Thread Number: 72913  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Old car radio
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 963298   10/19/2017 at 02:16 (364 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Needed to do some work on the wiper motor (vacuum) on the 50 Plymouth, as some very need rain is coming, hopefully to put out these fires around here. To access and service the old vacuum motor..the radio need to come out.
Thought you boys would get a kick out of seeing the 10 lb thing. We've come a long way in auto sound systems since 1950

  View Full Size

Post# 963318 , Reply# 1   10/19/2017 at 07:28 (364 days old) by dermacie (my forever home (Glenshaw, PA))        

dermacie's profile picture
wow that's amazing Stan.

Post# 963349 , Reply# 2   10/19/2017 at 10:56 (364 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

Unlike the car stereos in new cars, I'll bet AM actually sounds good on that one. Of course it would need an overhaul if it hasn't been serviced yet.

Post# 963350 , Reply# 3   10/19/2017 at 11:13 (364 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
Radio content

Being born in 1955, I missed the days when people could tune in to network radio shows. I enjoy listening to some old radio shows now, and it seems that NPR is about the only station I ever listen to. All the rest is either alt-right crap or bad music.

My first car was a 1951 Lincoln with a superheterodyne radio that sounded so beautiful. Those old radios have a 'roundness' that modern electronics can't duplicate.

Post# 963363 , Reply# 4   10/19/2017 at 12:11 (364 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

ea56's profile picture
Thanks for sharing this Stan. I’d forgotten how huge these old car radios were. Yours seems unique in that the speaker looks like its incorporated in to the radio. These old tube, car radios had a very rich, resonate sound. I loved the way they had to warmup and how the sound gradually became louder as they were doing so. I believe that this may have been what they were talking about in the lyrics of the song, “Coming To You From Out Of Nowhere”, because thats just what it seemed like with these old radios.

Post# 963366 , Reply# 5   10/19/2017 at 12:36 (364 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I'll add the radio that belongs in my '50 GMC to this thread -- it has a sort of cartoon-ish (or would that be cartune-ish?) look when not installed.  The post for the detached knob needs to be replaced.  JB Weld to the rescue?


John, what model was your Lincoln?  We had a '51 Cosmopolitan until late 1960/early 1961.  My mom said it steered like a truck.  I do remember the radio in that car, along with the '57 Premier that replaced it, would buzz while driving parallel to fat power lines, or past certain neon signs, and of course it would lose the AM signal completely in an underpass or tunnel.

  View Full Size

This post was last edited 10/19/2017 at 19:02
Post# 963372 , Reply# 6   10/19/2017 at 13:25 (364 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

I have quite a few old car radios in my collection-oldest is ~1935 chevy.Most American radios switched to low voltage tubes/transistor audio output in 1957,but a 1959 Blaupunkt in collection is still vibrator type. Not sure,but I think 1961 chevy could be had with standard partly tube radio or deluxe "all transistor"radio option :)

Post# 963385 , Reply# 7   10/19/2017 at 14:50 (364 days old) by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Those two radios are compact compared to my 37 Chevy. The control head is in the dash with two cables running from that to the actual radio which is a large box mounted on the firewall. One half of the case is removable for access. It has a latch like those found on old lunch boxes. Below that also mounted on the firewall is a large speaker. Just think; in the 50s the all in one units shown above would have been considered quite an advance compared to the units from the 30s.

Post# 963397 , Reply# 8   10/19/2017 at 16:33 (364 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

supersuds's profile picture
Hope you get some rain, Stan!

I'm curious if there's any indication of a manufacturer on the inside of your radio. I've read that Philco had most of the OEM market,for many years.

My 1964 Lincoln had an AM/FM all-transistor made by Bendix, surprisingly.

I've heard that Imperial in the late Fifties had the first all transistor radio, probably AM only.

Post# 963399 , Reply# 9   10/19/2017 at 16:45 (364 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

Fun seeing these old car radios!


Those old radios have a 'roundness' that modern electronics can't duplicate.


Probably the tube sound. Some high end home solid state amplifiers have (to some degree) a tube sound. But at the low end, you don't have that sound.


My 1964 Lincoln had an AM/FM all-transistor made by Bendix, surprisingly.


I have a partly restored Bendix radio in storage. (Home radio, from the 1940s.) So the name was used on radios. I'm not sure if it's the same company that made appliances, though.

Post# 963419 , Reply# 10   10/19/2017 at 18:58 (364 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

IIRC, I got an AM/FM radio for our '64 Continental but it didn't work and I never got it fixed.  We let it go along with the car when we sold it.  I'm not sure of the manufacturer, but I don't see why it would be anything other than a Bendix.


The really elaborate radio was the AM/FM version for the '65 Continental.  On that one, the selector buttons were all labeled for either band.  To program, you pulled out the button and gave it a twist so the desired band was facing up.  You could have all buttons set (twisted) for FM or all for AM.  There was no band switch.  When pushed inward, the buttons automatically changed the band according to whether AM or FM was facing up, and the band indicator on the dial would also change.   I got one of those sets for my dad's '65, and it was impressive.  I'm pretty sure it was a Bendix too. 


The most ridiculous thing about radio R&R on the '64 and '65 Continentals (I think '61-'63 may have had a different configuration) was that you had to start the process by removing the sun visors -- I am not kidding -- and then work your way down to the dash.  You had to dedicate a good chunk of time to complete the whole operation.

Post# 963423 , Reply# 11   10/19/2017 at 19:27 (364 days old) by moparwash (Pittsburgh,PA -Next Wash-In...June 2019!)        

moparwash's profile picture
The 1956 Chryslers and Imperials had the first transistor radios, made by Philco (before they were bought by Ford)


  View Full Size
Post# 963435 , Reply# 12   10/19/2017 at 20:35 (364 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

wayupnorth's profile picture
My sisters '58 Impala had that Town & Country button with another big bar that clunked to one of 3 local stations with the first automatic seek the next station I ever saw. Now I got 9 zillion stations on seek all playing FM garbage. My '63 Rambler, first car, had an instant on transistor radio on AM but got great reception after dark for popular stations on the East Coast. Those were the days.

Post# 963440 , Reply# 13   10/19/2017 at 21:34 (364 days old) by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
one year only transistor radios

the article linked in reply #11 was very interesting-Chrysler dropped their 1956 all transistor radio and GM also dropped their 1957 Cadillac all transistor after just one year partly because low voltage signal tubes had been introduced and eliminated the noisy(just a quiet hum actually) vibrator.I have one mechanical signal-seeking GM "wonder bar"radio in the collection:~1967 oldsmobile AM/FM mono-a big solenoid tensions the needle and a clockwork mechanism controls the speed, a small solenoid actuated pawl stops a gear when station sensed.A 1975 Chrysler seeker radio I saw once was motorized-tuning knob spun until station found.

Post# 963448 , Reply# 14   10/19/2017 at 22:47 (364 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

supersuds's profile picture
I knew that Bendix made home radios and maybe some early TVs, but thought they'd dropped out of the marketplace by the Sixties. My impression was that the Aviation Corporation (Avco) had sold its Bendix and Crosley divisions to Philco around 1956. But the Bendix Corporation was still doing other things and they must have kept their auto radio business.

Yeah, taking the Lincoln radios out was a job. The stainless trim pieces between the front doors and the windshield had to be unscrewed, too, IIRC. On the plus side, nobody ever stole your radio!

