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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Meanwhile, here's a riddle:

During my research of countless cornering light units, I also came along this example, which I seriously considered because the shape should have made installation fairly simple. I also liked the combination with a sidemarker. Availability was nil unfortunately.

Who can tell me which car this comes from? Hint: this car was available with a V8 only.
 

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1995 Thunderbird LX Missing 4.6 MIssing Trans Red
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Meanwhile, here's a riddle:

During my research of countless cornering light units, I also came along this example, which I seriously considered because the shape should have made installation fairly simple. I also liked the combination with a sidemarker. Availability was nil unfortunately.

Who can tell me which car this comes from? Hint: this car was available with a V8 only.
View attachment 52572
83 Town car?
 

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Well, absent any further guesses, I'll solve the mystery: It's from a 1st generation Oldsmobile Aurora.
I was thinking it was probably a GM because they were big users of the turn signal/cornering lights, I was way off on the year range though, I figured metal housing = 70s. That hint you gave certainly didn鈥檛 help, every 70s car with Cornering lights had a V8!
 

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In the diagrams you provided, I went to connector C208 and used the two unused pins. Sorry, I didn't note which is right and which is left.
I got an old connector from a junkyard and removed two female pieces from that. You simply push those into your connector (with the red piece removed); they click into place and you have a secure connection.

Then I fed the wires into the engine compartment to the cornering lights. I grounded them to the fenders.

It's a simple but somewhat tedious mod because you have to take so much apart (dash, splash guards, etc.). On the plus side, going through the firewall was very easy because I already had a channel in place from an old supplemental hood latch.
Forgive the dumbness of this question, but why not just run the 2 new wires along the other wires from the same switch? Of course maybe the real question I have is, the other wires I guess would terminate at some sort of firewall plug and then connect on the other side to the underhood lights harness(?), so would that connection also have 2 unused pins or whatever for the deleted cornering lights wires? I can't see Ford making more than one design for that, they'd just not use the optional pins, yes?

If those extra pins aren't there, how did the original stock cornering lights physically get connected to/through the firewall and to the switch (I doubt they would dedicate a separate spot on the firewall for them to pass through)? Could that be a part that could be sourced as well or is it years out of stock?
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
the other wires I guess would terminate at some sort of firewall plug and then connect on the other side to the underhood lights harness(?), so would that connection also have 2 unused pins
Yes. If you look at the diagrams @supergordo provided, there are I think two or three more connectors between the multifunction switch and the turn signals. Chances are the cornering light wires run parallel to those. We'd need the '89 diagrams to know for certain.

So if you wanted to wire this like factory, yes, then you would follow that exact path.

I didn't even consider that. I already had an easy way through the firewall available to me. Consider how much work this project took already, I wasn't going to research the various harnesses.
I did make it a point to run all wires in flex tubing and secure them. The presentation in my engine compartment is totally clean.
 

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Yes. If you look at the diagrams @supergordo provided, there are I think two or three more connectors between the multifunction switch and the turn signals. Chances are the cornering light wires run parallel to those. We'd need the '89 diagrams to know for certain.

So if you wanted to wire this like factory, yes, then you would follow that exact path.

I didn't even consider that. I already had an easy way through the firewall available to me. Consider how much work this project took already, I wasn't going to research the various harnesses.
I did make it a point to run all wires in flex tubing and secure them. The presentation in my engine compartment is totally clean.
I suppose it would be too much to hope that someone has any pictures of those specific areas of a stock cornering lights optioned car. Maybe if someone here has a pre-'94 Thunderbird who could get some pics of the set-up if he was going to be doing some underdash repairs anyway? It would be really helpful to be able to see what kind of wiring and firewall connections the stock set-up has and also to see if, like the multi-switch itself, the rest of the car is ready for cornering lights if you're willing to supply the wires, pins and lights. Or a diagram from a service manual that depicts that whole part of the wiring along with the lights and their part numbers? Ya, they're all discontinued probably but it would be funny if a few of them could be bought new.
 

