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Old 07-16-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
Richard Redmond
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Default SignalStat 900 photos

My Uruguayan / Northern Ireland 29 Roadster came with an old Signalstat 900 Sigflare. It wasn't working of course, like most of the rest of the car!

I got it working, but the indicator lights failed on my last short drive out. I checked that the fuse was OK and 6v was getting to the unit. Then I took the unit off and dismantled it. Of course it would be easier to check the indicator bulbs first! When I eventually got round to that - all 4 bulbs were blown (6v / 5 W). Not sure why but I had one or two accidental 'shorts' when repairing my starter motor.

Anyhow, I took a few pictures of the dismantled Signalstat. It was quite heavily greased inside which I thought might lead to internal shorts so I wiped most of the grease out. I figured out that the hazard pull-out switch did work - it needs to be pulled out VERY firmly to click in place.

Despite trying several flasher units, none allow the indicator stalk light to repeat and it only 'clicks' once. The front and rear indicators work OK. On Hazard - every thing works normally, indicator stalk light and clicker. I assume 2 bulbs to left or right do not offer enough resistance load for the flasher unit.

From my internal exam - I would judge it very difficult for these units to fail internally. Can anyone roughly date it - ? 60's, 70's or maybe earlier?

RMR
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

I suspect that the indicator bulb isn't getting a good ground. Try grounding the body of the unit - either with a separate wire or by removing some paint from the steering column where it clamps on.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:38 AM   #3
Richard Redmond
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Yes - grounding of the unit has been mentioned in some articles that I read.

At first I couldn't really believe that the unit needed to be grounded as all the wiring diagrams did not indicate this. However this particular Signalstat does not work if taken off the steering column (ungrounded).

I had bared the steering column paint and used a small strip of perforated metal (screw hole repair strip) hidden under the fixing strap to ensure as good a ground as possible. A multimeter indicates zero resistance between the strap and - for instance - a bolt head on the steering column to cowl tank support (which has the correct rubber anti-squeek).

RMR
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

These units have been around for many years and usually work well.. That said, what you're experiencing is a common problem.. The lights work except for the indicators.. Generally its as you found, too much internal grease.. Clean that out and usually a 'little help' [adding a little more tension] to the contacts fixes them.. Like Doug said, an extra ground wire is helpful.. My indicators are still intermittent, but, I can see the cowl lights flash reflection on the headlight buckets.. If flashing is a problem, its usually the flasher.. It seems to be a problem finding decent flashers..
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

The load on the flasher unit does matter when you have a case of lights not flashing. The thermal style flasher relies on the lamp load to heat an internal strip that opens and closes to flash. Not causing the indicator problem, but important to remember.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Lets add this wiring diagram to the thread and we have some additional information for future use.

I also found this in a past post to allow the Cowl lights to work as cowl lights and parking lights without modifying the cowl sockets;

Here's how to add the 8th wire to the Signal-Stat 900 turn signal switch.

Remove the bottom cover (two screws). You will find 2 rows of 4 tubular rivits with wires soldered to them except for two. The two will be centered in the bottom row. Solder a wire across these two rivits connecting them together and then bring the wire out for the 8th wire and mark it red-green. This wire then connects to the wire from the headlight switch for the cowl lights. The two original wires red and green should be already connected to the cowl lights. Now when the turn signal switch is off and the headlight switch is in the parking light position both cowl lights will be lit. When the TS switch is on then a cowl light will begin flashing.

This is much better than trying to alter the sockets and bulbs in the cowl lights as there is not much room in there. My switch is old and the new ones may be a little different inside but you should be able to figure it out.

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Old 07-17-2011, 05:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Thanks to all for their good advice.

For clarity - my set-up is an old Signal-Stat 900 wired to 4 separate turn lights fore and aft. I am not using brake light indicators as is common in the USA. The gray wire from the Signal-Stat is not connected to the brake light switch but capped off.

Everything works fairly well. My problem is mainly the stalk indicator bulb and the click from the heavy duty flasher unit (3 prong). On either left or right turn, the stalk bulb (I assume 6v because it looks old) flashes once (green) and then goes out. Same for right turn. The Hazard switch gives a repeated flashing of the stalk bulb (red) and the click from the flasher unit is reasonably loud (normal). In turn mode, there is one reasonably loud click from the flasher unit and then it continues to click - but quietly - till the turn is cancelled. When driving, I cannot hear this repeat click and there is no repeating green indicator light so it is easy to forget to cancel the turn signal, particularly with all the excitement of double-declutching and controlling the spark retard!

I ran a separate wire from the column strap to battery earth but there was no difference, so I think steering column earth is good.

As you can see from the photos, the internal contacts of my Signal-Stat are very good - like new.

A good web page is the Jeep (CJ3B) page and the Truck-Lite home page.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Some higher wattage bulbs might help
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:17 AM   #9
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Redmond View Post
... My problem is mainly the stalk indicator bulb and the click from the heavy duty flasher unit (3 prong)....
I suggest you try a NON-heavy duty flasher.

