Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
flagmanruss

Adding Forward turn signal lights?

Recommended Posts

My truck is real long. Recently I had a couple of real close calls with *ss *oles I could not see, riding in my blind spots. I see some vehicles with the mirror turn signals but I don't really want to mess with my trailer mirrors.I'm thinking of adding some somewhere... Maybe behind the cab on top of the bed (I don't run a tool box, so that space is available). Or maybe LEDs under the truck, but I'm not sold on that approach yet. I don't like the idea of plugging into trailer socket as I've had corrosion problems leaving my gooseneck extension plugged in. Unfortunately there does not seem to be a T tap made for my truck, nor a place to put one in the harness. I'd be interested in setting up the taillight side marker to blink with the rear as well for better side visibility...I'm sure someone else may have already done this & have answers.Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the local heavy duty parts there is a sealed lamp intended for the underside of the middle of the trailer for the purpose - I have mounted them on 2 trucls, once in the mirror brackets and once at the rear of the front fender. Macks use a 4x4 amber tail/turn in the rear of the front fender. Cutting grommets in at the top front of the bed would be simple and a wire to the front turn signal and ground. If you have west coast mirrors a mount bracket will fit fair. The rear of the front fender has a void that will take a grommet.For those that want to ride the 'bow wake' aim a strong LED at the driver - I had an Int COE that was a real brick, but a red 100 W 'cargo light ' made the point. it was under the cab and pointed at the driver that could not pass after they hit the turbulence from the truck. Things were a little different then - the truck would make 86 mph, so that was the normal speed and with 335 hp.I had thought about putting 2 1/2 round clearance LED lights w/flush mount grommets at both ends 2 on each side, one with the tail, other with the turn. They also have stick on LED's.keydl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

keydl has got me thinking & reading... LEDs will "run" on 12V typically... ok for running lights... but some cautions that they may not / will not flash because they don't have enough resistance or need a different flasher?!I'd like to run a 12" strip on the bed... in line with the door anti-dent molding. Maybe strips for turn / brake on a bar above the bed / below the rear window... I was thinking of a bright Alum chanel or angle... Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I knew where I saw it at but I fell into a link on a forum for LED lights. The light bar was mounted below the tailgate or on the tailgate and it had Brake, left and right turn signals, backup lights, and running light all in one bar on the tailgate...Sorry I don't remember but its out there! :thumbsup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mike,I've seem the strip you describe. A friend has one mounted on his Chevy gasser on the bed so it peeks out under the gate. He came to me when the adhesive failed & it needed to be attached for real. I didn't like it since it requires plugging into the trailer plug which I found to cause corrosion in the long run.However, that strip could be mounted behind the cab/on a headboard or bracket off the bed by a creative person. It would be short the thickness of the fenders but that's not too much at the top. It's an idea anyway. Keep 'em coming!Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well then there is the standard ol' sealed beam lights you can put into rubber grommets and mount... But that gets costly quick...I still think if you get creative you can make that strip work for ya...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding LED lights to a turn signal is no problem (within your probable budget), running all LED's means compensating for much less amps with -1 an electronic flasher or -2 a resistor or light to draw current.The rubber worklights have acrylic covers to chance the color, red blue green or amber - pointed at the space that is to often occupied by an ignorant person is an economic possibility.Best looking is still the mid trailer turn light in a grommet at the front of the bed, it won't point back at 45 deg like the lights are mounted on the trailer and either type will work.For those that plug in either grease it for corrosion or cut the plug off and do the connection rightkeydl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks keydl... this is a huge help. To repeat what you are saying (& clarifying my earlier post) if I convert to all LED lights, that I'd need to alter the flasher or add resistors as the LEDs don't have enough load to make conventional flashers work. However, just ADDING LEDs in addition to the OEM filament bulbs will work. The filament bulbs will create enough load for the OEM style flashers to work & the LEDs are in parrell so should work also. This is much neater than doing a full conversion & more in line with my original concept (though I admit day-dreaming about a full conversion to LEDs).Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a standard truck flasher 1 standard light bulb will flash - the rest can be LED's and will work well. An old 4 terminal ignition ballast resistor will work also, and then there is also the electronic flashers. If you know the wiring well any ignition ballast resistor will work. The 4 terminal is connected front the front turn signal wires to ground.Mounted at the top front of the bed it will be in your mirror, if that makes difference.Mounting small clearance lights under the mirror with foam tape is also a thought, red or amber to the rear and amber to the front.Another one is mounting 'chicken lights' the full length of the truck and trailer that work with the turns. You have seen the chicken haulers on the road with 300 lights on the truck and trailer. Put a voltage regulator on to dim them for running if you want.Truck stops start at $15 for plug in bulbs for the stock lights in LED, cheaper at the parts house. E-trailer had a sale and has the small clear tail/turn stickons - 1 in x 9 in and about 1/2 in high IIRCkeydl may have chicken hauling tendencies :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a standard truck flasher 1 standard light bulb will flash - the rest can be LED's and will work well. An old 4 terminal ignition ballast resistor will work also, and then there is also the electronic flashers. If you know the wiring well any ignition ballast resistor will work. The 4 terminal is connected front the front turn signal wires to ground. Mounted at the top front of the bed it will be in your mirror, if that makes difference. Mounting small clearance lights under the mirror with foam tape is also a thought, red or amber to the rear and amber to the front. Another one is mounting 'chicken lights' the full length of the truck and trailer that work with the turns. You have seen the chicken haulers on the road with 300 lights on the truck and trailer. Put a voltage regulator on to dim them for running if you want. Truck stops start at $15 for plug in bulbs for the stock lights in LED, cheaper at the parts house. E-trailer had a sale and has the small clear tail/turn stickons - 1 in x 9 in and about 1/2 in high IIRC :smart Thanks for the lesson guys, I'm gunna have to remeber this! keydl may have chicken hauling tendencies :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi guys,I have the OEM flip up & out trailer mirrors... There is a small flat spot under the arm. I thought about adding a small clearance light wired to the turns but wondered if it would be annoying to the driver. I don't have heated mirrors or other wiring out there... not sure how hard it would be to snake wires out there.My doors have a rubber bumper strip about belt line. I was thinking of adding a LED strip on the bed in line with that. I'd really like to be further forward but am pretty chick sh*t (sorry k) about the install. I have thought about going under the bed along the body panel seam but suspect that'll be damage prone. Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking hard at the outside surface of the mirror housing... it would become the bottom when mirrors are rotated to extended position. HmmmRussell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added amber LEDs lights to my mirrors and 4 amber LEDs above my side steps 2 on each side. right now there just running lights cause there 2wire I havent figured out how to make 2wire into 3wire so I can them as turn signals also. LEDs do take less amps and your turn signals will flash faster, just add a load resistor and it will go back to normal.So since we're on the subject anyone know how to make a 2wire into a 3wire ? :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding a LED strip or a series of individual lights along the body flange, bottom of the cab / bed would be the easiest to be sure. "converting" 2 wire to 3 doesn't sound feasible. If bulb set up you could convert to 2 element bulb / socket... even in this case better to just buy the correct assembly. If you had the componemts, LEDs could be wired with some on as running lights & some flashing with turn signals... but I think it would be a lot of work. Not sure the result would be visible.Adding additional 2 wire lamps... wired to turns... would at least work / be visible. I might even try this myself. OK, now some rocket scientist will tell us how to do it!Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another idea is to go to a motorcycle shop and look at aftermarket fairing turn signals. There are several different style of tear drop turn signal out that are small enough for like a mirror setup or such...

