I tend to drive my T's a lot around town and was worried about driving the 14 without running and break lights. I also wanted to have lights that were easy to remove if needed. The ignition on my 14 is powered at start by a 6 year old 12 volt 6 Ah battery that I salvaged from a discarded backup power supply. I bought 2 trailer type lights for the rear and 2 bee hive clearance lights for the front from the local parts store and mounted them on the car. When I went to Pep Boys to buy some wire for this project I found that they carry LED bulbs. After completing the install of the 4 lights I wanted to see how much these lights would draw down the battery. The battery was fully charged with and allowed to sit for 2 days. At the start of the test the voltage in the battery read 12.75 volts measured with a Fluke digital meeter. The 4 lights were turned on and allowed to stay on for 7 hours. After powering the lights for 7 hours the voltage in the battery read 12.23 volts. I am very happy with this setup because the 14 is not setup to charge the battery. I think I will buy one of Fun Projects mag powered chargers for it but for the time being I am not worried about driving the car even at night and don't worry about draining the battery. The 4 light fixtures cost about 22 dollars and the bulbs cost about 40 dollars so for under 100 bucks I have lights that won't drain the battery even if used all day!!!
Here are some pictures of how I mounted the rear lights.
I am interested in doing the same thing, but I would be interested in having a turn signal. I found some neat small lit bolts on ebay that come in colors. They look small and discrete enough to put on the car without too much distraction. I would like to find a simple flasher circuit to work with them.
But it is no longer original...
Vintage, l was with you in this point UNTIL , l had a very near rear end by a fellow T driver in a much heavier car, all because l didn't have a brake light to allow plenty of stopping time on his behalf, now that said l am dissapointed that we have to take this part of the originallity away from the car , but serious accidents or dont drive it can be an unwanted by product of leaving it untouched.
Paul well done , that will keep you safe, l'm about to add turn indicators and a bright LED brake light to my wifes 26 Tudor, a car somewhat in need of lighting assistance more so than your 14 and my 13 , which can let you get away with murder as far as turning and hand signals, all up to the point you put the top up then the game changes again !!!!
I like to keep my cars as original as possible but I do not want to get rear ended. The lights have quick connects on the wires and simply can be un-bolted if needed. In about 20 minutes I could remove the whole set up. My battery is smaller than most motorcycle batteries and these LED lights won't run it down. The lights are discrete and are barely noticeable when not lit. I toyed with the idea of turn signals but the 14 column does not have a tube for the wires and I did not want to drill a hole in the firewall or seat panels for a switch. Some time down the road I might figure out how to set up turn signals with a switch attached to a magnet so that it can be tucked away as needed. I think brake lights are a minimum for a driver brass car. One night I had a car full of drunks yell at me that one of my tail lights was out when I was driving after sunset with the single kerosene rear light lit.
Have you noticed whilst driving on the freeways that people like to pull up from a much faster speed and while you are concentrating on driving and allowing other cars an easy pass, that they want to hold conversations with you about your car- at say 40 mph !!!! cant quite work that one out, here its a little bit more trouble, as l'm on the left hand side, in the left hand lane whilst the faster cars passing and chatting on the right hand side-----go figure .
Unless a headlapm fails, I see no point in front parking or turn signal lamps. Think about it as you drive around.
Yes, the rears are helpful at night or with top up.
With acetylene and kerosene lamps in front I like having the LED lights as added protection. On top of that drivers these days are not used to seeing flickering gas lamps.
"Original"? Geez...how many T's are?!! Unless it was parked in the 20's or early 30's, it probably ain't "original".
Good job Paul. If everyone was a T owner we wouldn't have to do things like that, but to avoid confrontations with over-zealous law enforcement with nothing better to do than harass, or worse yet a accident, there are certain things that just make sense.
Not T-related but definitely related to the thread's subject, LEDs are what I've been working on this weekend. LED's are really useful for lights on cars as well as kitchen cabinets. Problem is, unless you have a bottomless bank account, buying the pre-made LED under-cabinet lights isn't really practical. To light this cabinet was going to cost approximately $160 with store-bought fixtures. There is $3 worth of LEDs (30 LEDs) in this cabinet and some strips of spruce. I'm using a power supply that makes 15 VDC and the LEDs are hooked up in series of 5. Unless you open the cabinet and dang-near climb in, you don't see them mounted in the corners
I made a few taillights for hot rods a couple years ago using LEDs and still have to make a pair for my '31 Plymouth. THey'll have cast-aluminum housings and 24 LEDs in them like the others I've made.