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I suppose it would be too much to hope that someone has any pictures of those specific areas of a stock cornering lights optioned car. Maybe if someone here has a pre-'94 Thunderbird who could get some pics of the set-up if he was going to be doing some underdash repairs anyway? It would be really helpful to be able to see what kind of wiring and firewall connections the stock set-up has and also to see if, like the multi-switch itself, the rest of the car is ready for cornering lights if you're willing to supply the wires, pins and lights. Or a diagram from a service manual that depicts that whole part of the wiring along with the lights and their part numbers? Ya, they're all discontinued probably but it would be funny if a few of them could be bought new.
They don鈥檛 use a standalone harness where taking pictures would tell you anything, the two wires simply go from connector to connector from the MFS to the bulbs tightly bound within the main harnesses like any other wiring, same path as the high beam headlights or turn signals. So they鈥檇 go from the MFS connector to the short harness along the column, to the connector that goes into the main dash harness, to the C103 connector on the firewall(the big one behind the shock tower by the brake booster) and to the lights connectors from there.

There鈥檚 no prewiring for them at all in a 94-97, the older dash wiring is a non starter since the MFS and layout changed as well as the color schemes of several wires, with a latter dash this wasn鈥檛 a mapped out scheme that existed in literature. These connectors are universal parts so there are numerous unused pin locations that can be utilized, but with the lone exception of the MFS connector itself there鈥檚 no specific factory right way to place the wiring terminals in them. Best you can do for factory appearance is match the wire colors to what Ford would have used, a diagram from a same year Gran Marquis or Town car will tell you that, they used the same MFS as our cars and still had cornering lights as an option, then simply unravel the various harnesses and rewrap them in the same factory tape scheme :)

I can dig up my set for the P#s. The main housings are actually the same as the Fox Tbird/Cougars, the outer trim piece was unique(and two depths depending on Tbird SC or early LX/Cougar and the support bracket that mounted them to the fender.
 

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They don鈥檛 use a standalone harness where taking pictures would tell you anything, the two wires simply go from connector to connector from the MFS to the bulbs tightly bound within the main harnesses like any other wiring, same path as the high beam headlights or turn signals. So they鈥檇 go from the MFS connector to the short harness along the column, to the connector that goes into the main dash harness, to the C103 connector on the firewall(the big one behind the shock tower by the brake booster) and to the lights connectors from there.
I guess that's what I meant, does the connector that goes to the main dash and the C103 connector on the firewall have unused pins for those 2 wires? Or would those parts off an older Thunderbird swap and those versions would have the extra pins? I'm just thinking in terms like how the '94-'95 Thunderbirds have markings on the bumper for where to cut for the cornering lights.

There鈥檚 no prewiring for them at all in a 94-97, the older dash wiring is a non starter since the MFS and layout changed as well as the color schemes of several wires, with a latter dash this wasn鈥檛 a mapped out scheme that existed in literature. These connectors are universal parts so there are numerous unused pin locations that can be utilized, but with the lone exception of the MFS connector itself there鈥檚 no specific factory right way to place the wiring terminals in them. Best you can do for factory appearance is match the wire colors to what Ford would have used, a diagram from a same year Gran Marquis or Town car will tell you that, they used the same MFS as our cars and still had cornering lights as an option, then simply unravel the various harnesses and rewrap them in the same factory tape scheme :)
Oh, ok. I was thinking about it like with the MFS having those 2 unused pins, if the firewall connector on later Thunderbirds have unused pins, which ones were probably supposed to be used for a non-existent cornering lights option. I wouldn't really want to unravel the various harnesses, I would just run the 2 wires alongside so they would be easy for me to identify later if the worst case scenario occurred (wreck the car, but salvage the mods I've done for another replacement Thunderbird). But, ya, knowing the wire colors would be a nice addition to the whole install.

I can dig up my set for the P#s. The main housings are actually the same as the Fox Tbird/Cougars, the outer trim piece was unique(and two depths depending on Tbird SC or early LX/Cougar and the support bracket that mounted them to the fender.
That would be appreciated, thanks. I wonder which outer trim piece would work better on the '94-'95 bumper, the set-up you posted looks totally stock on that white Thunderbird (and the green '97 Thunderbird looks fantastic as well with the '90 Crown Vic versions). Was that box of parts just a convenient way to store them or did you actually buy a kit from Ford or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I wonder which outer trim piece would work better on the '94-'95 bumper
My guess would be the original set works best for everything up to '95. They're mounted higher on the bumper, and the back frame screws in with the fender. You can see all the pieces here:

'96/'97 have a crease at that height which runs all around the car. It would be tougher to cut through there, plus that crease adds structural strength to the bumper cover which I wouldn't want to compromise. That's why I decided to mount mine well below that crease.


