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Erratic Turn Signals #1308182
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:22 AM
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:22 AM
P
Phak1  Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 72
Upstate NY
I’ve been chasing a problem with the turn signals on my 52 1/2 ton. When the truck is not running, all the signal lights work perfect. However when I start the truck the signals are erratic. I thought it may be a ground issue so I installed separate grounds on the front signals. I also placed jumpers on the rear lights to the frame. I ohm’d out the ground on the rear lights and on the 2000 scale it Ohm’s out to 0. On the 200 scale it reads about 1.4. I Ohm’ed out the front but only on the 2000 scale and it was 0. I also checked the voltage. 12.4 not running and 13.9 while running.

When I got the truck this past February, the only signals that were hooked up were the tail lights. I installed new two filament sockets and wired up both the signal and parking lights.

I don’t know if they ever worked properly because I bought the truck this past February and still working out the bugs.

Any ideas?


1952 Chevrolet 3100 w/59’ 235
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1308209
Tue Apr 23 2019 03:06 AM
Tue Apr 23 2019 03:06 AM
B
bartamos  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 5,907
State48 Ranch
1. Is this a foot start truck?
2. The key must be on when truck not running to operate signals?
3. Key is on when truck is running? So no difference as far as ignition switch position, running or not running, Right?
4. All running lights work running or not?
5. Is headlight switch off or on during this issue?
6. What turn signal unit do you have?
7. What wiring have you done yourself.
8. Please explain exactly what erratic means. What happens on left and what happens on right?

I can narrow it down with questions. Can't be there. So answers are VERY important.
Please stay engaged and monitor this post.







1960 GMC K1001 (The Oreo SpeedWagon)
To each his own or the Highway.
All I know is what the voices in my head tell me and a little from watching TV.




Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1308237
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:17 PM
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:17 PM
P
Phak1  Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 72
Upstate NY
1. Is this a foot start truck? YES
2. The key must be on when truck not running to operate signals? NO
3. Key is on when truck is running? So no difference as far as ignition switch position, running or not running, Right? SWITCH POSITION DOESN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE
4. All running lights work running or not? YES RUNNING LIGHTS ARE WORKING
5. Is headlight switch off or on during this issue? OFF
6. What turn signal unit do you have? NO NAME MARKINGS ON THE SWITCH. BUT LOOKS LIKE a UNITED PACIFIC. IT WAS BOUGHT FROM EBAY BY PREVIOUS OWNER ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO.
7. What wiring have you done yourself. I HAVE REPLACED MOST OF THE WIRING UNDER THE DASH AND IN THE ENGINE BAY. THE SWITCH WAS WIRED TO THE TAIL LIGHTS BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER AND APPEARED TO WORK. THE TRUCK WASN’T RUNNING AT THAT TIME SO I DON’T KNOW IF THE ISSUE WAS PRESENT AT THAT TIME.
8. Please explain exactly what erratic means. What happens on left and what happens on right? LEFT AND RIGHT MAKE NO DIFFERENCE. ERRATIC MEANS IT WILL COME ON AND GO OFF SPORADICALLY WITH NO PARTICULAR RYTHYM. FULL ON FOR A HALF A SECOND, OFF FOR A SECOND TRY TO COME ON BUT NOT FULL THEN OFF.

THE CIRCUIT IS FUSED.

UNFORTUNATELY I’LL BE BUSY FOR A FEW DAYS AND CAN’T WORK ON THE TRUCK, BUT WILL TRY ANY SUGGESTIONS IN A FEW DAYS OR SO.


1952 Chevrolet 3100 w/59’ 235
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1308244
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:45 PM
Tue Apr 23 2019 01:45 PM
M
moparguy  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 783
Watford City ND...
Have you swapped out the flasher unit with one that's known good? Don't know why running or not would be a factor with the flasher, but it's an easy test. Unless you're still running 6 volt. Then you'd most likely have to buy one. If that's the case, try for a NOS 6V unit with actual relays that click with a nice sound. My experience with new products is they're all electronic (Solid State, not mechanical) and flash far too fast on my 6v truck.

Good Luck,
RonR


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1308255
Tue Apr 23 2019 03:25 PM
Tue Apr 23 2019 03:25 PM
tclederman  Offline
Boltergeist
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,911
Jarvisburg, NC
Audible 6v turn signal switch.

