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Discussion Starter #1
I'm betting on the general consensus being a faulty ground but here is my story.

Generally, my '74 spider is a happy electrical camper these days with many thanks to everyone who weighed in on my previous thread, 74' spider in need of a map!

That is not to say that I do not have an irregularity every other day but in my short Alfa life, I have pretty much figured out which wires to fiddle with and which fuses to play with and usually the problem is solved! However, I have one problem I have not been able to pinpoint and time (over-night) usually solves it until next time.

Symtoms:

1) While the directional indicators are working, the flashing indicator on the dashboard flashes once, twice, maybe three times and quits.
2) This only happens for 1 direction at a time but has happened to both directions. ie last week the left turn indicator, tonight the right.
3) During a period where this problem is happening:
a) If the car is running and the headlights are off, the flashing indicator might start working again but the moment I flip the lights on (parking or head) it will quit working. Once I have done this, it may be hard to get it flashing again even if I shut the lights off.
b) If the car is not running, the flasher will always work fine until I turn the lights on and then it will quit. If the lights are already on, the flasher will always flash 1-3 times and then quit.
4) With the car off so there are no sounds, you can clearly hear(unless I am projecting!) that the flasher unit under the dash gets slightly quieter when the light quits blinking? 1-3 loud clicks and then slightly less loud clicks after the light quits flashing. Again, all the outside indicators are working all of the time.

Thats my story
 

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I am trying to grasp this problem so here are my questions:

With the headlights/parking lights off

1. When using the blinkers, do the rear and front left and right turn signals still work even when the dash indicator is not?

2. Does the hazard switch work correctly and flash the dash indicator, the hazard switch, and the turn lights?

With the headlights/parking lights on

3. When using the blinkers, do the rear and front left and right turn signals still work even when the dash indicator is not?

4. Does the hazard switch work correctly and flash the dash indicator, the hazard switch, and the turn lights?

Here is what I am thinking. Could be a bad flasher, miswired hazard switch, bad turnsignal switch, or a bad ground on the lights.

Since the dash flash indicator does not work when you turn your parking lights on, that sounds like a bad ground (most likely in the rear lights but could be upfront too). But in that case, I would not expect to see those turn signal bulbs working when the dash indicator is not.

I would start by grounding the rear and front light housings. In the rear light housings, there is a terminal on each bulb socket to run a chasis ground. Make sure the bulbs are not rusted into their sockets. Sand the sockets if necessary.

If that doesn't get it you will want to check each ground wire on the front signals with an ohm meter to ensure grounding.

I wouldn't do anything else until I checked this first. Its a simple fix, and I have not had a bad flasher, turn signal, or hazard switch yet. But I have found plenty of ground problems.


Best Regards,
John M
 

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My 74 did the same thing about a year ago. As memory serves, I either just reseated the dash indicator bulb or replaced it and the problem went away. However, I'm also in the process of going over all the grounds in the car and cleaning them. The ones I've found so far have ALL been corroded or dirty . . . . to be expected in a 29 year old car.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Clarifications

Thank you for the posts. To answer your questions:

The external blinkers work perfectly - the only thing not working right is the dashboard indicator.

On really close inspection, I continue to believe that the flasher device does make a different sound once the dash indicator quits working.

Another thing that is consistent is that if I were to test it right now (the car has sat all day), the indicator light will work for at least 3 blinks and then quit. If I turn the indicator off and the on again, this time and all following times, it will only work for 1 (maybe 2) blinks before quitting. Walk away for awhile and go back to testing and it will blink 3 times again to start with.

The emergency flasher works without fault.

Tomorrow I will really work the wires and particularoly the grounds.

Greg
 

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Best of luck on her Greg. Take RT's advice and reseat that dash indicator bulb too. I will be interested to hear how it all turns out.

John M
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Problem Solved!

I'm pretty sure I found the problem as this has not occured in a month. The cold start solenoid wire was pulled free and wrapped around the throttle rods. It seemed innocuous but so far so good.

Greg

Update - I'm sure this seems like an odd solution to my electrical proplem and that is because I still have this problem. However, I have solved the problem I posted in another section regarding my engine red-lining when my foot is not on the accelerator and the above was my findings/solution.
 
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