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DavidP Offline OP
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I'm asking for my brother who is rewiring his '71 T120.
I always assumed that UK models had the dip switch on the left and the signals on the right, while US models were the reverse. He ordered #54033666, which in both my '72 T120V and T150V parts books is identified as the left hand switch. What he got was the headlight dip switch.
I'm confused. Both of my parts books show 3666 as the LH switch. BUT, the wiring diagram in the Bonneville shop manual shows the left switch with the wires for the headlight, while the Trident shop manual is reversed, with the left having the wires for the turn signals. The late wiring diagram in Haynes shows the same thing, as does the UK wiring diagram I downloaded from TR3OC.
My Bonneville came with switches, but I don't remember which was on which side before I cleaned the switches and wired the bike. My Trident came with original switches, headlight on right, TS on left.
I've never ordered these switches by number. I just buy them at swap meets and rebuild if necessary.
So, what's the deal? When was the change made from left to right, and on what models?


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DOT ( U.S. Department of Transportation )
mandated handlebars switch locations
to be standardized for
motorcycles sold in the USA in 1974 ... or was it 75 ?

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The Clymer A65 repair book, published '72, gives the right switch cluster as the turn signals. The '71 A65 parts book , Ref. 00-5722, gives the right switch half assembly as 54033667 and left as 54033666.

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Norton changed sides in 72, not by territory but for all. I just fit to my preference and buy by the number of and wire colours to match that years circuit diagram.

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Originally Posted by DavidP
I always assumed that UK models had the dip switch on the left and the signals on the right, while US models were the reverse.

According to J R Nelson's 'Bonnie' book, for 1972, "In response to public demand and press criticism, the handlebar switches were reversed, to provide the horn push, dip switch and handlebar flasher button on the right...etc" the exact opposite to what Norton did in '72, reversing the switch clusters due to "customer demand for right-hand direction indicator operation"!

Originally Posted by quinten
DOT ( U.S. Department of Transportation )
mandated handlebars switch locations
to be standardized for
motorcycles sold in the USA in 1974 ... or was it 75 ?

= 1975 however, for the T140 etc. due to the Meriden sit-in the first would be 1976 model year (as the few 1975 model year T140s were built to 1974 specification with LH brake, RH gearchange etc.).
Also due to the US regulations, the switch clusters were redesigned as switches had to be labelled and a push-button kill switch was no longer allowed.

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Hi David,
Originally Posted by DavidP
I'm asking for my brother who is rewiring his '71 T120.
It depends what your brother actually has ... wiring diagrams, books, "territories", blah are irrelevant.

Reason is, while the cluster with the turn signals switch (middle flappy paddle) works the same on either 'bar, the clusters with the dipswitch/headlamp hi-low switch (middle flappy paddle) are different depending on the side they were made for, because the dipswitch is only 2-position, dip is always down, main is always up, either cluster on the 'wrong' side, the switch works the 'wrong' way.

'71 dipswitch cluster goes on the left 'bar, is one-year-only and is the one not replicated by Sparx afaik; Sparx replica is of the '72-'75 (twins) -'74 (triples) switch cluster that goes on the right 'bar.

Originally Posted by DavidP
He ordered #54033666, which in both my '72 T120V and T150V parts books is identified as the left hand switch. What he got was the headlight dip switch.
Well, yeah ... you posted your brother has a '71 T120, that's the number for the '71 cluster with the headlamp dipswitch ...

The part numbers for both the clusters and the assemblies with the "Lever half" are exactly the same in the '72 parts books, which says likely the clusters change (including a completely new part number for the different dipswitch cluster) was decided after the parts books went for printing.

Aside, any difficulty returning the dipswitch cluster to the supplier for exchange or refund, your brother (and you?) should look closely at the supplied switch cluster - as I say, afaik the '71 one-year-only left-hand dipswitch cluster is not replicated; if your brother has been supplied a '72-'75 right-hand dipswitch cluster, it isn't #54033666, it's #54033751.

Originally Posted by DavidP
I always assumed that UK models had the dip switch on the left and the signals on the right, while US models were the reverse.
Posted before. Complete cobblers.

Originally Posted by DavidP
the wiring diagram in the Bonneville shop manual
The Triumph '71/'72 650 Workshop Manual has two wiring diagrams, on adjacent pages:-

. the diagram on manual page H21 (.pdf page 195) is captioned, "(later models) from engine number HG30870"; the representation labelled "L/H HANDLEBAR SWITCH" on the right side of the page shows the turn signals switch wires (GR, GW, LGN); the representation labelled "R/H HANDLEBAR SWITCH" on the left side of the page shows the headlamp dipswitch wires (U, UR, UW);

. otoh, the diagram on manual page H22 (.pdf page 196) is captioned, "all models up to engine number HG30870"; the representation labelled "LH/HANDLEBAR SWITCH" (sic) on the right side of the page shows the headlamp dipswitch wires (U, UR, UW); the similar but unlabelled representation on the left side of the page shows the turn signals switch wires (GR, GW, LGN);

. cross-checking "HG30870" with something like Bonnie or Triumph Motorcycles In America shows it's the first '72 engine number.

Originally Posted by DavidP
the Trident shop manual is reversed, with the left having the wires for the turn signals.
Only two wiring diagrams in the T150 workshop manual, one showing pre-'71, the other showing the same as the twins '72-on.

Originally Posted by DavidP
The late wiring diagram in Haynes shows the same thing, as does the UK wiring diagram I downloaded from TR3OC.
When was the change made from left to right,
thumbsdown Haynes. thumbsdown Can't see the TR3OC site so couldn't tell you whether that's reliable.

thumbsup Triples On Line "Tech Library" page, "Wiring Diagrams", "71-72 BSA A75R" and "72 Triumph T150 UK" show exactly the same as the aforementioned '71/'72 650 twins workshop manual.