The other thing to consider is angle. You want the beam pattern to be flat over the street surface, not into other drivers' eyes.
 

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I guess that's what I meant, does the connector that goes to the main dash and the C103 connector on the firewall have unused pins for those 2 wires? Or would those parts off an older Thunderbird swap and those versions would have the extra pins? I'm just thinking in terms like how the '94-'95 Thunderbirds have markings on the bumper for where to cut for the cornering lights.

Oh, ok. I was thinking about it like with the MFS having those 2 unused pins, if the firewall connector on later Thunderbirds have unused pins, which ones were probably supposed to be used for a non-existent cornering lights option. I wouldn't really want to unravel the various harnesses, I would just run the 2 wires alongside so they would be easy for me to identify later if the worst case scenario occurred (wreck the car, but salvage the mods I've done for another replacement Thunderbird). But, ya, knowing the wire colors would be a nice addition to the whole install.
You鈥檇 really just need to make a logical guess as to which pins in the C103 connector actually 鈥渨ould have鈥 been used for the cornering light circuits. There are definitely two unused pins on it, but among probably 5 or 6 other unused pins as well. It鈥檚 a 50+ pin connector, not all of them are utilized. When I wired mine there were two unused pins on the 鈥渙uter ring鈥 of pins that was most convenient to put them, but they weren鈥檛 my only choice, no way of telling if Ford鈥檚 electrical team would have run them there or not, especially which one would have been left or right

There鈥檚 no need to salvage anything wire related from an older bird for this, Ford plugged the unused slots with pins and a few inches of wire(white with red tracer) to keep the connector weathertight, so you could actually pull those from the harness, splice the wires in and retuck them. You鈥檇 need to find the pins for the MFS and the connector at the end of the column but those can come from numerous other 90s Ford cars and trucks.


That would be appreciated, thanks. I wonder which outer trim piece would work better on the '94-'95 bumper, the set-up you posted looks totally stock on that white Thunderbird (and the green '97 Thunderbird looks fantastic as well with the '90 Crown Vic versions). Was that box of parts just a convenient way to store them or did you actually buy a kit from Ford or something?
The box is just a box I keep them in, I got them from my friend who parted out his car, the 94-95 likely would have used the deeper of the two bezels since the bumper 鈥渂ulges鈥 below the fender line, the shallow ones were designed for the 89-93 LX and Cougar bumpers that had the thick molding bulging from above the cornering lights
 

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You鈥檇 really just need to make a logical guess as to which pins in the C103 connector actually 鈥渨ould have鈥 been used for the cornering light circuits. There are definitely two unused pins on it, but among probably 5 or 6 other unused pins as well. It鈥檚 a 50+ pin connector, not all of them are utilized. When I wired mine there were two unused pins on the 鈥渙uter ring鈥 of pins that was most convenient to put them, but they weren鈥檛 my only choice, no way of telling if Ford鈥檚 electrical team would have run them there or not, especially which one would have been left or right
Oh, ya, I figured one pin was probably as good as any other unused pin, I was just thinking terms of being technically the correctest correct possible based on what the earlier Thunderbirds used, like people who restore old cars and make sure that every bracket and bolt and date code is what would have been if that option was available that year, etc. Useless, but nerdy satisfying, hahaaha.

There鈥檚 no need to salvage anything wire related from an older bird for this, Ford plugged the unused slots with pins and a few inches of wire(white with red tracer) to keep the connector weathertight, so you could actually pull those from the harness, splice the wires in and retuck them. You鈥檇 need to find the pins for the MFS and the connector at the end of the column but those can come from numerous other 90s Ford cars and trucks.
In practical terms, no, but I was thinking more in terms of it looking "right" under the hood or whatever, if those wires branched off at some point and used specific brackets or mounts on the inner fenders or frame or something vs. me just zip-tying them to whatever was handy or wrapping them around existing harnesses and them hanging loose near the bumpers. And I'm sure decades-old wiring isn't the best for a new install, either. Your solution makes more sense, I would just like to know if there were any specific clips or whatever that were also used on the older Thunderbirds with the cornering lights and they could be salvaged from the donor car. But I'm not quite in the mood to buy a service manual for that year to figure that out (yet).

