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Turn Signals Not Working (New Thread)


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Hi!  I thought I would start a new thread since the old one is now buried with a lot of different info.

I have a 1971 240z and the turn signals are not working.  Here is what has been done/tested so far:

  1. Turn signal switch refurbished/rebuilt
  2. Hazard lights work perfectly
  3. Confirmed 12v at the green wire coming into the relay/flasher
  4. Confirmed that the relay/flasher is working (swapped it with the hazard one to confirm)
  5. Relay/Flasher is brand new EF32/EL12 model (also tried LL552 with same result)
  6. When holding a test light to each pin on the 6-pin/5-wire connector on the turn signal switch, it lights up when the lever is up or down
  7. Held 12v to each pin on the harness side and confirmed that lights work
  8. Tried both LED and Incandescent turn signals - both do not work
  9. I hear a light "click" of the flasher relay when returning the turn signal lever to the center - otherwise I do not hear the relay "click" when pushing the lever up/down

What am I missing?  Any suggestions to get the turn signals working?

Is it possible that the hazard switch is causing the problem even though I'm getting a confirmed 12v on the green wire going into the relay/flasher. 

... or does it mean that the hazard switch working fine because the turn signals light up when I hold 12v to the harness side plus the fact that I'm getting 12v into the relay?

 

Thanks in advance!

Edited by eastcoastz
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Thank you for starting a new thread with a thorough description. 

Going to the diagram of the circuit:

hazard-turn-brake-circuit-v2-1.jpg

The white wire comes off the turn signal flasher and goes up to the steering column. I suggest trying your test light from that wire to ground. The test light should flash.

While having 12VDC at the flasher indicates the hazard switch isn't broken, the contacts could be corroded/carboned up to the point where there is not enough current flowing. This can happen at connectors, too.

Do your brake lights work well? Have you tried taking voltage readings (to ground) at the sockets for the turn signals? You can also check at the connectors pictured in the diagrams above. Look for the green/black wire for the right side and green/red wire on the left side.

 

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Thank you @SteveJ!

I have definitely studied that diagram for many hours it seems (haha) and have been racking my brain on this issue.

I'll have to test it again, but I'm 99% turn that connecting a test light to the white wire (and ground) caused the light to just light up very faintly.  Is this what is supposed to happen?  If not, do you know what may cause the light not to light up brighter and/or flash on the white wire?

In the other thread you had said this when I mentioned that it lights up very dimly on the white wire:

Quote

The test light is a high resistance, so you won't get much current flowing through the circuit.

 

When I get a minute to do some more testing, I plan on pulling the wires out of the harness side of the connector and plug them directly into the pins on the switch connector.  That way, when I move the lever up/down, I can more easily test the harness side of the wires to see if they are getting 12v flowing from the switch to the harness.... this should be a good test, right?

Yea, my brake lights work perfectly.  I have not tested the voltage at the turn signal sockets... I will do that too.

I was also thinking... I have just been holding a single test light to the pins... I wonder if I need to try to hold two test lights at the same time (to the appropriate two pins) to see if there is an issue with the circuitry lighting up two lights at once.  Maybe one light is working, but two lights is putting too much load on it?  But if that were the case, I would think the rear turn signals should light up when I have the fronts removed and they don't 😞

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The flashers you are using might need more current to go into flashing mode with the test light. Two test lights in parallel might allow the flasher to operate. The dim light does make me think it could be corrosion somewhere before the turn signal switch.

Here's an analogy that might help you understand why I am thinking you may have some corrosion in the circuit somewhere.

Voltage is much like water pressure. It is a measure of potential. Current is much like the flow of water through a pipe.

Corrosion in switches and connectors is like silt and sediment blocking up a pipe. Technically you still have the same water pressure, but when you open the valve downstream, you only get a trickle out (the dim light). 

Have you tried the test light at the connector for the flasher?

Also, use the test light at the fuse box itself and the battery. Make sure the light is bright somewhere.

