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08-06-2004 12:12 AM '53 AD extended cab how-to28
Flashing headlight turn signals

I titled this as a pickup project but it is has universal application. I install them on every car I make. It is a circuit that flashes the lo-beam in the headlights so you don't need to install separate turn signals. It is in the vein of blue dots in tail lights - gets lots of comments like, "Did you know that your headlights flash when you turn?!"

To make it you need a piece of aluminum plate about 5 1/2" x 3". I used a 1/4" piece because I had it laying around but go at least 3/16" thick for sturdiness and ability to hold a threaded screw. Electronic components are; 3 Radio Shack or equivalent 50ohm 5w resistors (Photo 1. 10w is OK too if they don't have a 5w. The load is about 2w); two headlight relays (Bosch makes the one in photo 2 which is super compact and has spade connectors, not screws and the mounting bracket. Real popular w/ the hot rod community. Car Quest for sure has them but other parts stores probably do to.); an 8-circuit terminal strip (another Radio Shack item); and misc wire and connectors.

The next entry in this journal has the circuit diagram. Only 3 pictures allowed per entry!

Photo 3 shows the completed circuit board that screws down near your fuse block. The little black wire is grounded to the plate which in my case will be grounded to the steel body of my truck. If your mounting point isn't a ground you must supply a remote ground wire.

I color code my panel to the colors of the wires attaching to it so it is easy to remember where everything goes. You need to isolate the lo-beam wire (tan on GM circuits) going to the headlights to one light and discard the part that used to go to the other light. These carry quite a bit if current so should be 14ga. GM cheaps out with smaller wire but they shouldn't! EZ, Painless, etc., after market harnesses have the larger wire. Then run a second wire (I use yellow) to the other headlight. You need a #14 wire that is spliced into the main power lead to your headlight switch that supplies power whether the headlights are off or on. Remember the low beams must flash in daylight when the lights are normally off. On my circuit board this wire ties into either of the terminals connected by the big red jumper in front of the terminal block. There are normally open and normally closed options on the relay, this wire is hooked to the normally open terminal so when the light switch is off and the turn signals are not engaged, the circuit is open and the lights are off. Turn on the low beams and the relay points close and power flows through this wire to the lights.

Now cut into the old lo-beam (tan) wire near the circuit board and attach the end coming from the dimmer switch (power end) to the far left terminal on my circuit board/diagram. The wires on this are red too but are smaller 16ga since all the low beam light switch does now is power the exciting coil to turn on the headlights and carries 0.25amps max. One side of the coil on both relays are tied to this terminal.

Attach the other end of that old circuit wire that goes to one headlight to the 'out' terminal (tan on my board). Attach the other headlight lead (yellow on my board) to the appropriate connector on the board.

That completes the circuit that will power the lights through the two relays but now you need to hook up the turn signal excitation wires to get the relays to "flash". On GM the turn signal lead wires are 16 or 18 gauge (low current for the small bulbs) light blue for left turn, medium blue for right turn. Sever both near the circuit board and attach the end that comes from the turn signal mechanism to its respective terminal on the board. These no longer power the turns signal lights but power the relay coil to close the points that conduct the current to the headlights. They go to their respective relays and when either is powered by the flasher, it closes the contacts and momentarily tuns on that headlight. Strip out the rest of that wire out to the old turn signal light (or discard it from an after-market harness), 'cause you no longer need lights out there!

Finally, the resistors are tied into the three sides of the relay exciting coil circuit as shown in the diagram in the next Journal entry with the other leads going to the ground.

If you did everything right (I rarely do - usually screw something up and flash left headlight for a right turn - but it is easy to correct!), your low beams should flash "on and off" during the day and "off and on" during the night. Hard to see when your hi-beams are on but then you shouldn't have your hi-beams on when people are looking! Only difference you may notice is that the flasher may be a little slower since their speed is dependent on the current flowing through them and this circuit places a smaller load on the flasher. No biggie.

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  [Entry #62]

07-07-2004 08:43 AM MII front X-member notes - 2
Here are a couple of photos of a finished installation. As you can see the auxiliary X-bar fits snuggly behind the main X-member so shouldn't interfere with oil pans etc. Once the car is together it is invisible.

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  [Entry #61]

07-07-2004 08:39 AM MII front X-member notes - 1
I have commented on several posts that it is important to mount the strut rod bracket very strongly for safety. Photo 1 is of the raw MII taken out of the host car and ready to install on a hot rod frame. Note the rear X-bar between the strut rod mounts. This is an important piece in the entire system and should be used if at all possible.

Photos 2 and 3 show how I modify the rear X-bar to fit a rod frame. Cut the ends off, bolt them to the frame using the stock rubber donuts and grade 8 1/2" bolts, reshape the bracket so the strut rods go into the stock holes properly then weld a piece of 2" square, 1/8" wall tubing between the ends. This guarantees that the front end will be very strong, safe, and trouble free.

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  [Entry #60]

07-04-2004 07:09 PM '53 AD extended cab how-to27
Here is the wheel with the bondo and ready to prime and begin the finishing process. It will be painted yellow. Note the white areas that are cracks repaired with Eastwood's epoxy putty.

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  [Entry #59]

07-04-2004 07:00 PM '53 AD extended cab how-to26
I got back to the steering wheel project. I tried stripping it with paint stripper but it didn't touch the urethane red I had put on several years ago not the gray stuff that GM put on at the factory. I don't know what that gray stuff is but it sure isn't paint! Only way to get it off was to sand it.

I made an adapter from 18 ga steel. Photo 1 shows drilling a center hole w/ a 1 1/4" hole saw. Photo 2 shows the OD being fitted to the steering column. Photo show the adapter epoxied to the wheel and bondo added to smooth the transition.

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  [Entry #58]

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