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Brake Lights and Turn Signals PROBLEM

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  • Electrical: Brake Lights and Turn Signals PROBLEM

    I'm having some electrical issues in my Hawk. I have a 4 way flasher unit tied into the turn signal wiring mounted under the dash. The 4 way works with the exception of the rear drivers side. I have no brake lights or turn signals but have parking lights. I have power to the brake switch and power from that brake switch to the turn signal connection block. I have determined that both flashers work by swapping them between the fuse block and the remote 4 way flasher switch.

    I can't figure out what is going on. Is it a possible bad ground issue at the rear tail lights or am I missing a fuse under the dash?

    Can someone explain how these two systems work between the park lights, signal lights and brake lights?

    Thanks

    Allen
    1964 GT Hawk
    PSMCDR 2014
    Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
    PSMCDR 2013
    Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

    Victoria, Canada

  • #2
    Is the 4-way setup a recent addition? If so, did everything work OK before it was installed? There is a fuse on the flasher block, you might start by making sure it's OK. Check and make sure the bulbs are good and making contact in the sockets-sometimes the springs in the contacts corrode or bind. Clean and check all the connectors and pigtails in the tail light circuits. With the 4 way flasher working, wiggle the turn signal lever slightly while in the neutral position and see if the brake light comes on, there are contacts inside that disconnect the respective brake light signal so it can flash, sometimes those contacts become worn or bent and don't allow the brake lights to get voltage when the ts switch is in the neutral position. I would get a schematic out and just start tracing voltages with a test light or meter.

    Comment


    • #3
      There should be no connection to the Parking Lights at all. They and the Headlights work off of the Headlight Switch.

      The Front turn signals, Rear turn signals (same bulb filament as Stops) and the Stop Lights are all controlled by the Turn Signal Switch inside of the Steering Column, and it HAS to be in Neutral for Turn Sigs. to work.
      You will see all of those wires exiting the Column under the dash.

      You have most likely crossed up the 4 way wire hookup, causing this if it did not give trouble before.

      I think the test I would do is disconnect the Green trace and Brown trace wires from the junction plug at the column, then put your test jumper wire from the batt. term. on the Ign. switch, Ammeter or if a long wire, go right to the Batt. TO each of these wires going back to the Tail Lights, you should then get Right and Left Stop/Turn if the wiring, connections, bulbs and grounds are good.

      Another less risky method is to use a 9 Volt smoke detector or whatever, small Battery for your power supply.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
      SDC Member Since 1967

      Comment


      • #4
        Hand signals? It is always good to check ground connections. If you have power into switch do you have out of switch? Is it possible to get a test light to the output of the turn signal switch- see if you have power if you have power out of switch ? check power at lights, It would be helpful to know where the current stops on its way to the lights. once you know where power stops work back to source where you last detected power. Good luck

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
          There should be no connection to the Parking Lights at all. They and the Headlights work off of the Headlight Switch.

          The Front turn signals, Rear turn signals (same bulb filament as Stops) and the Stop Lights are all controlled by the Turn Signal Switch inside of the Steering Column, and it HAS to be in Neutral for Turn Sigs. to work.
          You will see all of those wires exiting the Column under the dash.




          You have most likely crossed up the 4 way wire hookup, causing this if it did not give trouble before.

          I think the test I would do is disconnect the Green trace and Brown trace wires from the junction plug at the column, then put your test jumper wire from the batt. term. on the Ign. switch, Ammeter or if a long wire, go right to the Batt. TO each of these wires going back to the Tail Lights, you should then get Right and Left Stop/Turn if the wiring, connections, bulbs and grounds are good.

          Another less risky method is to use a 9 Volt smoke detector or whatever, small Battery for your power supply.
          Thanks Rich. The 4 way was installed eons ago and all system were go until recently. Is there two sources of power to the connection block coming off the steering column switch? One come from the brake switch and the other powering the signals (when the brakes are not on) comes from where? I will bring a power supply to the connection block and test the rear switches (that was a good Idea) I guess I should have mention that I am an electrician and this is perplexing me. I just dont get how they almost work on the 4 way but are dead at other times. I did have it in park so I will go to neutral instead. Thanks for now
          1964 GT Hawk
          PSMCDR 2014
          Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
          PSMCDR 2013
          Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

          Victoria, Canada

          Comment


          • #6
            Update: on second thought, I used a 9V at the Tail lights to test but not sure that would work well with the ground going through all the way from the dash area through the frame to the rear lights with a very low Amp. power supply, this might not be such a brilliant idea!

            But do use the wiring diagram from your Shop manual or the ones on Tom Johnstone's Website to find the correct pair of Brn. and Grn. wires to the rear. As I remember one set, front or rear may be SOLID color, the other with Brn. or Grn. Trace, one is front one is rear.

            I did say the Turn Signal Switch needs to be in Neutral, not the shifter though.

            Question: "Is there two sources of power to the connection block coming off the steering column switch? One come from the brake switch and the other powering the signals (when the brakes are not on) comes from where?"

