Gremlins in turn signals - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Gremlins in turn signals

In my '67 GTV, I have turn signal problems.

Turning the stalk for right side, the right front and rear lights flash, but rapidly, probably twice the normal speed. I don't have a problem with the fast flashing, but it seems to me that that condition indicates some kind of problem, right?

Turning the stalk for left side, the left side lights do not flash. But the front turn signal bulb is on steady, but at about half brightness. The rear turn signal bulb is not illuminated at all.

When the column switch is activated for a left turn, applying a test light to the stalk contact for left side glows steady, but at about half intensity, and it flashes full bright every few seconds, very slowly. Applying the test light to the left rear turn signal bulb gives the same result - test light glows dimly with full flash every few seconds. But the rear turn signal bulb is not on at all like the front one is.

I can hear the flasher unit operating for right side, but not for left side. (If the flasher unit does not click for left side, why does my test light flash on left contacts and bulbs, although slowly?) BTW, the flasher is a Carello unit with three spade terminals, although the wiring calls for only two wires, black to column switch and red to fuse. It has been in there for years and years, when all turn signals worked. The third spade terminal has always been unused. I have a wiring diagram and can find no problem with wiring or connections, etc.

I hope the behavior I described rings a bell to someone with more expertise than I have in electrical matters.

OldAlfaGuy
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:33 AM
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Last time I something like that happen it was the flasher relay dying.




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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 05:07 AM
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I'd check the grounds on the leftside both front and rear.

Jim

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 05:15 AM Thread Starter
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Papajam,

Checked grounds and they appear to be good. Plus, all other lighting on left side works (front parking light, rear brake and tail light. Doesn't that verify the grounds for those assemblies are good?)

Do you think it might be the flasher unit going bad, as Tifosi suggests? And if it is, can I get a replacement at NAPA, etc., or is it special to Alfa? Thanks

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 06:01 AM
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fast flashing indicates higher current draw, slow or no flashing indicates a reduced current, like a bad bulb or connection. there is only one flasher for turn signals. on the 69 spider, there is a different flasher and relay for the four way flashers, do the four ways work?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 06:59 AM
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OldAlfaDude, I have the same car as you and have gone thru this. A couple of things to check:
-put in a new flasher first thing. Napa is fine, Test w/ a known new piece and they are cheap
-at the fuse block, roll the fuses for the directionals to make sure the contacts are clean, If I remember correct the first four-six from the front control all the lighting, headlights, signals and such
-if the car's been sitting, make sure the battery is charged as this will slow a flasher. The flasher is just a bi-metallic set of contacts that open and close based on heat (current draw of the lamps)
-now comes the fun part, don't bother taking the steering column shroud apart. under the dash, mounted on the left side of the steering column is a terminal board for all the lighting including the dash. The path is as follows: Power comes from the fuse block under the hood to the ignition switch. From the ign. switch one wire powers the starter solenoid for starter actuation. The other wire feeds that terminal board. I have found connections at this board at times to be either loose and/or oxidized. Just like rolling the fuses under the hood the same applies here. Wiggle the connections both top and bottom. This'll re-establish a good connection. From here you can test your turn signal switch and headlight switch w/out removing the shroud. The red, white and green wires to the rear of the terminal board are for your headlights, red feeds, wh and green return. To the left of the red wire (towards the firewall) are two white wire w/ stripes. These are your turn signal wires. Clip the grd of your test light to the steering column and have at it! One time too the wire from the ignition switch was loose and gave me the run around. I've also found the wires in the shroud to be pinched by plastic webbing of the shroud itself. I guess that's a start eh? Good luck, Joe

Last edited by joecautela; 05-25-2006 at 07:01 AM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 07:14 AM
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Wow. Good post, Joe! For more detail than I could have gone into.

I was going to suggest to bypass the flasher (just connect the two wires together), turn on the left signal and check the voltage at the bulb sockets. If battery voltage, there's a bad ground. If not battery voltage, bad power feed.

Oh, and I have seen a flasher work the signals on one side of the car but not the other. However, the bulbs on the side that didn't flash were of normal brightness.

Jim

Series 2 USA 1750 GTV (in Series 1 European clothing)

Last edited by papajam; 05-25-2006 at 07:16 AM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 03:53 PM
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I wonder why the 67'd don't have 4 ways? or is it because my(our) cars are euro?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:08 PM
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4 ways were first mandated for US cars starting in 1968. Our 69 GTV, being a Euro version, does not have 4 ways.

Jim

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:39 PM
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I had a similar problem with fast flashing when refitting my rear lights last year. My light cluster body is mazac and (like other lights on the car) it was optimistically hoped that they would just self-earth via the attachment studs at the back. I rigged up a wire, stripped at one end and with a small crocodile clip at the other, attached the bare end to one of the light studs passing through the bodywork and then attached the clip to the torsion arm which holds open the trunk. Problem fixed. So I rubbed down a very small area of bodywork until I hit bare metal, lightly soldered on an earth tab either side, painted over, then attached an additional ground that way. I had done the same to the headlights and the front side indicators a couple of years ago. Bad earths will eventually cause blackening of the wires to any electrical item, in some areas of the loom I stripped back over 24" of bad wire before I found bright copper again.

Alex.

Last edited by Alex; 05-25-2006 at 05:23 PM.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:59 PM
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Dad always told me to check the simplest thing first. Have you checked the left rear bulb to see if it's okay? Albeit not in an Alfa, I've had signals stop flashing when a bulb blows out.

[FONT="Century Gothic"][B]Bob Farace[/B]
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 05:03 PM
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how true! the great mysterious, electricity is. During the past 25yrs working with it and respecting it I've seen many things work that shouldn't and vice versa. Most recently both my daily and my parents car have been plagued with errant alarm triggerings and particularly in their saab some electronic failures. We were able to trace it to a new microwave repeating station installed on a nearby building (almost a 1/2 mile away). Requests to the owners for re-aiming have fallen on deaf ears.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecautela
Most recently both my daily and my parents car have been plagued with errant alarm triggerings . . . We were able to trace it to a new microwave repeating station installed on a nearby building (almost a 1/2 mile away). Requests to the owners for re-aiming have fallen on deaf ears.
Maybe a letter to the FCC (or even the threat of a letter) would help their auditory problems.

[FONT="Century Gothic"][B]Bob Farace[/B]
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 06:10 AM
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Farace, I've suggested that and it seems that He had already thought of it. Turns out that other folks in the "line of fire" are experiencing the same thing so there is more than one "voice" to the complaints. My Uncle who works for AT&T is also pursuing possible avenues as they maintain equipmwent at the same location, like measuring output, proper shielding, and hgt from ground measurements. So this may become interesting as time goes on.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-26-2006, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farace
Maybe a letter to the FCC (or even the threat of a letter) would help their auditory problems.
nah, it probably falls under part 15 and must accept any interference without a fuss.

Dan
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