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153 Coupe Wiring Improvements


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Hi Everyone

 

I recently purchased a 1931 153 Coupe. It was well on the way through restoration when the owner passed away, so it's down to me to finish it off. I don't have it yet, but I'm told it really needs a new wiring harness. So if I'm having Rhode Island Wiring make a new set of wiring harnesses for it, I will get them to make the additions so I can have turn signals on it. 

 

It also comes with a second tail light, so I need to find a tail light support for it - @mikewest - do you have a tail light support bracket for a Series 15?

 

So this involves at least one extra wire to the existing tail light, and then of course another set of wires over to the right side tail light.

 

What is done inside the tail light to allow a bulb to flash - does it need a bulb and socket replaced with a 2 contact setup, or do they just flash the existing brake light bulb?

 

For the front, I see in the Franklin Q&A that Tom says he flashes the cowl lamps - same question - do they have to be modified to a 2 pin base, or does it flash the same bulb that's on as a running light?

 

Controllers for all this - Restoration Stuff sell a turn signal switch, a heavy duty turn signal switch, and then also a $160 Turn Signal Controller System. It's not clear from the catalogue if you need a switch and the controller, or if you need one or the other - anyone know from experience? (I'll call them later when it's their morning in California).

 

Thanks for any tips and insights

 

Roger

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Hi Roger...... Your existing bulbs in both tail lights and cowl lights (or even fender lights)... will simply flash as the current is sent in flashes to the bulbs.... No modifications necessary to bulbs or sockets..... The only thing that I have used was an aftermarket turn signal unit that mounts on your steering column, and a flasher that mounts under your dash....  Snyders (and other model A suppliers) have a 12 volt or 6 volt turn signal Kit that cost $79.95    US made, includes signal-stat switch, the fuse, flasher and the flasher socket... hope this helps.... Sunny

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So does the controller somehow take over the function? If the cowl light is already on because the lights are turned on, then to flash them as a turn signal, something has to turn it off to flash it, which is the opposite of how it would flash if it was turned off (in daylight). That's why I'm wondering if it needs new wires and pins etc.

 

I hadn't thought to look at Snyders - I'll take a look there too

 

Roger

Edited by theKiwi (see edit history)
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I Just got a new harness for my  32 163 from RI wire and they included the turn switch with the kit. I would check with them before doing anything  as they are very good at makeing them work with what you have.

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Roger,

RIWS builds the harnesses for the turn signal option so that the front parking lights and the brake lights are routed through the turn signal unit. When the turn signal is off, the park/brake lights work like they original do.

 

When you switch the turn signal on it sends power to the parking light and brake light on that side and makes them flash. Even if your foot is on the brake, the signal unit  interrupts that brake light to make it flash.

 

So, when braking to make a turn, those following you would see one brake light on steady and the one for the direction of the turn will be flashing.   Same for the four-ways - all brake and parking lights will flash together. It comes with the socket to work with a standard 6 volt flasher canister, still available new through autoparts stores.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Thanks @PFitz and @odat - it didn't occur to me that Rhode Island Wiring would alter the dashboard end of the whole thing too - now I understand how it can work.

 

I spoke with Rhode Island Wiring a couple of days ago about this in general terms, and she said they had the plans needed to put the turn signal on the left and the extra light on the right, but didn't mention, and I didn't ask of course, that they set the whole harness up to do this, and supply the flasher and switch etc as part of all this. So that allays another concern, which was that I'd have all this nice new cloth bound wire throughout the car, and there'd be modern plastic wiring in places from some add-on flasher switch and unit.

 

So when I get the car I'll check out just what all it needs and place my order with them.

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

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Roger,

When you order the turn signal option, if there is any question about the right side harness length, ask Marsha to look up my name account and use those same Series14 and 15 right side tail light measurements as they've made for me in the past.

 

BTW, if you want the turn signal unit indicator lights to work, you'll need to have the unit grounded by scratching off some of the steering column paint for the turn signal unit housing to ground to the column, or use a separate wire from the unit to a good ground point up under the dash.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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5 hours ago, theKiwi said:

Hi Everyone

 

I recently purchased a 1931 153 Coupe. It was well on the way through restoration when the owner passed away, so it's down to me to finish it off. I don't have it yet, but I'm told it really needs a new wiring harness. So if I'm having Rhode Island Wiring make a new set of wiring harnesses for it, I will get them to make the additions so I can have turn signals on it. 

 

It also comes with a second tail light, so I need to find a tail light support for it - @mikewest - do you have a tail light support bracket for a Series 15?

 

So this involves at least one extra wire to the existing tail light, and then of course another set of wires over to the right side tail light.

 

What is done inside the tail light to allow a bulb to flash - does it need a bulb and socket replaced with a 2 contact setup, or do they just flash the existing brake light bulb?

 

For the front, I see in the Franklin Q&A that Tom says he flashes the cowl lamps - same question - do they have to be modified to a 2 pin base, or does it flash the same bulb that's on as a running light?

 

Controllers for all this - Restoration Stuff sell a turn signal switch, a heavy duty turn signal switch, and then also a $160 Turn Signal Controller System. It's not clear from the catalogue if you need a switch and the controller, or if you need one or the other - anyone know from experience? (I'll call them later when it's their morning in California).

 

Thanks for any tips and insights

 

Roger

Im out right now. Im about to get some copied from a original so check back in 8 weeks. Mike

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21 minutes ago, mikewest said:

Im out right now. Im about to get some copied from a original so check back in 8 weeks. Mike

 

Is this the right side tail light brackets for Series 15 you're talking about?

 

Thanks

 

Roger

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Mike, that's a 32 and later fender mount tail light base. Not the Series 14/15  rear apron mount type base. It won't work with Roger's 153. For one thing the 153 tail light harness that RIWS makes won't reach out to the fender, like a 32 extended wires.  I know because I've installed the RIWS turn signal harnesses in both Serie 15  and 16. 

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Yes I'm looking for one for a Series 15 - I'm happy to get a left side one and cut it apart and turn it around - one of these

 

image.thumb.png.95b18a105cb5782b0041d3aae329ba23.png

 

That I will cut apart and turn to make a mirror image if that's how the right side ones are done for this.

 

Roger

Edited by theKiwi (see edit history)
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Rodger,

If you can't find someone who had Series 14 & 15 right stanchions remade in the past,(factory originals are extremely rare) one option is to use your left side stanchion cut into three pieces close to where the factory welded those three casting together and use those parts as mold patterns to have more "recast" in cast iron by a foundry that does a lot of that type work for the shops that restore antique stoves. Then have both welded back together as  left and right stanchions.

 

If you have extra's cast you can reduce the cost by selling those extras to Franklin owners who also want to add a right tail light.

 

I've used Tomahawk foundry for my stove parts and they do excellent work with fast turn around.  http://www.tomahawkfoundry.com/

 

If you email pix and measurements to Al the owner, he can give you an estimate of cost.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Thanks @PFitz - I'll give Jeff Hasslen a call tomorrow - he seems to have his finger on the pulse of such things.

 

I know where there's a nice looking one already - on the 157 Coupe at the Franklin Automobile Collection at Hickory Corners - I was looking at that just a couple of days ago... 

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3189.thumb.jpg.a4a241019ad48b8e4ebc2684fc7b36f8.jpg

 

 

Roger

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Thanks. At this time I'm not entirely certain if what is on the car is as I showed above, or whether it's this one - same design, but the offset to the side is different.

 

I'm pretty sure it's this one below - 48348/48358 - 48348 is the one for the left side, 48358 is the mirror image of it for the right side.

 

A right side one if one exists would be perfect, otherwise a left side one that I cut apart and rotate the parts would work too (and presumably much more common than the right side ones).

 

Roger

 

image.thumb.png.400cc13ec9e087c70e2d4d846222e633.png

 

The factory part number for the right side one is 

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On ‎12‎/‎19‎/‎2019 at 7:11 PM, theKiwi said:

Yes I'm looking for one for a Series 15 - I'm happy to get a left side one and cut it apart and turn it around - one of these

 

image.thumb.png.95b18a105cb5782b0041d3aae329ba23.png

 

That I will cut apart and turn to make a mirror image if that's how the right side ones are done for this.

 

Roger

Roger,

I think you'll find this one with the 6-7/8 offset is not the one your looking for. I've never seen a Ser 14 or15 with that much off-set to the tail light position.

 

Plus the drawings associated with it were not finished. They do not list what series it was intended to be used on. And there are no notes in the revision block that is common during production. It's not uncommon in the Franklin drawing files that there are drawings of parts that were never used and that missing info in the drawing blocks, nor notes that lead to any other drawings it  was superseded, or is superseding another drawing, plus the drawing number not being in the parts book are all indications of such non-use.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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5 minutes ago, PFitz said:

Roger,

I think you'll find this one with the 6-7/8 offset is not the one your looking for. I've never seen a Ser 14 or15 with that much off-set to the tail light position.

 

Plus the drawings associated with it were not finished. They do not list what series it was intended to be used on. And there are no notes in the revision block that is common during production. It's not uncommon in the Franklin drawing files that there are drawings of parts that were never used and that missing info in the drawing blocks, nor notes that lead to any other drawings it  was superseded, or is superseding another drawing, plus the drawing number not being in the parts book are all indications of such non-use.

 

Paul

 

Yes, thanks Paul - since I found that image and posted it, I found the latter one I posted which is almost certainly the right one with 4⅜" offset. The card for the 6⅞" offset one says it's for Series 1500.

 

Roger

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9 minutes ago, theKiwi said:

 

Yes, thanks Paul - since I found that image and posted it, I found the latter one I posted which is almost certainly the right one with 4⅜" offset. The card for the 6⅞" offset one says it's for Series 1500.

 

Roger

 There's a bunch of those 1500 series drawings, but as we know, no such  model was never produced.  There's a lot to be learned from info in the drawings, but what is not in some drawings can also tell you a lot. 

 

In an earlier life, I had 6 years of schooling as a draftsman/technical illustrator in the pre-CAD days. And worked in the field for quite a few years back when there was still a lot of Government aerospace work on Long Island. Understanding what the mindset, intent, and production realities of the drawings are helps a lot.

 

Paul

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I bought a right hand taillight bracket (back in 1990's) and it was a bunch of pipe, metal stock, and silver solder - I would not have made it the way the builder did (at least at the time, but today I would probably do exactly the same thing and get the job done in a day to move onto the next project), but it only took about 2 hours of clean-up and another hour to paint to get it on a 99.5 CCCA point car. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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  • 4 months later...

Know this is several months late but am getting back to working on my '31 Vic. Mine had the right side light on it when I bought the car. Photo may or may not be of interest. Now if I had a red lens for the yellow one !!  It is constructed as the left one.
1186977673_Franklinrearbumperettes.thumb.JPG.93cb8c271291f55cacbc91d7ad455949.JPG

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Thanks Richard. The lights I have (one on the car on the left and one to go on the right when I get a support for it) each have a white and amber lens in the top half of the light - so a bit different from what you're showing? I assume reversing light and tail light, while the round red one is stop light? Or is the red one tail light and the amber one stop light?

 

1043727634_o.thumb.jpg.df328e0980182e483155a561fa16fad9.jpg

 

BTW - what are the separate red lights on the rear of your car?

 

Roger

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Posted (edited)

Roger. Your tail lights are commonly called "Treslites". Used starting on late Series 147, some 152, all 153 and Ser. 16.

 

The Red is the running light. Yellow is stop, and white is backing light.  I've seen where someone tried to put the yellow in the outboard position on the right Treslite, to mirror the left, but you can't swap the upper lenses to do that and have them fit without leaking water into the bucket.

 

With the Rhode Island Wiring's optional turn signals in their new harnesses, the yellows also get wired to be used as turn signals in addition to being the original brake light.  If you want modern drivers to better understand what your doing, you can get red replacement lenses for the yellow brake light lens from the Club's repro parts project on the Club website.

 

BTW, don't just polish the aluminum reflectors inside the bucket, paint the insides of the buckets silver, or flat white, and the lights show up much better during the day.  Instead of a bright spot in the middle of the lens the whole lens lights up more evenly.  

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Thanks Paul.

 

Drat - I'd already figured to swap the two lenses on the right side to make them mirror the left side - oh well...

 

The club website says the red lenses are out of stock. I'll contact Keith and see if there are plans afoot to make some more.

 

I was thinking/wondering about putting LED bulbs into these to make them brighter with less current draw - any thoughts on that?

 

Also do you know of a source for the "plugs" that go into the light with the 3 contacts - presumably Rhode Island Wire just supply the new harness with bare wires to the ends? I'd also need to try and get the equivalents for the headlights too if possible. I have a couple, but they're not in great shape.

 

Thanks

 

Roger

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Roger,

I've been reading about the 6 volt LED swaps, but haven't tried it. Seems like the auto versions are afflicted much the same as early LED's for house.  Some work, some don't work well, some work then quite early. I had a bunch of the much vaunted Cree LED's go dead well before their warrantee time.   It gets old wasting money sending stuff back under warrantee. And even worse is eating the time and expense of having to replace modern upgrades that fail. And many LED's have a color output that does not look right.  Kinda like old ship's running lights. The fake starboard running lights have a green lens. The real antiques use a blue lens so that with the yellow flame of an oil lamp you see a green light. Blue-ish head lights on antique cars are not something I'm going to try to talk my customers into.  

