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Jim Lee
11-11-2006, 09:20 PM
Riding around today in my 3a and all was well with the world....except my turn signals were not working. Car was running like a top. The backfiring on acceleration is gone. So I figure this cannot be too hard. Passenger side turn signal light is not working. I reconnect the wires and it works with the engine off turning on the lights with the switch. Start it up to go for another ride and lots of smoke from under the hood. Nasty smelling almost 50 year old insulation smoke. The red wire on the passenger side that goes to that right turn signal/running light has self destructed. Doesn't look like any other damage once I peel it off the other wires but I won't know until the sun comes up. So obviously I screwed something up while reconnecting the reconnection I had done after taking the apron off.

I did mark every wire and this is the second time within a couple of weeks that I have reconnected these wires so I have done this successfully before. What I cannot figure out, and what must be involved in my melt down excitement was how do you tell which wires are which at the turn signal? To my eyes I can just barely see the remains of a red covering and a white covering at the signals. I thought I had matched them up with what I is working fine on the left. I have studied the schematic and it shows a read wire (41) and a Green/White (21) wire coming from that passenger light. I have three wires so I am thinking that the one that is not obviously red or white is ground. It is on the other side. Can anyone tell me if there is a way that I can
look at the turn signal fixture itself and definitely determine which leads are which? It seems pretty clear that I mixed them up. Is there any significance to the red, white and undetermined color remains of cloth that I see on this light? I have a new main harness that I really do need to put in but after this experience I do not have a fraction of the confidence to take that on.

Thanks very much,
Jim Lee

Andrew Mace
11-11-2006, 09:37 PM
The red wire is the wire for the "side" (parking) lamp filament. The green w/white wire is for the flasher filament. The third wire is (or should be) black, for ground. I will guess that somehow the ground wire got connected to one of the lamp filament connections, and vice versa.

I don't remember offhand which filament is which, but you should be able to see which one lights for which circuit by removing the rear taillamp lens and see which filament lights when. In doing that, you should then be able to study the front side/flasher lamp base and figure out which terminal is for which filament...and see where the ground wire attaches.

Harry_Ward
11-11-2006, 10:24 PM
I have a pic of the passenger side hookup but I need to shrink it MB size wise to post it so give me about a half hour.

The following is a copy and paste from a prior post which may help. It deals with wiring from the control head for the blinkers to work. Anyway it should be clear once I post the pic.

After a quick review of the Bently manual wiring diagram, a quick peek under the hood, and review of my notes concerning the signal light wiring.

My 59 TR3A has four wires exiting the harness coming from the control head and out of the bottom of the worm gear housing. Your car should have the same.

Assuming you have a left hand driver all wiring connections from the control head leads are made to the driver side main wire harness located on the driver side directly above the positive ground leads and to the rear of the driver side horn.

Green/Brown wire from control head plugs into the driver side main harness single wire connector green/brown wire. This wire is the connection to the directional indicator flasher unit mounted on the passenger side firewall that makes the bulbs blink.

Green/White from control head plugs into the double connector with the two single Green/White wires coming out from the driver side main harness. This operates the right side blinkers.

Green/Red from control head plugs into a double connector with two Green/Red wires coming in from the main driver side harness. The left side blinker light also attaches to this double wire connector.

Brown/Black which plugs into the double connector with the two Brown/Black wires coming out of the driver side main harness which clearly can be seen to connect to and operate the horns.

Hope this helps, BTW If the wires are not matched up by color on the passenger side wiring harness as well then the lights will not light correctly either.

Edited and Added:

In the pic below not seen as clearly as I thought (hoped) red goes to red, white goes to green/white, and the gray(black) go's to ground.

https://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k3/Hyperode/passengerlightswire7.jpg

Jim Lee
11-12-2006, 04:11 PM
Thanks so much Andy and Harry. I am going to give it my best shot and I know a guy at work that has a tr4 so if worse comes to worse I will go over there and compare and contrast. I see here are different schematics for TR4 vs. TR3 but I am hoping that the are at least similiar up front there. I really am gun shy. Especially because everything appeared to be working fine, except the turn signals, until I started it up.....I don't get that.

Another question though. the two inner lights in the rear, as I recall they only work as turn signals. The only time they are on is when they blink when you do the turn signal?

Thanks very much and I'll keep you posted.

Jim Lee

Harry_Ward
11-12-2006, 04:20 PM
That is correct. The two red inner rear lights only go on when the turn signal indicator switch on the top of the steering wheel horn is engaged. Follow the TR3A wire diagram and you won't go wrong.

Geo Hahn
11-12-2006, 05:47 PM
[ QUOTE ]
...the two inner lights in the rear, as I recall they only work as turn signals. The only time they are on is when they blink when you do the turn signal?...

[/ QUOTE ]

Though some have replaced the single-filament socket with a 2-filament socket (like is used in the front sidelamps/turnsignals) and wired the second (brighter) filament to the brake lights. Result is you get all the rear reds illuminated when you brake (but still have a flasher for turns).

Jim Lee
11-12-2006, 07:41 PM
You guys made my weekend. I thought I was in deep trouble. Turn signals work. Pretty depressed when that wire burned up. Especially after the car was running so well for the first time in a long time minutes before. I cannot imagine doing this without this forum.

I must have connected the ground on the right signal to the hot (41) red wire on the harness on the passenger side.
That should be the last time I do that. Way too much excitement for me. I Stripped both those front turn signals down to bare bones and it finally became clear to me at least which of the three wires was ground. It is all by itself on the inside, towards the driver...whereas the other two were up where the 1157 bulb contacts are.

One thing I did notice is that the brake/running lights (on the outside of the turn signal lights in the rear, are really touchy. One was working, then not, then working. I took off the lens and found that if I played around with the
two contacts to the bulb I could get it working. Running lights and finally brake lights. The fixtures look very clean and relatively new. Is there some trick to setting these so that they stay working reliably? I got them both working by prodding and poking so I am confident that the wires are hooked up right. Would tune up grease help at the
two contacts on each bulb? Anyone else have problems with these?

Also I just wanted to confirm that the inner lights in the rear are only for the turn signals as designed but if you put two filament bulbs in there they will also light up when you brake? Right now they are only on when I use the turn signal. Very last question, the brake lights, and the turn signals only work when the ignition is on. Is that as it should be?

Thanks very much, with special thanks to Andy and Harry. I could not afford this either financially or emotionally without you guys.

Jim Lee

DougF
11-12-2006, 08:12 PM
The easiest way to make sure the wires go together the same as they came apart is to tag them before disconnecting. Especially if the colors are faded or soiled. I once swapped out a wiring harness by cutting each of the wires back 2-3 inches from the connection. It made short order of rewiring the car. The old harness was trashed, but that's why it was being replaced.

Harry_Ward
11-12-2006, 08:54 PM
Well thanks to George and yourself I now know you can put a double filament bulb in and have an extra set of brake lights where once were only turn indicators. Anyway the rear brake lights on my car only work with the key in the on position. Your other problem with the intermitent on and off of the brake and running lights could be a bad ground in one or both tail light housing assemblys. Usually caused by paint, bondo, rust or a combo of all. If you can push on just the metal plate holding the bulb housing and the lights light it's a ground. If it is a bad ground I ran an extra 14 gauge wire to a new ground for this. Unfortunately I ran it with the harness back behind the trunk rear cover and I don't remember what I attached it too. If not a bad ground and it's the bulb socket make sure your bullet connectors are installed properly and are making good contact as these can get sloppy. Some actually solder the bullet connections but I like to be able to take them apart easily.

Andrew Mace
11-13-2006, 12:03 PM
[ QUOTE ]
...One thing I did notice is that the brake/running lights...are really touchy. One was working, then not, then working. I took off the lens and found that if I played around with the
two contacts to the bulb I could get it working. Running lights and finally brake lights. The fixtures look very clean and relatively new. Is there some trick to setting these so that they stay working reliably?

[/ QUOTE ]"Clean" and solid contact is the secret here. You might be able to very carefully bend the bulb contacts with small needle-nose pliers if needed to get a good, "square" contact with the bulb. A bit of grease might help. (I never had too much trouble with these particular lamps, but the somewhat similar taillamps of the early Spitfire were more of a problem.)
[ QUOTE ]
Thanks very much, with special thanks to Andy and Harry. I could not afford this either financially or emotionally without you guys.

[/ QUOTE ]You're welcome. I'm a firm believer in the "pay it forward" philosophy. I'm eternally grateful to countless people who helped me learn whatever I know. As it's impossible to pay most of them back for their help, paying it forward is my only alternative!

Harry_Ward
11-13-2006, 01:40 PM
[/ QUOTE ] I'm eternally grateful to countless people who helped me learn whatever I know. As it's impossible to pay most of them back for their help, paying it forward is my only alternative!

[/ QUOTE ]

Andy,

Very well said!

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