It could be corrosion in the fusebox. Remove the fuse and see if you can't get a clear picture of the fuse holder that you can post here. 

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Thanks again for all of your assistance and suggestions!

I've done so many things, that it's hard to remember what I've tested so far.  If I recall correctly, I believe I connected the test light directly to the green wire coming into the flasher/relay and it is bright.  Is that what you're asking when you say "have you tried the test light at the connector for the flasher"?

 

If I recall correctly too, the test light is bright (and it blinked) when connecting it directly to the 5-pin connector on the switch itself (and moving the lever up/down).  Shouldn't that mean that everything is working correctly up to (and including) the switch?  When I did this test, it was again just one test light on one pin at a time, so I need to test two lights at the same time.

 

If you connect a single test light to your white wire, does the bulb light up brightly and blink?  Just curious if you have tried this before to know what someone else's result is? 

Edited by eastcoastz
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If the test light blinks when you are touching it to the 5 pin connector, it should blink at the white wire (upstream). With the blinking at the 5 pin connector, it suggests that you should test further down the line. The connectors at the lights are good if the hazards flash. That just about leaves the 5 pin connector in the steering column as the last unique connection in the circuit.

Unless I'm physically testing your car with a meter, I'm not sure I have any more good suggestions for you.

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The Hazards and the Turn Signals work on two different power sources (because the Hazards work any time and the Turn Signals only when the ignition is in the ON position...)

Power (battery voltage) for the Flashers: Battery -> Ignition Switch -> B/W to Fuse Box -> F (flasher) Fuse Box terminal -> Green wire to Hazard Switch -> G wire to Turn Signal Flasher unit under steering column -> White from Turn Signal Flasher unit -> bullet connector Green wire to Turn Signal Switch.

The green wire on the switch is connected to the center of a "tetter totter" inside the switch. When the lever is in the middle (off) position, neither side "touches the ground" and no voltage travels through the switch. When the lever is moved, it pushes one side or the other down to make contact with two "points, or contacts" that deliver voltage to two wires - one takes power to the front turn signal bulb, the other to the rear turn signal bulb. That's true of both the right and left sides.

The flasher unit (not a relay) works using a wire wound around a bimetal arm that "makes" and "breaks" the circuit as the bi-metal heats (and bends) and cools (and straightens). It uses a "resistor wire" that heats up as current goes through. It does so fairly quickly giving you the familiar "blinking" light feature. That's the old-skool way. An electronic flasher does it with a solid state timer circuit and accomplishes the same effect.

The same Green wire from the "F" fuse terminal also powers many of the gauges I believe.

Have you tried removing the flasher unit and "jumping" the green and white wires together? That should just remove the flashing effect and light the turn signal bulbs solid while you have the switch in the right or left positions.

To eliminate the hazard switch as a possible problem, just unplug it and jumper the two green wires together.

The wiring that goes out to the bulbs all ties together in the dash harness - the turn signal and hazard switches use the same wiring and connectors within the dash harness(es) so... If the hazards work, the wire and connectors (dash to engine harness & dash to body harness) all must be intact so you're looking in the right places - switches, flasher, associated wiring and connectors.

20211013_152605[1].jpg

Edited by cgsheen1
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Thank you @cgsheen1

No I have not tried jumping the green and white together. I’ll give that a shot. 
 

I was thinking I could also try running a 12v “jumper” straight from the battery to the flasher. Wouldn’t this essentially bypass the hazard switch and tell me if there’s an issue with the turn signal switch?

 

Since connecting 12v directly to the harness side of the 5 pin connector causes all appropriate lights to light up (solid) that should tell me that the harness connector and wiring to the lights is good. 
 

On the ZCarDepot web site they sell a flasher unit which says in the description that it’s different from the hazard flasher unit. Do you happen to know if I should be using different flasher units for both?  I have been using the EF32/EL12 flasher unit. 
 

One other thing that I noticed today that was odd… with the front turn signals removed, I could hear the flasher unit “click” when the turn signal switch was up or down but neither the rear lights nor the dash lights (for the turn signals) were coming on.  Once I connected the front turn signals, I could no longer hear the “click”. 
 

The front turn signals that I’m hooking up are aftermarket turn signals that I just bought at NAPA. This makes me wonder… is the electrical system looking for a specific bulb/resistance for the front signals?  Is it not working because I’m not using the original factory turn signals/bulbs?
 

Thank you!

Edited by eastcoastz
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@Patcon they are incandescent  - tried two different aftermarket ones (a single filament model and a dual filament). I don’t think the dual filament one is a 1157 bulb like original/OEM though. 

Edited by eastcoastz
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2 hours ago, eastcoastz said:

I was thinking I could also try running a 12v “jumper” straight from the battery to the flasher. Wouldn’t this essentially bypass the hazard switch and tell me if there’s an issue with the turn signal switch?

On the ZCarDepot web site they sell a flasher unit which says in the description that it’s different from the hazard flasher unit. Do you happen to know if I should be using different flasher units for both?  I have been using the EF32/EL12 flasher unit. 

One other thing that I noticed today that was odd… with the front turn signals removed, I could hear the flasher unit “click” when the turn signal switch was up or down but neither the rear lights nor the dash lights (for the turn signals) were coming on.  Once I connected the front turn signals, I could no longer hear the “click”. 
 

The front turn signals that I’m hooking up are aftermarket turn signals that I just bought at NAPA. This makes me wonder… is the electrical system looking for a specific bulb/resistance for the front signals?  Is it not working because I’m not using the original factory turn signals/bulbs?

Ya, you could run a jumper from battery to flasher - but you're bypassing the fuse. I wouldn't. I don't know anything about the electronic flashers but from it's description, I don't know why it wouldn't work. Other people use them. But, is there a specific way they have to be wired? Is one pin dedicated to voltage INPUT and one to voltage OUT? NM, I just saw that the "X" terminal is for the GREEN wire and the "L" is for the WHITE wire...

Look, the hazards work, yes? Then the issue is somewhere between the fuse and where the turn signal switch connects to the dash harness. Stop wondering about everything else.

You need a dual filament bulb in the 240Z Park/Turn Signal housing. It has to be a dual purpose bulb. (If it works with the hazard switch, it'll work with the turn signal switch)

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I got the turn signals working. Thank you everyone for your help!

 

It turns out that even though I had 12v at the green wire coming into the flasher maybe it wasn’t a “strong” 12v. I connected a new 12v lead to the flasher (as a test) and the turn signals work now. 

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That's what I was referring to in post #4. Now here's what I suggest.

  1. Get some round wire brushes like this: https://www.amazon.com/Bottle-Stainless-Bristle-PMD-Products/dp/B007S91ND4 or this: https://www.harborfreight.com/tube-brush-set-6-pc-61923.html
  2. Disconnect the negative cable from the battery.
  3. Remove the fuses from the fusebox. Note what rating fuse goes where
  4. Run the wire brushes on the insides of the fuse holders.
  5. Use some canned air to blow out any dust.
  6. Replace the fuses.
  7. Replace the negative cable.
  8. Test.

Corrosion in your fusebox can limit the available current in a circuit.

Edited by SteveJ
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Thank you @SteveJ  yeah you were definitely right with the analogy. I appreciate it. 
 

I have already cleaned the fuse box pretty well with a vinegar dunk, contact cleaner and brushes. 
 

My guess is maybe the contacts are dirty in the hazard switch which is causing the voltage to not be strong when it goes from the hazard switch to the flasher unit. 
 

Yes I know I should do it the right way and rebuild the hazard switch but is there harm in leaving a new 12v connection (with an in-line fuse) going to the flasher unit for now?

Edited by eastcoastz
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