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Hinckley Classic Triples 885cc Classic Styled T3's: Legend, Thunderbird, Thunderbird Sport & Adventurer.

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Old 01-13-2008, 04:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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turn signal frustration LED relay/or crossed wire? UPDATE getting close

Hello, I'm new to the site and I'm very happy to have found it as there is a wealth of information here. I bought a 95 tbird with about 20k miles on it. A previous owner had taken the turn signals off it so I replaced them with LED's. I put resistors on and it didn't change anything I hope its a crossed wire and not a bad relay but I thought I'd ask here before I buy a new relay. This is what happens. Turn on left = Both signals stay on continuously but the lights are dim. Right on= both signals on continuously (bright) and the signal relay buzzes. Hazards on, all signals bright and on continuously and buzzing sound from relay. There is a harness with a bunch of wires not connected to anything? Anybody know what this is? (pic). Is there a replacement (cheap) from the auto store the dealer said $63. for new relay. Thanks in advance, J.

Went to the auto zone and bought a realy ($10) EP36 tridon stant hooked it up one side is working perfectly. Nothing on the other side, but that side works perfectly with the hazards on except no cluster light. Took of the resistors to see what would happen. Same thing. Guess I don't need the resistors after all. Saw a post by Jimmy J saying in this situation its narrowed down to the switch or wiring in the grip Took that apart, now it seems like I'm at another standstill because whats in there is pretty intimidating to me. Now I see why the previous owner completely removed the signals. Any thoughts? Once again, thanks in advance. J.
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Last edited by jason; 01-13-2008 at 01:25 PM. Reason: update
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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That extra connector that goes nowhere is for the factory alarm system and/or testing. Don't worry about it.

At this point, you have no idea whether there was a problem that caused the previous owner to remove the signals, whether the correct flasher is installed or if you've miswired your installation of the LEDs and load resistors.

Nothing like making it simple for remote troubleshooting!

Turn signal flashers (relays) work by sensing the load applied by the turn signal lamps.

In the old style electro-mechanical flashers, the load current flowed through a heating element which caused a bimetallic strip to bend and make/break the contacts that applied power to the lamps. When the load current decreased, the flash rate changed depending upon the internal mechanical structure of the blinker.

The newest euro standard flashers are completely electronic and sense the voltage developed through an internal current sense resistor which tells the control chip how many lamps it's flashing. As a safety feature, the control chip reads a 'too low' current as a lamp failure and increases the flash rate to alert the operator of a problem. If there's a short in the flasher circuit, the chip reads a 'too high' current and will limit the current output so the wiring and blinker don't burn up. This sensing mode also requires that the flasher must be match to the load it's supposed to drive or the load sensing doesn't work properly.

Between the old mechanical blinkers and the newest electronic models there have been a bunch of hybrids and variations, so it's impossible to know exactly how your blinker is supposed to function in a given situation and to diagnose a problem from the information given.

The Triumph blinker (whatever the internal system) uses a three terminal blinker with a ground connection, a +12V connection and a pulsed output. In operation, the +12V power is switched on and off in the blinker and applied to the output terminal. When either the turn signal or the hazard switch is actuated, the output of the blinker is applied to the lamp circuit(s).

According to the schematic, the ground to the blinker is a Black wire with a Yellow stripe (Black/Yellowl) and the +12V is applied via an Orange/Green wire. The blinker output to the lamps is an Orange wire.
At the turn signal and hazard switches, the circuit breaks out to a Green wire for the left side signals and a Gray wire for the right side signals. The turn signal switch connects to one wire (Green or Gray) at a time to the Orange wire, while the hazard switch connects both wires simultaneously.

At the lamp connections to the wiring harness, the Black wire is the ground lead from the lamp and connects to a Black/Yellow wire while the White wire connects to either a Green or Gray wire depending on the side of the bike.

OK... Troubleshooting...

Since the LEDs are lighting when they're supposed to (but not *how* they're supposed to) they're probably connected correctly.

The load resistors (that simulate tungsten lamp loads) need to be checked. They should be installed parallel to the LEDs -- one side to the Green or Gray wire and the other end to the ground or Black/Yellow wires. Check that your connections are firm and that there's no exposed metal to short out against the chassis or another connection.

If the LEDs and resistors are correct then the problem may be in the left grip switches, the wiring connections in the headlight or a defective/incorrect blinker.

My highest probabilities are that you've got a miswire with the load resistors or that the blinker is either incorrect or cooked.

Check out your resistor installation and get back to us for further troubleshooting.

