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wiring diagram for old chrome clamp on turn signal

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by goon56, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,777

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I found this on here a while ago, I know its a lot of info ,but it may help someone out.

    You see these asked about all the time; 'how do I connect my turns on my '58 Whazzit?' and the general answer is usually 'look up the diagram on the net and go from there'. If you're somewhat wiring savvy, that may be enough but doesn't do much for the guy that doesn't own a Whazzit. So what if you have a oddball column/switch and can't find an exact diagram, or the switch is a service replacement with different colors (don't scoff, I've seen this), the number of wires in the car don't match the column, faded colors or you're colorblind? Or just 'electrically challenged' and intimidated by all the wires? Let's try to clear the mystery....


    When I said 'almost all', I'm not going to get into the really oddball stuff or European vehicles, I'm talking about units that are designed to use the rear brakes lights as the rear turns also and use a 'standard' two or three wire flasher. Most aftermarket turn signal units for early cars and pretty much all US cars originally equipped with signals are designed this way, but there are variations in wiring as the switches get newer and features were added. So lets talk about basic function.


    All these switches work basically the same, and there's a consistent logic in how the switching is done. You will find different numbers of wires though depending on switch features or design, so that's a good place to start; what wires you may find. First I'm going to number each wire and identify it's function (not all switches will have all wires), then I'll go through how to identify each wire using a continuity meter. If you have a late-model column with 'other' functions on it (cruise, wipers, etc), you need to separate those out. Note that these numbers are entirely arbitrary and unlikely to match however you identify your wires but are merely to show what connects to what when the switch is operated.


    The numbers:


    1. Brake light power. This wire will come from your brake light switch.

    2. Left rear brake/turn.

    3. right rear brake/turn.

    4. Left front turn.

    5. Right front turn.

    6. Turn signal power. This wire will come from the turn flasher ('L' terminal on a three wire flasher).

    7. Indicator light left.

    8. Indicator light right.

    9. Horn.

    10. Emergency flasher power. This wire will come from the emergency flasher.

    11. Indicator light power. This wire will come from the turn flasher ('P' terminal on a three wire flasher).

    12. Shift indicator light (some 'automatic' columns).


    Identifying the wires.


    Now let's get the meat of it. If you have fewer than six wires out of the switch, you have a turn-only switch and it isn't connected to the brake lights. Got six or more? Read the whole post and make sure you do this in the order shown or you can get hopelessly confused. Let's go...


    Six wires.


    This is your most basic switch. To identify the wires, start with the turns 'off'. You should read continuity between three wires only, and no continuity to/between the others. These are wires 1, 2, and 3 although we don't know which is which yet. Turn the switch to 'left'. One of these three will no longer read to the other two, this is wire 2. Turn the switch to 'right' and 2 now reads to one of the original three, but one won't read to the other two. The one that doesn't read is wire 3. That makes the remaining wire wire 1, or brake light power.


    I'll note here that no matter how many wires your switch has, this is the test to find the brake lights. You'll only find one group of three wires with the switch 'off'.


    To find the rest of the wires, turn the switch to 'left' again. You'll have continuity between 1 and 3 for brake, and between wire 2 and two of the other wires but not to 1 or 3. These are wires 4 and 6 although we don't know which is which yet. Note these, then turn the switch to 'right'. Now you'll have continuity between 1 and 2 for brake, and 3, 5, and 6 for turn. The one wire with no continuity to anything is wire 4, wire 6 is common to both left and right and is turn signal power, and all the wires are identified You see these asked about all the time; 'how do I connect my turns on my '58 Whazzit?' and the general answer is usually 'look up the diagram on the net and go from there'. If you're somewhat wiring savvy, that may be enough but doesn't do much for the guy that doesn't own a Whazzit. So what if you have a oddball column/switch and can't find an exact diagram, or the switch is a service replacement with different colors (don't scoff, I've seen this), the number of wires in the car don't match the column, faded colors or you're colorblind? Or just 'electrically challenged' and intimidated by all the wires? Let's try to clear the mystery....


    When I said 'almost all', I'm not going to get into the really oddball stuff or European vehicles, I'm talking about units that are designed to use the rear brakes lights as the rear turns also and use a 'standard' two or three wire flasher. Most aftermarket turn signal units for early cars and pretty much all US cars originally equipped with signals are designed this way, but there are variations in wiring as the switches get newer and features were added. So lets talk about basic function.


    All these switches work basically the same, and there's a consistent logic in how the switching is done. You will find different numbers of wires though depending on switch features or design, so that's a good place to start; what wires you may find. First I'm going to number each wire and identify it's function (not all switches will have all wires), then I'll go through how to identify each wire using a continuity meter. If you have a late-model column with 'other' functions on it (cruise, wipers, etc), you need to separate those out. Note that these numbers are entirely arbitrary and unlikely to match however you identify your wires but are merely to show what connects to what when the switch is operated.


