1942-47 Factory turn signals - What about adding them?

In 1942-47 the books show an accessory kit to add factory turn signals.  Has anybody ever done this?

I of course want turn signals in my 42 but I dont want to install that hokey, chrome, parts house, truck, looking thing on the column. 
I seriously doubt that any NOS kits still exist, how common is it to find the installation in a parts car? 

Would the turn signal parts from a step down fit the earlier column?  If so what years? 
Thanks for any help or suggestions. 


  • I have a step down (52) column jacket in my 46 pickup with the original 46 steering box and shaft.
    I think I added about 2” to the bottom of the tube so that it would fit over the top of the steering box where the clamp goes. I also have the 52 steering wheel on it.
  • I added turn signals to a car, put a 3 position toggle switch (on-off-on) under the dash.
    Had turn signals with no seeum switch. Just have to remember to shut them off after the turn.  You could add an indicator light if you want. But this doesn't take care of the brake and turn signal separation.   I have a '42 and I am in the process of adding turn signals, got some fender lights I have to put on. Have to check out whats on the taillights for sockets and run some wires.  Advantage to the signal stat turn signal switch is that it takes care of the brake light cancel to turn signal light function.  I am planning on using a signal stat switch mounted on the column, have to remember to cancel that manually too.
    When I took apart the fender lights, they had a single filament bulb, but had 2 wires and 2 contacts so  you could put a 2 filament bulb in it.  Has to be an 1158 bulb as the pin position on the socket are not offset. 
  • jay leno has a set of the wireless ones , not sure if that’s of interest or not 
  • Toddh
    Toddh Member
    I have 48/49 turn signals installed on my ‘46.  The early stepdown switch fits under the steering column and the 6v signal can goes under the dash. I have a turn signal indicator on the dash.  For the fronts, I have dual filament bulbs in the fender lights.  For the rear lights, the 49/49’s used an add-on light socket and dual filament bulb that mounts to one of the taillight housings.  There’s no automatic cancellation.  

    Alternatively you can go with a 52 6-wire switch which uses the taillight bulb and cancels.  Caveat is that you need to install the steering column too to get the automatic cancel
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited March 2022
    I have a '52 (6-wire) Hudson switch on my 1937.  It fit like a charm.  And of course it comes with the steel raceway for the wires, and the pot metal thingie that takes the wires neatly from the raceway to up under the dash.  I painted everything black to look "1937-ish". 

    For cancelling, I cut a small hole in the steering column jacket, so the cancelling fingers on the switch can fit inside the jacket.  Then I put a common hose clamp around the steering shaft (remove the steering wheel to do this). The clamp's tightening screw acts as a cam, and hits the cancelling fingers each time it comes around.  All very simple and cheap. 

    The Hudson turn signal switch is wired through the brakes, so one dual-filament bulb serves as both brake and signal light.  If the brakes are on when you signal, one brake light remains on as the other one blinks, indicating a turn.

    As to the tell-tale light, you'll have to decide where to mount that.  I think in the 40's Hudson placed them off on the left side of the dashboard, along with the high beam light.

    Only problem is: no emergency flashers but I think someone could devise a switch for that purpose.  (I never liked the big honking chrome-plated aftermarket switches, where the wires end up getting taped to the steering jacket.)
  • jjbubaboy
    jjbubaboy Senior Contributor
    This is the unit I put on my 36 several years ago. I mounted the little toggle to the floor shift lever and it's easy to flip em on and flip em off. Works great.

    tickin through time (ronsmachineshop.net)

  • Jay_G
    Jay_G Expert Adviser
    I put the 3 wire turn signal switch on my 46 truck.  To have the self cancel feature you need a steering wheel that's the two pins on the back.  I am going to put turn signals on my 42.  The 42 wheel has the holes for the pins.  Just have to install them for self canceling.  

  • m_mman
    m_mman Member
    edited March 2022
    I went back and studied the 1942 shop manual about the factory turn signal kit. 
    The turn signal switch in the kit uses only 3 wires. You do need to cut a hole in the steering column AND it is described as canceling when you turn.

    The instructions describe drilling a hole in the left side of the dash to mount the indicator light.

    The circuits shown in the manual are strange to me but are probably typical for Hudson. The 3 wires from the switch activate a relay that routes power through the flasher and out to the bulbs.  Hudson seems to have really liked to use relays. 

    I suspect that as you have described, the parts from the step down years will fit the earlier cars likely because they continued using the same parts.

    I like the idea of adding the factory parts but might consider an aftermarket kit/parts. (but not the truck signal stat appendage) 

    As an FYI this is a company that make a high end kit that is used on expensive Full Classic type cars. It is very nice but not cheap.  http://turnswitch.com/ 

    Thanks for all your suggestions as I learn about Hudsons.