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Weird '61 Lark turn signal issue

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  • Electrical: Weird '61 Lark turn signal issue

    Howdy -

    I've got a 1961 Lark VIII wagon. Awhile back I would have intermittent issues with the turn signals. At the time I didn't realize the flasher unit had a stand alone clip high on the backside of the instrument panel above the speedo to clip into - it was just hanging loosely towards the bottom of the dash. I found that I could lightly tap on the flasher unit and it would work again for a few weeks. I put it in the back of my mind to pick up a new flasher, but it was always one of those out of sight, out of mind situations.

    So a couple weeks ago, I have the same issue. I go to tap the flasher unit and I notice that the metal flasher unit touches something on the back of the dash - probably the metal cable housing to either the vent, or the lower edge of the dash, and I see sparks when the flasher touches the metal. Pull over, turn the car ff and unplug the unit. Head over to the local auto supply and pick up a 12V 2-prong flasher - this is supposed to be the heavy duty one that is extra loud, and it has a plastic body. Plug it in, and nothing. I figure that the old unit shorting against the dash must have blown a fuse.

    Today I crawl under there after having researched "flasher units" on the forum, and I'm looking for the fuse block with two fuses, and it is nowhere to be found. I consult the factory manual, and it looks like that fuse/flasher panel arrangement was in 1959/60, and then again from '62 - on so I've got the anomaly. Look at the wiring diagram, and it is showing that the only fuse in the system is the 9amp fuse on the back of the headlight switch. I check that fuse and it's fine.

    So the $64 question is - where should I look next to diagnose the non-working turn signals - the turn signal switch in the steering column?

    Thanks,
    Dean
    Dean Seavers
    Sacramento, CA

  • #2
    Look for the small insulator board with the Dome Light and Stop Light Fuse, and you will find the Turn Signal Fuse with it.
    The Stop and Dome Lt. Fuse HAS to be somewhere, even though it sounds like on '61's they are not with the Flasher Unit.
    Follow the Red cloth covered wire coming out of the Windshield Post from the Dome Light to the dash, to it's Fuse.

    FYI, the "Head Light fuse" is usually a 20 AMP Circuit Breaker or at least a 20 AMP, Fuse not 9, that would be more like a Clock or Radio.
    Last edited by StudeRich; 08-31-2019, 12:38 PM.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
      Look for the small insulator board with the Dome Light and Stop Light Fuse, and you will find the Turn Signal Fuse with it.
      The Stop and Dome Lt. Fuse HAS to be somewhere, even though it sounds like on '61's they are not with the Flasher Unit.
      Follow the Red cloth covered wire coming out of the Windshield Post from the Dome Light to the dash, to it's Fuse.

      FYI, the "Head Light fuse" is usually a 20 AMP Circuit Breaker or at least a 20 AMP, Fuse not 9, that would be more like a Clock or Radio.
      Thanks Rich, I know it sounds weird, but when I poked my head under the dash, right on the back of the switch is a glass fuse. I'm posting a copy of the wiring diagram with the flasher circuit to the fuse on the back of the switch highlighted.

      Click image for larger version

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      Dean Seavers
      Sacramento, CA

      Comment


      • #4
        Ok, what that looks like is, for whatever reason in '61, the Stop light Power goes to the Headlight Switch. and it looks like they are showing the Fuse for it there AND the Hd. Lt. Circuit does go to a Circuit Breaker also shown.

        I don't know if the "Tech. Writer" Dude that did this drawing was on drugs, or the Engineer that designed it. But I can tell you it is NOT like most '56-'66 Studes.

        It is like the buckets of cash they must have spent on that really Cool 1961 Fresh Air integrated Heater Climitizer/Air Conditioning System, only to scrap it for '62 and on!

        UPDATE: FOUND IT!
        The Red/Wht. Power to the Turn Signal Switch comes from the Fuse at the Hd. Lt. Sw. also! It should be a 14 AMP Fuse.

        That is ONE BUSY Hd. Lt. Sw.!
        In addition to the Stop, Turn, Dome Light Power; if equipped, it would also Power the Clock and Glovebox Light!

        Then the Switched Power on the Instrument Light Circuit, powers the Cigar Lighter Light and on Regal's, the Ignition Sw. Light!
        Last edited by StudeRich; 08-31-2019, 03:58 PM. Reason: Added; Found Turn Sig. Fuse
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          Ok, what that looks like is, for whatever reason in '61, the Stop light Power goes to the Headlight Switch. and it looks like they are showing the Fuse for it there AND the Hd. Lt. Circuit does go to a Circuit Breaker also shown.

          I don't know if the "Tech. Writer dude that did this drawing was on drugs, or the Engineer that designed it. But I can tell you it is NOT like most '56-'66 Studes.

          It is like the buckets of cash they must have spent on that really Cool 1961 Fresh Air integrated Heater Climitizer/Air Conditioning System, only to scrap it for '62 and on!

          UPDATE: FOUND IT!
          The Red/Wht. Power to the Turn Signal Switch comes from the Fuse at the Hd. Lt. Sw. also!

          That is ONE BUSY Hd. Lt. Sw.!
          If equipped, it would also Power the Clock and Glovebox Light!
          I know! Either that, of the engineer was imported from the UK and was taking a year-long sabbatical from Lucas. Much craziness abounds, and out of what is basically an orphan car company in 2019, I've got the "orphanist" with the '61. I was looking over the wiring diagrams for the other years last night with a hint of wistful jealousy. I've got to see if I can insert myself back under the dash to see if perhaps the lead has come off the headlight switch, so the flasher just isn't getting power. Brake lights and backup lights work fine.
          Dean Seavers
          Sacramento, CA

          Comment


          • #6
            Good ONE Dean!

            I hope you find the Culprit, I WOULD check that Fuse it probably is Blown and needs to be the correct AMP Fuse at least 14.
            Are there 2 Fuses there? If ONE were for; Stop, Turn and Dome you would not have Stop Lights.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              Good ONE Dean!

              I hope you find the Culprit, I WOULD check that Fuse it probably is Blown and needs to be the correct AMP Fuse at least 14.
              Are there 2 Fuses there? If ONE were for; Stop, Turn and Dome you would not have Stop Lights.
              Hey, guess what? It ended up being a bad new flasher. After tracing everything and testing all the connections, I swapped in a different flasher before I started grasping at straws and doing goofy things, and "blink,blink,blink..."
              Dean Seavers
              Sacramento, CA

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              • #8
                Sometimes, shotgunning parts actually does work!

                Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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