Hth.

Regards,

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My '72 OIF (originally exported to the US and then imported back into the UK) incorporates various components from the 1950s and 1960s and has the dipped / main switch on the LHS, up for dipped. I can blame a previous owner.

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DavidP Offline OP
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Thanks folks.
I rebuilt and rewired the switches on my T120V, placing the dip switch on the right (up for main, down for dip.)
My late '72 T150V came with the dip switch on the right (down for main, up for dip.)

I just had another look at the WSM for the T120V. Stuart is correct. I never noticed, but it does have two wiring diagrams, the change occurred at engine number HG 30870.


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Originally Posted by L.A.B.
Also due to the US regulations, the switch clusters were redesigned as switches had to be labelled and a push-button kill switch was no longer allowed.


I have seen these clusters with a red paddle instead of the dip switch. What became the dipswich on these units/clusters? I’m imagining a but with something like a latching relay? And if so was there another push to make button for the starter motor?


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Hi Allan,
Originally Posted by Allan G
clusters with a red paddle instead of the dip switch. What became the dipswich on these units/clusters?
They were paired with a 181SA switch cluster on the left 'bar.

Originally Posted by Allan G
push to make button for the starter motor?
IIrc, the button above the red paddle kill switch was wired for the starter.

Not well known is the red paddle kill switch cluster seems to have been a late development just for the T160; there was going to be a right-hand equivalent of the 181SA - few made, none used, they come up for sale every now-and-then. Afaict, not used because the twistgrip was still separate, so the rider needed the special factory 6" thumb to reach the kill switch ... facepalm These two clusters became the black 187SA fitted first to the electric-start Commando and then the '79-on twins, the right-hand one incorporating the twistgrip. Not sure why they couldn't have been fitted to the T160 ... confused

Hth.

Regards,

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Originally Posted by Allan G
Originally Posted by L.A.B.
Also due to the US regulations, the switch clusters were redesigned as switches had to be labelled and a push-button kill switch was no longer allowed.


I have seen these clusters with a red paddle instead of the dip switch. What became the dipswich on these units/clusters? I’m imagining a but with something like a latching relay? And if so was there another push to make button for the starter motor?

RH, Start (top) kill (red) unused (bottom)
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

LH, Dipswitch (HI-Lo), direction indicators and horn (although my T160's cluster has a combined horn/headlamp flasher button).
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Thanks Stuart and LAB. Shame they didn’t/couldn’t incorporate the original design on both sides.

I’ve fitted the longer paddle switches to my A65T, but has all the correct colour for the early setup. I can now use The aftermarket 5” thumb wink


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Interesting thread.
Many thanks for all the contributions.
I had noticed the changes over the years but never before really understood the whens and the whys.
Thank you all.

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Okay, so I searched for 54033667, the "right-hand" switch. The few results called it RH, but showed a dip switch.
Perhaps you vendors could help us out by identifying the switch by function, not by its supposed position on the bike?
I don't know if the green Lucas even makes these switches, all I'm finding are made by Sparx.


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Hi David,
Originally Posted by DavidP
searched for 54033667, the "right-hand" switch. The few results called it RH, but showed a dip switch.
Perhaps you vendors could help us out by identifying the switch by function,
Britbike part numbers are at least half-a-century old, there are many anomalies and inconsistencies to confuse vendors. Otoh, your brother has just the one bike fitted originally with a one-year-only switch cluster, either he knows exactly what he wants or he wants to know his replacement options; perhaps consider helping both yourselves and vendors by talking to them using Alexander Graham Bell's invention?

You already bought a dipswitch cluster by the 54033666 part #; ask that vendor what he/she has for 54033667?

"either [your brother] knows exactly what he wants", so explain it to a vendor; if the vendor has the cluster, ask the vendor for his/her part # to avoid confusion when making up the order?

"or [your brother] wants to know his replacement options", let the vendor explain; if your brother wants to buy, again ask the vendor for his/her part # to avoid confusion when making up the order?

Originally Posted by DavidP
I don't know if the green Lucas even makes these switches,
Wassell are never backward in coming forward to advertise anything they produce so, if your searches aren't turning up dozens of images of them ...

Hth.

Regards,

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The question is what does he want to do with it, collect trophies or ride ?
As a rider it is a lot easier to have the turn signals on the left & dip switch on the right wired up for right & down for left .
As for the push switches being in the wrong place they can be moved as the left & right castings are identical .
I put the high beam flasher, turn switch & horn all on the left and the dip switch & kill wire on the right .
Being a normal human being who does not need enough light to melt the tar on the roads, I rarely rode on High beam and found the flasher worked better because it lit both elements so illuminated what I could not see at the time very well .
Down side is it makes it difficult to blow the horn & flash the headlights at the same time but then again I only ever blew the horn once a year at the safety inspection


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Hi Trevor,
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
rarely rode on High beam and found the flasher worked better because it lit both elements
Down side is it makes it difficult to blow the horn & flash the headlights at the same time
Absent an electric starter, if you think you might want horn and main beam together, connect the unused White/Red (starter) wire into the Blue/White wires snap connector.

Hth.

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I'm pretty sure that all he wants is a working turn signal switch which looks correct.
I got more results searching for the 39951 switch listed in my '74 T150 parts book.

The original ones are quite expensive. Maybe I should buy all I can find at the Barber swap meet, clean them up and resell?

Thanks for the idea, Stuart. I might try that, it makes more sense to have the horn button on the left.


"The Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, once they've tried everything else" Winston Churchill
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"

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