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MG MGA - 1500 rear indicators

Can anyone tell me how to install additional rear indicators on my 57 1500 MGA please. I currently have the red flashing brake light but would like to fit some amber rear flashers. If a wiring diagram is available it might help.
Thanks Paul
p anderton

Paul

I believe most people doing this use the 1600 plinth. Barney says how to do it here: http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/electric/ts201.htm

Steve
Steve Gyles

Thanks Steve. What I would like to do is keep the original brake lights and install 2 new indicators mounted from the bumper brackets. I have seen this set up and think if I get the right period looking indicator units it will look OK. I don't really want to fit the 1600 lights. Hopefully a picture of what Im looking at is attached.
Paul


p anderton

Paul

I have a pair of standard MGA spotlight brackets mounted on the rear bumper for my reversing light and fog light. I guess you could use these to mount a Holden Vintage indicator light: http://tinyurl.com/nt9tt52

Looking at my photo you may choose to swap the brackets over to put the lights outboard of the over riders. However, I will need to check my car to see if they can be swapped over. Their geometry may prevent it.

Steve

Steve Gyles

I only live 2 miles from Holdens so will call in and see what they have. I can fabricate something to mount them its the wiring Im uncertain of. I assume the new lamps will have two wires, one being and earth (my car is neg earth)its where to pick the live up from and how to disconnect the current red lamp.
Paul
p anderton

Paul

Let me know what you come with as I could be interested in doing something similar. It seems the longer we go on, the less and less modern drivers seem to understand our old flashing red indicators once the brakes are applied. I have noticed increasingly the number of cars that close alarmingly fast to my rear end when I make a turn, then sound their horn in disapproval at no apparent signal!

I have just had a look at my brackets. They will swap over, but will put the light very close to laterally and just below the main light cluster. This is because the bracket attachment bolt is towards the outside edge of the over rider. When I fitted the brackets originally I had to cut the L-shaped attachment part of the bracket slightly to give clearance with the body. For the purist this would require re-chroming (I covered over with chrome paint as it is almost hidden). If you go this route I will post some photos showing this cutting more clearly.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Paul

Done a bit of measuring, although I note you said you would probably fabricate your own bracket. The centre line for the light with my brackets swapped over is dead in line with the wing piping. The flat top of the bracket (for attaching a light) is 5cm above the bumper. i.e. exactly positioned as your opening photo but 5cm higher.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Whatever you decide to do about actually mounting your new rear indicators, I guess you realise you're going to have to run a new wire front to rear to operate the stop lamps. Plus alter the wiring at the DB10 indicator relay box.



Not that difficult, but the existing wiring does fool some!
SR Smith 1

Paul,
I have fitted rear period looking lights to the rear of my 1959 1500.These can be bought from Stafford Vehicle Electrics ,they are about 1.5 inches in diameter in a chrome bullet shaped housing with about a 3" chrome stalk which can be mounted on a simple bracket bolted via the rear bumper bolts, can sent pictures to your e mail address not sure how to up load on to this site. All you need to do is run one cable from the brake brake switch to the rear of the car to operate the brake lights and use the original brake stop light wire for the indicators
Regards
David Speak
D M SPEAK

SR Smith/David if you could email me some photos that would be great thankyou. I go to a few classic car shows and Stafford Vehicle Electrics are always there.
Its the wiring I'm unsure of. So if I use the existing rear wire for the indicators and a new wire from the brake switch to existing lights problem solved?
Thanks Paul
p anderton

This is the set up I have. I had too many people telling me that my indicators/brake lights were faulty and this told me that most driver's had no idea what was going on so it was getting dangerous.

I think the indicators are actually motor bike ones but are commonly available and come with different stalk lengths. Taking the photo I have noticed that the stems have however now got surface rust so that's another little job. The lamp body itself is plastic. The bottom of the stems is threaded and this goes through a hole in a small angle bracket made by me. It's actually a short piece of 30mm angle iron. The bracket is held in place by the outer bumper bolt. Its a bit fiddly to fit working behind the bumper.

I had to run two new wires the length of the car to the relay box. The wires are attached to the existing run with wire ties.

Malcolm

Malcolm Asquith

Paul

That link I posted to Barney's write-up showed the wiring.

Steve
Steve Gyles

Hi,
I have fitted period Lucas reversing lamps below the bumper fitted with amber bulbs. Look good. Would need to make up a couple of brackets but not difficult. I can post photo and give size of brackets etc if you are interested in going this way.

Phil
p parmenter

Like this Phil? From SVC with amber bulbs.
Bruce.