Post# 963470 , Reply# 15   10/20/2017 at 03:21 (363 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
'Kennedy' Continentals

I always wanted one of those sixties Lincolns but never got one. I had the same girlfriend growing up for a bunch of years; her father owned 4 appliance stores. When I was in elementary school he had a '63 Continental, the shorter wheelbase with the curved side glass. Even to a kid like me, it seemed really small. I think it was the inward slope of the glass. When I went into junior high her father traded that one for a '65, gold with black vinyl roof. It seemed enormous inside, again because it had straight side glass and the roof was nearly a foot wider. That '65 had the AM/FM radio you speak of with the flippable buttons. Her mother got a beige '66 Cadillac Calais 4-door hardtop and it had the signal seeking radio. I wasn't old enough to drive yet, but as a passenger they were pure heaven. We had a lady down in the town where I grew up who drove nothing but purple Continentals for about 20 years; her husband was the president of one of the banks.

Post# 963471 , Reply# 16   10/20/2017 at 03:21 (363 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
I never thought to look for a manufacture name. Since my repair on the wiper motor didn't work out, I'll be removing the radio again so I'll look and take pics of the guts.
The radio dose work and it dose take a few seconds to warm up, but I hardly ever use it.
The idea of having to remove the wiper motor again and re install... Well it's hell for me to work under a dash anymore.. but I can't ask a mechanic to work on a vacuum wiper motor! So I'll have my head in it at least once more.. Damn it!

Post# 963482 , Reply# 17   10/20/2017 at 07:15 (363 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

I believe a 1950 Plymouth would have a Mopar 807 also known as a Philco D-5007, but I think some of them might have been Motorola sets.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO kenwashesmonday's LINK

Post# 963522 , Reply# 18   10/20/2017 at 13:07 (363 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, let me/us know what you find out about your wiper motor.  The one on the GMC is sluggish at best, and the vacuum checks out OK.  I've had it apart a couple of times over the years and have lubed the paddle, but yeah, even with good clearance under the truck's spartan dash panel, it's still a PITA to work under there.  Even worse is accessing the linkage, which is where I think the current trouble lies in the Jimmy.  The motor works fine when disconnected from the linkage, but once it has work to do, it slows down or stops altogether mid-swipe.  I think that more than anything, the sluggishness results from lack of use.



Post# 963523 , Reply# 19   10/20/2017 at 13:11 (363 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Let's not forget about the foot-controlled scan function.  Our '57 Premiere had that feature and it took years for me to figure out how the radio (with a Town/Country switch as mentioned above) seemed to be tuning itself because Dad would never let on.  The scan was mainly used in outlying areas where few, if any stations could be pulled in, so it was a phenomenon I remember from childhood road trips.

Post# 963580 , Reply# 20   10/20/2017 at 23:08 (363 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
I'll let you know what I find out.
Your right.. The motor itself isn't too hard to remove, it's reattaching the linkage!
I finally took the cowl vent out so I could crawl on top of the car and work from the top down. In the past, I've taken the motor apart, but this time I didn't really want to... So I used a baby booger snatcher to add about a tsp of brake fluid in the vacuum hole while operating on the vacuum stroke. Felt like I had smooth operation. After attaching vacuum line, the motor worked, but not after attaching linkage.
So maybe I have a small vacuum leak? or maybe switching the arms of the linkage? If that doesn't work, then the motor has to come apart, and a new kit installed.

Post# 963585 , Reply# 21   10/21/2017 at 00:54 (362 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
'57 Lincoln

That '57 Lincoln was the most amazing restyle of the year. It managed to look so ery different from the '56! When I was a little in the late 50's our next door neighbor had a 4-door in pink with a white roof. I was always captivated with those taillights--and of course they were at my level. I'll bet those lights are scarce as hen's teeth now because so many customizers used them.

Post# 963586 , Reply# 22   10/21/2017 at 02:57 (362 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Remember old car radios-they had GREAT sensitivity.Used them in the house-connected to an old EICO 12V "battery Eleiminator" supply.The radios I liked best had the vibrator power supplies and the 6X5 or 0Z4 rectifier tubes.I had a Cadillac radio that had a PP 6V6 output stage-sounded GREAT when connected to a good speaker-was a good DX radio.These got lost in a flood-Bought them for a buck each in the late 60's from a place called "Jalopy Jungle" in Rapid City S.Dak.Learned a lot of electronics from those old radios-the hybrid and early SS radios weren't as good as those old all tubed ones.Had a few hybrid radios-RF sections tube-the tubes would work off the 12V no vibrator step up supply-the output stage for the speaker was SS.A hybrid radio makes a loud thump when turned on-after the RF tubes warm up-then you hear the station.

Post# 963626 , Reply# 23   10/21/2017 at 08:50 (362 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I have that exact same radio in my '50 Plymouth Special Deluxe. I bought it used and not working in the 90's, and replaced the vibrator as well as all the capacitors. It works now, but I think I may have gotten the values of some of the square caps off when I replaced them with cylindrical ones.

IF you could please take some detailed photos of the existing components under the tube section, with shots of all the caps, esp the square ones, and post it here or email it to me, I'd be extremely grateful. It could help me identify now which caps are off and need to be fixed.

The radio works OK but the volume is fairly low, and some stations don't come in too well.

Thanks in advance!

Post# 963736 , Reply# 24   10/21/2017 at 21:11 (362 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Will do.

Post# 963818 , Reply# 25   10/22/2017 at 03:10 (361 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

The reason many car radios had better reception back in the tube days is most used 262mhz if stages plus a tuned rf stage on the tuning capacitor. It made them much more sensitive and they had tighter tuning and close channel rejection so they picked up just the channel you were trying to hear. I used and still have a mid 60s Zenith small plastic table AM radio that has 6 tubes and that third tuned rf stage on the tuning variable capacitor. It also had a big 6x9 speaker and a modern ferrite rod antenna built in that was directional so I could turn the radio to pull in weak signals. I used to shoot skip with it and it was better then a few dedicated short wave radios I had and could really pick weak signals out of the mud.
There was a reason back in the day Zenith radios were very sought after and old ones are collectable. They sounded great and usually had a better tuning system with all the latest advances except for dedicated high end military and short wave radios where cost was no object.

Post# 963823 , Reply# 26   10/22/2017 at 06:13 (361 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Oh yes-the 262Khz IF in those old radios-you remined me of that.I was working with those something like over 40 yrs ago!Kinda wished I had one of those radios today!In time on my DX radio took out the vibrator and just ran the thing off a large 6V surplus filament transformer-IMPROVEMENT-no more vibrator noise!

Post# 964100 , Reply# 27   10/24/2017 at 02:24 (359 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Thanks, Stan.

The problem I ran into was reading the values on the square capacitors correctly. And the place I was going to for help (Al Lasher's electronics in Berkeley) was no help in that. They just kind of thought it was a joke, I guess. Anyway, I read the color codes as I would have on a cylindrical cap, but I later learned (from the internet, years later) that I'd gotten things off by perhaps a factor of ten. Or, who knows?

Here's a reference. What I'm talking about are the three dot and six dot capacitors. These look like little dominos and apparently have a rather arcane coding scheme. The colors are the familiar BBROYGBVGW format, but the arrangement and what the values actually mean (percent? farads? watts? volts?) is a bit strange.

Unfortunately I didn't take photos before I replaced them. I probably kept the old ones (somewhere!) but I have no idea today which ones on the circuitry need to be replaced with correct values.

This is a photo from the link below:


Post# 964101 , Reply# 28   10/24/2017 at 02:28 (359 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
PS-I didn't bother to rebuild my vacuum wiper motor. I bought a rebuilt one from a place I found in Hemmings. It works pretty good. Although come to think of it, I may have reassembled the rubber flapper valves in the vacuum pump under the gas pump incorrectly. But the wipers work fine everywhere but going uphill at slower speeds. Typical, I understand. One of these days I'll pull the gas/vacuum pump and see if I can get it to work better. I may also have purchases a vacuum motor rebuild kit; where it is today would take a lot of searching. One thing I learned: these little vacuum motors are deceptively powerful. Don't get your fingers in the way of the levers and linkages!

