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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:07 am 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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Just out of curiosity. I know there are both amber and clear front turn signals. I think Valiants had these 1960 to 1962 and 1964 to 1965. What’s the difference? As far as I have seen the Amber ones seem much more common. Were the clear ones some extra high end option or where they required by law in certain states/countries? Anybody know?

Thanks,
Maurice


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:27 pm 
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Pre-'63 cars all had colourless lenses and colourless bulbs producing white light for the front turn signals. For 1963, by voluntary industry-wide agreement (there were not yet any national vehicle equipment or safety standards, nor any agency to issue them), amber was adopted for the front turn signal on all new vehicles sold in the US (and market logistics meant the same was mostly true in Canada). The rationale was that an amber turn signal was easier to see in daytime amidst sunshine reflections off chrome, and easier to pick out from the white headlights at night. From then on, either an amber lens/colourless bulb or a colourless lens/amber bulb setup was used, depending on the make, model, and year. The '63-'65 Darts and Valiants all came with amber lenses in their US/Canada-market configurations; '66 was the first year for colourless lens/amber bulb on any A-body except the Barracuda, which came that way from the start in '64.

'60-'62 Valiant (colourless) and '64-'65 Valiant (amber) lenses are interchangeable.
'61-'62 Lancer (colourless) and '63 Dart & Valiant (amber) lenses are interchangeable.

The switch to amber front turn signals on '63 models caused hystrionics from state police agencies and hassles for car owners for a couple of years. Eventually stuff settled down, but left us with two unfortunate degradations to the vehicle lighting system in North America: because American automakers didn't want to pay the cost of separating the turn signal and front position ("parking") light functions—two bulbs, two sockets, two lenses, etc—the front position lights also went from white to amber, which greatly reduced the difference in visual signature of the front and rear position ("tail") lights. In English, it got harder to tell which end of the car you were seeing if you didn't have a clear view because it was dark or stormy out. This was a bigger problem than it sounds like, because at that time it was fairly common for people to drive around in twilight conditions, around dusk/dawn, with just their parking and tail lights on.

Also, while the industry was happy to claim with a straight face that they were doin' it for safety's sake (a convenient cover story for another little way of making last year's model look obsolete), they put up a big fuss and rejected the idea of having amber rear turn signals separate from the red brake lights. Half a century later, they're still rejecting it, even though the rest of the world has required it for decades because it does a better job of preventing crashes.

A-bodies in other parts of the world were built with equipment conforming to local requirements. This meant white front park/turn lights for most of Europe until the '67-'73 timeframe when amber became required for the front turn signals (not 'til '77 in Italy). Amber front position lights were generally not accepted in Europe, but that didn't make a big problem because neither were US sealed-beam headlamps, and European replaceable-bulb headlamps were available with a built-in white position light via a second small bulb with its own socket. In the British Commonwealth countries sealed-beam headlamps were common, but they were available with a small round un-mirrored area of the reflector, just below the heel. A small round reflector cup was cemented to the back of the reflector behind that round window, and a small bulb and socket snapped into the back of that reflector cup—thus providing a white parking light and an amber turn signal, without having to make space for another lamp on the front of the car.

Etc!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:35 am 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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Thanks for the very enlightening explanation Dan (also for the interesting linked article). I appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:23 pm 
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Y'welcome. Wanna read more about the rough waters during the changeover to amber front turn signals? Read all the way to the end of this newspaper article, and also see this and this (last 2 links are PDFs).

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:44 pm 
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EFI Slant 6
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:15 am
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Slantsixdan can always be counted on to shed some light on this kind of question!

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1977 d-200 crew cab ex-army pickup wants it's /6 back
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:12 pm 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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Location: Finland
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nuttyprof wrote:
Slantsixdan can always be counted on to shed some light on this kind of question!


I think you could call him a very enlightened person (in every meaning of the word).


SlantSixDan wrote:
Y'welcome. Wanna read more about the rough waters during the changeover to amber front turn signals? Read all the way to the end of this newspaper article, and also see this and this (last 2 links are PDFs).


Those were interesting articles. It seems that somehow people always manage to make a mess out of things.
Standardization often seems to backfire somehow. Things used to be pretty good here in Finland. They started (from the 70s) introducing laws that required you to use headlights and taillights always when driving. This was good. It’s not just that it’s easy to see another car, but it’s also much easier to evaluate how far off they are. Then they harmonized regulations in EU and the DRLs came. The idea is good, but now you see more cars with no lights on, cars with only DLRs on in bad driving conditions and lots of cars with no taillights on.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:18 pm 
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DRLs are better than low beams for daytime use, for a bunch of reasons, but the lack of rear and side lighting when it's dark and stormy out…just as you say, that is a real problem. Here is a piece I wrote about it not long ago for the vehicle lighting industry's technical journal (I'm Chief Editor).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:31 am 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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SlantSixDan wrote:
DRLs are better than low beams for daytime use, for a bunch of reasons, but the lack of rear and side lighting when it's dark and stormy out…just as you say, that is a real problem. Here is a piece I wrote about it not long ago for the vehicle lighting industry's technical journal (I'm Chief Editor).