Bruce Mayo

Why don't you just upgrade to LED lights. You don't need these expensive bespoke LED fittings just new LED bulbs which replace the originals and an LED flasher which gives a nice onnnnnn off onnnnnn pattern like modern cars. I don't have a relay so have two bulbs in the lens, brake and indicator are in one bulb, tail light sits on its own in the space above the main bulb. Place in Southampton has them all at reasonable price, can even upgrade your front indicator/lights which you will need to do anyway.
I don't have a problem with people not seeing intentions.
Regards
Alan
AR Terry

For the front indicators on my 1500 I bought some LED bulbs in eBay which light up white but flash amber. That is a simple and effective way to modernise the front lighting with minimal expense.

You can find these on eBay item number:261657748924

These are much cheaper and work better and fit better than more expensive items available elsewhere.


At the rear I have the LED boards from BMCautos.com
http://bmcautos.com/britmarket/led-taillights/mg/mga-1500-1600-more-led-taillamp-set-l549-neg-earth-detail

These are expensive but work *magnificently*. Although I got these before red LED bulbs were available, I would still recommend them strongly over the bulbs if you can afford them.

I'm thinking of the addition of orange bulbs at the back for the indicators, but am still not convinced - I think the main problem with the 1500 lights is that on most of the cars in our local club the rear lights are so dim that they don't make any impact to other drivers. The LED boards cannot be ignored and are clearly visible even in very strong sunlight. You have to remove the bulb socket in the fitting to install the boards.

I have also switched to LED headlamp bulbs, which are a simple plug-in fit and are as bright as a modern car.
dominic clancy

My car is positive earth. I tried to replace the rear brake lights bulbs with LED's, but they did not work at all. I tried the bulbs in the normal way, i.e., directly on a battery, and they lit up nicely. Is this normal for LED's not to work on a positive earth system?

Frank
F. Camilleri

Dominic, I like the idea of LED's on the front which light up white and flash amber. I have spoke with SVC and they do a nice period looking rear amber light. I will have a go at wiring as Steve's link above.

On another note the fitting of LED bulbs in certain applications is illegal here in the UK on cars of our age. Its to do with the E marking. Small point but you need to be aware.
p anderton

Frank

Yes, this is normal. You need to change either to a positive earth bulb or more pragmatically just switch the polarity of the car. Barney has details of the easy way to do this.
dominic clancy

Basic rule of thumb with LED bulbs is red light for red lense, orange light for orange lense, white for white. Get the idea. Have a look at www.autobulbsdirect.co.uk.
Whilst Mr Anderton may be correct I think that's directed at the boy racer clan rather than guys like us trying to make our cars safer.
AR Terry

It's true that the red and amber bulbs should be used behind red and amber lens respectively for maximum brightness and uniformity of colour. But that is not the case for a clear lens where a coloured LED is just as effective. The "white for sidelight but flashing amber" dual contact LEDs are perfect for that application, providing a clearer signal to other road users. Hence improving safety, without otherwise affecting the appearance of the car. Not sure where the "boy racer" reference comes from...
Neil MG

Previous reference to fitting LED's in certain applications being illegal here in the UK.
AR Terry

Just an update on the rear indicator lights on my 1500.
I bought a pair of retro chrome lights from SVC. Removed the rear bumper and welded 2 small brackets onto the bumper brackets. As Steve's drawing from Barney I disconnected the brown/white & brown/purple wires from the existing red lamps and connected them to the new lights. I then ran a new wire under the car from brake pressure switch and connected to the wire tails on the old red lights. I also changed the flasher unit to an electronic one and fitted LED bulbs to the front that light up warm white but flash amber. So now have amber flashing front and rear with the old red lights just as stop and tail. Took this afternoon to complete and all in all not to difficult. Photo attached.

Paul

p anderton

Looks great!
Gene Gillam

I have just done the rear light modification and am now looking at the front end. Barney has the instructions on how to do it: http://mgaguru.com/mgtech/electric/ts201.htm

In his final words he says to disconnect the wires from terminals 2,3 & 8 on the flasher relay box and connect them together. Also to connect 4, 6 & 7 together.

I emailed Barney to ask if, for neatness, I could attach these wires bunched together to the relay box. He responded that yes, you can move wires 2, 3 & 8 to terminal 2, and move wires 4, 6 & 7 to terminal 4. Having disconnected the wires from the trigger coil terminals, the relay will not click, and terminals 2 and 4 are not connected to anything internally.

Thanks Barney for the info.

Steve


Steve Gyles

Steve fit white LED's which flash orange. I have them and they are perfect, keeping the car looking original also
p anderton

Yes, but my 1500 is hardly original: BRG, magnolia seats with green piping, leathercloth dash, wire wheels, disc brakes, 1800, 5-speed, electronic ignition, spin on oil filter, radial tyres, sports windscreen, 12v battery, negative earth, pre-engaged starter, alternator, seat belts, electronic tachometer, non SU fuel pump, fuel filter, radio cassette, to name but a few!

Steve
Steve Gyles

This thread was discussed between 30/05/2015 and 06/08/2015

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