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Old 08-30-2019, 05:50 AM   #1
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Running light help

I just purchased a 1976 chevy bus and discovered the running lights aren't working! Checked the fuses and were good. Pulled out the back running lights and found the wires were cut to the light. None of the lights on the side of the bus work either. Can anyone help me figure out what is required for lights on this bus. we have switches for the top white lights on the front and back of the bus. Can I use these for running lights at night? Find a red lense for them? Help please! ))
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
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cindy where is the bus?

this sounds like a hands on help kind of thing. I am in topeka kansas.
can you read a wiring schematic? what kind of chevy bus? one that looks like a van with a bus behind it? or like a truck with a bus behind it?

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Old 09-22-2019, 07:39 PM   #3
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Both of those sets of lights are switched. On an ordinary automobile they are switched through the light switch. If all the fuses you can find are good and power is arriving and leaving at those fuses I would look at whatever switch is switching those two circuits. The switch(es) may be switching a relay which in turn energizes those circuits. If they are fed through a relay the relay may have died.
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Old 09-22-2019, 07:44 PM   #4
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I believe all of the upper side marker clearance lights are required on our buses. On the sides, front amber, middle amber, rear red. 3 amber on top of front and 3 red on top of back.
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Old 09-22-2019, 11:29 PM   #5
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@o1marc, I am very curious what makes you believe that. I am not trying to be sarcastic or anything. It's just that I am the process of removing all my OEM clearance lites so I can seal those holes and put Tropicool over them.



Those old lights are garbage. I intend to replace them with newer lights if I have to have clearance lights. I'm quite sure clearance lights are required on schoolbuses just as you described. But I don't have a schoolbus. I have a motorhome, so I was planning on starting my research by paying close attention to clearance lights on motorhomes for a while. And then along came this thread.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:29 AM   #6
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@o1marc, I am very curious what makes you believe that. I am not trying to be sarcastic or anything. It's just that I am the process of removing all my OEM clearance lites so I can seal those holes and put Tropicool over them.



Those old lights are garbage. I intend to replace them with newer lights if I have to have clearance lights. I'm quite sure clearance lights are required on schoolbuses just as you described. But I don't have a schoolbus. I have a motorhome, so I was planning on starting my research by paying close attention to clearance lights on motorhomes for a while. And then along came this thread.

I believe the clearance light requirements are based on the size/weight of the vehicle and not the function/use of the vehicle. The goal of the lights is to let people know there's a big vehicle there. I remember reading at least some of the rules but couldn't quote them by memory. A good example is a Ford F-350 dually will have the 3 lights in the middle and one on each end, amber in the front and red in the back but you won't see those lights on an F150.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:18 AM   #7
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@o1marc, I am very curious what makes you believe that. I am not trying to be sarcastic or anything. It's just that I am the process of removing all my OEM clearance lites so I can seal those holes and put Tropicool over them.



Those old lights are garbage. I intend to replace them with newer lights if I have to have clearance lights. I'm quite sure clearance lights are required on schoolbuses just as you described. But I don't have a schoolbus. I have a motorhome, so I was planning on starting my research by paying close attention to clearance lights on motorhomes for a while. And then along came this thread.
I'm also curious if this is a legal requirement. My front and back clearance lights are currently out and the holes bondoed over; I have replacements that I will be putting in eventually (after I paint) but I'm wondering if I can drive around legally without them.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:05 AM   #8
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@AutoBrad, thanks for your perspective. I think you are probably correct, but I intend to find out for sure.

@musigenisis, I don't see much possibility for a problem if you only drive in the daytime. That's what I intend to do until I find out for sure.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:36 AM   #9
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I'm also curious if this is a legal requirement. My front and back clearance lights are currently out and the holes bondoed over; I have replacements that I will be putting in eventually (after I paint) but I'm wondering if I can drive around legally without them.

Pretty sure they're required by law, I looked into this recently because I had removed my center rear red light and replaced it with a camera. Now I need to move the camera and install a new red lamp. Every motorhome or trailer that I've looked at in my travels, that's over 80" wide, has amber up front and sides and red in the rear. There are many google results from forums that state this as well, though I've yet to find the actual DOT regulations stating it. Plenty of people drive with them off during the day, but the lenses at least need to be there so as not to arouse suspicion from the man (aka Johnny Law).
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:53 AM   #10
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It's pretty long so I have not so I have not looked through this whole section yet, but the regulations about clearance lights should be in here somewhere:
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retriev...se49.5.393_125


[edit] I don't have time to look at this fully right now, but I did find out that their point of distinction in width of vehicles is 2032 mm, and I also see that some of the reflective tape I plan on removing to paint will have to be replaced with suitable reflective material]
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:00 PM   #11
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It's pretty long so I have not so I have not looked through this whole section yet, but the regulations about clearance lights should be in here somewhere:
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retriev...se49.5.393_125

Yup. Thanks.
  • 393.11 Lamps and reflective devices.
seems to be the relevant section. They've even included a helpful illustration of straight trucks, an RV and a bus.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:08 PM   #12
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Not only required lights, but required reflectors as well.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:10 PM   #13
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That's right; that means I get to scrape all the reflective tape off to paint and then put more tape on my new paint.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:22 PM   #14
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That's right; that means I get to scrape all the reflective tape off to paint and then put more tape on my new paint.
Wise choice.
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Old 09-23-2019, 12:36 PM   #15
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Yes, something will have to be done, but now I'm thinking maybe not tape, maybe a stripe of reflective paint down most of the side. Will have to read those regs more carefully first to make sure that will meet the regs. No point in doing it, if it's not good enough.
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:14 PM   #16
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Yup. Thanks.
  • 393.11 Lamps and reflective devices.
seems to be the relevant section. They've even included a helpful illustration of straight trucks, an RV and a bus.

The document deals with commercial vehicles ...


"393.11 Lamps and reflective devices.
(a)(1) Lamps and reflex reflectors. Table 1 specifies the requirements for lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment by the type of commercial motor vehicle"
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:18 PM   #17
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The document deals with commercial vehicles ...


"393.11 Lamps and reflective devices.
(a)(1) Lamps and reflex reflectors. Table 1 specifies the requirements for lamps, reflective devices and associated equipment by the type of commercial motor vehicle"
That's what I was thinking too, but then I started to wonder why every motorhome and travel trailer I see seems to follow these same standards. I think there must be something to it, no?
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Old 09-23-2019, 11:31 PM   #18
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I didn't read that document too thoroughly. Didn't have time and haven't gotten back to it yet The likely explanation is that other laws, even state laws, apply those standards to all wider vehicles. People drafting legislation often prefer to borrow details from older legislation rather than create their own details. That practice can add a layer of legitimacy, or not.

I intend to put back at least as many lights as I take off. I will probably put more. They come in sets, and so far I am finding sets of either a few less or a few more lights than I will be removing.

For reflectors, I am thinking about making an abstract painting covering nearly the whole side of the bus that will incude one or two reflective paints, or possibly a nearly full length reflective stripe. Still thinking on that one. No rush. I will either have to find somewhere I can get the bus inside, or wait until next year after the rainy season is over
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:55 AM   #19
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They are required on all vehicles 80" or greater in width, a middle side amber clearance light is also required on any vehicle 30' or greater as stated in form FMVSS NO. 108. Just looked into this myself but had to re-find the regs... nothing to do with function of vehicle, only form. Just like any vehicle >10,000 GVWR is not required to have a center high mounted brake light (3rd brake light). I'm adding an LED light bar anyways, should help with reverse lighting as well..
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Old 09-24-2019, 03:07 AM   #20
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Do you have a link to the whole document?
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