Summershandy

Fog Light switch and wiring question

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I'm in the process of ordering a set of vintage fog lights for my car and was wondering. What did they use back in the 50's for a switch? Did the car have to come with a factory one or did the owner have to purchase an aftermarket under the dash style if it didn't come with fog lights? I also see that I have a fuse for fog lights wired one side. Is this the power side that goes to the light switch at the dash? If I run the power wire to the other side of this fuse then does that mean whenever I turn on the parking/headlights the fog lights come on? I need someone with more schematic understandings to confirm or may have installed fog lights on their car. Thanks!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

It appears that the fog lights are powered by the parking light circuit--that is, they won't work without the parking lights being on. I'm not sure if your 1954 Pontiac is like my '41 Buick, but when my headlights are on, the parking lights are off, and if that's the case, the fog lights will also shut off when you turn on the headlights. I presume that there would be a separate accessory switch for the fog lights and that would be connected after the fuse at terminal #7, and then it would feed power to the fog lights. You can use an under-dash switch or perhaps there was some built-in switch in the dash that was installed if, say, the dealer installed the fog lights. Is there a blank switch spot somewhere on the dash?

 

All that said, your car is wired like my Buick in that almost all the power for interior functions goes through the headlight switch--not just lights, but the radio and a bunch of other things. That's why I used a relay for my fog lights and wired them so that they would be powered whenever the taillights were on. That way they shut off with the headlights so there's no chance of accidentally leaving them on, but they have their own switch on the dash so that I can leave them off and use the headlights as normal. I didn't quite follow the factory setup, which had a provision for turning off the fog lights if the headlights and/or hi-beams were on, and I wanted more control over the system than the factory allowed. My factory fog light switch is now just an on/off switch controlling the relay.

 

Here's a link to my post on how I installed fog lights on my Buick:

 

 

Here's the wiring diagram for setting it up with a relay. Easy to do and takes 99% of the strain off the headlight switch. You can get NOS Delco relays on eBay for about $25.

 

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Let me know if you have questions, I'm happy to help!

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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1 hour ago, Summershandy said:

'm in the process of ordering a set of vintage fog lights for my car and was wondering. What did they use back in the 50's for a switch? Did the car have to come with a factory one or did the owner have to purchase an aftermarket under the dash style if it didn't come with fog lights?

 

Probably a red plastic thing that says "LITE" and has a cream colored knob on it. It clips under the dash, usually on the left. IIRC they still had them at NAPA in the early 90s, and maybe even today.

 

vintage-40-s-deluxe-fog-lamp-switch

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2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I'm not sure if your 1954 Pontiac is like my '41 Buick, but when my headlights are on, the parking lights are off, and if that's the case, the fog lights will also shut off when you turn on the headlights.

 

Yes, parking lights turn off when headlights are on. Doesn't sound very practical on a foggy night. 

 

2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Is there a blank switch spot somewhere on the dash?

 

There are no blanks on the dash. I suspect an auxiliary switch is required. 

 

2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Let me know if you have questions, I'm happy to help!

 

Thanks!!

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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

Probably a red plastic thing that says "LITE" and has a cream colored knob on it. It clips under the dash, usually on the left.

 

Now THAT'S cool! There's a couple on ebay for around $20. That one even shows a picture of the knob "lit up" I guess when powered. I think I'm going to go with one of those keepin' it retro. Thanks!

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the correct guide fog lights option has nothing that others have been telling or suggesting. the 1953-1954 pontiac option for fog lights have a dash mounted switch that mounts below the headlight switch, see the picture of my dash, i added the option to my 1953 chieftain custom catalina.

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That looks great! A little more work sourcing that original switch. I look at it this way. There's factory option and aftermarket option. You know, the poor guy that had to buy the base model car back in the day, then decided he had saved a little money over time and wanted to add fog lights to his car. Kinda the way they do today powered by a simple toggle switch. 

But I thank you ever so much for that picture from the catalog! I searched the internet for pictures of Pontiacs with fog lights for an idea on where to mount them. Couldn't find next to nothing. The style of my grill is very close to the picture and I'm glad to see that is where I was going to mount them. I don't have the bar that goes across but I have those two upright bumpers. Seemed like the best looking and logical placement to me. 