Most likely, it is for a negative ground system.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban - part of the family for 50 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic - part of the family for 14 years
Z-series (54/55) GMC 350 (2-ton) COE - now part of Dave's family
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engine are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler.
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1308903
Mon Apr 29 2019 12:01 PM
Mon Apr 29 2019 12:01 PM
P
Phak1  Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 72
Upstate NY
I had some time to work on my truck today. I wanted to eliminate the possibility that a bad ground was the causing my issue before doing any further troubleshooting. I couldn’t get consistent ohm meter readings from the tail light housings to the frame. My bed is not mounted correctly so I don’t have a good ground. I plan on doing a frame off after sorting out all of the mechanical issues so I’ll address that issue at that time. I decided in the meantime I would add a separate ground to each light.

After adding the grounds, the right side running light didn’t work at all. If I moved the wires going to the light, I could get it to go on. Upon a closer inspection (I put my reading glasses on), I noticed that the wire for the running light looked like it had been pinched between the tail light bracket and the bed. It wasn’t presently pinched but the damage had already been done. After replacing that wire my issue went away. My blinkers now work as expected, whether the engine is running or not.

I’m not sure if the issue was a bad ground, the bad wire or a combination of both. It doesn’t make any sense to me why a bad wire on the running lights would affect the operation of the signal lights. Either way it now works and time to address other issues. I want to thank you all for your suggestions. You gave me allot to think about.


1952 Chevrolet 3100 w/59’ 235
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1310537
Mon May 13 2019 12:14 AM
Mon May 13 2019 12:14 AM
P
Phak1  Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 72
Upstate NY
My electronic demons are rearing their ugly head again. The erratic blinkers are back! After rechecking the ground issue and crImped wire I fixed, I decided to check the flasher as RonR has suggested. I looked up (on the internet) the flasher unit that the PO installed and it’s for LED lights that I don’t have. The existing flasher is a Union Pacific 3 prong flasher with a pigtail ground wire (#90651) for a total of 4 connections.

I see that some of the LED flashers can handle both LED’s and Incandescent bulbs but I don’t see where this model works with both.

What would be a suitable replacement for this flasher that will work with incandescent bulbs.

My current signal switch is a seven wire universal unit bought about 5 years ago by the PO on Ebay that looks just like a Union Pacific 5007R. It is not labeled.

Attached Files
Last edited by Phak1; Mon May 13 2019 12:14 AM.

1952 Chevrolet 3100 w/59’ 235
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1310552
Mon May 13 2019 01:52 AM
Mon May 13 2019 01:52 AM
K
klhansen  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,176
Eagle River, Alaska
I just ran into an issue with my F250 on my road trip. The right side blinkers wouldn't blink, but would stay on with the lever in the right turn position. I went quite a few hundred miles acting as the flasher relay. Changed out the turn signal switch, and thought it was cured, but finally figured out it only occurred when the headlights were on. Looking back under the camper skirt, I saw that the right rear stop/turn light didn't light up (camper covered it up and the lights on the camper worked). Finally decided that it must be a burnt out light shorting the tail and right turn circuits together. Got an opportunity yesterday to take the camper off and checked the bulb, and sure enough, it had burnt the filament and fused the posts together inside the bulb. A new bulb fixed it right up. Unfortunately, I already bought a new turn signal switch so it cost about 50 times more than just the bulb would have. Oh Well!
Moral of the story -- Check the bulbs first.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1310559
Mon May 13 2019 02:19 AM
Mon May 13 2019 02:19 AM
W
Wrenchbender Ret.  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 8,032
Lenexa Ks.
Get a regular mechanical flasher. If you are using a single indicator light like the one in the switch you will need a 3 prong flasher. If you have individual ind like on the dash a 2 prong flasher will work. It does not need to be grounded.
George


They say money can't buy happiness. It can buy old Chevy trucks though. Same thing.

1956 Chevy 1/2-Ton Pickup

Re: Erratic Turn Signals [Re: Phak1] #1310642
Mon May 13 2019 11:59 PM
Mon May 13 2019 11:59 PM
P
Phak1  Offline OP
Wrench Fetcher
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 72
Upstate NY
Success! I replaced the flasher with an off the shelf unit specifically for incandescent bulbs I found at the local parts store. Now the blinkers work like a charm.

Thanks Wrenchbender for your advice that a ground is not required. Thanks all for your suggestions and advise.


1952 Chevrolet 3100 w/59’ 235

Moderated by  Rusty Rod 

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