Post# 964110 , Reply# 29   10/24/2017 at 06:35 (359 days old) by johnrk (BP TX)        
vacuum wipers

The amazing thing to me is how long vacuum wipers existed here in the US. Chrysler went to electric wipers on all their brands in 1950; for most of their cars, though, they were single-speed and people didn't like that. But Ford kept them in at least some cars (including Lincoln) through at least 1960! At one point in college I had a stripper '61 Biscayne wagon that was really a stripper. It even had the recirculating heater instead of the fresh air one. And it had one speed wipers--but they were electric.

And American Motors used them at least through 1969 on some models! When I was a kid in the 60's my father had a 1960 Rambler Classic wagon for his 'work' commuting car. It had vacuum wipers and I remember them slowing down just when you'd need them the most. My mother had a '60 Bonneville and it had at least two speeds, and they were 'clap-hands' wipers that met in the middle.

Post# 964116 , Reply# 30   10/24/2017 at 07:26 (359 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

AMC used vacuum wipers into the early 1970s on the Gremlin and Hornet. Ford Broncos also had them as standard equipment until about the same time.

I've had at least 8 Ramblers over the years, and I can tell you that when all is right, the wipers don't slow down much at all when you stomp on the gas. They're also quiet, and don't cause radio interference. They also don't get damaged if someone shuts the car off before a winter freeze without first parking the wipers.

Looks like Steve Johnson has a download of the Mopar 807 radio schematic for $7.50 (see link below) It is very important to replace the buffer capacitor on the vibrator with the exact value and a high voltage rating.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO kenwashesmonday's LINK

Post# 964145 , Reply# 31   10/24/2017 at 12:26 (359 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Rich, the "black beauty" capacitor in your picture above is notorious for causing problems.  I've only seen a grand total of exactly one person ever dispute this claim, and I'm pretty sure it was someone on this web site.  If you do nothing else, make sure you at least replace that one.

Post# 964147 , Reply# 32   10/24/2017 at 13:35 (359 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

The black plastic cap with the stripes?  If if makes a clunk when it hits the trash can, it's bad.

Post# 964151 , Reply# 33   10/24/2017 at 14:44 (359 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Yes, that black one.

rp2813's profile picture

Has anyone ever tossed a good one into the trash to find out how it sounds?   I don't know that I'd be able to tell the difference. 

Post# 964209 , Reply# 34   10/25/2017 at 03:15 (358 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

That photo is from the text link I posted. It's not of the components from my '50 Plymouth radio.

And the "Black Beauty" does not look familiar anyway. I do recall replacing the vibrator that hiked 6 volt positive ground to whatever higher frequency voltage the radio itself needed. That was relatively easy and worked just fine. In any case, I replaced ALL the capacitors so if there was a defective one in there, it's long gone.

No, the problem I encountered was with the square or rectangular caps, the ones with three dots or six dots. I simply couldn't find any explanation of how to read the dots; the electronics store was no help, so I took a best guess. The radio works but the volume isn't what I think it should be, and the reception could be better, too. So my suspicion is that the performance has been affected by capacitors with the wrong ... capacitance. Once I know what the values should be, it would be a relatively easy process to replace what I put in there in the mid-90's with the correct values.

Post# 964444 , Reply# 35   10/26/2017 at 22:32 (357 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Will be

stan's profile picture
Pulling the radio sometime this weekend (pics for Rich) and will see what I'm able to do with the wipers.

Post# 965455 , Reply# 36   11/1/2017 at 19:56 (351 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Sent you pics of radio, not sure if they show what you need. Let me know if you get them or need better ones. Posting here as well.. More eyes on may help.
Got the wipers working without taking the motor apart. With better light I found that I had previously mounted incorrectly.
Watch when it rains.. I'll bet the SOBs won't work LOL

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size
Post# 965460 , Reply# 37   11/1/2017 at 20:04 (351 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
I'm having trouble with the rear turn signals bulbs , and front running lights!
Service manual dose not indicate bulb numbers. I think 1157 for running lights? (Double filament) and tail lights?
Can't find out turn signal bulb numbers (ones there have the numbers faded or rubbed off)
Think they are listed in owners manual, but can't find my copy.
What next

Post# 965491 , Reply# 38   11/1/2017 at 22:09 (351 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Found it

stan's profile picture
Also some specs for radio

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size
Post# 965506 , Reply# 39   11/1/2017 at 22:29 (351 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
I know one thing!

Those older radios will pick up stations at night you can only dream of getting on a new radio.

Post# 965521 , Reply# 40   11/2/2017 at 00:05 (351 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, it doesn't look like we've established whether you're working with a 6 or 12 volt system.  From what I can make out on the SAMS radio specs you posted, it appears to be rated at 6 volts.


If that's the case, then 1157 isn't the bulb you want for rear stop/tail lamps because that's a 12 volt bulb.  I just replaced the after-market tail light assemblies on my GMC with 6 volt originals that take two separate bulbs for stop and tail.  I can probably dig up one of the old 6 volt dual filament bulbs and give you the number off of it.  I also have aftermarket turn signals up front, and those are single filament bulb #1129 which is probably what you need for yours, unless they are double duty parking/signal lamps, in which case they'd be the same as the dual filament ones I removed.


Let me know what type you need and I'll get back to you with numbers.  I basically have bulbs for all possibilities here, be it dual filament front & rear or single filament.

Post# 965528 , Reply# 41   11/2/2017 at 00:20 (351 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
a 50

Would be 6 volt positive ground, unless it has been updated.

Post# 965718 , Reply# 42   11/3/2017 at 03:26 (349 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
You are correct 6 volt positive ground. Not converted to 12.
Ralph.. Found my owners manual..
1158 is the stop/tail light duel filament. 63 is for turn signals for front and back. All can be had at the local auto store. Think part of my problem with these lights is that the sockets are very worn, and are loosing their ground connection. And someone has dicked with them in the past.
Only way I can figure a way for these to work properly is to get new sockets, new bulbs, and mount them where the manufacture intended them to be.

And just like I thought.. Wipers stopped working..don't notice a vacuum leak in the vacuum hose? Kits mounted correctly, linkage looks good...Guess I have to crack the vacuum motor, and see what's up.
Only one thing good from all partner likes seeing me laying on my back in and under the car.. Having a lurker doesn't help me but..guess he gets charge out of it?

Post# 965807 , Reply# 43   11/3/2017 at 13:49 (349 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Glad you found the numbers, Stan.  63 sounds like what the GMC uses, but I'm not familiar with 1158.  I have issues with some of the sockets on my GMC, but usually giving them a tweak, like extending the spring to provide more pressure and/or using something like a flat blade screwdriver to alter the surface of the contact point(s) of the bulb helps.


Best of luck with the wipers.  I guess you'll be needing them starting today.  I pulled the motor from its mount on the GMC to test it with linkage detached and it ran smooth as silk and at a good clip while sitting there in my hand.  That leads me to believe it's the linkage that's bogging it down.  You might try a similar test to isolate the problem.

Post# 965831 , Reply# 44   11/3/2017 at 16:37 (349 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Ralph

stan's profile picture
I'll try that (again) with wiper motor. I've had them running, only to have them not the next day.
Back to the lights..the manual dose not give a bulb number for turn signal lights. Says bulb 63 for parking lights. Think it's because turn signals where optional then. Says bulb 88 for dome light. I'm wondering if the same socket can be used for either? If so I could use bulb 88 for Signals (brighter)
Fur sure the suckers need to be mounted better.

