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Idiots lights are for.......idiots

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Lobucrod, May 15, 2013.

  1. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    like me.
    Had a close call yesterday.Went by a buddies shop to visit and he was fixin to run out to another buddies shop to look at a car so he jumped in with me and we took off.

    We drove the 7 miles to his friends shop and just when we arrived the recently rebuilt 401 nailhead in my 50 sedan delivery died. We smelt antifreeze so I popped the hood and found the bottom radiator hose completely off of the lower neck! of course the factory temp gauge was pegged. The nailhead had gotten so hot that the paint above the exhaust manifolds had turned black and was peeling off.

    We had been shooting the breeze on the way out and I never looked at the gauge. We got a ride back to his shop and found where all of the coolant had dumped in his gravel drive where I had been parked. THere hadn't been any coolant leaking on my shop floor so apparently the clamp wasn't quite tight enough and the hose had been slowly inching its way off and when it cleared the rib on the neck it came off.

    He ran me to get my truck and car hauler and I went out to drag it home. It fired right up so I went ahead and drove it up on the trailer instead of using the wench.

    After letting it cool off for about 5 or 6 hours I poured some water in it after putting the hose back on and checking the tightness of all the other clamps. Nothing ran out anywhere so I cranked it up and let it run a while. Left the cap off till it started circulating and did not see any bubbles in the coolant. Put the cap on and went for a ride and all seems well now.

    So today I went to the parts house and bought a water temp and oil pressure switch. I hooked both of them up to an old Harley chrome bullet tail light and mounted it on the steering column beside the tach.

    How's this for an Idiot light? This should get my attention.


  2. FenixSpeedShop
    Joined: Mar 19, 2013
    Posts: 202


    I'm sure you'll be able to see that now for sure!
  3. TexasSpeed
    Joined: Nov 2, 2009
    Posts: 4,618


    It's not bright enough.. :p
  4. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    You can wire the idiot switch to trip the horn relay, too, in case of sleeping idiots!
    I think cars should have both gauge and idiot systems for oil pressure and heat; oil especially, as you can have catastrophic damage in seconds in a worst case scenario...

  5. Bad Daddy
    Joined: Nov 13, 2010
    Posts: 829

    Bad Daddy

    You got lucky. I had that happen to an old 327. The thing got so hot that it bubbled the paint on the valve covers and froze up. When we pulled it apart, some of the piston tops looked liked the surface of the moon, cratered and pitted all to hell.
  6. years ago I had a customer that ran a 5/1600 car ( that is a Baja Bug Race car with a 1600cc limit)
    He blew the thing up racing it when he ripped off an oil line and couldn't read the gauge. He said it wasn't working, we showed him it worked. So we rebuilt the motor and put in a big light. Well, damned if he didn't put a rock through the engine case and blow it up again. said, well it's tough to look for an oil pressure light when you are racing in the desert, even though it was a huge trailer clearance light.
    So we built a New motor and hooked the sender up to both the light and the horn. he did a couple of races with no problems, then rolled it and while it was upside down most o f the oil leaked out, but not all. he fired it up, the light and horn went out so he figured he was good to go. A few miles of fast running and it was pumping oil faster than returning it (due to only having about a quart left in it) and he seized it. He said he couldn't hear the horn.
    One more time to the engine builder, and this time I hooked a pair of air horns to it. He flew past our remote pit location with the air horn blaring! Sure enough a call comes out over the radio about 3 minutes later, he'd blown the motor. When we asked him about it he said "Oh I heard the air horn, but since it kept going I figured the switch must have shorted out"
    After that we just hooked the oil pressure switch to an ignition kill
  7. jesse1980
    Joined: Aug 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,355


  8. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    My 63 f250 has the oil light, still not bright enough to see with sunglasses on though. I may be looking at some cycle mags for lights, great idea!
  9. HamD
    Joined: Mar 3, 2011
    Posts: 298


