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Turn signal improvement for 51 Champion

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  • Electrical: Turn signal improvement for 51 Champion


    My front turn signals were barely visible at night, let alone during the day and I needed to improve their function. The turn signal canisters on the front of the car had been painted and were in general non-reflective. I went down to Hobby Lobby and purchased a package of 2" diameter glass mirrors, $2.50 for ten mirrors. These fit into the canister with a little less than 1/4" of clearance. Put a little dolup of silicone sealant on the back of the mirror and stuck it to the back wall of each canister. LOTS more light being reflected out the lens now. And, if I ever need to take them out, it's no big deal at all to reverse the process.

    $2.50 and ten minutes effort. Well worth it.

  • #2
    Neat idea. I wonder if I can do something similar to make my taillights brighter.


    • #3
      Originally posted by nvonada View Post
      Neat idea. I wonder if I can do something similar to make my taillights brighter.
      Anything that can be done to improve the visibility of the signals is a good thing.

      Personally, I am not nearly as concerned about the front signals as the rear. It is those approaching from the rear that need to know you are turning. These days, with people distracted by talking on the phone, texting, and concentrating on GPS screens, you almost need a strobe light to keep from being rear ended.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975


      • #4
        I agree, the tail lights are my next project. Looking into the LED route.


        • #5
          You would be surprised how much brighter they are if you just paint the housing white since white does not absorb any of the spectrum; it just reflects it. I have painted mine white front and rear and they are quite effective. From a physics perspective, even the silver behind the mirror is going to absorb some wavelengths. Simple white paint is more effective.
          Last edited by rockne10; 05-11-2011, 03:43 PM.
          "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

          Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
          Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
          '33 Rockne 10,
          '51 Commander Starlight,
          '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
          '56 Sky Hawk


          • #6
            I have powder coated a few lens housings, both white and "chrome". I think the white is brighter.
            Jamie McLeod
            Hope Mills, NC

            1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
            1958 Commander "Christine"
            1964 Wagonaire "Louise"
            1955 Commander Sedan
            1964 Champ
            1960 Lark


            • #7
              There are probably better ways, but years ago I put aluminum foil behind my tail lights and it made a huge difference. It was easy on a 52 because the bulb is suspended from a bracket and hangs down in front of the housing face. When/if I get my 52 back on the road I will probably try LEDs of some sort and maybe small brake lights in the rear window.
              "In the heart of Arkansas."
              Searcy, Arkansas
              1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
              1952 2R pickup