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Indicator Stuff

Indicator lenses, legality of clear type (I)

The UK legalities of indicator lenses and bulbs

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, Statutory Instrument 1989/1796:

Part 1: Interpretation: "Direction indicator"  A lamp on a vehicle used to indicate to other road users that the driver intends to change direction to the right or to the left.

Schedule 7, Part 1: requirements relating to obligatory direction indicators and to optional direction indicators to the extent specified in part ii (optional direction indicators)

7.  Colour
(a)  Any vehicle not covered by sub-paragraph (b):  Amber
(b)  An indicator fitted to a motor vehicle first used before 1st September 1965 and any trailer drawn thereby
    (i)  if it shows only the front:  White or amber
    (ii)  if it shows only the rear:  Red or amber
    (iii)  if it shows both to the front and to the rear:  Amber

So, define amber. That's a sort of warm tinted, see thru orange petrified tree-sap substance. Could I make my bulbs out of that? It'd give off an amber light ;-)

The term lamp is taken to mean the bulb and lens together; this means that you can have a clear bulb and a coloured lens, or a coloured bulb and a clear lens, as long as the lamp emits the correct colour. In the case of indicators, it's amber; no mention of particular hue, saturation, shade or tinge. Open to interpretation as with "white" light for headlamps.

I checked these regs out before I bought the clear (transparent, see-thru) lenses, which have *exactly* the same pattern as the orange ones *and* the same approval numbers. I've had confirmation* that the above regs apply at this point in time, and also cover spot lights (optional main beam driving lamps) and fog lights (for seriously reduced visibility only, Kev, not for cruisin'!).

So, I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for the right bulbs ;-)

*from Neil Bowerman, who is the senior engineer of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Vehicle Standards and Engineering Division. He has responsibility for lighting equipment fitted to vehicles, and kindly took a few moments of his time to email me the info.

Indicator lenses, legality of clear type (II)

Amber bulbs (with the pins opposite each other as opposed to "ten to two") are available at Motormania stores for 99p each or UKP1.99 a pair. These fit the standard indicator bulb holders on older Minis so you can use Land Rover sidelight lenses (clear) instead of the standard orange items.

Indicator, repairing self-cancel

Fitted an aftermarket steering wheel?

Missing the indicator self-cancel funtion?

Worry not!

Simply remove the steering wheel and loop a zip tie over the centre of the column. Slide the down and tighten a little so that the locking 'block' of the zip tie locates in the cutout of the self cancel plastic ring.

Rotate the ring so that the cutouts are in the 6 & 12 O'clock positions and test the self-cancel funtion. If it doesn't seem right, rotate the ring 180 degrees and try again. Once you are happy with the self-cancel, tighten up the zip tie around the column's center...

...And that's it! No drilling of the column and no fixing brackets to the steering wheel. Easy!

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