CUB tail light or back up light question

Thu May 27, 2004 11:37 pm

On my Cub I have a tail light, (like most have) On the wiring schematic I see the wire going to the switch to the tail light. My tail light has a regular clear light for seeing, but then it has a smaller RED lamp too. I am guessing this is correct type of housing, it looks to be original.

What I don't know with only one wire going from the switch to the tail light assembly, is there suppose to be a switch on the light housing itself to turn one of these lights ON/OFF? I just don't think that both the these light on here should be on all of the time.

In my way of thinking I "THINK" the red tail light should be ON when ever the head lights are on and then when you want the clear light on, for backing or seeing behind the tractor you would turn on a switch on the housing.

There are two holes on my housing, one is smaller for probably a feedline wire from the switch and then other is larger, for this switch (PROBABLY)

My switch is a three postiton switch. "OFF", "LOW" and "HIGH" I see there are other switches with 4 positions.

Oh thank you, ye wise ones

John Niekamp

Fri May 28, 2004 8:21 am

The 4 position switches were used on the older model cubs that had a cutout realy rather than regualter. the extra position was used to control the charge rate.

On the tail light, there is supposed to be a switch in the extra hole. I think it turned the white light on and off, and the red light burned anytime the lights were turned on. If i'm incorrect on this someone will correct me, I hope.

Fri May 28, 2004 8:50 am

There were several options available to get a red light on the rear. I have 3 of them on my work bench right now. I think the switch mounted on the light was used to select between tail light and work light...either/or.

Fri May 28, 2004 9:50 am

One of our Farmall M's had the light with the switch. It was either red light or white light, but not both. For most of our tractors, we tied a red bandana over the white light if we went on the road after dark. (It worked!)

Fri May 28, 2004 11:48 am

bigdog, is that the same red bandanna you use for your CUB CAPERS :?: :lol:
or are you blindfolding the tractor so as it can't find it's way home :D :?:

Fri May 28, 2004 12:16 pm

The switch on mine turns on/off either the red or clear but not both at the same time. If I remember correctly, every 90 degree turn turns on one or the other.

Fri May 28, 2004 1:57 pm

artc wrote:bigdog, is that the same red bandanna you use for your CUB CAPERS :?: :lol:
or are you blindfolding the tractor so as it can't find it's way home :D :?:

Art, I use a different bandana each time. Otherwise they ware out too quickly! :lol: Besides, I train those cubs so they don't want to leave here.

Fri May 28, 2004 11:59 pm

So, there was a rotatary type switch on the light housing, instead of a on/off toggle switch, like I was thinking?

What takes place here. The wire comming from the dash to the tail light, is it HOT at all times or does the switch on either the "HIGH" or "LOW" completes the circuit and ONLY giving the tail light power when the light switch is in either position?


Sat May 29, 2004 7:37 am


The main light switch has two active light positions... headlights or headlights/rear light. The wire to the rear light is hot only in one position. The rotary switch on the light itself then selects between red tail light or rear work light.

The rear light can have a smaller bulb through the reflector with a red cover, a sealed beam unit with a clear spot in the reflector with a red bulb behind it, or the teardrop unit mounted on top. There may have been other options as well, but those are the three I have.

Sat May 29, 2004 8:30 am

I thought the rear light wire was hot in both L and H. But it's been a while since I have used lights on a tractor. I'll have to try one and see. Wonder if I have working lights on anything with a single rear light wire.

The three George described cover all the basic types. I think the sealed beams with the clear spot in the reflector had red stuff on the outside of the reflector so they could be used with a clear bulb. The red stuff tended to flake off. If you look in the later Parts Catalog, you should be able to find all lamp types, including a variety of subspecies, such as 6 volt vs. 12 volt and some varieties that were only available as replacements after the originals were discontinued.

Somebody could write a book just on IH headlights.

Sat May 29, 2004 9:30 am

I don't know if they were the same on the later 3 position switches, but on my 4 position switches, the rear light is on bright in both the H and L positions.

Sat May 29, 2004 9:42 am


First, just an FYI, my Cub is just a working Cub so my wiring is not as correct as it is supposed to be since I don't even have my rear light going to the switch on the dash. How you want to do it may depend on how original you want it to be. None of my lights worked when I first got the Cub and I was shocked when I found out they all worked- the headlight posts just needed cleaned up to get the ground and the rear light needed the post cleaned up but also needed a wire (always helps). So I just have my rear light going directly to the battery. It sounds as though it is the same light as yours- a tear drop style, clear lens, clear main bulb inside with a red bulb at the bottom. Mine has a rotary twist switch. As mentioned in my last post, every 90 degree turn, turns on one or the other in an alternating pattern. Going to the battery made the wiring easy as sometimes trying to figure out the dash switch connections can be a challenge as can be diagnosing problems with the switch. Although it could drain the battery if I don't watch to make sure the rotary switch is off, especially using the red light. But I don't use either very often. You should be able to search the forum for a dash switch wiring diagram or look on Rudy's site.