    The numbers:


    1. Brake light power. This wire will come from your brake light switch.

    2. Left rear brake/turn.

    3. right rear brake/turn.

    4. Left front turn.

    5. Right front turn.

    6. Turn signal power. This wire will come from the turn flasher ('L' terminal on a three wire flasher).

    7. Indicator light left.

    8. Indicator light right.

    9. Horn.

    10. Emergency flasher power. This wire will come from the emergency flasher.

    11. Indicator light power. This wire will come from the turn flasher ('P' terminal on a three wire flasher).

    12. Shift indicator light (some 'automatic' columns).


    Identifying the wires.


    Now let's get the meat of it. If you have fewer than six wires out of the switch, you have a turn-only switch and it isn't connected to the brake lights. Got six or more? Read the whole post and make sure you do this in the order shown or you can get hopelessly confused. Let's go...


    Six wires.


    This is your most basic switch. To identify the wires, start with the turns 'off'. You should read continuity between three wires only, and no continuity to/between the others. These are wires 1, 2, and 3 although we don't know which is which yet. Turn the switch to 'left'. One of these three will no longer read to the other two, this is wire 2. Turn the switch to 'right' and 2 now reads to one of the original three, but one won't read to the other two. The one that doesn't read is wire 3. That makes the remaining wire wire 1, or brake light power.


    I'll note here that no matter how many wires your switch has, this is the test to find the brake lights. You'll only find one group of three wires with the switch 'off'.


    To find the rest of the wires, turn the switch to 'left' again. You'll have continuity between 1 and 3 for brake, and between wire 2 and two of the other wires but not to 1 or 3. These are wires 4 and 6 although we don't know which is which yet. Note these, then turn the switch to 'right'. Now you'll have continuity between 1 and 2 for brake, and 3, 5, and 6 for turn. The one wire with no continuity to anything is wire 4, wire 6 is common to both left and right and is turn signal power, and all the wires are identified.


    This is the basic 'identifying test' that is done on any turn switch; any additional wires are simply added functions. In this case, if you want dash indicators for each side, connect those to wires 4 and 5. If you only want a single indicator for both sides, use a three wire flasher and connect the light power wire to the 'P' terminal on the flasher. I'll note here that a three wire flasher is only needed if you're using it to drive a dash indicator light or lights, otherwise a two wire flasher is all that's needed (sized for the lamp load of course).


    I'll add here that if you want/need a single dash indicator light but have an aftermarket fuse panel that won't accept a three wire flasher or don't want to add the flasher/wiring, there's a couple of ways to 'cheat' this so it works. If you use a standard 4W incandescent lamp for the indicator, then connect the wires going to the front turns to each side of the lamp (left one side, right the other) without a ground wire. The indicator light will get it's ground through the 'unused' front lamp, but the voltage drop through the small lamp is great enough that the front lamp won't light up or will glow very dimly. This won't work with a LED. As an alternative or if a LED is wanted, you can run a ground to the lamp then install a diode in each wire from the front turns before connecting both to the other side of lamp to prevent feedback into the side not 'on'.


    Got more than six wires?


    .


    This is the basic 'identifying test' that is done on any turn switch; any additional wires are simply added functions. In this case, if you want dash indicators for each side, connect those to wires 4 and 5. If you only want a single indicator for both sides, use a three wire flasher and connect the light power wire to the 'P' terminal on the flasher. I'll note here that a three wire flasher is only needed if you're using it to drive a dash indicator light or lights, otherwise a two wire flasher is all that's needed (sized for the lamp load of course).


    I'll add here that if you want/need a single dash indicator light but have an aftermarket fuse panel that won't accept a three wire flasher or don't want to add the flasher/wiring, there's a couple of ways to 'cheat' this so it works. If you use a standard 4W incandescent lamp for the indicator, then connect the wires going to the front turns to each side of the lamp (left one side, right the other) without a ground wire. The indicator light will get it's ground through the 'unused' front lamp, but the voltage drop through the small lamp is great enough that the front lamp won't light up or will glow very dimly. This won't work with a LED. As an alternative or if a LED is wanted, you can run a ground to the lamp then install a diode in each wire from the front turns before connecting both to the other side of lamp to prevent feedback into the side not 'on'.


    Got more than six wires?
     
    brEad likes this.
  2. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,777

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Thx @Crazy Steve , I sure wasn’t taking credit for it ,but I had only save it to my documents and had no link to give credit where its due. And I didn’t manage to copy and paste the full info on all wiring scenarios.
    Now we have a good link to the full thread.
     

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