Post# 965836 , Reply# 45   11/3/2017 at 17:29 (349 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
EDITED with new info

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, yes, now that you've mentioned it, 63 provides typical tail/parking light brightness which is only 3 CP.  Stop and signal lamps are usually 21 CP.   If your turn signal lamps are single filament, 1129 (21 CP) should work.  If they function as both parking and turn signal, then 1158 should work.  BUT -- read on.


I checked the bulbs in the after-market tail lamp assemblies I pulled off the Jimmy.  They're dual filament, but instead of 1158, they're 1154.  I investigated, and 1158 has what's called "in line" posts on the side of the bulb base (to twist and lock into the socket) and 1154 has offset posts (one higher/lower than the other).  Otherwise, I presume CP is the same for filaments on both.  So, if the slots in your sockets are in line, use 1158, otherwise go with 1154.  I'll have to check one of the 1129s I have sitting around here and see if its posts are in-line or offset. 




OK, the 1129 has in line posts.  I couldn't find anything about a single filament bulb with equivalent CP and offset posts, but such a bulb might exist, unless the offset treatment is only found on dual filament types.  I have a feeling that your Plymouth has a dual purpose parking/signal assembly and would take either the 1158 or 1154, but if parking and signal lenses are separate, then 1129 (or its offset counterpart) and 63 should work.



This post was last edited 11/03/2017 at 23:09
Post# 965859 , Reply# 46   11/3/2017 at 20:17 (349 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Ralph

stan's profile picture
Was thinking that I might take out the house and repaint whir or metallic silver better brightness

Post# 965896 , Reply# 47   11/4/2017 at 00:05 (349 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I did that with the added turn signals on the front and rear of the GMC.  I painted the insides silver.  It helped a little, but the lenses themselves are the rounded cone shaped running lights intended for night use so they still don't light up well when it's sunny.


I've been looking for old school add-on turn signal assemblies with flat lenses, but haven't found any yet that will work without a lot of modification.


And P.S.


I'm down with your partner.  What's not sexy about a man on his back while working under a car?

Post# 965900 , Reply# 48   11/4/2017 at 00:23 (349 days old) by diesirae7 (Central Illinois)        
Vacuum antenna

When you mentioned radio and vacuum, made me think of my 1954 Cadillac Fleetwood radio. The antenna is vacuum powered, a vacuum switch is built into the volume knob, push in to raise the antenna and pull out to lower it. Amazing what they did with vacuum power in those days.

Post# 965904 , Reply# 49   11/4/2017 at 00:28 (349 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

Thanks for posting those photos and emailing me same.

As I discussed, as I recall the components of interest are soldered on the opposite side of the circuit board from the tubes. So the radio would have to be further disassembled to reveal the "goodies".

However it's also been about 23 years since I worked on my '50 radio, and while I seem to recall the capacitors and resistor were tucked away underneath, I can't be 100% sure of that until either you or I pull our radios and do some wrenching.

I also have a schematic, but when I got mine some years after the radio was updated and put back in the dash. And I'm not positive the schematic I have is for the right radio.

I might be able to pull my radio this weekend to check out the particulars.

Post# 965905 , Reply# 50   11/4/2017 at 01:09 (348 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I think our '57 Lincoln had a vacuum operated antenna. 


It was a beautiful car, but also the world's biggest lemon.  Every major component imaginable failed at least once.  My dad bought that car a couple of times over.  If the antenna ever worked, it didn't do so for long.

Post# 965943 , Reply# 51   11/4/2017 at 08:35 (348 days old) by kenwashesmonday (Haledon, NJ)        

At the cab company where I worked we had a fleet of aging Checker cabs. When the light bulb sockets got tired and no longer contacted the tips of the bulbs well, they would add a little blob of solder to the contacts on the base of the bulbs.

Post# 966247 , Reply# 52   11/5/2017 at 18:17 (347 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
If it helped "a little" I'll take that.
Ken. Thanks for the tip.
Rich. Here's some pics of the radio out.. looks like the front cover can be removed to begin access to where your trying to get.
5.5mm socket seems to fit the best, your application may be different? If you go that far, post some pics!
I also decided to service the defroster motor (was laying there anyway) but noticed how heavy it was.. Decided to weigh it and this little guy weighs 2 and 1/2 lbs
It's back in, and running good.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 966328 , Reply# 53   11/6/2017 at 01:41 (346 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

I wound up fighting a sore throat/cold most of the weekend, lots of sleeping, and didn't get around to pulling the car radio.

Nothing on a '50 Plymouth would be metric, however, 5.5 mm works out to about .217 inches, which in turn would be close to 7/32 (.218). Generally fasteners are made slightly smaller than nominal, and sockets and wrenches are made slight larger than nominal. Your socket set may not have the 7/32 size, but it's a good idea to have a 1/4" set that covers that range as well.

My defroster motor stopped working last winter (when I actually needed it). Turned out the ground wire needed to be relocated, and more firmly attached, after which it resumed normal operation. Yes, like most components on that car, it's heavy, but that it's lasted 57 years should tell you something. Chrysler tended to put the same accessory components (other than obvious differences like engines etc) on their smallest cars (Plymouth) as on their biggest cars (Chrysler), which means the smaller Plymouths got quite a reputation for reliability, since their accessories were somewhat overbuilt. Unlike later years when small often meant cheaper, lighter, and flimsier all round.

Post# 966468 , Reply# 54   11/6/2017 at 19:44 (346 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
You could try

stan's profile picture
the 7/'s what I reached for first, but oddly the 5.5 mm was better for me.
Still trying to get the old girl ready for dark cold and rain. Heater, defroster, and of course the lights

Take care of the sore throat

Post# 966565 , Reply# 55   11/7/2017 at 10:11 (345 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
BTW where did u move ur ground wire?
Mine is attached the the screw that holds the heater control to the dash.
Do you happen to know where the manufacture intended for it to go?

Post# 966680 , Reply# 56   11/7/2017 at 19:06 (345 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
got lights working for the time being..
Will tweek later..But wanted to let you know that bulb 81 can be used in place of the 63 with more CP.
Found this by returning the 67s they gave by mistake, for the 63s. The girl at the part store gave me a 81 and said it was 6 volts with higher CP than the 63. Now that I've treid..I may exchange them and switch out 63s for the 81s.
If I do, I want to see if there is a 6 volt dual filament that has a higher CP than the 1158s that serve as tail and brake lights.

Post# 966708 , Reply# 57   11/7/2017 at 21:35 (345 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

Sorry, the cold medicine seemed to have addled my brain a bit.

The blower that stopped working for me a while ago was the blower motor for the whole heater. It's attached up front near the radiator. Can't remember where I moved it, there were several points to choose from. I think it just got a little loose, and when I rebuilt the engine I repainted everything, and the ground wire was attacked to one of the bolts on the radiator frame - as I recall. I repositioned that wire and made sure it had good contact with bare metal. Did the trick. But that was after I took everything apart, naturally. LOL.

I worked yesterday but overnight the sore throat returned with a vengeance so I stayed home today. Tomorrow is probably 50/50.

I don't recall ever fooling with the defroster blower. Can't even picture it at the moment.

On the 7/32 bolt... I have noticed that the hex heads on fasterners on this car seem to be closer to nominal dimensions than modern fasteners. In other words, sockets and wrenches fit tighter on them than they would on a newer fastener. Which is generally a good thing, as long as one can get the tool on it and off it without having to bang it on.

I'll probably discover what's the best wrench/socket for that fastener when I pull my radio. You might also get a set of calipers and measure across the flats on the hex.

