Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Emergency Flashers - Successful Install
If you were to travel back a couple of posts you would find mention of my problems getting an emergency flasher switch installed. Most cars of the 50s did not come from the factory with "hazard lights" to warn traffic about slow speeds, an accident, mechanical problem, etc. I guess it was up to the driver of the offending automobile to get the vehicle out of harm's way as quickly as possible. Now, it is my understanding that Ford did offer emergency flashers as an accessory in 1955. I would assume that the switch and the wiring would have been dealer installed.
Of course this 55 Ford has received plenty of updates, one of the main improvements being the fuse panel and wiring harness from Rebelwire. As noted previously in another post, this panel includes various relays and flashers and is shipped to the customer with a hazard light lead off of the panel. This wire lead is hot from the battery so no key is required. I had no trouble at all wiring up all of the other lights, from the turn signals, headlights, tail lights, and brake lights, things went very smoothly. These emergency flashers/hazard lights were a little tricky.
I tested the wire lead marked "hazard" and it worked perfectly any time that I spliced into a lead that went to a light (ex: Front Right Turn). When connected, the light would blink on the emergency flasher signal (a little faster than the turn signal flasher). This was all good and well but I did an ignorant thing to try to wire all of this - I connected a simple toggle switch (2 pins, and 1 for the lighted arm) so that the Rebelwire "hazard wire" powered a "snaked and spliced" lead to ALL FOUR wires that led to the four corners of lighting. Here are my results:
After the "uh-oh" moment I went back to the drawing board and decided to contact Rebelwire. They referred me to either Dennis Carpenter or American Autowire who both had a dedicated emergency flasher switch in their inventory. To me, both seemed expensive (American Autowire wanted $49). The tech at Rebelwire did say something to me about dedicated wire leads and how a simple splice would not work. I decided that a 6 pin or 8 pin toggle switch was the answer.
I went with 8 pins as you can see. The idea is simply this - there are four leads you could run that are powered by four different sources. Throw one lever and all leads come alive. I thought I was buying a switch that I could wire in one power source and all four leads would come alive but I was mistaken. Basically, this is 4 toggle switches rolled into one. No problem. I wired the pins on the bottom together like so...
Since this is a low amp run and the hazard lead is fused from the panel there are no worries here. I used orange 14 gauge wire. The top three leads went to Front Right Turn, Front Left Turn, and Brake Switch (as matched to the turn signal). I did not need the 4th pin/throw, so we will save that one for another light somewhere in case it is needed later (maybe an indicator light in the dash?) After all of this was wired up and installed under the dash, it was time for a test.
Finally, we have emergency flashers that work and all of the other lights work as they are supposed to when switches are thrown.