 

Did you mount them to the bumper or the body metal that runs between the bumper and grill? I really hope mine fit on the body metal. I don't want to drill the bumper I might shed a tear! LOL

Thanks!

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look up under your main grill bar in between the bumper guard and the turn signal/park lights, you should see a mounting area for the guide fog light bracket.

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pontiac in 1954 sure didn't advertise the guide fog light option, not in the 54 showroom album, not in the 54 accessories fold out brochure, not even in the 54 pocket size salesman's fact book. i have all three.

 

 

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Most fog lights are mounted with brackets that clamp to the bumper brackets under the splash pans. If you look at my Buick installation, you'll see what I'm talking about. You'll have to drill holes for the mounts, but the actual holding is done by clamps on the heavy brackets underneath.

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The lights I ordered are your typical 5" vintage amber fog lights and probably just have to "make it work". I don't see any particular mounting spot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Most fog lights are mounted with brackets that clamp to the bumper brackets under the splash pans. If you look at my Buick installation, you'll see what I'm talking about. You'll have to drill holes for the mounts, but the actual holding is done by clamps on the heavy brackets underneath.

on 1953 & 1954 pontiacs you do not.

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4 hours ago, Summershandy said:

The lights I ordered are your typical 5" vintage amber fog lights and probably just have to "make it work". I don't see any particular mounting spot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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did you look with a flashlight or feel the bottom of the grill bar with your hand ?

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2 minutes ago, pontiac1953 said:

did you look with a flashlight or feel the bottom of the grill bar with your hand ?

 

Used a flashlight but I'll feel around a little more. These are like the lights I ordered. 

 

 

 

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Well whataya know....there's a tab with a hole bent upward behind and part of the grill. You can see it in the reflection. Is this the mount you speak of? 

 

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1 hour ago, Summershandy said:

Well whataya know....there's a tab with a hole bent upward behind and part of the grill. You can see it in the reflection. Is this the mount you speak of? 

 

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yes

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I installed my fog lights today and definitely had to make up a bracket for them. They didn't fit on the metal between the grill and bumper. I utilized the mounting tabs Charles made me discover. The base of the lights end up being somewhat clamped to the bumper. Strong and sturdy but not too to noticeable. It may not be from 1954 but I'm happy no holes were drilled and so they could be removed without any damage done.

I installed the light switch and for fun hooked it up to the fuse marked fog. Sure enough, when the headlights are turned on both the parking lights and fog lights turn off. Still think that's dumb unless back then you drove in the fog without headlights on. 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Summershandy said:

Sure enough, when the headlights are turned on both the parking lights and fog lights turn off. Still think that's dumb unless back then you drove in the fog without headlights on. 

 

 

That isn't quite as crazy as it sounds. The whole point is to light up whats down low without lighting up the fog in front of you. That said, I have never heard of it either. I may have done it at some point, with lights controlled only by their own switch, but having the car shut them off on low beam is news to me. Having the car shut them off only on high beam is what I would expect.

 

Maybe pontiac1953 knows if thats normal operation for a factory installation?

 

One more thought, most older cars have a circuit breaker for the headlights. If you connected 2 more big bright bulbs to the low beam circuit, it would almost certainly overload the circuit breaker. A relay would then be required, as shown in Matt Harwood's post.

 

Relays weren't terribly reliable back then, and there is the chance that the relay would stick, running your battery dead. For instance, the points can burn and stick, or a little frost can get inside, and they wont shut off in the bitter cold. I was still regularly having trouble like this when I was first messing around with aftermarket lighting in the early 80s. Relays that actually work are fairly common now.

 

The advantage is that shutting the headlights off kills the foglights too, so you don't forget and leave them on.

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37 minutes ago, Bloo said:

The whole point is to light up whats down low without lighting up the fog in front of you

 

Same holds true in a snow blizzard. Believe me, I know! I used to have to drive low beams on the highway just to see. 

I don't really plan on using the fog lights. I just like to be able to turn them on or off for show. At least they are on a circuit of there own. 

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your fog lights look awesome, on the factory fog lights and switch, the switch works independently from the headlight switch.

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Thanks! It sucks that I couldn't mount them like in '54 but the pros outweigh the cons. I'm unsure whether to keep them hooked up to the panel, the retro switch or both. I think it's neat the switch lights up. That is after I disassembled and cleaned it up. You know, the way you used to be able to fix things. LOL

 

 

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