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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a problem with the turn signal indicator in the dash. I can make it flash, but the default condition is that the light stays on when not flashing, rather than off. I suspect that I may have done something wrong here.:mad:

I know about zero about electrical systems, but I'm having a good time learning:D. I fixed the turn signal switch in the steering column; pretty simple switch unit and now the turn signals themselves work fine.

I have located the flasher unit in the fuse box and attached the positive lead on the indicator light to one side of the unit... grounded the neg lead and fulmineo! This gives the desired flash, but leaves the indicator light on when not flashing.

My patient is my 71 Spider in which the PO replaced the old fuse box with a generic modern fuse box. Although the basics work (headlights, brake lights, parking lights - now, wipers ) Iacquired the car (through a 3rd party) before he finished the, ahem, detail work. So, for example, the turn signal indicator unit between the tach and speedo pods was empty. I bought a light and started playing.

Since the fuse box is different and the wiring has all been replaced, there's no guarantee that the color coding on the wiring matches the wiring diagram.

I have located the turn signal fuse in the fuse box, and attached the pos lead there, but this only lights the indicator with no flashing action.

I am sure that this is pretty simple stuff, but I'm apparently too simple to figure it out. :confused: Help please!
 

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On mine, the signal indicator is always on. I think that's how it's suppose to be. If you don't already have a wiring diagram from Papajam, give him a PM and he'll send you one. Very useful indeed!
 

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...attached the positive lead on the indicator light to one side of the unit...
Which side (terminal #)? And how many terminals are on the flasher and how are they labeled?

Geoman,
The indicator light should not be on if the turn signals are off. Do you have the stock flasher (rectangular with 4 terminals; 31, 49, 49a & KBL if memory serves)?
 

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Geoman,
The indicator light should not be on if the turn signals are off. Do you have the stock flasher (rectangular with 4 terminals; 31, 49, 49a & KBL if memory serves)?
Hmmm, interesting. I'll have to check that. Right now I'm laid up with crutches so I'll have to wait to check it out. Will let you know.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Which side (terminal #)? And how many terminals are on the flasher and how are they labeled?

Geoman,
The indicator light should not be on if the turn signals are off. Do you have the stock flasher (rectangular with 4 terminals; 31, 49, 49a & KBL if memory serves)?

No rectangular flasher; it's round with only two terminals. I don't have it here, but I don't recall them being numbered at all - I'll check this evening.

If I attach to one of the two terminals, The light stays on and doesn't flash. If I attach to the other it flashes, but as we've discussed above, it only flashes "off" and then stays on when the turn signal indicator lever is centered.

This is not my flasher unit, but a quick grab from the internet which looks pretty darn similar if not identical:

 

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No rectangular flasher; it's round with only two terminals.
Okay then. The terminals should be labeled X (or +) which is the battery input and L which is the the Load (the lights). If the dash indicator has one wire to the L terminal and the other to ground, then the indicator should flash with the turn signals and be off when the signals are off. Since your indicator is on with the signals off, then either the indicator light ground is not ground but power and/or the turn signal switch wiring has been modified from stock.

EDIT: a third thought could be the flasher itself. I'll need to ponder this a bit...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The turn signal wiring could well be modified from stock... my horn is currently run through a door bell button screwed onto the bottom of the steering column. I'm working that one, and think I have almost figured it out but it does suggest some possible variations from the stock set up exist:rolleyes:

Now, back to the turn signals.....

I have been grounding the indicator light to a screw in the transmission tunnel (since I have the console apart, and it's handy) for the moment. Ungrounded, of course, there's no light nor flash.

In the fuse box proper, there are only slots for two prongs from the flasher unit.
 

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You may want to try a type 552 or 536 flasher.

Question; do the four way hazard lights work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
4-way Harzards working? Good question.

You may want to try a type 552 or 536 flasher.

