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Old 09-24-2002, 08:55 PM   #1
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two tiny orange lights on left front side trailer

on the front left side of my trailer there are two small lights inside a black rubber grommet thingy there looks like there use to be a cover for it. the bulbs are orange. this isn't one of the running lights or park lights. what is it for? i cand get it to do anything and can't figure out what its for.
its a 1977 air stream overlander
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:15 PM   #2
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discussion in progress...

Hi Overlander, check this thread for the info you seek:

LED thread

I don't know if it worked (fingers crossed) I'm rather new at this.
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Old 09-25-2002, 10:36 AM   #3
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What you described is the "tail light monitor system." It is NOT LED'S, but it is "fiber optics."

Andy
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Old 09-30-2002, 09:34 PM   #4
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thanks

thanks guys i wasn't sure what they where for and i wasn't about to tear things apart to find out. i'm going to try it out tonight and see if it does anything. hey i thought they were LED's too, they look like it when you glance at them.
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Old 10-01-2002, 07:12 AM   #5
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Tail light repair

While troubleshooting my tail lights this weekend, I discovered how the fiber optic feed fits into the tail light.

My "feed" had fallen out of the socket on street side and the feed on the curbside had deformed so light was not passing.

Let me explain deform.....

The feed is a plastic Knob that is clear. The light is captured by this knob and is carried via fiber optic line to the indicator on the side of the trailer. These knobs ar in direct contact to the tail light bulb if not in close proximity. close enogh that the heat from the tail light bulb heats the plastic knob and deforms the end of it.

This causes diffusion and the light is not transmitted to the indicatore as well as it should.

I wonder if Andy has replacement "knobs" for the tail light assembly.

Hello Andy...........


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Old 10-01-2002, 03:59 PM   #6
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Turn signal LIghts

Overlander, got 'em too. Mine work. Trying to figure out what to cover them with?? Any suggestions ??? Tom
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Old 10-01-2002, 05:58 PM   #7
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Since everything else is alumimum I would think a small piece of alumimum sheeting could be bent up to cover the indicators as designed and then you would not have to worry about the fixure rotting away any worse than it is today. A hacksaw, hammer and a vise are all you really need, maybe a file or bench grinder. Isn't the current cover held on with a screw?
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Old 10-02-2002, 08:44 PM   #8
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covers missing on mine

well my cover is missing......i have no idea what it looked like.........it looks like mine just clipped on i dont no for sure... i wonder if andy has those?...... anyways mine has a rubber grommet style thing that has to wires (phiber optic) comming out wich are exposed, mine have probable been exposed for ever..... they go directly into the trailer with some nice foam in the wall.. anyways i put some silicon on the wires and foam and around the back side of the grommet to keep moisture out..i was assuming it had a cover at one time... i dont think it would be hard to make a cover for it .....but i 'll probable just stick with the silicon. unless i could find a cover for it like the origional one.
does anyone have a cover they dont need?
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Old 10-03-2002, 06:49 AM   #9
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Indicator Housing

My housing is made of a hard plastic substance and the "LEDS" are embedded in the plastic. The plastic is riveted to the skin.

I will post photo tommorrow.

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Old 10-03-2002, 03:22 PM   #10
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i was looking at mine today i have found reminants of the old plastic cover. whats left amounts to about nothing, the two tiny peices arewhite and still attached to my trailer the cover was held on by two flat head screws...wich are still holding on the rubber grommet but the plastic cover is gone. i can see stains on the aluminum where the old cover was.
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Old 11-09-2002, 11:18 PM   #11
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update

the other day i towed my trailer 250 miles to were it will spend the winter anyways. i remebered to check and see if the indicators worked will i was making sure i had signal lights. one of the little indicator lights works it is very dim you cant see it in the mirrors.......when it was new you probable could. i thought that was a neat feature. hey smily did you ever post that picture of the cover? for the indicator.
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Old 11-10-2002, 07:20 AM   #12
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Cover

it never occured to me that there was a cover until I read this thread. I looked at mine and my cover is missing also. My indicators are embedded in a piece of black placstic and i can see remnants of what i assume was the cover. Sorry for no Pic but I will post photo of what I have.