As for snaking wiring out... That might be fun... The door panels have to come off and the mirrors should have a hollow on the bottom. Now are the mirrors power adjustable? if so then the mirrors have leads running into them. So that means you could fish 1 or 2 wires into the mirrors and hook up you lights...

I've got a clue about the mirror after my damage I'd done to my truck 2 years ago... (Pulled a tree down on the passenger side)...

Posted Image

Take notice the mirror is gone and the pretty dent... `:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm... I might not be a bad spot to put them on the arm of the mirror. Like you said the snaking part of the wiring is the tough part... Those mirros I would love to have right about now... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I mentioned... not long ago... gently carressing the steel crash pole protecting the toll booth exiting the New York Thuway... with the driver's mirror. I was going dead slow as I had to stop. The mirror neatly folded back into car wash mode! I was relieved nothing broke. I just reset it forward & paid the toll.(I had to be close because of impairment in MY left arm... just not quite that close!)Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been distracted with other issues. I'm thinking about a row of single lines lights attached to the lower edge of the body. I'm thinking to run the end ones as running /clearance lights and lights in between as turns. I wonder where to pick up the turn signal from. I'd rather pickup in the cab than out in the weather. Anyone?I had issues a while back on a trip... I was on an unfamilair road & someone merged from my left & was not aware that I was trying to get over to turn left, might not have had enough time to see my turn signals so far back on this long truck. Russ

Edited by flagmanruss

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Converting clearance lights to running and clearance.the dim is set with diodes - each drops the voltage .7v to dim the lights, 2 or 3 generally work but some are not designed at 12v.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, It happened again... a week ago in heavy traffic on a narrow road, some @sshole I could not see in my passenger's bind spot. I had my turn signal on for a couple of minutes, it seemed clear so I tried to moved over gradually. It's really hard to make a right hand turn from the left lane!! The @ss hole leaned on his horn when I started to get close, then pulled ahead... the passenger hung out the window and yelled obsenities & the driver flipped me off a couple of times. (The horn was warrented... the rest of the actions proves how ignorant they are.) I presume that they had enough overlap that they could not see my turn signal. I think they were under my mirror. I might have been able to see them in my spot mirrors but with the narrow lanes, I couldn't take my eyes off the road for long enough to study them. I really hate driving in congested areas. So I'm back to the idea of pinch weld LEDs lights. I would not desire wheel to wheel lights, but spaced at intervals... every couple of feet say.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've often thought of getting lights to put behind the rear wheel wells on the rub strip that would match the dually clearance lights. I've also often though of making that front dually clearance light blink with the signals.

I'd rather have lights down low at the running board level but I want to match the clearance light location for appearance's sake.

I smack my mirrors on branches often enough that I wouldn't have front-of-mirror lights last, and I wouldn't want bottom-of-mirror lights glaring in my eyes with the 4 ways on while backing trailers. I'm very happy with the marker lights I put on my goose, and people DO see the fender mounted signals on the trailer and get out of the way which is great. If they're sitting next to the truck though, the lack of side signal there definitely is a bother.

Best picture I've got of the trailer markers. They look great but make the truck look awful dim by comparison. Roughly every 6' I think.

Posted Image

You're talking about dimming lights for blinking - it's much simpler to just make them blink. Wire one side to the running lights and the other side to the bright light. Both of those circuits are grounded when not energized, and most if not all LED marker lights have circuitry inside so they don't need to be in any given polarity.

When your running lights are off, the bright side will ground through that and light the light.

When your running lights are on, they are grounding through the bright side and the light will turn off when the bright side lights (+12 to +12). Very simple.

You'll want to grab from the front half of the truck, everything in trailer wiring and tail lights has brake involved as well. It'll look a little funny to have both sides of your truck light up when you hit the brakes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job on the trailer markers... looks very good. Thanks for the inspiring pict. Maybe, I'l get ambitious & do the toy hauler, too. Extra lights never hurt anyone. Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×