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Turn signal opinion
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By 1wonton - Sunday, February 03, 2019 5:21 AM
Finishing up my '31 Pierce Arrow truck; Question; Flashing turn signals weren't invented before 1938 ('38 Buick, first car with flashing turn signals) so should I add them to my restoration or not? They would look pretty cool but not original. At 35 mph truck is not a daily driver but wanted some opinions on originality. Thanks.

By someguy - Sunday, February 03, 2019 5:45 AM
Hi 1wonton, Ive been going through the same dilemma with my truck. It only had a single tail light and no signal lights. I really don't see the harm in adding signal lights to an early vehicle as long as you're reasonably crafty about how they look.

Where I live people get really confused/angry when they are even slightly inconvenienced when they are driving, working signal lights are a plus.
I have an old motorcycle with no signals and I have to use hand signals. People always wave back at me when I have my hand up to make a right hand turn:laugh:

It's just a few extra wires that can be removed later if need be. I think it's a safe compromise when driving around soccer moms breathing down your neck in their giant suv's.
By POWERSTROKE - Sunday, February 03, 2019 6:02 AM
I agree completely! Add both frt and rear turn signals, and the vintage "STOP" light that actually spells out "STOP" would be a nice touch. Today's LED lights might be out of character on an antique truck. But if your going to play in todays traffic, try to abide by today's rules.
By Swishy - Sunday, February 03, 2019 8:46 AM
They really only need to be noticable when activated
Indicators with amber arrows B hind a smoked lens etc
Trev even fitted west coast type mirrors with wood backing
By Wolfcreek_Steve - Sunday, February 03, 2019 10:12 AM
I agree that in some cases, safety trumps originality. With a little ingenuity one could make plug-in removable turn signals that quickly dismount and fit under the seat when at a show or parade.
Very slow top speeds is what has kept me out of the old tractor restoration hobby. Soccer moms do not understand the concept of slow traffic has rights also!
By 1wonton - Tuesday, February 05, 2019 3:25 AM
Thanks for the input men. I decided to just keep the truck original and no turn signals. It would look better with them but just not right for the period. Never see turn signals on classic cars.

By Brocky - Tuesday, February 05, 2019 3:37 AM
The answer to your question lies in the following question: Are you going to drive it on the road or trailer it to shows?? If you are going to drive it on the road, other than in parades, I would definitely improve all the lighting for the above mentioned safety reasons. Here is the back of my Diamond T:
By 1wonton - Tuesday, February 05, 2019 6:27 AM
Pretty clean looking DT. Anything after 1938 could have turn signals as original options but in 1931 nothing existed other than mechanical signals.

By Brocky - Wednesday, February 06, 2019 12:38 AM
The "Texas Oilfield" Back bumper and light set up was built by Bub Warren in Amarillo TX
By Bruce Ohnstad - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 9:38 AM
I'm coming in late as usual, mechanical "semaphore" swing-up arms would be historically accurate, there might be some aftermarket ones built. Otherwise near impossible to find, those who have them, keep them.

We'd love to see some pictures of your PA! You really put some time and effort, you've only had it a year or two.

By 1wonton - Thursday, February 28, 2019 9:22 AM
Just about done with the project. Took almost a year just to fab the wooden framed cab. Here are a couple pictures.

By 1wonton - Thursday, February 28, 2019 9:36 AM
Here is a shot taken in front of the Springfield, Il Water, Power and Light shop of this new truck in 1931. Last one after sitting up in the Il woods for fifty years.
By FredD - Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:18 PM
Ron, that is a beautiful truck and you did a great job. You should be very proud of it.
By roKWiz - Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:32 PM
Yes agree, that looks so good. indicators (turn signals) would spoil it.
By 1wonton - Friday, March 01, 2019 2:37 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind comments. I wanted it as original as possible.
By Brocky - Saturday, March 02, 2019 2:20 AM
Looks Great!! You did a wonderful job... Looking forward to see it a a show somewhere???
By Stretch - Saturday, March 02, 2019 6:50 AM
One word. AWESOME!
Take a little break and enjoy it.
Then, mayyyybeee, recreate that vintage body, mount a nice semaphore on it, and viola - turn signal problem solved ! :P
Will we be seeing the truck in Reno ?
By 1wonton - Sunday, March 10, 2019 6:44 AM
Thanks Stretch, planning on Reno.
By Bruce Ohnstad - Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:28 AM
Great job, Ron! How do you get your projects done so quick? Full time or have a crew?

This truck worked and rested in the Springfield area until you got it? I'm sure it would be a hit at the 2020 Springfield show.

The engine is Pierce Arrow, true? And what is the bore and stroke? Is the rear axle PA?

By 1wonton - Friday, March 15, 2019 12:45 PM
Hey Bruce;
Pretty much worked full time 5 days a week. Many people don't see (understand) just how much work goes into restoring some of these old relics. Cab and doors are all wood (I used ash, cherry and maple) with the sheet metal nailed over. You can't see this work, everything has to be lined up perfectly or the doors wont fit or the reveals wont line up. A local metal artist copied my original fenders and running boards ( the old ones were too far gone to restore). I broke down and bought a tig welder and spent many hours learning how to use it. Probably wasted half the wood I bought and several pounds of welding rods and sheet metal trying to get everything acceptable. Took the huge winch apart, cleaned it up and re-installed it, probably pull a house off it's foundation. Not enough room in my shop to rig up the original gin poles so I left them off. I felt like taking a break but figured once you start something you better finish it, too much history is lost by people loosing interest half-way. Engine is rebuilt Pierce Arrow (basically a twin ignition 529 ci Hercules RXC with Pierce manifolds, water outlet). I'm not an expert and the old truck is probably not an immaculate show piece but I'm glad I did it and it's FINISHED..........
A lady in the Springfield Public library found the old pictures I posted and kindly sent them to me.
Rear axle is a dual reduction Timkin 9.11-1 ratio, top speed at 2400 rpm ..............33mph................. New diaphragms for the air brakes were located at a brake and driveline shop in Sacramento. I drove around the neighborhood, don't know if I hit 30 but this old 5-ton would probably destroy your kidneys if it made 40.

Thank you for the generous comments.

By Bruce Ohnstad - Monday, March 18, 2019 2:54 AM
More questions,

What is the tag on the inside of windshield header above the rear view mirror?

How is the winch driven, from a small pto on the maintransmission or auxiliary transmission? And what brand is the winch? We'd love to see a picture of that winch!

Good tenacity on completing this restoration. You are right about the wood and sheet metal needing completion before painting. I've been 13 years on truck #2 and still need a few years.... Wood cab frame and sheet metal slowed me down 3 years of weekends or more.

By 1wonton - Saturday, March 23, 2019 2:40 AM
The tag over the windshield is an id plate or the company that built cabs for the early PA trucks. The winch is chain driven from a power take-off unit attached on the right side of the transmission. Brake and niggerheard engagement levers are inside the cab on the left side.
By Stretch - Saturday, March 23, 2019 3:45 AM
I noticed you've got the necessary self defense air horn mounted over the engine so you can actually drive it nowadays.:D

If it doesn't stop snowing soon we'll be lucky to get over Donner Pass to get to the show.
By 1wonton - Saturday, March 23, 2019 8:44 AM
I found a 6 volt air solenoid and hooked up the horn to my air line, can't wait to blow some bicyclist off the road. I'm damn sick of this stinking rain, what happened to the DROUGHT?????????????????