Post# 966810 , Reply# 58   11/8/2017 at 11:13 (344 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Defroster motor

stan's profile picture
Mounts under the dash. Squirrel cage is held on with an Allen screw. Would imagine heater blower is similer, maybe biger These motors don't move a lot of air (like a new car) but as long as the ductwork is as airtight as possible they get the job done. (Just takes longer)
@Rich..You mentioned vacuum gas pump..up thread in relation to the wipers. Can you explain further. Don't think I have such?

  View Full Size
Post# 966842 , Reply# 59   11/8/2017 at 13:33 (344 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Hey Stan, thanks for the info on the #81 bulbs.  I'll look into getting a couple for the tail lights on the Jimmy.   It sounds like parts stores carry them from the experience you described.


I looked up a chart that shows the difference between a 63 and 81:

63:  7.0 volt, .63 amp, 3 CP, average life 1,000 hours

81:  6.5 volt, 1.02 amp, 6 CP, average life 500 hours.


I wonder if the 81 would be compatible with the existing wiring.  I also notice that with 12 volt bulbs, they are often rated for 14 volts, which is IIRC what's usually provided while the engine is running and generator is at maximum operation.  I don't know if a 6 volt system kicks up similarly while the engine and generator are running and whether that might blow out a #81.   I guess it couldn't hurt to try.  Seems to me that when all lights are on, it would be unlikely for more than 6 volts to be powering the bulbs.


I don't really need anything brighter for the front parking lamps.  They're almost never used, and the added-on turn signal lamps take the larger base single filament #1129, which seems bright enough.

This post was last edited 11/08/2017 at 20:00
Post# 966901 , Reply# 60   11/8/2017 at 19:25 (344 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Existing wiring

stan's profile picture
Can't see why it wouldn't be compatible ? It's a 6 volt bulb, and used in my case as turn signals, so that they won't be running continually. We'l see. Id really like to get brighter lights for the stop/tail lights,1158 in my case, but may have to live with it, unless I can maybe modify a flashlight reflector to the light assembly or some such mess as that ? LOL

Post# 966934 , Reply# 61   11/8/2017 at 21:41 (344 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, yeah, I think I was getting carried away with the wiring thing.  I had occasion this afternoon to talk with a guy who specializes in auto electrical work, including vintage.  He said he saw no problem with switching out a 63 for an 81.


For adding a reflective surface in your tail, parking and/or signal lamp assemblies, before you buy paint, try one of those shiny metallic pleated baking cups (for cupcakes).   I've read on an old car forum that they're quite effective.

Post# 966941 , Reply# 62   11/8/2017 at 22:15 (344 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Certainly worth a try, can't hurt!
I might be getting carried away too, with my thoughts of cannibalizing flashlights! LOL

Post# 966954 , Reply# 63   11/8/2017 at 23:39 (344 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        
Vaccum fuel pump

supersuds's profile picture
Stan, AC (and maybe others) made a double diaphragm fuel pump that helped provide a vacuum boost to the wipers when the car was pulling hard and the manifold vacuum was low. I never had a car with one, but I've heard it was a poor substitute for electric wipers, though better than nothing.

Post# 967081 , Reply# 64   11/9/2017 at 20:34 (343 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

The vacuum gas pump combo can be identified by having two lines coming off it. One is a line from the lower part carrying gasoline to the carburetor, the other is a line from the upper part to the vacuum wiper circuit. It's supposed to add vacuum power at times when the intake manifold has low vacuum (such as low speed uphill open throttle). I'll have to take another look at how it's plumbed in.

When I rebuilt the motor in the 90's, I also rebuilt the gas/vac pump. The gas pump works fine, but I think the vacuum part may need some attention, since the wipers can slow down quite a bit uphill. I could probably service it without removing it, but to do anything one must jack up the passenger side the car, remove the front wheel, remove a splash shield, and remove a heat shield over the combo pump. I need to replace the exhaust manifold gasket anyway so I'll probably combine those two repairs when I get a round toit.

This post was last edited 11/10/2017 at 07:44
Post# 967939 , Reply# 65   11/14/2017 at 16:25 (338 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I got a few #81 bulbs through NAPA.  They make quite a difference.


I took the attached picture after switching out only the left tail lamp.  This was in a shaded area during the day, and you can easily see the difference with the left lens (81 bulb) being fully lit while only the bottom half of the right lens (63 bulb) is lit.  These lamp assemblies hold two separate bulbs -- one for stop and the other for tail.  The tail bulbs are at the very bottom of the assembly and the stop lamps are pretty much right behind the round portion in the center of the lens.  This is why only the bottom half is lit on the right.


At night the entire lens will light up, even with a 63 bulb, but the 81 is twice as bright and brings the illumination up to more modern standards.   This should provide a major improvement on your Plymouth.

  View Full Size
Post# 967944 , Reply# 66   11/14/2017 at 16:52 (338 days old) by ovrphil (N.Atlanta / Georgia )        

ovrphil's profile picture
..interesting thread that I haven't finished reading, but ...I just inherited some old parts. One is an unused Motorola 2N176 Transistor with a date marking of 152 (1951, the 52nd week).

The link below was also helpful...and within a week, this thread appears.

Thanks for putting this out, Stan -cool old radio and new to my eyes. Tubes!


  View Full Size
Post# 967967 , Reply# 67   11/14/2017 at 20:14 (338 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
One thing: Most LED lights (bare bones) will run on 6 volts just fine. I added some small blue lenses to the tail-lights on my 50. They fit perfectly into hole that the unlighted red reflector once resided. I added a white LED behind each one, and they glow dimly (back in the 90's, bare bones LED bulbs were relatively low power/lumens. I could probably revisit that and put in more powerful LED's today. But I kind of like the subtle purple glow they give at night.

Post# 967996 , Reply# 68   11/14/2017 at 22:30 (338 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Rich, those blue dot lenses are popular among customizers.  I do tend to see them on GM cars more than other makes.  I don't know what their purpose is, but I do notice when I come up behind a car with blue dots, the lens appears to light up pink.


This is the best example I've found (on a '56 Chevy):


Image result for blue dot tail lights


They make the type that would fit on my truck, but the only custom thing about that beast is its patina.  Plain red is fine.  I ordered glass lenses but they're way too dark.  Even with an 81 tail lamp bulb they'd be insufficient, and when stopping, only the round section in the center lights up.  I'm sticking with plastic, and with those the entire lens also serves as a reflector.


Image result for blue dot tail lights

Post# 967997 , Reply# 69   11/14/2017 at 22:36 (338 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Well, Ralph I know the blue dot lenses are very popular with hot rodders. They are also marginally illegal, since only law enforcement vehicles are supposed to display blue lights to the rear. While I've never had a cop pull me over in the Plymouth, it is a reason why I haven't been too anxious to add more illumination to the blue dots.

Come to think of it, I didn't use LED's behind the blue dots after all. Just 6 volt wheat bulbs. I've *thought* of going the LED route, but it would't be quite vintage, would it?

Post# 968205 , Reply# 70   11/15/2017 at 19:52 (337 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Glad the 81s worked for you.
Sounds like you have a different set up the me, and looks like you don't have turn signals on the back?
The 81s (formerly 63s) serve as turn signal for front and back on mine, and 1158s serve as tail/stop lights. The 81s will serve as running lights on the front (but haven't figured out why their not working..yet)
The women at NAPA looked to see if she could find a 6volt dual filiment bulb with more CP that would replace the 1158s but no luck.
So I'm going to try the cupcake liner next. I'll see if it helps. LOL

Thank for the info about the gas pump. Mine has been changed to a 6 volt elecric fuel pump.
Have you pull your radio yet? Also I'm curious to know if you have replaced your front or rear windshield gasket on your 50.
Its something that I need to do on mine, and wondering what I might be getting myself into.

