Category Archives: Electrical

Electrical

Improve the Factory Triumph TR6 Courtesy Light

LED festoon bulb on the bottom, original on the top

In this article, I’ll describe how to improve the factory Triumph TR6 courtesy light.  On the original 1971 Triumph TR6 there is only one courtesy light – I talked about that in the previous article and now, I’ll show you the results of how to improve the courtesy lights with not one, but two.

I used two courtesy light housing mounted on the kick panels on both footwells.  You can see that in the picture above.  Since I changed all lights on bowtie6 with LED’s, I thought about improving the dim bulbs originally fitted to the courtesy lights.  Sure enough, there are replacement festoon bulbs with LED’s.  The difference is dramatic; the LED’s are just so much brighter

36mm festoon bulbs

Just one note of caution:  there are numerous sized festoon bulbs.  The ones that fit the TR6 courtesy light mount are 36mm in size.  As you can see in the picture above, these even come with a heat sink on the back.  They are so bright I had to angle them down a little towards the bottom of the bulb holder.  They work great!

Wiring the lights

I spent a few hours putting all this together today.  And the result is quite impressive.  I’m pleased…

First, the passenger side.  Here you can see the new light on.  I want to show this picture first because it includes part of interior fuse pane.  You can see the bottom 10 amp fuse; that is new.  When we fitted the Ecotec in bowtie6, I ended up re-wiring the whole car.  This fuse panel holds all the circuits inside the cab.  There is another one in the trunk as well as the main panel under the hood.  I had left one fuse slot with a constant “hot” for the courtesy lights.  And this finally got wired up today.  In case you want to see more about this, check out bowtie6‘s Custom Wiring – Inside the Cab (if you look close, you can see this same fuse panel with the missing circuit!).

Here is the driver’s side with the new light turned off.  This picture is misleading as hell though.  I took these pictures with my new iPhone12 and I must say, the camera is simply amazing.  It compensated for the low light big-time.

Here, we have the new light on.  The LED festoon bulb sure is worth it.  And I must say, they are cheap.  They are just a smidge over a $1 each.

I had these Coco mats custom made; missed the heel pad by a few inches – you can see the wear just ahead of the pad

One more showing the bottom of the dash.  “What is that cutout on the dash for?”, you ask…  That is part bowtie6‘s Tilt Steering.

And, what does the passenger’s side look like?  Take a look…

I need to get new Coco mats! The red dots have faded. Then again, they are about 15 years old…

Yeah, its been long overdue, but the result is pretty cool.

Remember I mentioned the new iPhone12?  Just for kicks, I stepped out in the garage, turned off all lights and flipped the light switch to the “on” position and took this picture.  Note the doors are both shut but the lights are on.  Each light has a little switch.  It took me quite some time to figure this out, but the way I wired this up, the lights will operate in either way:

  • With either door open – so opening the passenger and/or driver door will turn the lights on
  • With both doors closed –  by sliding the switch to “on”.  And if you do this, both lights will light up.

Yeah… That’s an HSR sticker on the back glass of the hard top.

Except for making the picture smaller, this picture has not been edited.  It has been a good day.

Stay safe people!

Triumph TR6 Courtesy Light

The factory Triumph TR6 courtesy light is originally installed on a plinth, mounted on the driveshaft tunnel cover between the seats, toward the back.  Unfortunately, the new driveshaft cover in bowtie6 is different from the original and the plinth does not fit so well.

Since the two floorboard kick panels are scratch built, I figured why not mount a courtesy light on each one.  I had this all working after I wired the car up for the first time, but when I installed the Ecotec, all that came out because I had to build a new fuse panel.  I left the lights on the kick panels, but never wired them up.

 

The reason I never wired this back up was the lack of a proper 12v source to test with.  Sure, take the battery out, put some leads on it and test away.  Too much trouble.  Well, remember that NOCO Genius 10 Battery Charger that I bought earlier this year?  It has a setting that supplies 12v to the terminals.  You can see the little red 12v light below…

I wired up the circuit and voila, after a few tries, got it working…

You can see in the photo above, the terminals, my buggered up wiring and the two lights in action.  Job done!

Well…  Not so fast.  Two problems came up.

First Problem

My original wiring worked well, but my initial solution did not take into account the fact you can flip a little switch on each light to turn it on when the doors are shut.

Duh!  After scratching my head a little, all it took was a few tests with my multimeter and now I have the proper wiring on paper.

Second Problem

When I wired bowtie6 up, I used WeatherPack connectors for everything.  All terminals were crimped, soldered and covered with shrink wrap (where necessary).  You can see the three terminal WeatherPack connector in the photo above on my kick panels.  All this was put together at my cousin Jim’s shop – he has a whole array of wire, connectors and terminals.  Since I have a few other circuits to rework, I needed a small kit of Weather Pack’s rather than ordering in bulk.  This is where I found CustomConnectorKits and placed an order for one of their smaller kits.

If you are a regular here, you know I very seldom “plug” anyone.  These folks were gracious enough to send me my kit priority mail (I did not ask for that) so this is my way of thanking them for the super fast service.  I will have my kit in the next couple of days!  This is highly appreciated.

The next step will be to add a new circuit to the fusebox with a constant 12v supply and make up my connectors using my new Weather Pack ends.  In the middle of doing my research, I found replacement LED festoon bulbs – they will be certainly brighter and won’t get hot.  There is a set of these bulbs on the way too.

I have some time off from work in the next few days, so I’ll be putting this all together next.  I’ll have an update article soon.

As always, be safe…

TR6 Front LED Bulbs

img_4070The missing Triumph TR6 front LED bulbs came in this week.  I say missing because the “kit” I bought included the wrong front LED bulbs:  for the 1972 TR6, the bulb must have two “filaments”.  In other words, these bulbs double as parking lights and turn signals.

Today’s featured image shows the bulbs installed and in their “park light” mode.  I left the lenses off to show off the amber color and just how bright hey are!

And one more picture, this time a closeup showing all the little light emitting diodes and why the coverage is so great.

img_4074

Multiple rows of LED’s providing full coverage

 

LED Lights for a Triumph TR6

img_4055Today, I installed a long overdue improvement on bowtie6: a set of LED lights for a Triumph TR6.  The “kit” consists of all new 360 degree replacement LED bulbs.  This means, the new bulbs have diodes on all sides and give a much brighter beam compared to the traditional bulbs.

The advantage is obvious:  a much brighter indicator with little or no heat dissipation.  I’ve seen the effects of traditional bulbs on the TR6 tail light clusters:  damage can occur and this replacements are expensive.  The downside is this improvement is a little on the pricey side.  I’ll explain shortly…

img_4057This picture shows on the right, a traditional front side-marker light bulb as fitted to a 1971 Triumph TR6.  The bulb on the left is the LED replacement, with amber light emitting diodes.  Yes, the replacement bulbs are available in different colors depending upon their intended use.  As you can see, there are four diodes around each side and one on the tip.  This provides the 360 degree coverage.

All bulbs in the kit came individually and carefully packaged in a box.  Shipping was not too bad, however the kit was $125.00.  Yes, rather pricey but worth it.

img_4053By now you are asking for proof.  Well, take a look at the following pictures.  The first picture shows the “stock” front-side marker light:

img_4058Followed by this picture, showing the replacement LED bulb in action:

img_4059The difference is noticeable and I must say, the picture does no justice.  In person, the LED replacements are much brighter.

Moving along to the back of the car, this picture shows the new LED bulbs on the left and the traditional bulbs on the right:

img_4064The picture shows the red “running” lights and the white back-up lights in the “on” setting.  Each LED replacement is much brighter with a richer light beam and full coverage.  The amber turn signals are not “on” unfortunately, but believe me they are very bright now!

Here is a close-up of the rear running lights with the LED bulb on the left and the traditional bulb on the right:

Finally, if you decide on getting one of these LED kits let me save you some aggravation.  The manufacturer’s website has a mistake on the bulbs required.  The front turn signal bulbs need two “filaments”.  The website has the replacements are only one “filament”.  As a result, I will need to order the a pair of two “filament” amber bulbs.

Also, don’t forget the resistance of LED’s is different from tradition bulbs.  Therefore you must change the flasher to one compatible with LED bulbs.  Otherwise, the “blinking” won’t happen properly.

Here is the corrected list of bulbs if you wish to know:

  • 1156-A18-T in Amber – required 2 for the rear turn signals
  • 1157-R27-T in Red – required 2 for the rear running/brake lights
  • 1156-CW18-T in Cool White – required 2 for the rear backup lights
  • BA9S-RHP5 in Red – required 2 for the rear side marker lights
  • BA9S-AHP5 in Amber – required 2 for the front side marker lights
  • 1157-A27-T in Amber – required 2 for the front running/turn signal lights

 

Good Electrical Ground

A good electrical ground.

How many times have we read about the need of having a good electrical ground in classic cars?  Well, I’ve had my fair share of bad electrical grounds through the years and this weekend I fell victim to one.

Weekends are my time to enjoy driving bowtie6 and this past Saturday was no exception.  At a red light not far from the house some dipshit was fiddling with his phone instead of paying attention to traffic.  I reached down below the dash and tapped the single-pole momentary-on switch that controls the horn…

Nada.  Nothing.  Horn did not work.  At this point I had the default Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot expression on my face.  Damn!  Electrical gremlins.  Fist thing that pops in my head is failure to have a good electrical ground.

And so, when I get back home I check the fuse panel under the dash that I made and controls all electrical circuits under the bonnet (click here for a more detailed post).

IMG_2825I checked all fuses and they all passed with no issues.  Then, I pulled each one out and made sure all connections were in order.  I know, the wiring is a bit busy – but this is rather hard work to do especially in the tight confines of the passenger’s side footwell.  I suppose this is what “bespoke” is all about!  😉

So, next was to go through the main power box.  This is located in the engine compartment (click here for more details).

IMG_2824As you can see, here is the main power distribution block in bowtie6.  The six red-capped affairs on the bottom are circuit breakers.  They feed hard voltage to each purple relay.  In addition there is another fuse panel located behind the relays as well as the engine’s PCM.  After careful inspection all this checked out just fine.  When I flipped the switch under the dash for the horn, the “horn” relay clicked as expected.  Still no horn – rats!

Which brings us to the next photo (a closeup of the featured image above):

IMG_2826 closeupThe entire circuit governing both horns relies on the ground made by the connector to the body.  As it turns out, I pulled this connector and ensured there was no rust.  Sure enough, after cleaning the connection, adding a little de-electric grease, and plugging the connector back in place all worked just fine.

And there you have it, the root of all evil… The lack of a good electrical ground.