Jim
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your input J.J. I don't know if this means anything but when I turn on the right signals and they are working fine and I very quickly switch it directly to left side the lefts sometimes will flash for a split second (but no cluster light change to the left.)
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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when I put my test light on any of the wires coming off the hazard button the left side starts working. (no cluster indicator). Does this mean I have a bad ground (since the test light is grounded) and maybe a bad bulb in the cluster? No resistors connected yet.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason View Post
Went to the auto zone and bought a realy ($10) EP36 tridon stant hooked it up one side is working perfectly. Nothing on the other side, but that side works perfectly with the hazards on except no cluster light. Took of the resistors to see what would happen. Same thing. Guess I don't need the resistors after all. Saw a post by Jimmy J saying in this situation its narrowed down to the switch or wiring in the grip Took that apart, now it seems like I'm at another standstill because whats in there is pretty intimidating to me. Now I see why the previous owner completely removed the signals. Any thoughts? Once again, thanks in advance. J.

Interesting... cross-posting via the edit feature.

That makes this discussion a bit difficult for others to follow. It would be simpler for the other folks if you use the 'Reply' mode when you add a block of information.

Quote:
I don't know if this means anything but when I turn on the right signals and they are working fine and I very quickly switch it directly to left side the lefts sometimes will flash for a split second (but no cluster light change to the left.)

You got very lucky on that Stant blinker. There are about a half-dozen different configurations for the 3-terminal blinker that would plug in but would blow the fuse instantly.

Anyhow, one side is now working perfectly with the new blinker and the LED resistors removed but the cluster light is inoperative.

That the blinkers are working correctly with the hazard switch indicates that the problem is either in the turn signal switch itself or the connections between the hazard and turn signal switches.

The brief flash on the 'bad' side points most strongly to a turn signal switch problem.

Look for corrosion/crud in the turn switch or a loose/broken wire where the wires from the two switches connect into the left grip wiring harness. The wire colors are in my previous post, so you should have no trouble tracking them.

Jim
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had the switch all apart and back together now couldn't find anything wrong there. but with the test light I noticed if I touched it to some of the wires from the hazard switch the bad side started working.. When I touch the test light to one orange wire going into the relay the light blinks and the relay clicks but NO lights turn on. When I touch to the other orange going into the relay the test light comes on and stays continuously lit and nothing else happens. Sorry if Ive been hard to follow. I hate wiring and I have a smidge of A.D.D. I appreciate you effort to follow my madness.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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.................and when I jab the green wire off the signal switch the bad side starts blinking.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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revise my second post up. when I touch the test light to the wire going into the relay with the light the bad side WILL work the switch has to be on...sorry bout' that.

Last edited by jason; 01-13-2008 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Is the test light you're using the simple kind with a clip on one wire, a needle on the other and a light bulb inside? Looks sort of like a plastic handled screwdriver?

If that's what you've got then it's designed for checking from either a ground or a +12V point to verify the status of a wire or terminal -- whether it's at +12 or ground.

If you connect that kind of tester across a switch it looks like a low resistance rather than the dead short or open a switch is supposed to be.

If a switch is dirty or corroded it looks like a resistance to the rest of the circuit and the voltage/current drop across that resistance might be sufficient to keep a circuit from turning on. If you go across the switch with a low resistance tester, that can supply sufficient current to turn the circuit on.

That's a little confusing, but it takes some algebra to explain it adequately.

OK...So at this point I think you've either got a switch that's resistive when closed instead of the dead short it should be, OR only one side of the turn signals isn't pulling enough current to turn on the blinker.

Try installing one of your load resistors on the side that's not working properly and see if that does the trick.

If that doesn't do it, it's got to be the turn signal switch. Radio Shack used to sell a switch cleaner or TV tuner cleaner that worked pretty well to clean up dirty switches. Try that if the resistor doesn't work.

Jim
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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FYI -- As a result of a recent experiment in a non-vehicular area, I've discovered that 12V lamps such as used in turn signals will light up dimly at voltages as low as 1/3 of the rated voltage.

That should be helpful in troubleshooting 'dim light' or 'dim blinker' situations.

If 12V is applied to the overall circuit (switch, blinker, lamp) and the light is dim, then some of that 12V is being dropped across another part of the circuit.

For example, if the switch is closed the voltage measured across the closed switch contacts with a voltmeter should be zero.

The zero voltage across the closed switch indicates that there is a zero resistance connection between the terminals and that the switch is functioning perfectly.

If it is not zero volts then there is a resistance between the contacts which indicates that there is a poor contact -- perhaps the result of corrosion, dirt or mechanical misalignment.

The reason for this 'contact voltage' to develop is given by Ohm's Law:

Volts = Current x Resistance

If a current is flowing (lamp partially lighted) and a voltage is measured across a circuit element (switch) then there must be a resistance since if the resistance is zero, no voltage can be developed.

NOTA BENE: If this is hard to follow it's probably because I've been reading patents all morning and I've condluded that causes temporary brain damage.

Ask and I'll try explaining again.

Jim
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