 

So, like lots of new technology, I'm waiting and watching to see if and when they get LED bulbs to where it's worth the time and expense.

 

Meantime, they still make 6 volt bulbs and I know how to make Franklin lights work the way they are meant to be, which is better than many owners realize. And I know how accomplish that without over taxing the generator, or the need of kicking the problem down the road by going to 8, or 12 volt stuff. If I see 6 volt LED's get to the point where I feel confident enough to use them in my customer's cars, keep with the original look of the car, and justify the added expense, then it's a simple job to swap out the incandescent bulbs to a bayonet base LED.

 

Paul  

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If you solder a ground wire to the back side of the bulb socket and run that to the light base you can brighten lamps probably by 30% more light to 40% more light via grounding. 

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Posted (edited)

The bulb sockets fitting into the buckets are not the big problem, it's painted parts all along the ground path from the light buckets back to the battery, such as the light bucket mountings, splash aprons, and chassis connections. So then, remove the paint to get metal to metal grounds and then there's rust, right ?

 

Well, there's a very good way to not only prevent that rust but lower the resistance at each connection. The electrician's anti corrosion pastes that are required on the aluminum service entry cable coming in from the street into the main breaker of the house panel box, not only prevents corrosion, it lowers the resistance of even clean connections and water proofs them.....including the bulb's base and contacts.

 

And it prevents oil spray from creaping into electrical connections, such as all those in the engine compartment, including the distributor cap sockets for the spark plug wires. Oil being an insulator, will cause ignition problems as it gets blown onto the spark plug wires and runs down into the cap sockets. 

 

And used on clean battery terminals and cable clamps, one application is good for keeping them conducting maximum amps for the life of the battery.

 

When I work on wiring or rewire a car, all connections get a smear of what I call "goop" …. anticorrosion paste. The brand I've used for over 25 years is called "Ox-gard", made by Gardner-Bender. Found in some hardware stores and can be ordered online at Amazon.com.

 

When we first started using it, one of my employees set up a test circuit using new lengths of wire, soldered ring terminals, SS screws, bulbs and sockets  - same as we use on Franklins. Using a volt/ohm meter he measured the resistance and zeroed the needle. Then he disassembled it, coated all the connections with Ox-gard goop, then assembled it all again. The meter needle went below zero showing that the circuit had less resistance by just adding the goop.

 

Paul

Gardner Bender Ox-Gard..JPG

DSCN8148.JPG

Gardner-Bender 2.JPG

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Ace Hdwr: 1 oz>> 5.99  Walmart 4oz>> 13.72 
Online prices
Another comment:  If you are buying #14 and #12 wire, etc to make your own loom, etc. Be aware of the aluminum wire that is copper clad; much cheaper than pure copper, but NOT good. My 2¢.

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On 5/11/2020 at 8:47 AM, PFitz said:

paint the insides of the buckets silver, or flat white, and the lights show up much better during the day.  

Paul, I have been using gloss white and am much more pleased than any other color of finish I have tried - Cord 810/812 folks swear by gloss white over over mirrors or ....

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John.

The reason I said silver (aluminum powder in silver paints is more efficient at reflecting light)  or flat white, is they are better at defusing the light and making use of the whole lense rather than just a smaller hot spot in the center of the lens.  I learned the effectiveness of various paint colors and finishes while  building  and lighting Museum exhibits. Flat white is the standard when the brightest most even lighting is required in displays.  

 

Roger's 31 Triplite tail lights have polished aluminum reflectors behind the bulbs, but they are kinda small and being curved tend to focus the light mostly through the center of the  lenses causing  hot spots of light. OK at night, but tougher to see during the day. By coating the entire inside of the bucket and back side of the lens frame, light hitting there gets defused more inside the whole bucket and  back through the whole lens besides what comes off the bulb and it's reflector. So the entire lens lights up brightly to better see during daytime.

 

Gloss white makes reflection more efficient than just the original dip-painted black buckets, or the chrome of 147 and later buckets (chrome is a very poor reflector of light), but it doesn't quite defuse the light as thoroughly and evenly through the whole lens. 

 

 

" ………. Flat white paint: 

Self explanatory; a great option for large grow rooms or for people who are interested in a low maintenance wall. Flat white paint has the ability to reflect between 75-85% of the light, and does not create hotspots. Adding a fungicide is recommended when painting. 

Glossy and eggshell whites not reflect light as efficiently as flat white. Semi-gloss paint for example, only has the ability to reflect between 55-60% of the light. Also important to remember when using paint is that any smears or blemishes on the surface take away from how reflective the wall is so care should be taken to avoid marking or staining the walls. Titanium white paint is very reflective; however it is usually only used on reflectors due to its high cost.  ……………." 

https://www.flourishsoftware.com/blog/picking-the-right-surface-for-your-grow-room-walls

 

Paul

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On 5/13/2020 at 3:14 PM, PFitz said:

When I work on wiring or rewire a car, all connections get a smear of what I call "goop" …. anticorrosion paste. The brand I've used for over 25 years is called "Ox-gard", made by Gardner-Bender. Found in some hardware stores and can be ordered online at Amazon.com.

 

 

Now that I do have some of - well a different brand, but the same purpose of use on aluminium electrical selectors.

 

Roger

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Posted (edited)

Update on Ox-Gard:  @ WalMart online for $13. for 4 oz tube with free shipping; Amazon $11.25 for 8oz.
Also info for circuit separation on non-original wiring harnesses: go to Moss Motors. com and select #161-600 for a double female connector;  #162-000 for a single female connector, and
#162-200 for solder reqd. male connectors that plug into the female connectors.
i.e.: on 151 headlights you use 3-#162-000 double connectors for wires w/162-200 coming from cowl , then the R & L headlight wires will connect from the #1,#2, #3 bulb circuits into these connectors {2 circuits into 1 X 3}. These separators' will be
@ frame rail next to ft. left fender and grill. 
You can troubleshoot, etc. by using these disconnects in various circuits just as you would use fuses. These are the most heavy duty and best I have seen or used----NO plastic to cover with shrink tubing, but you might want to use it at the solder male connectors. 
Also best to use inline fuses with blade mini-fuses adjacent to these unless you are using a multiple fuse system,  then you can locate them without trouble-- hopefully--don't ask.
Look at these if you are interested.

Edited by Franklin31
clarification (see edit history)
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Why Franklin got away from individual fuses and went with one large fuse - much too high an amp rating to be really safe-  in parallel with a resistor that still allowed enough power to flow to start an electrical fire, if that fuse did blow, is a mystery.

 

However, '29 and later Franklins can have a fuse block to safely divide up the circuits and use lower amp fuses that become the weak link, rather than a fuse rated much higher than the safe current rating of  the 14 ga. wires used.

 

Marine fuse blocks look almost exactly like the fuse blocks of Franklin era. And the fastener spacing is the same as the firewall mounted relay. Here's pix of the back side of a relay with it's two bolts, and a marine fuse block with two of it's mounting holes drilled larger and countersunk for the 1/4 inch sized machine screws of the original relay. I make a sheet brass "bus bar" strip to connect all the power feed side fuse connections for the power feed  wire.

 

This is how I upgrade the wiring to spread the circuit loads over many smaller fuses instead of all on one that is too big,  without having to resort to modern-looking fuse holders and wires stashed in various parts of the car.  Not only will it pass all but the most Franklin savvy car show judges, it puts all the fuses where they can be more easily checked, and circuits tested, during electrical system trouble shooting.  

 

The last two pictures show a new 4-fuse block mounted in the original rely position on the firewall, above the gas pedal of a Series 151. One of the 6 fuse blocks gives even more ability to divide up circuits and add electrical accessories. 

 

And since it mounts where the original relay was, the repro harnesses from Rhode Island Wire Service work without modification. Plus, it's easy to add on other items like accessory lights.

 

Paul

P1010100.JPG

Fuse blocks 003.jpg

Fuse blocks 002.jpg

P1010016.JPG

P1010021.JPG

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@PFitz - this is interesting!!! My 153 Coupe is almost devoid of wiring, so with a new harness from Rhode Island Wiring it will certainly be worth my while to implement one of these fuse boards. I've looked up under the dash on the car and about the only electrical things I see are:

 

1 - the coil - is this the original place for it as shown in your photo above, or is it moved there from somewhere else?

 

2 - a double fuse holder like you show the picture of a single one.

 

The wiring diagram shows a double 30 amp fuse which is for amongst other things the cigar lighters front and rear, and separately a 20 amp fuse relay which seems to feed the lighting switch, and then the junction block on the lower left firewall. Is the 20 amp fuse relay also up under the dash somewhere? (or meant to be?)

 

Thanks!

 

Roger

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