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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I decided to shorten those insanely long rear turn signals. I like the signal style so I decided to stick with them. I couldn't find any DIY's on doing this on the Speedmaster/America, and the Scrambler one is totally different. So here's how I did it:

Removing the turn signals from the bike was simple; take off the license plate, unplug the wires, loosen off the retaining nut. So here it is removed, all chromed parts are solid metal construction:



One thing to note, for disassembly and reassembly; the connectors behind the license plate DO fit through the retaining nut, you just have to stagger them a little:



A phillips screwdriver removes the lens without issue, and the bulb assembly come right out:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The connectors just pull-off from the bulb assembly, however they will not fit through the shaft of the turn signals; the hole is simply too small. So you are going to have to cut off one end of the wire to pull it through. I opted for the bulb end because it looked like there was plenty of room inside the turn signal assembly for new connectors, and it appeared to be less susceptible to collecting water. There is certainly ample room behind the license plate, but this area has no seal whatsoever. Here it is with the bulb assembly out and the leads trimmed off; I gave myself enough length to reconnect later:



Then I tried to unthread the shaft. This sucker was lock-tited on real good. You have to use some crazy Herculean strength to get this off, but trust me, it will come:



The I retapped the threaded hole from whence the shaft came with a 3/8"-16UNC. This wasn't the actual thread that was there, but it was the one I was going with.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I picked a length that I liked, giving the signals about 1/2" clearance between the license plate, I marked the shaft with a permanent marker and then I cut it off with a hack saw. The end I was saving as my workpiece was the end that mount to the license plate bracket.



Using the old threaded end as a gauge, I market my thread length on the cut end, and put the shaft in my 1940 Atlas lathe. Then I dialed it concentric to 0.0005" - that good enough for me, but really 0.0050" is all you need for this type of project.



Then I started turning. This took me about 15 minutes, because my lathe is belt driven and the motor mounts are rusted, so I can't cut as heavy a chip as I should.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I turned it down to about 0.350"



Then I undercut and chamfered:



Then I cut a thread on it. I kept the part in the chuck for this because I find it's easier to keep everything square - you do not want to bugger this up now by not getting the die on there square, because nothing will fit up properly if you do.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Here you can see the new length compared to the old length.



To get the same shaft length on the second one, I marked it up with permanent marker, took a measurement with my vernier on the first one, locked the jaws, then used it to scribe a line in the marker on the second one.



Here you can see the length difference again with the cone mounted. I would definitely recommend lock-tite on this thread - pick whichever color you think is the prettiest.

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
So now I started reassembling. I fed the leads back through the shaft, trimmed back the skin and exposed about 1/2" of the core for the connectors. You can trim some of the excess length off the leads if you want (on account of the shafts being shorter now) but I didn't, there's lots of room to tuck those wires in there.



Here it is all connected up. I used the red crimp connectors and I also took this opportunity to put dielectric grease on all the connections, including the bulb socket.



Now before you put your lens back on, look for this notch. This should point downward when assembled, it's for letting condensation drain out. Make sure each turn signal is opposite. If you have it installed improperly, you will notice the Triumph logo is upside down.

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So here it is all installed. It took me about 3 hours in total. Sorry I don't have any daytime pics, I'll try to add some later.



 

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Neat!. I started to read this and by the fourth picture when I noticed just the screwdriver and Swiss Army knife scissors I thought, "What does he think he is going to achieve with that?".
Gradually more and more tools come up culminating in that lovely Atlas lathe...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That lathe was my Grandfather's, it still works like a charm. It's hard to imagine that Sears used to sell these.
 

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Heck of a lot more work than my bike, which required a hacksaw and razor knife. But the lights look so much better tucked in that way.
Put after market lights on my Bonneville - look cool but the illumination is not as great as stock, which really signal intents.
Good job!
 

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That lathe was my Grandfather's, it still works like a charm. It's hard to imagine that Sears used to sell these.
Why? They sold house kits and motorcycles too.:D
The light setup looks great. Now if only you could find some red lenses and add in a Kuryakyn 4710 controller and you`d have 3 tail,3 brake and 2 blinkers....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Heck of a lot more work than my bike, which required a hacksaw and razor knife. But the lights look so much better tucked in that way.
Put after market lights on my Bonneville - look cool but the illumination is not as great as stock, which really signal intents.
Good job!
These shafts are very thick walled, the wiring just fits through it. I figured these parts would just be chromed plastic like Japanese bikes, but they're mild steel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Why? They sold house kits and motorcycles too.:D
The light setup looks great. Now if only you could find some red lenses and add in a Kuryakyn 4710 controller and you`d have 3 tail,3 brake and 2 blinkers....
I'd like to get some different coloured lenses. Maybe clear with LEDs or maybe I'll smoke these ones.
 

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Wow, very cool. I think this needs to be stickied. Those atlas lathes are very handy pieces of kit to have around. Good spares availability for them too.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have access to machine tools, but everyone can find a machine shop if they need to, and it's great inspiration nonetheless.
 

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Mate well done what a great job you have done. I was thinking of doing this with my america but put it in the to hard basket, So well done looks great mate.
 

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Hey mate great job I was going to do this to my america but put it in the to hard basket. Great Job and pix step by step well done.:)
 
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