Post# 968228 , Reply# 71   11/15/2017 at 20:44 (337 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture

Havn't pulled the radio yet. It's on my list.

No I didn't replace the front/rear glass gaskets. Although they look easier than on most cars, since I'm guessing the interior fake wood molding actually holds the glass in place against the gasket (That is, squeezes the gasket over the glass). I suppose it's in the service manual.

About seven years ago when for some reason I was leaving the car exposed in the rain, I noticed the windshield was seeping water. A little silicone sparingly applied seemed to resolve that. But eventually it will need a new gasket, I'm sure.

All this discussion about bulbs makes me wonder what's in there. I remember getting 6 volt bulbs at Grand Auto or Kragen back in the 90's . Grand Auto is gone, now there's Auto Zone. No idea what numbers went where, but they all work pretty good.

Post# 968229 , Reply# 72   11/15/2017 at 20:46 (337 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Oh, by the way. When I rebuilt the Plymouth radio, the tuning pointer fell off. I scrounged around and finally found that a little red tube from a spray can fit pretty well, so that's what's in there now.

Post# 968259 , Reply# 73   11/15/2017 at 23:54 (336 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, my truck has after-market turn signals.  The rear ones are mounted up near the top of the tailgate and the front are on the flat area behind the front bumper.   They use a single filament bulb, and I have 1129 types, which are rated at 21 CP, in all of them.  I think 21 CP is common for 6 volt stop and signal applications.


If you're using 81s for your turn signals, I can see how those would still be dim, particularly during the day.   The 1129 is more than three times brighter than an 81, and seven times brighter than a 63.


When I had the set of after market tail lamps on the truck, they took a dual filament bulb with the same specs as the 1158, but with offset posts on the side of the bulb (1154).  They lit up well.   I guess the purpose of offset posts is to prevent the reversal of stop and tail filaments.



Post# 968804 , Reply# 74   11/18/2017 at 19:08 (334 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Ralph

stan's profile picture
So.. You think I should try the 1129 for my signals? Just got the 81s that are better than I had.. But if 1129 will show up better during the day I'll try em. My posts are not off set?
Rich, I have to change the gaskets cuz they both leak. It's the rear window that causes me to pause.. The molding is more comlpex, and the glass is curved.. If I broke it, it'd be much hard to find another, where as the fronts are just two flats.
Guess this thread should have been titled "pre 12 volt cars"

Post# 968841 , Reply# 75   11/18/2017 at 22:59 (334 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, it just occurred to me that if your signal assemblies use 81s, the 1129 won't fit.  The 1129 base is larger.  It seems odd to me though, that Plymouth would have thought 3 CP (63) was adequate for a turn signal. 


Per NAPA's site, front and rear signals on a '50 Plymouth use 1158s.  Do you have more than one socket behind front and rear lenses?  I don't know why there would be, as one 1158 should serve as stop/tail/signal/parking on the rear, and signal/parking up front.  I'm puzzled about how a 63 or 81 comes into play.  If you can, post a couple of pictures here of what's behind front and rear lenses.   Otherwise, maybe Rich can share what's on his car.


Also, on a chart I checked, I noticed that modern 12 volt dual filament stop and tail bulbs aren't any brighter than a 6 volt 1158.  It seems 3 CP is standard across both voltages for tail lamps, and 21 CP or thereabouts for stop/signal. 

This post was last edited 11/19/2017 at 06:19
Post# 968848 , Reply# 76   11/18/2017 at 23:40 (334 days old) by Norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Re. Vacuum wipers

I'm surprised it doesn't have electric wipers. I thought all. Chrysler products did after 48. My 53 Plymouth did and my 53. Imperial had 2 speed electrics

Post# 968864 , Reply# 77   11/19/2017 at 03:34 (333 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Technically the Plymouth is a Chrysler "product", but as with other advances, electric wipers hadn't trickled down to the smallest of the Chrysler product lineup by 1950. Similar for automatic transmissions - the Plymouths came only with manual transmissions. Which probably was a good thing, since what Chrysler had in 1950 was a hybrid manual trans with a fluid coupling called "Fluid Drive". Also known as a slush-o-matic.

From Wikipedia:

"Fluid Drive is the trademarked name that Chrysler Corporation assigned to a transmission driveline combination which replaced the flywheel with a hydraulic coupling inserted in and performed the same function as a modern torque converter, only without torque multiplication. A conventional clutch and three- or four-speed manual transmission was installed behind the fluid coupling. Fluid drive was used in many military vehicles produced for the US Armed Forces during the Second World War. It was offered for civilian use from 1939 through 1953 in Chryslers, 1940 through 1953 in DeSotos, and from 1941 through 1954 in Dodge models; a semi-automatic system was optional from Chrysler and Desoto from 1941, and for Dodge from 1949"

Post# 969162 , Reply# 78   11/20/2017 at 22:13 (332 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Your right., Two sockets, two bulbs
Here's the front set up behind the lense.
This is the passenger side front. The bulb showing on the left is the turn signal. The socket just left of it is where the parking or running light is suppose to be, and will also except a bulb 63 or 81.
The back lights are similar, with bulb 63 or 81 used as turn signal, and a separate socket uses a 1158 as a tail/stop.
It's become obvious to me that this car did not come with turn signals from the factory..
As you can see, my problem is that who ever added the turn signals inserted the sockets from the back, this causes the bulb to be too deeply set, and makes it difficult to change bulbs, and also interferes with brightness. I've clipped the wire to one on back and tried to insert the socket from the front (as it should have been done) but won't fit unless I remove the lense assembly and use a drumrel to remove a little more material tword the back, And it appears that's what I'm going to have to do with all four.

  View Full Size
Post# 969181 , Reply# 79   11/21/2017 at 00:24 (331 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Turn signals? On a '50???


I still have to stick my arm out the door. Amazing how many other drivers don't have a clue what I'm trying to tell them...

Well at least my '50 has brake lights...

  View Full Size
Post# 969184 , Reply# 80   11/21/2017 at 00:34 (331 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

In my research on bulbs I've come across some discussions about aftermarket turn signals.  Though I'm not clear on the reasoning, in order to integrate turn signal operation with an existing two-filament stop/tail bulb like an 1158, the signal activator needs to have seven wires.  I got lost trying to follow where all seven of them go.  If the activator has only four wires, separate dedicated signal bulbs are required front (perhaps) and rear.  I'm guessing you're dealing with a four wire system, just like I am on the GMC.


We've established that the added-on signal sockets front and rear can't accept a bulb that's brighter than 6 CP.  In order to allow for a brighter bulb like an 1129, you'll need to upgrade the rear signal sockets to the next larger size.  As long as you have to snip the wires, you might as well dremel the holes so they'll accept the larger socket for an 1129.


Up front, it seems like you have two options:


1)  Do the same thing as on the rear with the dremel and install new larger sockets for 1129s


OR if it's not too difficult,


2)  Snip the wires to both the signal and parking lamp sockets.  Change the parking sockets to dual filament types that accept 1158 bulbs, then connect signal lead and parking lead to the new socket (the added-on signal receptacle is no longer used).  If the wrong filaments light for signal and parking, remove the bulb, turn it 180 degrees and replace.  Both the 1158 and 1129 are available in amber, which would be easier for opposing traffic to notice.


I don't see any other solutions to correct what seems to be a botched installation (front and rear) by one of the car's previous owners.









Post# 969196 , Reply# 81   11/21/2017 at 01:23 (331 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
In my collection of odds and ends for the '50, I have an aftermarket turn signal lever, that you're supposed to clamp to the steering column. But I gather that's the easiest part. Figuring out how to wire it all up would be a challenge. I see that six volt positive ground thermal flashers are available on eBay... But still, easier just to roll down the window and wave wildly, LOL. It's why in winter I always wear a coat while driving.