Your logic is convincing. An automated system would undoubtedly be the best solution to the problem, provided the automated system works (hope the quality is better than in consumer electronics...). Philosophically though I’m not very keen on the ever-increasing tendency to shift human responsibility over to machines. One could ask if a person should be driving if he/she doesn’t bother finding out how the lights work? But then of course 90% of the drivers would have to stay at home…


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:32 pm 
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Fact is, most crashes are caused by the nut behind the wheel (i.e., the human driver). That doesn't necessarily mean automatic systems are necessarily foolproof or perfect—after all, it's still humans designing and configuring them—and I share your frustration with people unwilling to put their full attention on the driving task, but we have to live with (and in) the world we have, not the one we wish we had, and in the world we have, the right solution is fully automatic lighting control. It's easy and inexpensive to do it well.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:55 am 
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3 Deuce Webber

Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:29 pm
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SlantSixDan wrote:
Fact is, most crashes are caused by the nut behind the wheel (i.e., the human driver). That doesn't necessarily mean automatic systems are necessarily foolproof or perfect—after all, it's still humans designing and configuring them—and I share your frustration with people unwilling to put their full attention on the driving task, but we have to live with (and in) the world we have, not the one we wish we had, and in the world we have, the right solution is fully automatic lighting control. It's easy and inexpensive to do it well.


I absolutely agree. Machines are much more dependable and make fewer mistakes than humans. I was just thinking on a broader perspective (going a bit too far off probably). Automation of the lights would certainly be the best choice for the particular problem at hand.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:55 pm 
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TBI Slant 6

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If I remember correctly, there were a couple of studies that showed that running headlamps in the daytime made a vehicle more difficult to see where lots of bright-sun, high-heat condtions exist along with flat terrain..... such as AZ-NV etc..............


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:39 am 
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Killer6 wrote:
If I remember correctly, there were a couple of studies that showed that running headlamps in the daytime made a vehicle more difficult to see where lots of bright-sun, high-heat condtions exist along with flat terrain..... such as AZ-NV etc..............


Not quite, there was an anti-DRL group putting out all kinds of claims and assertions without any science or data to back any of it up. To hear them tell it, DRLs were causing mountains of twisted metal and oceans of blood to sluice across the roads and had to be stopped BEFORE THEY KILL AGAIN!!!!!!. Their main thing was ranting against government in general. Blah blah nanny-state blah blah personal responsibility blah blah free to choose how to use the lights on my own car, etc.

DRLs work. That is, they reduce the crash risk of equipped cars. Even in bright sunlight. Even when all cars have them, even when all cars have had them for decades (so it's not just a novelty effect). It's been carefully studied in super-dark places like Finland, Norway, and Sweden…super-bright places like Australia…and pretty much everywhere in between. See here, if you like. You'll see some similarities to what I've said in this thread (daytime use of low-beam headlamps isn't a very effective DRL). This is an older document, and at the end it says Australia should wait and see what the studies show and regulators decide in Europe—and the end of that story is that DRLs (functionally specific ones, not daytime headlights) became mandatory in early 2011 on all new cars throughout Europe and the many other countries that apply the European vehicle regs.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:42 am 
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TBI Slant 6

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I believe that was the nature of one of them, that there were/are proposed laws mandating headlamps be turned on at all times, and that was an issue.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:28 am 
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EFI Slant 6

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 7:15 am
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Fin65Valiant wrote:
SlantSixDan wrote:
DRLs are better than low beams for daytime use, for a bunch of reasons, but the lack of rear and side lighting when it's dark and stormy out…just as you say, that is a real problem. Here is a piece I wrote about it not long ago for the vehicle lighting industry's technical journal (I'm Chief Editor).
Your logic is convincing. An automated system would undoubtedly be the best solution to the problem, provided the automated system works (hope the quality is better than in consumer electronics...). Philosophically though I’m not very keen on the ever-increasing tendency to shift human responsibility over to machines. One could ask if a person should be driving if he/she doesn’t bother finding out how the lights work? But then of course 90% of the drivers would have to stay at home…

Both of these points are spot on. The number of dark cars at night is astounding, and I've always felt the glowing dashboard is the problem. I try to alert drivers if I can, but the only way that works is via a conversation while waiting for a traffic light. You can flash til the cows come home, nobody gets it. Mostly because they truly don't understand their lights might possibly be off.

in the article you wrote:
Besides, this would aggravate a problem that's existed for decades: faced with a dark dashboard, thoughtless drivers slap at the headlight switch until the dashboard lights up. That's the front and rear position lights and sidemarkers, not the headlamps.

I can see where that would be likely -- in the newer cars we've rented, there are too many %$#* switch positions to understand it without reading the manual. (Which I have actually done before leaving the rental lot! Quite literally couldn't figure out the HVAC controls.) But in the older cars, it's just Off-Park-Headlights, and I cannot imagine turning it to the first position and forgetting to swipe to the second one, even with a rotary control. But especially with the Chrysler push-pull control, I've found that it takes concentration to limit the motion to the "only parking lamps". For me, even the most casual swipe illuminates all bulbs. That switch was pretty much foolproof.

So, the logic needs to be either make it all automatic, or make it simple again. Good luck ever attaining the latter.

- Erik

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:14 am 
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Supercharged

Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 11:50 pm
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How are DRLs aimed differently than low beams?

Are they aimed like high beams?

What about a DRL that is high and low beam in series so they're running half voltage each ?

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