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Old 07-13-2004, 07:23 PM   #1
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Question Brake/Turn Light Wiring Question (late 70's)

When replacing all of the tail light bulbs and lenses on our '78, I was perplexed to find that the outer tail light was a dual filament--but only the filament for clearance lights was working... First thinking it was the bulbs, I checked them, but that wasn't it, so I tore into the area behind the housing and found the wire for the stop/brake filament was lying there loose. In fact, it appeared to have never been connected to the wiring harness on either side. I wonder if everybody else's are that way?

I had always been concerned about people seeing the brake lights and turn signals on our '72, since it only has one small round light for both. I wanted to add a little visual intensity to prevent someone from rear-ending us (there's a tragic photo of this on Andy's website http://www.inlandrv.com/airstream-pics01/crunch101.htm). So, I hooked up the wire to the other brake/turn light signal.

Below are the pictures before and after my modification...pretend in your mind that the clearance lights are off and the brakes are activated. I actually have a tester gizmo that I use for that purpose.

Let me know if you think this violates any safety laws. I can't imagine what the drawback would be to having an extra indicator for stops and turns, especially since it seems to be the way it was intended from the manufacturer of the tail lights.
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Old 07-14-2004, 08:32 AM   #2
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I like what you did . On my '75 Tradewind I had to remove the outer clearance lense and replace it with a reflector since the lense can not be replaced and mine was broke. I did this on both sides to be legal. Your fix, if I can do it on mine, would give me more light, I'll see what I can do.
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Kent
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Old 07-14-2004, 10:09 AM   #3
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It looks much better now. I think the more you have for someone to see the better off you are.

I have actually been considering adding a red diode bar (LED) across the back between the lights in order to let people know that I am stopping.

There was a study done on the added 3rd or center red light that was added to cars and trucks for braking and it showed something like a 60 percent increase in driver awearness to the slowing or stopping of the vehicle in front of them. If a 60% increase works on cars then it should work on AIrstreams too I think.

I'm only a little hesitant on placing this light back there because I really want it to look like it was factory installed and not just some add-on hanging there.
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:46 PM   #4
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Chaplain Kent, there may be salvation (I know, bad pun) for your outside marker light. You're right, there are no more replacements for the originals. However, if you take a file to the regualar clearance lights, they'll fit easily into that space. I know you can't tell from the photo, but that's how mine were fixed.

John, I like your idea about the center mounted LED!!! I've thought about that as well. It would be a fairly easy job for those of us with a rear compartment, too, since access would be a lot easier. I've seen this done to other vintage units with good results.

A really cool addition I also saw at the International from another vintage club member (Paul Fancy) was to take a strip of the DOT reflector material and mount it underneath the bumper on a strip of metal such that it was facing straight up and down. I'll try and dig up a picture if anyone is interested.
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