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Amber Rear Turn Signal Mod '64 Lark Type

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  • Electrical: Amber Rear Turn Signal Mod '64 Lark Type

    Yes, I'm nuts - and yes, I probably have too much time on my hands.

    Someday, I'll own another 64/65 Lark type, probably a 2D sedan. When that day comes I will want to modify it in a couple of admittedly peculiar ways, one of which is to add a high-mount-center brake light (as a few others have already done: thanks for the tips) and convert the rear turn signals to amber by making the existing clear backup lens do double duty. With me so far?

    What I'm looking for is some brainstorming assistance in how to incorporate both clear/white and amber light sources into the existing backup lamp housing. The idea is to avoid changing the stock appearance of the rear of the car except when the yellow lights flash. Initial plan is to swap out existing 1156 bulb and base for two compact boards of LEDs; one white, the other amber. Wah-lah: reverse gear activates white light board; flasher circuit illuminates amber. Splitting the brake light/turn signal circuits and running appropriate wiring to the sockets isn't a problem; I've already worked the schematics and made exactly this change once before, on a '69 Impala, where I had an extra set of stock lenses to work with: I just turned the factory reverse lamps into turn signals and moved the reverse lamps inboard by swapping in clear lenses. Got all kinds of compliments, including from the guy to whom I sold the car.

    Anyone out there willing to offer suggestions on how to accomplish this? Many thanks in advance for any and all input.
    Last edited by JGK 940; 05-28-2011, 03:02 PM. Reason: spleling

  • #2
    Sorry no technical assistance here, but when I attended the International in Lancaster,a gentleman from Virginia brought up this very issue.His contention was that people were flipping him off because they didn't see or recognize his turn signal.He felt that having an amber bulb sharing the lower portion of the tail light assembly with the reverse light would be more visible and tend to 'idiot-proof' things.I don't know if he ever followed up on that, but I kind of liked the idea.Maybe he's on the Forum and he will chime in...

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    • #3
      I understand what you are wanting to do, because my plan is similar with a bit of a different twist.
      It sounds like it will be simple, just requiring drilling another hole in the back of the Tail light boxes for the additional turn signal sockets.

      On one of the family 6 or 8 '64/'65 Models I plan to install my export Amber lenses into the back-up Light openings and use the Export Harness and Sockets to separate Stop from Turn Signals, that I got from SASCO along with separate '66 Sedan and '63-'66 Wagon Back-up Lamps to do this job the way the Factory did it.

      Wow, I just realized, I will not need the "Logic" circuit boxes I bought for some of the cars on this one, for my Third Stop Light since they will already be separate!
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Unless you are in Europe, or some other parts of the World that allow this, check the vehicle lighting laws in your state to check on legality before making changes.
        Gary L.
        Wappinger, NY

        SDC member since 1968
        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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        • #5
          Originally posted by studegary View Post
          Unless you are in Europe, or some other parts of the World that allow this, check the vehicle lighting laws in your state to check on legality before making changes.
          Since the car will most likely never be driven anywhere except in Hawaiʻi and California, where my last two new vehicles were delivered from the factory with amber rear turn signals - the current one sporting amber bulbs behind colorless lenses - I think Iʻll chance the fix-it ticket, but I thank you for your concern.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by studegary View Post
            Unless you are in Europe, or some other parts of the World that allow this, check the vehicle lighting laws in your state to check on legality before making changes.
            Well you know Gary, with thousands of people driving around in Cars with the illegal chrome plastic Custom aftermarket Tail lights with the tiny round way TOO LIGHT Red-Orange non-SAE/DOT approved Chinese junk LENSES on their cars & even Pickups, the illegal Black-out Glass on the front side windows, or the Blinding BRIGHT Blue/White Headlights etc. AND nobody cares!

            I think one or two of us are more than perfectly SAFE in our few Classic Cars with a few little mods that do not violate ANY laws, except the very hard to inforce one about all the equipment being OEM Factory original!
            Last edited by StudeRich; 05-30-2011, 03:03 PM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              I understand what you are wanting to do, because my plan is similar with a bit of a different twist.
              It sounds like it will be simple, just requiring drilling another hole in the back of the Tail light boxes for the additional turn signal sockets.

              On one of the family 6 or 8 '64/'65 Models I plan to install my export Amber lenses into the back-up Light openings and use the Export Harness and Sockets to separate Stop from Turn Signals, that I got from SASCO along with separate '66 Sedan and '63-'66 Wagon Back-up Lamps to do this job the way the Factory did it.

              Wow, I just realized, I will not need the "Logic" circuit boxes I bought for some of the cars on this one, for my Third Stop Light since they will already be separate!
              Are those export harnesses still available? Do you know the part number? Is that what is in the chassis book as part # 1561629 (Australia)? I wanted to do that change to the 64 Commander. I already have the extra 66 car/ 63-66 wagon backup light units, and the amber export lenses.

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              • #8
                '64-'65 Sedan back-ups used as independant Amber Turn Signals as on some new cars

                Originally posted by Jim B PEI View Post
                Are those export harnesses still available? Do you know the part number? Is that what is in the chassis book as part # 1561629 (Australia)? I wanted to do that change to the 64 Commander. I already have the extra 66 car/ 63-66 wagon backup light units, and the amber export lenses.
                Yes it is a 1561629 Rear Harness with wired lamp sockets, I do not know if S.I. still has some left, you would have to call and ask them to check the New South Bend inventory, mine came from Dennis at SASCO a few years ago.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Put '66 tailight lenses in the bottom section of my '65 taillight housing to increase tailight and turn signal lighting/visibility. Placed after market taillight sockets in the bottom section making the top and bottom of the tailight work as one. Then installed the Wagonaire/'66 backups lights. Made a great difference in visibility. Also looks good, but of course is not stock.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe I missed it, but why not just add another socket in the backup light area, and use amber bulbs wired to the turn signals? You could even glue a small white/clear refractor in front of the bulb so it does not show through the lens until lit.
                    sals54

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sals54 View Post
                      Maybe I missed it, but why not just add another socket in the backup light area, and use amber bulbs wired to the turn signals? You could even glue a small white/clear refractor in front of the bulb so it does not show through the lens until lit.
                      Hey, Sal... that was StudeRich's recommendation, too ("It sounds like it will be simple, just requiring drilling another hole in the back of the Tail light boxes for the additional turn signal sockets.") and I think it's a good one. I may try it on one of my spare housings. Main concern so far seems to be clearance between the two bulbs because of the curvature of the backplate/reflector. Right now I'm leaning toward an amber bulb in the stock socket and a flexible string of 18 white LEDs running around the edges of the housing.

                      Many thanks to all. Will post results sometime in the next couple months.

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                      • #12
                        I see no legal reason why amber rear turn signals would be against the law since many cars/trucks are/were sold here in the USA fitted with them from the factory. 1999-2006 GMC Sierra pickups all came that way.
                        --------------------------------------

                        Sold my 1962; Studeless at the moment

                        Borrowed Bams50's sigline here:

                        "Do they all not, by mere virtue of having survived as relics of a bygone era, amass a level of respect perhaps not accorded to them when they were new?"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                          Yes it is a 1561629 Rear Harness with wired lamp sockets, I do not know if S.I. still has some left, you would have to call and ask them to check the New South Bend inventory, mine came from Dennis at SASCO a few years ago.
                          I have new rear harnesses and amber lenses in stock if you get stuck. Chris.

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                          • #14
                            if you use led's for flashing purposes, you'll probably need to wire in some led resistors to avoid "hyperflash". had to on my 99 vette...
                            Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                            '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                            '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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