            The Turn Signal Power comes from the Turn Sig. flasher at the Stop and Turn fuse board, and is "Flashing Power".
            Last edited by StudeRich; 03-22-2012, 09:54 AM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner
            SDC Member Since 1967

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              Update: on second thought, I used a 9V at the Tail lights to test but not sure that would work well with the ground going through all the way from the dash area through the frame to the rear lights with a very low Amp. power supply, this might not be such a brilliant idea!

              But do use the wiring diagram from your Shop manual or the ones on Tom Johnstone's Website to find the correct pair of Brn. and Grn. wires to the rear. As I remember one set, front or rear may be SOLID color, the other with Brn. or Grn. Trace, one is front one is rear.

              I did say the Turn Signal Switch needs to be in Neutral, not the shifter though.

              Question: "Is there two sources of power to the connection block coming off the steering column switch? One come from the brake switch and the other powering the signals (when the brakes are not on) comes from where?"

              The Turn Signal Power comes from the Turn Sig. flasher at the Stop and Turn fuse board, and is "Flashing Power".

              Thanks for the reply. I have it straight in my head now. I am going to use the red/white coming from the brake switch to test the rear lights that will give me 12v and ground through the dashboard. I know I have 12v at the flasher fuse board and nothing at the other side of the block which I believe is the feed to the signal switch.

              Heading out now to see what I can get going. I've already pulled the steering wheel to look at the signal switch (appears to be ok) I just don't get how I have a ground at the rear lights for park but nothing for the other ccts. Time to wrap my head around this problem and get out and drive this car on such a beautiful day. Temps have hit around 80 degrees here today. Makes me think about my air conditioner,... well not yet on second thought.

              Thanks for the update Rich.

              Allen
              1964 GT Hawk
              PSMCDR 2014
              Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
              PSMCDR 2013
              Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

              Victoria, Canada

              Comment


              • #8
                When troubleshooting electrical stuff, I use a test jumper lead with a 5 amp fuse in line, just in case something gets shorted. Fuses are cheap, wiring harnesses are not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by studebaker-R2-4-me View Post
                  I just don't get how I have a ground at the rear lights for park but nothing for the other ccts. Time to wrap my head around this problem and get out and drive this car on such a beautiful day. Temps have hit around 80 degrees here today. Makes me think about my air conditioner,... well not yet on second thought.


                  Allen
                  The directional signals and the brake lights draw a lot more amps than do the parking and tail lamps. If you have bad ground at one or both rear lights, the wiring to the brake lights can act like a "ground" for the tail lights. In other words, the electrons go thru the tail light filament, into the base of the bulb, thru the brake light filament, and then back forward on the brake/signal light wiring. Both filaments are only partially lit, but enough to make it look like the tail lamps are on. The voltage contines to drop as it is divided up among the other bulbs on the circuit. Some Japanese cars have this problem -- you can tell when they are braking at night because the tail lamp goes out completely -- the above scenario cannot work if both the brake and tail lamp circuits are powered.
                  Last edited by Skip Lackie; 03-22-2012, 01:47 PM.
                  Skip Lackie

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I got my rear drivers side to work on the 4 way Flasher, seems it was wired incorrectly eons ago and would only work if the directional signal was in the left turn position. The trouble shooting continues.
                    1964 GT Hawk
                    PSMCDR 2014
                    Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
                    PSMCDR 2013
                    Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

                    Victoria, Canada

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I found my problem.... unfortunately it is the signal switch. Traced it all out and found the Black wire feeds (from Flasher) the switch and Red feeds from the brake switch. I powered the signal switch through the Male end of the wire connector finding 12 V from the flasher. Found 12V at the signal switch and it does not power the right or left turn signals. Luckily I picked up a steering box with a P/S ratio last spring from Kent Fedor for the Lark. Kent gave me the steering box complete with steering wheel so I checked it out and there was a working switch in the old column. Now to install it and get out on the road.

                      Thanks for the help and understanding of how this system works.

                      Allen
                      1964 GT Hawk
                      PSMCDR 2014
                      Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
                      PSMCDR 2013
                      Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

                      Victoria, Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by studebaker-R2-4-me View Post
                        /Cut/Luckily I picked up a steering box with a P/S ratio last spring from Kent Fedor for the Lark./Cut/Allen
                        I can believe that Kent aka Ken told you that, but there is NO difference between P/S and Manual.

                        Only a Convertible or Wagonaire WITHOUT P/S would have a slower, lower geared, easier to turn ratio Gear Box. There were only 2 types for '61 to '66 Larks and Lark Types.
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                        SDC Member Since 1967

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                          I can believe that Kent aka Ken told you that, but there is NO difference between P/S and Manual.

                          Only a Convertible or Wagonaire WITHOUT P/S would have a slower, lower geared, easier to turn ratio Gear Box. There were only 2 types for '61 to '66 Larks and Lark Types.
                          Rich, I bought the Steering Box for my 1963 convertible that I am equipping with power steering. I think was an "S" type box that I seeking on the Swap page and He had one for sale. Glad he did too because without that purchase my Hawk would be out of commission for several weeks or until I found a turn signal switch.

                          Allen
                          1964 GT Hawk
                          PSMCDR 2014
                          Best time: 14.473 sec. 96.57 MPH quarter mile
                          PSMCDR 2013
                          Best time: 14.654 sec. 94.53 MPH quarter

                          Victoria, Canada

                          Comment

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