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Old 11-10-2002, 11:41 AM   #13
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Orange indicator lights

Smily, I've got the same lights as you. The fiber optic cable terminates behind the signal/stop light . There is a hole in the light housing and the FO peeks through and actually touches the bulb. COOL. I just cleaned up the rust and refurbished the tail/stop/signal light assembly. Caution: if you pull out the fiber optic line from the assembly , it is tough to get it back in. I used silicon to libricate the rubbermount. Now I'm trying to recover that rubber mount on the side of the trailer. I thought of just painting it with that liquid electrical tape!! Any suggestions?? While on the subject how did you install your steps?? Mine work but I dread cleaning up the rust. Tom
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Old 11-10-2002, 11:24 PM   #14
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two tiny orange lights on left front side trailer

RE: Fiber Optic Light Covers

While my Overlander is too old to have the fiber optic system, something did occur to me as I was walking through my garage. Both of my Cadillac Eldorados (1975 and 1984) have Fiber Optic Lamp Monitors (as do many Oldsmobiles and Buicks as well). The fender mount housing could quite possibly be modified to work as a cover on an Airstream fiber optic monitor. Depending upon year and application, they were made of either pot metal that would be painted, pot metal that was chromed, or a plastic material painted body color.

Kevin
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Old 11-11-2002, 08:34 AM   #15
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We have the tail light monitor covers. Part number 56808.

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Old 11-12-2002, 11:18 PM   #16
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yeah as i said before my cover is missing as well. my indicators are imbedded in a rubber grommet and there are two screws holding it to the side of the trailer when i removed the screws some of the cover was still there....looked like plastic....
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Old 11-12-2002, 11:35 PM   #17
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HEY!

does anyone out there have a picture of there exsisting fully intacted indicator light cover? if so....... could you please post it so i and others can see what it looks like?
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Old 11-19-2002, 08:03 PM   #18
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Ebay

Here is one of the covers discussed in this thread on Ebay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...tem=1873094090
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Old 12-11-2003, 09:42 PM   #19
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Well Smily it has been 14 months and 2 weeks since you promised photos...should I give up waiting??

Thanks Brett you come thru again!
(You might want to edit away the ebay link which has long ago gone invalid).

For the life of me I cant see what the cover did nor why it was necessary.

What about the clear button or "knob" that Smily mentioned? It apparently is at the lamp end of the "circuit" and maybe magnifies the initial output??

Andy you did not answer whether that part is still available.

My 74 has the indicators but no mention that I find in the service manual.

Were these options or standard?
What years had these? I know 71-77 from posters in the other thread*.

Why were they discontinued ? Seems like a very useful tool.

I suppose they only monitored the tail lamps not the brake lights...correct?

*Another thread concerning these indicators
is mistakenly titled LEDs. (See link above in another post).


$&V
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Old 12-12-2003, 08:39 AM   #20
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Tail Light Monitor

The option "tail light monitor" was Airstreams first use of "fiber optics."

The purpose of the monitor, especially at night time, was to allow the driver of the tow vehicle to see what was happening to the tail light system.

A dim light was seen when the "clearance lights" and "tail lights" were on.

When the brakes were applied, the "stop light" bulbs would illuminate accordingly.

Since the brake light element of the double element bulbs is used also for the turn signals, it of course would blink as govererned by the flasher on the tow vehicle.

It would be very costly to "add" the monitor after production.

They were discontinued only because of cost. Many owners said they did not tow at night time, so why have them?

As with any "monitor" system, safety or additional "whats happening" information was provided by the tail light monitor system.


We have the covers available in plastic. They hold the viewing monitor in place and provide a nice "finished" appearance to the left side of the trailer.

Interesting however, they were never installed on a motorhome.

Andy
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