When I was very young we had an old pre-49 Plymouth. I remember imitating my dad by sticking my arm out the driver side rear seat window. And getting yelled at. Good times.

Post# 969267 , Reply# 82   11/21/2017 at 14:55 (331 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I called a local lighting distributor and inquired about brighter bulbs.  I had found the 1133 type, but they're too big.  Satco shows on their site that they have 1133 in the normal size and shape, equivalent to an 1129 or 1158, but the distributor couldn't find that particular item number.  He suggested a 1680 bulb.  That one looks like what I need.  It's the same size as 1129, but is 32 CP.


Stan, in thinking about your tail lights, since the signal operates on a separate bulb and is at maximum only 6 CP, while you have your foot on the brake, the 21 CP of the 1158 renders the signal lamp invisible (since unlike factory systems, your signal function doesn't supersede the brake).  Seeing as how the brake lamp stays lit while the signal flashes, the only way you'd get any visibility would be to install 1680s back there for your signals.  As stated above, this would require changing the existing socket to the larger size and using the dremel to make the hole larger. 


I may order a 10-pack of 1680s.  If you decide to upgrade, I'll have a couple of spares that I could send to you.


Post# 969314 , Reply# 83   11/21/2017 at 21:47 (331 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

As far as wiring the aftermarket turn signal thing lots of old jeeps and power wagons and other old trucks got them back in the day so there should be basic instructions on how to wire one up out there somewhere. I bet Google would find some somebody has archived. My buddy had one in his 55 dodge pick up that had a rubber wheel that ran on the edge of the steering wheel so it could self cancel like modern cars and it worked. My Jeep never had turn signals installed just the standard military black out light switch it left the factory with. It was cool because you really could run in total blackout mode and nothing lit up. I used to just turn on the brake lights during the day. My power wagon had a aftermarket setup installed and working when I got it. I did rip the setup out of a car at a yard but never put it in my jeep.
I spose somebody still sells them but not many cars that old running around now.

Post# 969770 , Reply# 84   11/25/2017 at 00:08 (327 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        
Thanks Ralph

stan's profile picture
Let me know how the 1680s work for you. I'm glad to know there is a way (option 1) that I can Get some brightness. I suppose I could get or order a 1680 bulb and have NAPA hook me up with a corresponding socket, then cut my cloth to fit. I picked up a new universal socket that fits a 63 or 81 but would need some fine tuning to mount it, as the existing sockets have a different set up.
Nice 50! Why the two side mirrors on one door? Was thinking about ur radio and assumed that back when u installed, you used the trimming screw to fine tune. If u didn't you might try that to increase its volume. I believe it was recommended at the time a antenna was changed. (re trimmed)
My signals are not self cancelling. Anyone riding with me finds it hilarious.

Post# 969785 , Reply# 85   11/25/2017 at 02:23 (327 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Yep, the older cars didn't always get turn signals or self canceling, but by 50 I'd think most cars had simple signals. I only ever saw that one aftermarket upgrade turn signal system with self canceling on my buddies Dodge pickup. I bet it was much more expensive than others and the steering wheel hub had to have enough area and all that for the wheel to work. My Dart the tabs internally broke, one after the other, shortly after I got it so the cancel feature stopped working. I bought a kit to fix it but realized it was kinda cheap and I would have to cut wires so I never installed it. So when I used to drive it it worked just like your 50. I had a 50 coronet I never got running for a few years with a fuid drive semi auto transmission. It was a cool car and the body was solid and straight and I was given a ton of spare parts for it. Long gone now, I sold it for 200 nucks and the guy pulled one fenderand hopefully kept the parts and gave it to a wrecking yard where I found it again.

Post# 969787 , Reply# 86   11/25/2017 at 02:28 (327 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
Well, I think Stan has an aftermarket turn signal control, and since those generally are not integrated into the steering mechanism, they generally won't self cancel.

For that matter, a previous owner of my '67 Chevy replaced the stock steering wheel with a smaller padded aftermarket steering wheel. In the process, the ability to cancel the turn signal was lost. I'd actually like to round up the correct steering wheel for that vehicle, along with replacing the turn signal mechanicals inside the hub. It's on my bucket list. Meanwhile, I've got kind of used to having to cancel the turn signal manually.

Post# 969946 , Reply# 87   11/25/2017 at 17:42 (327 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Well they made that body style for a few years as far as your pickup so I bet you can choose from and chevy pickup with a similar body and use the steering wheel from it.
My Dart most of the parts from 67 to 76 when they stopped making them can be interchange or at least modified to fit easily.
I got my big bolt disk brake upgrade parts I never installed from a 75 Dart 4 door I bought for 150 and drove home. The brake parts alone were worth more then I paid for the car. Luckily the car itself was god awful ugly so nobody would buy it from him even for 150, but I asked what brakes it had and if they worked so I went out and paid him cash with no argument.
All the parts will pretty much bolt in to my 69.

Post# 970000 , Reply# 88   11/25/2017 at 23:21 (327 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture
It's not a pickup, it's a van. A pickup steering wheel might fit, I don't know. The vans were a bit different, albeit primarily, besides the obvious sheet metal difference, in the engine placement and front suspension. And the linkages.

At some point I also want to rewire the van completely. Someone put a Clifford alarm in it and it's like some creature from Star Trek, like a parasite on the nervous system. It's spliced into the original wiring harness in multiple places, and there are melted wires in there too. For some reason the wiring in the steering wheel area is especially strange.

Post# 970004 , Reply# 89   11/25/2017 at 23:39 (327 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

The 1680 bulbs are supposed to arrive on Monday.  Weather permitting, I may try them out if they don't arrive too late in the day, otherwise on Tuesday.  I'll report in with the results.

Post# 970155 , Reply# 90   11/26/2017 at 20:34 (326 days old) by dartman (Portland Oregon)        

Well it should still be fairly common, just not as much as the pickup. I'm sure being a gm there should be tons of info and gm forums that can tell you what parts will interchange between the vans and pickups of similar vintage and body styles. I know for a Dart valiants, dusters, Darts from 67 to 76 will pretty much interchange most of the mechanical parts and some of the body stuff too depending on whether you want all the body lines and parts to match up. Think I saw a 74 Duster with a 68 Dart nose on it. It mostly matched up except he used the Duster bumper that screwed up the look of the nose as bumper didn't match the lower body lines.

Post# 970258 , Reply# 91   11/27/2017 at 13:01 (325 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture
I never had a car old enough to have a tube radio. I have an AM wonderbar that I saved from a 1965 Electra 225 parts car that I got years ago. I wish there was an AM-FM version of the Buick Wonderbar because there's not much remaining to listen on the AM band anymore. I also have a non-signal seeking Delco AM-FM in my '65 Wildcat and an AM-FM multiplex in my '67 Riviera.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 970453 , Reply# 92   11/28/2017 at 19:08 (324 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
The 1680 Bulbs Are In!

rp2813's profile picture

And there's a significant increase in brightness.  I replaced all four turn signal lamps and the brake lamps.  The turn signals light up better under daylight conditions than they did with the 1129 bulbs.  Likewise for the brake lamps.   I've attached a picture of the brake lamps that I took late this afternoon.  The lamp on the left still has the 1129.  The lamp on the right has a 1680, and it's a lot brighter.


Stan, I can see how the 1680s would give you much brighter rear signals than you have now, if you decide to install the larger sockets they require.  Up front you have the option to do the same thing, or install a dual-filament socket in place of the parking lamp socket and use 1154 or 1158.  The brighter filament in those should be fine for front signals.