    What worked for me was my own good habits of watching the gauges and metric oil & temp gauges. Every time I look at the oil pressure in kilopascals, I swear because I think the engine's overheating. Then I calmly go back to driving for a little while until the cycle repeats.
  10. After that we just hooked the oil pressure switch to an ignition kill
    quote; hotrodden.
    that should do it....another thought would be to hook it to a T coil with a clip lead to his seat belt buckle.
  11. If you don't want to spend the bucks on a Harley light, some truck stops and auto parts places still carry beehive clearance lights, which will do the same job and cost about $5.
  12. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,031


    Shift light!?
  13. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    I would've mounted it under the dash, more out of sight. Or wired a door buzzer in series with that smaller dash light.

    It's enough to make you piss your pants, though.
  14. Im a gauge watcher, just an old habit.
  15. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,561


    I always liked the idiot lites. Of course being an idiot helps.
  16. mustang6147
    Joined: Feb 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,847

    from Kent, Ohio

    I need mechanical gauges, and I watch them..... In my case, I don't need to text for a distraction, I have gauges..... I have to wait to guage....
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,070


    I had a lower hose come off and it was an instant cloud of dense smelly steam.That got my attention... I'm surprised the OP's car didn't steam up a storm when the hose let loose.
  18. Fly'n Kolors
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 407

    Fly'n Kolors

    Some idiots are brighter than other idiots...

    Lobuc, your Harley wants it's tail light back!
  19. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,049

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    :D An idiot of any brightness is still an idiot :D

    Just like a pig with makeup is still a pig :)
  20. ironandsteele
    Joined: Apr 25, 2006
    Posts: 5,334


    I am obsessive about checking my gauges.
  21. sedanbob
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 110


    Buzzing down the highway during one of the shakedown runs, I noticed the oil pressure gauge jumping around a little, then suddenly go to zero! Pulled over on the interstate (my favorite place to work on any car) and found the nut was loose on the sender (Whew!). Scared me - I watch all my gauges a little closer now.
  22. Fly'n Kolors
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 407

    Fly'n Kolors

    Lobuc, if your smelter is calibrated properly you won't need a damn lighter!

    Better check that smelter...
  23. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,967

    from Tampa, FL

    I've always liked them (graduate idiot?). Mostly, I like seeing them all go OUT after the engine starts. I also think they are great for noisy environments (wife, kids, wind, stereo, racing, et al). I only have two on my 27 truck, one for each hood latch. And they are right where I can see them. Folks ask me all the time what they are for, or why I have a matched set of oil pressure lights. Gary
    Last edited: May 16, 2013
  24. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,242


    :D Got a couple of hold overs from when I had a pilots license.My instructor said"Keep your head out of the cockpit"."Watch your gauges".Sooooooooooooo.With every swing of my head watching for half wit idiots around me,I sweep the gauges.Works good.No lights.Just REAL gauges.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
  25. years ago we went road racing for a couple seasons, all kinds of things going on during a race so rather than mounting all the gauges as normally oriented mounted them so whatever was a normal reading (desired) now was at the 12 0'clock position. quick glance and if the needle wasn't there you knew something was amiss.
  26. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,122

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    I'm amused by the replies from those who say that they are gauge watchers and imply that it couldn't happen to them. I consider myself a gauge watcher. Ive been driving old cars all my life. Hell if your going to be driving a 60+ year old car with a engine that cost $3000 or more to rebuild you better be huh. I am from the crowd that says it cant happen to me. It did. Hopefully it wont happen again. I just spent about 10 bucks total to save my $3000+ motor. Cheap insurance for my next mental lapse.
  27. Most of the semi trucks I drove had a idiot light and loud buzzer in addition to air pressere guage. Many had an automatic shutdown if the temp rose or the oil pressure dropped. Not a bad thing simce you cant always be looking at mechanical guages.
  28. now thats funny idont care who you are.
  29. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331


    Very good looking solution and not a bad idea.
    I might think about something like that.
  30. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,377

    from CT

    I don't normally judge people but this guy is an idiot.:D

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