Question; do the four way hazard lights work?
Thank you Papajam - I'll try to pick one of the two up tomorrow afternoon after work ....

as for the 4-ways - they might work after I hook up the switch. That's one of the details that the PO didn't get done.... all the old wiring has been removed from that switch. He got the essentials to pass inspection done, but has left the rest to amuse me over the winter.... that's a good thing, right? :D
 

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Had a think about this on this AMs commute and the symptom of the indicator light staying on may be normal for the two prong flasher. I'll test a 552/536 flasher on the weekend to see if this is the case. If so, I've already devised three workarounds.
 

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Turn signal help

I fixed the turn signal switch in the steering column; pretty simple switch unit and now the turn signals themselves work fine.
Lokki- what thread or source did you use to help you with the turn signals? Right now, I don't have them even turning on, let alone flashing. Please give me the details of the problem you had, what your fix was, how you knew it was the steering column switch, etc. Thanks!

-Jason
 

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After having checked a 536/552 flasher, it seems that this two prong flasher is not suitable for use on vehicles with a single turn signal indicator. Does your aftermarket fusebox have provision for a three prong flasher?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Jason -

The problem that I had is pretty simple in nature - my car has been rewired with a new style generic fuse box. This has turned out to mean that the wiring isn't the same as in a typical Alfa. So I hesitate a bit to make much of a recommendation.

Your problem is likely to be a dirty ground or lose ground wire somewhere rather than a problem in the turn signal switch. The switch itself is very simple: The turn signal lever has a half-moon shaped plate on it. the flat side of the moon is the side towards the column. There are two contacts on the plate one at "12 Noon" and one at "6 pm". There are corresponding contacts on a second plate that sits right behind (nearer the dash) the lever and its plate that doesn't move. It has contact points at "1 pm" and "5 pm". When the lever is moved to signal a right turn, the 12 N contact moves to the 1 pm position and the circuit is completed. For a left turn the lever moves the 6 pm contact to connect to the 5 pm contact.

The electricity travels from the fuse to the flasher unit to the contact point, and then down the wire to the bulb.

So, there's not much to go wrong in the switch itself, really. On mine, the PO had improperly connected the "return" spring that wraps around the column - it started shorting out - a problem declared by the smoke that came out of the column when I used the turn signal.

For what it's worth my contacts were nice and clean and covered in a electricity conducting grease. If not for the spring it wouldn't have been necessary to pull the plastic steering column cover. It was more trouble than it's worth to pull, so I would only check the switch itself as a last resort. There are several other things I'd check first.



In your case though, the place to start troubleshooting is:

1. With a can of electrical contact cleaner - find the bundle of ground wires under the dash and spray them. Then make sure that they're not loose. The order is clean first, tighten second.

2. Spray inside the base of the turn signal lever inside the steering column (without removing the cover), then rock the lever back and forth several times, and spray again.
3. Check the fuse for the turnsignals in the fuse box. Scrape the contacts on the fuse and in the box to make sure that the contacts are clean and then spray them with contact cleaner.

4. Check all your turn signal bulbs to make sure that all 4 are good. It's quite possible that you just have two bad bulbs (one on each side) and thus no turn signals. Stranger things have happened. While you're there, spray the bulb holders and bulbs with contact cleaner. Frankly, as long as I'm pulling the old bulbs, rather than test them, I'd just replace them all so that I KNOW they're not the problem. It's cheap and fast to do.

5. Pull your flasher unit ( usually a cube rather than a cylinder shape like mine in the pictures above). Take it to an auto parts store and buy a replacement - less than $10.

If none of these things help, do what I've done and enlist Papajam... who actually knows what he's talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
536/552 = Not suitable for a single indicator.

After having checked a 536/552 flasher, it seems that this two prong flasher is not suitable for use on vehicles with a single turn signal indicator. Does your aftermarket fusebox have provision for a three prong flasher?
Papajam - I just read this here at the office (had to travel this last weekend)

but I'm thinking the answer is that I only have provisions for two prongs. I will double check this evening.

Hmmm - if that's the case, then I have to starting thinking through the options.