  View Full Size
Post# 970492 , Reply# 93   11/28/2017 at 23:06 (324 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Glad it worked out for you!
Hard to tell from the pic that there's much diffence ( between left and right) but sure looks brighter than your pic in reply #65
How much larger in diameter are the sockets than what you had before?

Post# 970495 , Reply# 94   11/28/2017 at 23:29 (324 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, in that picture further up, only the tail lamp bulbs are lit (the 81 on the left and 63 on the right).  The Stop Ray assemblies take separate bulbs for stop and tail, so I didn't need to change anything but the bulbs.  The 1680 base is the same size as the 1129, so it was a matter of removing the 1129 and replacing it with a 1680.  Now both tail assemblies are running a 1680 for stop/brake, and an 81 for tail lamp.  I think they're at least as bright as a 12-volt system would provide.  I'll remove a lens and take a picture so you can see what I've been working with.


I agree that the difference in the picture of the brake lamps isn't huge, but if you examine it, you'll see that the lamp on the right is so bright it looks pink, whereas the one on the left looks red and has dark areas surrounding the brighter center.  What appears to be a white area in the center of each lens is actually a very bright red, like a miniature "pull over" red spot light on a cop car.  Even that is brighter on the right side compared to the left.


This is likely the best it's going to get.  The only improvement I could make would be to add those silver cupcake things to the tail lamp assemblies, but the way they're put together, that would be easier said than done.  You'll see why once I've posted a picture here.


As for the size, I think you'll have to look up the 1129 or 1680 on line for the specs on the lamp base diameter.   It's a standard "S-8" size, which might be another term to use in your search.  I have a GE bulb list bookmarked, but that only provides the overall bulb width including the glass.

Post# 970508 , Reply# 95   11/29/2017 at 01:39 (323 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

I thought that dash in pic #1 looked familiar. 65' La Wildcat, French Canadian style.

  View Full Size
Post# 970573 , Reply# 96   11/29/2017 at 09:48 (323 days old) by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture
Yes but unfortunately, mine isn’t a hardtop coupe like yours!

Post# 970778 , Reply# 97   11/30/2017 at 12:38 (322 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, here's a picture of how my GMC's tail lamp assemblies are configured.  The upper bulb is the 1680 stop lamp; the lower is the 81 tail lamp (the turn signals run on separate added-on assemblies with their own wiring system).


As you can see, trying to rig up a reflective surface behind that mess will require some strategy.

  View Full Size

This post was last edited 11/30/2017 at 23:41
Post# 970847 , Reply# 98   11/30/2017 at 20:04 (322 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture



Just saw  your question about the two mirrors on the driver's door.


Well, since I use hand signals, I've found my signaling arm blocks the standard fender mounted mirror. So I added the upper mirror so I could still see behind me when signalling. It actually helps a lot, IMHO.


I was rummaging around in the shop today and found a 10 pack of 1158's that I must have acquired back in the 90's. I guess I'll never run out of those. Since I don't have turn signals, they are fine for my purposes. I'll have to take a photo of the rear lights with the blue dot faintly glowing.


Still haven't pulled the radio. Between fighting off this hell of a cold (finally stopped coughing) and turkey day, been a bit too busy to fool with the car. When I retire...  As for the trim screw, I don't recall ever messing with that. I'll give it a try next time I have the radio out (when I rebuilt it, I had it sitting on the dining room table with a big spare six volt car battery to power it).


Although I kept the original tube radio, I also added a bank of six to 12 volt converter modules - each worth about 20 watts - four wired in parallel, for a total of 80 watt capacity - and installed a modern 12 volt radio/tape player under the far left side of the dash (only the driver can access it). It worked pretty well. I put a Sony CD changer in the glove compartment. But a couple of years ago the CD changer quit working, don't know why. I upgraded the radio/cassette player under the dash to a radio/CD player. I think it will take USB also, maybe even bluetooth. The 12 volt conversion works OK, but can't drive these modern radios at full power - the voltage starts to drop and the music clips. But at polite levels it works great. These cars have a good interior shape for sound: rounded. I put two 6x9's under the rear shelf, and two smaller speakers in the side kick panels up front. I also had to put in an on/off switch for the 12 volt converter bank, otherwise it puts a drain on the 6 volt battery and I'd get stranded after parking a while. The only problem there is that many car radios lose their minds when the power is disconnected, so there is that. I often have to reprogram all the stations when I power it up again. I also have a disconnect for the car battery, because it seems to last longer if completely disconnected from the car for longer periods of storage. Did something similar on my '67 Van, although of course that one didn't need any voltage conversion. The '50 Plymouth still has its tube radio operational for the occasional purist :-).


I remember taking the '50 down the main drags in Monterey during one of the Pebble Beach Concours weekends in the 90's, with CD's of big bands like Harry James blasting. People seemed to like it.


Post# 971281 , Reply# 99   12/3/2017 at 12:43 (319 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

Convertible, hard top coupe or 4-door...they're all nice cars. Having a car like that in your garage and taking care of it is preserving a little piece of automotive history. 


Only a very few make it back to the road.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size
Post# 971862 , Reply# 100   12/6/2017 at 02:44 (316 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
So from what you've discovered, sounds like I could use the 1680 for my tail/brake replacing the 1158s and the 81s for my blinkers..still need to address the fact that the sockets for the blinkers are installed wrong
Rich, I'm surprised that with your ability to wire your 12 volt conversion module and the creative way you've added speaker ect.. That you never added turn signals?
The trim screw is something easy enough to try.. If I remember.. It's warming up the radio, tuning the dial to a week station around 1200-1400 and trimming til u get the best sound.
Since it just AM, all I can get news, talk radio or hear a cha cha, or get saved. Those are the choices. LOL

Post# 971863 , Reply# 101   12/6/2017 at 02:46 (316 days old) by Stan (Napa CA)        

stan's profile picture
Nice styling on that radio

Post# 971867 , Reply# 102   12/6/2017 at 03:33 (316 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

Stan, not exactly.


The 1680 has a single filament.  That would be the best option for your rear signal, but it would require a larger socket.  You're pretty much SOL for anything brighter than an 81 for your turn signal unless you replace that socket with a larger one that will accommodate a 1680.   You'll probably have to snip the signal wire and splice it back together as part of the process.


The 1158 would remain in place for brake/tail functions.  No need to touch that one.


Up front is a different situation.   One way or the other, you'll have to install a larger socket, and you'll have to snip/pull the wire off the existing signal socket and reattach it to the new socket.   You have two options: 


Replace the signal socket with the larger size to accommodate a 1680.  Done. 


Or, replace the parking socket with a larger size for a dual filament bulb and use an 1158 up there.  The signal wire would connect to the new large socket along with the parking wire.  The 1158 will function as parking and signal (just like the 1158 in back does brake/tail), and the old small add-on signal socket will be dead/disabled/defunct.


The first option is easier, the second one is cleaner and only sounds complicated, and is how Plymouth would have done it.

Post# 972041 , Reply# 103   12/6/2017 at 20:58 (316 days old) by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

sudsmaster's profile picture



It's my opinion that the car would need a completely new wiring harness in order for turn signals to work properly. I wouldn't want to be shoving new extra wires up against the old cloth covered stuff. Might be a good way to get an electrical short/fire down the road. Anyway, I haven't felt the need for turn signals, really, the hand signals are legal and if people don't get them, well, they need to take their driving test again ;-).


Maybe when I retire and have nothing better to do I'll see about turn signals for the '50.


But my feeling about the '50 is, it is what it is. I'm not too keen on hacking new sockets etc into something that is so well made to begin with. Just my opinion.


Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy