Feb 14, 2010

Got the fromt turn signals done.

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The turn signal assemblies on this bike are Japanese units.  They aren't the same as what is shown in my parts manual, and I believe I must have installed them for some reason long ago.  I've read that the original Lucas units may have been a bit flimsey, and may have broken.  The Japanese units are pretty simple, using chrome plated pot metal castings with plastic lenses sealed with a rubber gasket.  The assemblies were mounted on an aluminum step bracket hung from the headlamp mounting bolts. A single wire feeds the bulb, with the ground return coming through the mounting brackets.  Though they looked weatherbeaten and abused outside, they were absolutely clean and shiny inside.  

The chrome of the pot metal bases was pitted in places, but they cleaned up pretty well.  The lenses shined up really well using a some fine--up to 2000 grit or so--wet/dry paper, then a commercial palstic polishing compound.  The left one is after just washing with soap and water.  

I decided to keep the Japanese signals rather than try to get Lucas units.  

Here are all the parts for the two front signals. The external hardware was replated.  Couldn't find a source for the lens gaskets, so had to reuse them. Also replaced the imitation electrical bullets with real ones.

I always thought the "universal" mounting step brackets were awkward and kludgy.  The mounting arrangement also left the signal wire exposed between the bracket and where it entered the headlight bucket. 


I decided to find a way to mount the signals directly off the headlamp mounting points.  I made a standoff out of 3/4" hex steel.  The male therads are 7/16-20, as required by the headlight bucket, while the female threads are M10-1.25 for the short signal light stalk. The length of the standoff was set to make the distance between the signals the same as before.  The standoff was drilled through so the wire for the signal could go directly into the headlamp shell.  Then zinc plated everything.

Before I mounted the signals, I went back and added a ground return wire to each one.  By this year, Triumph had actual ground return wires for many components on the bike (as opposed to using the frame for the electrical return path), but not the turn signals.  Red is a conventional color for positive battery voltage, and since this bike is positive ground, all the return wires are red.

The new return wires required some changes iinside the headlight shell, too.  There is a six-way connector ( the gray one) that acts as a common connecting point for red wires in the shell, but all positions were used.  I installed a new four-way connector with a new pigtail to connect it with the original six-way.

I think it's an improvement, but I'm still not sure.  

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