1 Buy one of the old OEM fuseboxes and "reconvert"
2. Find a way to build a separate mount for the correct flasher
3. Install my own extra slot in the existing flasher space.
4. Figure out how to stuff 2 LEDs (One for each side) into the single indicator.
5. Frankenstein the indicator between the Tach and Speedo into a dual indicator. Not so crazy about this one unless I can make it look natural...

What fun! Lokki loves a puzzle with no right answer :D
 

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Your option #2 is one of the workarounds I was thinking of and is, IMO, the best. It has two parts; one easy and the other maybe not so easy.
The easy part is going down to your local autoparts store and buying a #550 flasher. With luck, they'll also have a flasher mounting clip which will eliminate the second not so easy part. If no clip, the search is on for a clip at a local junkyard (the no so easy part).
Screw the clip into the hole on the steering column support where the original 4 terminal flasher used to be mounted. Red wire (hot) to the X terminal, black wire (to signal switch) goes to L and the indicator light wire goes to P. Done.

If you'd like an original fusebox, a friend of mine will donate it for the cost of shipping. No provision for a flasher though.
 

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Don't know if this helps but the car I just bought had no flashers working and we had to restore virtually all of bulb fixtures as well as replacing the flasher. With the 4 wire flashers the flasher relies on current flowing to work so if the bulb sockets are dirty and/or the grounds don't make good contact then no current flows, which means no flasher workie workie. Just measuring voltage at various points in the circuit can therefore be confusing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Had a think about this on this AMs commute and the symptom of the indicator light staying on may be normal for the two prong flasher. I'll test a 552/536 flasher on the weekend to see if this is the case. If so, I've already devised three workarounds.
Papajam -

I have the 552/536 2 contact flasher unit.... which you've said won't work with a single indicator circuit.

Can you tell me what 3 contact flasher unit I should buy? and give me an idea of how it should be wired? I think that the shortest term solution is going to be to install a 3 contact unit outside the fuse box and ignore the 552/536 flasher unit.... until I work up the nerve to install a new (old style) fuse box.

The 4-way flasher switch has zero wires attached to it and nothing dangling under the dash so I'll be doing completely fresh wiring for it. I'm thinking that I will not try to hook into the turn signal wiring under the dash but will run leads from the 4-way switch directly to each turnsignal, front and rear. At least that way, I can isolate any problems in that circuitry from the turn signals.

thank you again.

Lokki
 

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Lokki-- I may just have the guts to a 77 spider instrument panel lying about in storage. Let me know if you want specific pieces. Should also have most of the associated wiring harness ends and connectors w/ short lengths of wire attached. BTW, I'm in Dallas too, so it might be handy.
And since we're on the topic of NO-working ******* turn signals:mad:, I just read your thread and about a dozen other related ones to try to figure out why I don't have a dash indicator light for the turn signals on my '74 GTV although the signals themselves work and the emergency flasher too. I must have run into the only two state inspection stations in Dallas who even thought to look for the dash indicator, but guess what, you won't get a sticker if they notice.:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Lokki-- I may just have the guts to a 77 spider instrument panel lying about in storage. Let me know if you want specific pieces. Should also have most of the associated wiring harness ends and connectors w/ short lengths of wire attached. BTW, I'm in Dallas too, so it might be handy.
And since we're on the topic of NO-working ******* turn signals:mad:, I just read your thread and about a dozen other related ones to try to figure out why I don't have a dash indicator light for the turn signals on my '74 GTV although the signals themselves work and the emergency flasher too. I must have run into the only two state inspection stations in Dallas who even thought to look for the dash indicator, but guess what, you won't get a sticker if they notice.:(
Thank you Capp - I may take you up on your offer, and buy some dashboard parts when I get a little farther into this project. I'm not sure yet exactly what I'll be looking for.

The PO got the basic basics working (although my gas gauge, oil pressure, and temp gauge aren't Alfa bits, the oil pressure and the temp gauge work, and I believe the gas gauge to be a sending unit problem.

Lokki
 
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