View Full Version : Federal 184 Beacon

David Henry
05-27-2017, 08:23 PM
The 184 on the passenger side has stopped working. It is wired to a rocker switch that also controls the driver side 184 which works.

So are there any pointers where to start with diagnostics on this problem?

Where is the best place to check voltage to the motor? If I recall there is a power wire that screws to a bus bar and the sends a lead to up to the brushes and another to the motor.

Any troubleshooting advice is welcome before i R I P it apart, lol

(supposed to have it in a parade Monday :confused:)

Paul Steinberg
05-27-2017, 09:56 PM
If it doesn't light and it doesn't move, then I would look for either a loose power wire, or a bad ground. Easy way to check for a bad ground, is to take a long lead, from the negative terminal of the battery and touch the other end to the beacon skirt. If it gives any indication of coming to life, then it is a bad ground. If it doesn't, then it is in the power wire. Hard to tell exactly how it was wired, but there is a strong chance, that each light is fused after the switch, and you have a blown fuse. It would be an inline fuse, and you will find it when you open the switch panel. With a tall ladder, it won't take but a few minutes to remove the light from the roof. Just take the nuts off that secure the top of the light base down, and don't mess with the nuts under the light. Those nuts are the adjustment for the "tightness" of the gasket to the roof. Many times, those 3 studs are all that ground the light. If they don't make good contact with the roof surface, then the light will stop. If your car has a fiberglass roof, then there should be an additional grounding wire, that goes back to the chassis ground. No matter what else you do, don't get involved with disassembling the light assembly beyond removing it from the roof.

John ED Renstrom
05-27-2017, 11:36 PM
If the motor was bad you would still? Have lights. Simple test light is all you need. I would start at the switch. That light will draw a lot of current. So do I have power in ? When the switch is on do I then have power out? The as Paul described remove the skirt from the light. Under neath there will be you power wire going to the block the motor and one set of lights is wired to this same block as it the jumper wire for the other set of lights. Do we have power to the light?.

Now mind you this test is only preformed after you do the simple ground check. Because 9 x out of 10 it's a poor ground.

But if it's not the ground this is the way, you see were you power lose is.

The 184 is different the the others as you have to pull the lights off the stem to get the skirt off but once the skirt it off to can put them back on to test the wipers . To get the lights off pull one bulb and under it will be the cap screws that locke it to the shaft.

David Henry
05-28-2017, 08:05 PM
As usual the experts had the right idea on my problem. Found the power lead very loose under the skirt where it attaches to the bus bar.

Thank you Gentlemen...

And PAUL, did you get my pm I sent to you?

Paul Steinberg
05-28-2017, 10:14 PM
Yes.... and who do you think loosened that wire, and knew what to look for????:D

John ED Renstrom
05-29-2017, 12:27 PM
Don't Tell all the shop money tricks

Walter Suiter
05-29-2017, 03:32 PM
Don't Tell all the shop money tricks

Watch the Shop Monkey references!

Back in the 70s, Superior Coach/ Sterling Siren in Rochester had a professional shop monkey in a cage in the shop. The girls in the office liked the monkey better than they liked my bud who was the field service man for stationary sirens.

Shop Monkeys are a vital component of the Emergency Services industry. Siren service men obsoleted before shop monkeys did.

Bill Leverett
05-30-2017, 07:58 PM
How did the parade go?

David Henry
06-02-2017, 06:53 PM
Parade was awesome, lots of positive comments were heard from the crowd and some negative ones (oh look ghostbusters). Every time my 9 year old grandson Trent head the GB words, he cranked up the double tone to drown them out.

It was a great experience. Showing it tomorrow at the old farts paramedic association meeting tomorrow. (Group of past and present medics from the local EMS service.)

Also, I have something I am mailing your way once I figure out how to mail it to Canada ����

Bill Leverett
06-02-2017, 10:57 PM
Glad you had a great time! get used to the GB comments. I always used t as an opportunity to explain the difference between ambulances, coaches and combinations...and also to point out the the GB was 1959.

Still finding odds and ends for you as well. I'll send them out when I get my act together.