How To Install Speedway Motors’ Headlight with Turn Signal

Mounting Speedway Motors’ Guide 682-C 12V H4 Headlights With Turn Signals

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By the Author

If you plan on driving your hot rod on the street there is a real good chance that you will need (and require) lighting composed of headlights and taillights. Check out our How To Install 1937 Ford Tail Lights onto a Model A Pickup (Nov. ’21 issue), so now it’s onto headlights.

02 Ron McCorkle of Hot Rods by Dean handled our headlight project
Ron McCorkle of Hot Rods by Dean handled our headlight project. Here he is working on the Lokar XHL-1900 Black Anchor-Tight Stainless Steel Headlight Braid (PN XHL-1900).
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To keep the early hot rod appearance of our pickup we opted for the Speedway Motors Guide 682-C 12V H4 Headlights with Turn Signals (PN 91101020). Since our truck’s sheetmetal will retain its primer appearance along with its black powder coated frame, the addition of the black headlights and taillights finishes off the look. To continue the lowkey early look, we added the Lokar Performance Products Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid in black (PN XHL-1900).

03 The upper braided housing shows the headlight end fitting with the ½ 20 jam nut
The upper braided housing shows the headlight end fitting with the ½-20 jam nut. The lower braided housing shows the fitting that you could use on a grille opening, the aluminum cup washer in the middle, and the ½-20 jam nut on the end. (Note, in our installation we didn’t go through a grille shell but rather through a frame rail.)

A Note On The History Of Automotive Headlights

Without getting too carried away, a little background on headlamps might be an interesting read. So, here goes.

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Prior to 1939 it was pretty much the “Wild West” with regards to headlight construction and design. They were made up of a headlamp bucket with a reflector, a bulb that could be changed, and then a lens.

04 The black Guide 682 C 12V H4 Headlight Turn Signal with wiring and its housing comes from Speedway Motors
The black Guide 682-C 12V H4 Headlight/Turn Signal with wiring and its housing comes from Speedway Motors (PN 91101020). We opted to use the Lokar black Anchor-Tight headlight braid instead. The headlight bar mounting hardware that comes with the headlight we opted not to use. Remember, our build is a highboy-style, hence different headlight mounting is required; Speedway Motors Hi-Boy Headlight Mounts (PN 910-61019).

Read More: East Coast-Styled 1932 Deuce Coupe

It was in 1939 that General Electric invented the sealed beam headlamp. It was made up of a parabolic aluminized reflector, a stout glass lens, and a tungsten filament all hermetically sealed. They were immediately popular because of the significant increase in provided light. It was here that manufacturers realized the benefits and began to use it. It was also here that the Federal Government got into the picture.

05 Closeup of the Speedway Motors Hi Boy Headlight mounting cup and the mounting stud that comes off the headlight bucket
Closeup of the Speedway Motors Hi-Boy Headlight mounting cup and the mounting stud that comes off the headlight bucket.

From 1940-56 the Federal Government standardized headlamp use, requiring that all U.S. cars use two, 7-inch round sealed beam headlights, with one lamp per side. These were “dual filament,” meaning the single light served as both the high and low beam. (That’s where the three-prong connector we are all so familiar with came into use on the back of all headlights.)

06 The Lokar Anchor Tight braid housing comes with four internal wires
The Lokar Anchor-Tight braid (housing) comes with four internal wires. Three of the wires are for standard headlight connection while the fourth wire is for turn signals. In our case we will be using all four wires.
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It was in 1957 that the law was changed to allow the use of four sealed beam headlamps, where each lamp measured 5-3/4 inches in diameter. From 1958-75 manufacturers liked the idea as it enhanced their ability to come up with more stylish designs. While a manufacturer could continue to use two headlamps, one per side, the new four-light, with two per side, configuration could be positioned horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. This added greatly to what the OEMs could do design-wise.

07 The headlight wiring from Speedway Motors contains five wires while the Lokar Anchor Tight braided housing comes with four
Keep this in mind. The headlight wiring from Speedway Motors contains five wires while the Lokar Anchor-Tight braided housing comes with four. The four-wire system provides you with the correct number of wires to connect your Speedway Motors headlight with turn signal.

It was 1975-84 that the advent of the rectangular headlamps came upon the scene. In this case there was a two-lamp-per-side system, meaning one was for low beam and the other for high beam. The two-lamp system used the 7.87-inch (200mm) lamp while the four-lamp system used the 6.5-inch (165mm) lamp. (During this time the U.S experimented with converting to the metric system of measurement. Remember those days!)

08 The Speedway Motors Hi Boy Headlight Mounts PN 910 61019 features stainless steel bolts and hardware
The Speedway Motors Hi-Boy Headlight Mounts (PN 910-61019) features stainless steel bolts and hardware.

Read More: Traditionally Built 1932 Highboy Sedan

Then in 1984 until the present the Federal Government allowed the use of composite headlamp assemblies that utilized the use of replaceable bulbs—although the “old-style” sealed beam light was still used.

Guide 682-C Style 12V H4 Headlights With Turn Signals, Black

09 The Speedway Motors headlight mounting cup attaches to the front upper shock mount
The Speedway Motors headlight mounting cup attaches to the front upper shock mount. Note: the frame is a ’32 Ford frame from Speedway Motors, so the headlight mounts work well with the shock mounts.