As others have said, the typical flasher (i.e., the non-electronic type) work by the current draw of the lights causing a bi-metallic strip in the flasher to heat up and bend away from the contact point. A heavy duty flasher is designed to allow multiple lights, like when a trailer is added to the turn/brake light circuit. They work slowly with just the usual lights but work faster when the others are added in. And sometimes "slowly" means "not at all".
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:27 AM   #10
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

try to find a non chinese flasher.I`ve had the exact problem with many of these 900`s. I rewired cars for a living for 35 years and never had a problem with the older usa flashers.
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

www.classictbird.com has a 6 volt pos ground electronic flasher part number 13350AE
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

The reason you're having trouble may be because you DON'T have the brake lights in the circuit. JMO
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

More great suggestions - thank you.

1 - I think I've eliminated the issue of poor earthing of the unit

2 - I've ordered some more bulbs (6v / 10 W and 6v / 18 W) for the rear indicators. The front indicators are the modern style from Mac's - mount between the bars of the front bumper and the bulbs are the modern 'capless' type that just plug in.

3 - ordered yet another flasher unit from Holden here in England. It's 535 / 6v/ 32 CP - Max 6 (whatever that means?). It's rated to 36 watts max. and it doesn't say HD on the can.

4 - it would be easy to run a wire from the grey wire to the stop light switch. I may do that. I've looked at a number of 900 wiring diagrams and don't fully understand that part. I think this wire shorts out the flasher unit when both rear brake lights are on for braking. At the end of the day, I can't have the brake lights flashing.

2 articles from How to Restore your Model A (Vol 3 and Vol. 5) are helpful. From Vol 5 p.53 - 'the flasher needs a certain minimum load to work. If your system seems to work but the pilot light (in the stalk) will not come on ... the problem is almost sure to be your bulbs.'

We shall see.
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Old 07-18-2011, 05:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Thanks to Mike V for the classicbird link.


I want one of these -

FLASHER MUSICAL - 12V - PLAYS "LOVE ME TENDER" 1955-1957

SURPRISE YOUR FRIENDS!

The best reason yet for converting your ModelA to 12v.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Lots of parts parcels arrived today with a combination of bulbs and another flasher unit.

First replaced the 6v/5W rear bulb on one side with 6v/10W (6v/5W capless bulb at front) - no appreciable difference.

Then replaced 10 W with a 6v/18W ..... bingo.... Signal-Stat indicating green and flasher unit clicking away nicely. Bright amber indicators at the rear!

I didn't bother replacing the flasher with the new one (which on the other side of the can said Heavy Duty and made in Taiwan. and I didn't replace the pilot bulb in the indicator stalk.

Long-term I hope to end up with 10W front and 10W rear but for now my Signal -Stat is working fine!
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:29 PM   #16
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

Thanks for the follow-up post. Glad everything is ok.
Paul in CT
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Old 11-29-2013, 04:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

I'm having a problem Brattons turn signal kit. This is the one wired to the brake lights and to a vintage light I restored which is mounted on the bumper. Last weekend on a tour in extremely cold weather I noticed that my front right turn signal was out. everything else was normal. By the end of the tour when I moved the indicator to that side I got no flash indication on the unit. Other side when selected was normal.

Thinking I had a burnt bulb I replaced it this weekend with similar but not exact bulbs. They now flash, but do so erratically at a different pace on both sides. I put the old bulbs back in which even though black seem to still work. I replaced the flasher with another 6 volt on I had. With the old one in place iI got no flashing, the turn signals just remained liit with not flash. I tried to improve the ground at the unit by adding a little sheet metal screw through the clamp band into the steering column I tried to improve the ground at the front bumper by removing a liilr more paint on the mounting bracket. The green indicator lights in the inside unit do not light and the read pilot light is on all the time.

I normally don't drive this car in the winter. Could the cold have done something? What the heck is going on here? Sorry for the long post. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:35 AM   #18
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

The reason the flash rate is different is because of the different current draw from different lamp's as mentioned above. Take a look at the socket and see if there is any corrosion inside. next switch the lamps with each other and see if the light starts to work. The black bulb may look OK, but could be braking down out of sight in the base.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

In my limited experience, Ed S.'s advice might be just what will do the trick.

If it doesn't, then call Bratton's. They will give you the name and phone number of the very nice gentleman in Texas who makes up their signal kits. That gentleman will have you test one thing at a time and call him back. A few phone calls later you will have more knowledge and will have the problem solved.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: SignalStat 900 photos

I had the same issues with the signal stat I had. I found a solution using an older non heavy duty flasher. This unit had an aluminum can that can be removed by carefully uncrimping the case. Once inside you can alter the gap on the coil points to change the rate of flash. (Much experimenting) The other issue was the min. load from the bulbs supplied for the repop bar mount lights. They just do not draw enough as others have said. I fixed this by solderining in a dummy bulb common to both signal feeds which got tucked in behind the kick panel. In retrospect I should have left it visible for another visual confirmation that the lights were flashing. The new signal stat indicators are not bright enough to get your attention on a sunny day so I sometimes ended up being "that old guy in the old car driving for twenty miles with his blinker on" All the bugs out this $100.00 system worked adequatley for a couple years. Then I lost ground on the strap to the column, and all ceased to work, Fixed that and on of the little green lenses disappeared (probably in behind the wife's dryer where my socks enter the twilight zone). I got the job of installing a Logo-Lite system on my Dad's 29 Tudor, and I was immediatly impressed. So much so I sh-t canned the signal stat system and installed the Logo lite on my coupe. Love it!
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