Is there a diagram of that C103 firewall connector (or the '93 & older equivalent) that would show which pins the older Thunderbirds used? Just to be able to say ah, that year they used those 2 upper left pins or something. No big deal but I figured someone who owns the older model might have the service manual with that page, if it exists.

he box is just a box I keep them in, I got them from my friend who parted out his car, the 94-95 likely would have used the deeper of the two bezels since the bumper 鈥渂ulges鈥 below the fender line, the shallow ones were designed for the 89-93 LX and Cougar bumpers that had the thick molding bulging from above the cornering lights
Ah, I figured there was no way one box could be bought that came with everything, I was just hoping the unbridled hope of the lazy, hahahaa. But good to know for future parts salvaging, thanks.
 

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Oh, ya, I figured one pin was probably as good as any other unused pin, I was just thinking terms of being technically the correctest correct possible based on what the earlier Thunderbirds used, like people who restore old cars and make sure that every bracket and bolt and date code is what would have been if that option was available that year, etc. Useless, but nerdy satisfying, hahaaha.



In practical terms, no, but I was thinking more in terms of it looking "right" under the hood or whatever, if those wires branched off at some point and used specific brackets or mounts on the inner fenders or frame or something vs. me just zip-tying them to whatever was handy or wrapping them around existing harnesses and them hanging loose near the bumpers. And I'm sure decades-old wiring isn't the best for a new install, either. Your solution makes more sense, I would just like to know if there were any specific clips or whatever that were also used on the older Thunderbirds with the cornering lights and they could be salvaged from the donor car. But I'm not quite in the mood to buy a service manual for that year to figure that out (yet).

Is there a diagram of that C103 firewall connector (or the '93 & older equivalent) that would show which pins the older Thunderbirds used? Just to be able to say ah, that year they used those 2 upper left pins or something. No big deal but I figured someone who owns the older model might have the service manual with that page, if it exists.
None of this would be visible under the hood if you tucked the wires into the harness wrap - can you see where the turn signal wires come out of C103? - The wires take a sharp 90掳 underneath a cover for the connector and the end of the cover is where the tape wrap completely covers all of the wires. I get being meticulous with it, I was with mine, but there鈥檚 no judges who would ever figure this out but people like us, but you can鈥檛 add or deduct points for something that never existed in the first place, right? If you鈥檙e worried about stuff this trivial you may as well engrave a F4SZ part number or at least the revision number into the bezels to match the year of your car, even if the part was physically identical Ford tends to supersede numbers after a refresh regardless.

In other words, best to just run the wires through that connector where practical, if you saw the that the EVTM showed the cornering light wiring was placed in the central rings of C103 and not the convenient outer one would you really try snaking the new wires through the bundle of 40 something wires to get them there? Not to mention the C103 layout wasn鈥檛 static through the years, some circuits moved to different pins here and there, no guarantee the cornering light wires would have been in the same spot with the major 1994 update, or that those spots weren鈥檛 now occupied by something else.

In terms of the ends with the lights that鈥檚 relevantly simple to duplicate, the cornering lights use little 10鈥 or so stub harnesses between the bulb and the main harness with a grey two pin weatherpack connector clipped into the underside of the aprons. The harness branches branch out in the same junction the corner light branches do. Just find those connectors(there are tons of other ford鈥檚 they鈥檙e used on) and measure the length from the branch to apron holes and you鈥檙e good to go



Also I have zero qualms about using decades old wiring, it doesn鈥檛 really go bad where it doesn鈥檛 flex or encounter substantial heat. I almost never buy new wire when I have a bin of old harnesses to salvage good lengths of every combination of tracer wires from 馃檪
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I just can鈥檛 bring myself to cutting the bumper for them.
Matt, did you decide against installing your cornering lights then?

I have to say I love these new lights! Apart from being great before making a turn, they also double as a poor man's equivalent of adaptive/steering headlights: the other night, I came off the highway down a very long, right-curve off ramp; I just left the right turn signal on, and the cornering light illuminated the curve perfectly.
 

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Matt, did you decide against installing your cornering lights then?

I have to say I love these new lights! Apart from being great before making a turn, they also double as a poor man's equivalent of adaptive/steering headlights: the other night, I came off the highway down a very long, right-curve off ramp; I just left the right turn signal on, and the cornering light illuminated the curve perfectly.
I wouldn鈥檛 say I decided against them so much as I鈥檒l put them on 鈥渟omeday鈥, in the same vein as classic car hoarders say they鈥檒l fix them up someday 馃槅
 
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