LEDs are nice for several reasons. They use very little current (30 mA), generate almost no heat, and they are tiny. About the only negative with them is they will not work if they are hooked up with the polarity reversed (for those who don't know, they are light-emitting diodes, and diodes are like electric check valves in that current will only travel in one direction). Another thing you must keep in mind is they are low-voltage (3-5 VDC) so they need to either be hooked up in series for 6 or 12 VDC or use a resistor. For taillights and brake lights, the same bulbs can be used if a resistor is used to drop the voltage for the taillight circuit. IF you use them for turn signals, a standard flasher unit won't work because the current draw is not high enough to heat up the bimetal strip in the unit and make it flash. Part stores sell a flasher unit though to use with LED turn signals.
this is a small 48" long and only 1"x1" tube. it has left and right turn and full length brake light. led wont use much power. small enough to be undetected, attach it with velcro strip and plug it in when needed if you go out at night or are on a busy road. it is at the sportsman guide web site to se pictures of it. just my 2 cents.
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Here is a link to my solution to the brake light issue. http://www.pentonpartsusa.com/9%20lighting%20equipment.htm. Scroll down to the ULO moped tail lights. They are 6v and measure 2.5 by 1.75 inches. I installed them each with their own toggle switch so I switch them both on for braking or toggle on one and off for turning. In my state (Georgia) my '26 Tudor is street legal as built, but I felt that brake lights were a good idea.
I used a $10 string of white Christmas tree lights under the kitchen counter to replace a rope of incandescents, and the wife is complaining the light is too cold and harsh. She didn't like them on the tree, either, so I used them outside.
Are there warmer, yellow hue LEDs available?
Very nice job on the cabinets. I have been thinking about doing something similar in our closets.
Thanks Paul...just don't go to Radio Shack thinking you'll get a deal. The white LEDs are $5+ EACH there! You can get'em for $10 per 100 direct from China (no such thing as an American-made one that I know of), shipping included.
Ralph, you're right that it is a different type of light. You could add some yellow or amber LEDs into the series and change the color, and might tone down the bright white a bit. It would be one of those trial and error things, I guess. The other colored LEDs aren't expensive at Radio Shack (<50˘), but for some reason the white ones are prized highly there.
Hi Ray, The cabinet looks great!
I guess with a happy wife, you can now move back to the car wood work?.
Here is my implementation of LED lights on my '15 Touring. They serve as Stop - Turn - Tail lights. I also put amber LED lights in my front kerosene lamps to act as turn signals as well.
Can you guess what recycled Model T part the brass housing is made from?
Steering gear box?Nice job regardless what it is
Reverse Drum Bushing !!
I agree, Radio shack used to be a good place to go for components. Now the only reason to go is if you are very young and installing a 10000 watt subwoofer in your rice rocket.
Yea,I get so disgusted when I go to a Radio Shack now.I still have receipts were i used to buy all kinds of parts and such back when I was younger and now,you can ask for a diode,and may as well be asking for a Flux capacitor for your Delorean.
Last time I went in there, the girl at the counter asked if she could help me. I told her "no thanks, I knew what I was looking for", then proceeded to the aisle with the component cabinets. I overheard her tell another girl in there, "no wonder he didn't need help...the only people that go in that aisle know what they want and there's no reason to ask me because I don't have a clue!"
One thing has always bothered me about accessory brake lights. They don't come on if you aren't using the brake. Granted if I have to step on the brake in an emergency or make an unexpected stop I know it's back there working but typically, I throttle back well in advance and tend to coast to a stop. There's no brake light back there then except maybe in the last 20 feet.
Well, Warren, there's an opportunity. You can design a little logic box to trip the stoplight when engine vacuum is greater than 15"....
I agree with Warren and I think that "running" lights solve the problem and make stoplights somewhat unnecessary.
Priority is being seen - the ability to signal (stop or turn) is of secondary importance in my opinion.
Actually, there are vacuum switches available. You could use that instead of a brake pedal switch, or in parallel. It's pretty simple, really.
I like having my foot on the pedal, lighting the stoplight when stopped at a red light or crosswalk, and a car is coming up behind.
Hee, hee. Was wondering if either Ralph or Seth would respond to my post. As I opened this string I was thinking about some sort of weighted arm that would swing forward as the car slowed down. But I bet it'd look like those cars you get behind every once in a while where the little old lady is driving with both feet (one on the gas and the other on the brake pedal). lol
If on a tour and you were descending a long hill, you might catch lots of grief from your buddies about staying on that brake..
You could always add a kill switch to the circuit...
I believe the vacuum switch I have lying around is adjustable, so you could set it for say, 5" higher vacuum than idle.
It won't do me much good on the ol' brass picup, because the O/D kicks off at 28 mph on slowdown and puts it into freewheeling. With 4-wheel brakes, that's not a problem, and it coasts to a stop more like modern cars.