The topic of this story is the Speedway Motors Guide headlight that fits the early hot rod appearance. These lights came into being in the late ’30s and early ’40s. According to our research these lights were primarily an accessory light found on trucks. The Guide 682 as a sealed beam light was found on all manner of trucks from the ’40s. We haven’t uncovered (at least not yet) a manufacturer who produced assembly line vehicles with these lights.

10 You can see the hole in the bottom of the headlight mounting cup to allow for the headlight stud to pass through
You can see the hole in the bottom of the headlight mounting cup to allow for the headlight stud to pass through.

There were four Guide lights that are similar in appearance, with several having the parking light on top. Hot rodders of today like to turn these parking lots into turn signals. There was the 903-J, which had the shorter body and no parking light. Then came the 904-A, which had the parking light on top that was round but didn’t have a sheet metal cover around it. Then there is the 682-J, which is the one with the long “pointy” bucket, making it very distinguishable, with no parking light. Lastly, and most popular among hot rodders, is the 682-C, as it had a parking light on top and, interestingly, had three distinctly different parking light sheet metal covers and lenses. You will see that this light most closely resembles the ’36 Chevy headlight, which at the time was not a sealed beam as it wasn’t invented yet.

11 the shock positioned to the front of it and the headlight mounting hardware behind the shock
You can see the front shock tower, the shock positioned to the front of it, and the headlight mounting hardware behind the shock.

The Speedway Motor black Guide 682-C headlight with turn signal (PN 91101020) is equipped with an H4 halogen bulb, is 12V operation, and has a 7-inch diameter. In this case we opted for the headlights with turn signals that are a nice touch. The parking light is now used as a turn signal and is a five LED panel configuration that lights up amber. The overall diameter of the front of the headlamp is 8-1/2 inches while the front-to-back overall dimension of the bucket is 8-1/2 inches, too. The overall height is 10-3/4 inches and that’s measured from the top of the marker light to the mounting base.

12 A hole will be drilled into the side of the frame rail so that the Lokar fittings will attach to the frame
You can see the wires as they pass down from the headlight. A hole will be drilled into the side of the frame rail so that the Lokar fittings will attach to the frame, thus allowing the wires to pass through.

Wiring the Speedway Motors Loom

The Speedway Motors light comes with a five-wire loom. It’s traditional headlamp wiring that many of us have seen time and time again. Remember, the headlight bucket is a metal housing and needs to be properly grounded. From here the “green” wire handles the headlight low beam, the “red” wire handles the highlight high beam, the “black” is for ground, the “white” is for the top marker light low function, and the “brown” is for the top marker light high function.

13 You can clearly see the Lokar Anchor Tight Headlight Braid attached to both the bottom of the Speedway Motors headlight
You can clearly see the Lokar Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid attached to both the bottom of the Speedway Motors headlight and the side of the frame.

Read More: Road Hugging 1939 Ford DeLuxe Coupe

Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid

To add a bit more of a finishing touch we opted for the Lokar Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid. The Lokar Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid in black (PN XHL-1900) is a non-kinking stainless steel braid. This is Lokar’s design technology for “U-Cut-to-Fit,” non-kinking stainless steel headlight braid. Designed with threaded steel studs to ensure that you won’t experience any of the typical separation between braid and fitting that shows the internal wiring. The braid kit is supplied with two 14-inch flexible braided stainless steel, Teflon-lined housings, threaded steel studs, billet aluminum fittings, aluminum grille shell washers, and four 26-inch headlight wires.

14 These instructions from Lokar Anchor Tight depict how the mounting would work with a standard headlight and headlight bar
Not all headlights are mounted to a highboy-style headlight bracket. These instructions from Lokar Anchor-Tight depict how the mounting would work with a standard headlight and headlight bar.

Wire Anchor-Tight Headlight Braid

It has four wires. Three are used in conventional headlight wiring (power, high, and low beam) and the fourth wire is for parking light/turn signal use. You can remove this wire if you aren’t going to use it.

15 The wiring will pass through the frame rail via the Lokar Anchor Tight braid
While these instructions depict a grille shell as the medium and refer to the mounting stud as the “grille shell stud” a frame rail was used as our go-between. The wiring will pass through the frame rail via the Lokar Anchor-Tight braid.

Well, you are going to need light to enjoy those long, nighttime drives or maybe it’s a very early morning cruise to grab some coffee and doughnuts. Whatever it is, let there be light. MR

16 Here is the final working example of the Lokar braid attached to the frame rail with the wiring encapsulated inside
Here is the final working example of the Lokar braid attached to the frame rail with the wiring encapsulated inside.
17 Our Speedway Motors black Guide 682 C 12V H4 Headlight Turn Signal is finalized and mounted ready to light the way
Our Speedway Motors black Guide 682-C 12V H4 Headlight/Turn Signal is finalized and mounted, ready to light the way.
18 The clear lens turn signal is a five LED panel that lights yellow when in use
The clear lens turn signal is a five LED panel that lights yellow when in use.
19 Our Speedway Motors headlight with turn signal and our Lokar Anchor Tight braid are now installed and working
Overall, our Speedway Motors headlight with turn signal and our Lokar Anchor-Tight braid are now installed and working.
20 Couldnt resist here is our extended closed cab Model A pickup sitting on an Speedway Motors 32 frame
Couldn’t resist, here is our extended closed-cab Model A pickup sitting on an Speedway Motors ’32 frame; now it has its own front and rear lighting. Very, very close to driving.

 

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