theKiwi

153 Coupe Wiring Improvements

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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.
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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?

 

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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

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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

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Fuse blocks 003.jpg

Fuse blocks 002.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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19 hours ago, theKiwi said:

@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

Roger.

1. Yes.  Starting in 29, Franklin moved the coil to under cowl, upside down above the gas pedal. Away from the engine heat they live much longer.

 

2. There usually is a double fuse holder under the passenger side of the dash for cigar lighters and dome/rear reading lights. Either on the wood frame above the registration pocket of the passenger kick panel, or on the firewall above about where the front passenger's left foot would rest. BTW don't use a 20 amp fuse in any of the car wiring. #14 wire is only rated at 18 amps and some of the wire runs are long and old. Plus, I've tried and I can't get Franklin cigar lighters to blow a15 amp fuse, so using 20 amp fuses are not needed and not good circuit protection.

 

The "fuse relay" is not a magnetic switch relay like we think of used in modern wiring relays. It's just a single fuse holder, wired in parallel with a heavy resister wire. As you can see more than just the running lights run off that "relay". All the interior and brake lights are on it too. Stop with the head lights on , foot on the brake, and turn on the interior lights to read a map and it'll be about enough amp draw to pop that 20 amp fuse.  There goes all your lights....unless.  If the fuse blows, the resister wire is supposed to enable you to still have some lights and run the car to get home. However, if you don't find and disconnect whatever caused the fuse to blow, the resistor wire will still allow enough current to flow to start  a car fire. It's not a safe way to protect the electrical system, and why Franklin used it in stead of the multi fuse blocks of '28 and earlier, I'll never understand.

 

The relay is just a simple formed sheet metal box with fuse holder. It's the picture I showed above.  The resistor wire is wrapped around mica insulators and attached to the fuse end clip screws inside, thus bridging those two connections. Here's a picture of the resistor and insulating sheets that fits inside  that  box.

 

There's also a piece of sheet asbestos that goes between that fuse relay housing and the firewall pad. Think Franklin knew it would get hot ?   It wouldn't with the second picture, but if other parts of the electrical system short out they sure would get hot. Found that bolt in the fuse holder of a 153, right after a customer bought it and sent it to me to fix a bunch of things on the car, plus rewire it. Another problem with that relay is finding the large fuses that fit it are not easy and the previous owner ( a non-Club member) obviously couldn't find some.

 

Paul 

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Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Well at least who ever used that bolt for a fuse,...... used a galvanized bolt. Wouldn't want rust to cause a problem. :wacko:

 

Paul

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