. As Dwain says only with high beams off and in some cases with all the lights off.

            With the headlight switch in the off position energy is fed through the open terminal to the fog light switch to actuate the fog lights. I am not familiar with only on low beam. Different states and provinces have different laws. My Canadian car is wired so that the headlights must be off to energize the fog light switch.

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            • #7
              Before the 1970s, each state and province had its own rules regarding auxiliary lighting. A common requirement was that when the fog lights were on, the tail lamps also had to be illuminated. Nowadays (in the US anyway), auxiliary lamps can only be powered when the low beams (and parking and tail lamps) are on.
              Skip Lackie

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              • #8
                Good point about the tail lights, I will have to check if this terminal also powers the tail lights. When I had the switch out I added a spare wire to the terminal eventually for fog lights, but I haven't tested it yet.

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                • #9
                  jclary....thanks for the clarification....I thot my question was so stupid that I deserved a *you dumbass* answer. Serious...my switch delivers power to the fog lights from either of the input wires. The idea that fog lights can only be turned on only when headlights are in lo beam is probably a good idea but low beam wire come off the dimmer switch. There is nothing in the manuals which describe the fog light operation on a speedster.

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                  • #10
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                    Originally posted by Vic Moreland View Post
                    The fog light switch on my Speedster has 3 terminals and a 30 amp fuse. Per the wiring diagram in the shop manual, one of the terminals is connected to the amp meter thru the fuse...the second is connected to the headlight switch...the 3rd goes to the fog lights. Why are there 2 hot wires when the headlights are on? .... Or is my switch broke...it is a 3 way switch, up is off, down is off and middle on.
                    This is the part that makes NO sense. Is this the Head Light Switch or the Fog Light Switch?

                    A Head Light Switch should be ALL OFF in the Center Position, Parking Lights ON in the Down Position and Head Lights ON in the Upper Position. Of course Tail Lights would be ON in either position.

                    A Fog Light Switch should only have ON usually UP, and OFF usually down.
                    It sounds like Wrong switches and or incorrectly Wired!

                    Last edited by StudeRich; 04-10-2020, 04:18 PM.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #11
                      It's a matter of wiring "permission." Your Fog lights are to be wired so that the main power comes through the headlight switch. Then, by connecting them to your low beam power wire, they can only light up with the headlights activated and on low beam. You really can wire them any way you want. For example, you could wire them to work as daytime running lights. The problem with that is that you would need to take power off a switched stud on the ignition switch, or add some kind of alarm dinger like modern cars so that when the switch is off, a warning sounds to let you know you have left those lights on. I have one of those switches for my '51 Land Cruiser somewhere but have never studied it enough to know the options.

                      Personally, as long as you have a correct style switch, you could wire it any way that suits you. I have a set of factory fog lights on my '48 business coupe. Although many fog light switches are offered as direct light switches, I think they would be safer by installing a relay and thereby powering the lights through a beefier conductor and only use the switch as a control circuit. A rule I have violated on my '48, but I use it so seldom that I don't consider it an issue. But instead of a plain on/off switch, I have them wired through a rheostat switch. I can dial up the brightness to suit me. I rarely drive the car, and almost never at night. But, on the rare occasion, I have it out at night...winking those fog lights is a fun little toy.
                      John Clary
                      Greer, SC

                      SDC member since 1975

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                      • #12
                        CORRECTION! As others have already mentioned, the original wiring diagram shows the wire from fog light switch terminal 'F' goes to headlight terminal 'T'. That means the fog lights can be operated anytime the tail lights are on.
                        "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

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                        • #13
                          I thought the fog lamp switch was just above the brake pedal, not on the dash

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