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  #1  
Old 09-23-2014, 02:00 PM
tomfoolery tomfoolery is offline
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Default Help with turn signals

I have a 60 T-Bird in process of fixing up (for almost a year) and have ran into a problem I can't understand. The turn signals will not work. The parking/tail lights work. I've replaced the flasher and the turn signal switch in the steering column to no good effect. I've noticed that the driver-side parking/tail light burns brighter than the passenger side lights. As though both filiments in the bulb are lit. Perhaps this is a clue? I am not well versed in electrical, regreting getting involved with an old car. So, If anyone has a suggestion that may save this T-Bird from eternal confinement to the barn lean-to, please let me know. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2014, 02:09 PM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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Did you check the fuse and/or connection on the back of the headlight switch. That sends power to the flasher. If that's ok then remove the blue wire from the flasher and test for voltage. If that tests out ok then the problem could be the front parking lights. They often cause the turn signals not to work. If they are ok then I would check the rear lights and the ground wires.

John
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2014, 04:16 PM
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1960 Thunderbirds have a separate in-line fuse holder tucked up, beside the headlight switch. (Don't ask me why.) Click on the diagram below for a printable, more legible size:



This fuse feeds the Brake Switch on your Master Cylinder. If you have power there, the fuse is good.

I tell everyone I can to extend the fuse wires so you can relocate the fuse holder to a more convenient location.

Your steering column is fed from two different directions because the flashers interrupt the brake lights. Follow the wiring diagram from the Steering Column connections:
The Key Switch feeds the Stop (pressure) Switch. The 'switched side' continues to the Steering Column (green wire).
The Key Switch also feeds the Steering Column through a fuse on the Headlight Switch and onto the Flasher Unit (blue wire to the Steering Column).

If you replaced the turn signal plate, you should be very familiar with the bullet connectors at the base of your steering column. All power and light wires can be checked for power right there, with the Key Switch on.

A dim bulb usually means you have a grounding issue. This is common with old cars. I run a separate stranded copper ground wire from my battery to the trunk area, branching off for the dash, power windows, seat motors, convertible top motor, trunk light, fuel tank ground and tail light and license plate housings. This wire can be bare and bolted to the floor in various places. I guarantee you won't have a ground problem again. - Dave
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Old 09-23-2014, 05:51 PM
tomfoolery tomfoolery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
I have a 60 T-Bird in process of fixing up (for almost a year) and have ran into a problem I can't understand. The turn signals will not work. The parking/tail lights work. I've replaced the flasher and the turn signal switch in the steering column to no good effect. I've noticed that the driver-side parking/tail light burns brighter than the passenger side lights. As though both filiments in the bulb are lit. Perhaps this is a clue? I am not well versed in electrical, regreting getting involved with an old car. So, If anyone has a suggestion that may save this T-Bird from eternal confinement to the barn lean-to, please let me know. Thanks.
I grew up with the big red "Big Chief" tablets, with the flecks of wood still in the paper (?), not computers, so I hope this response gets to you. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll get started on them ASAP.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2014, 06:48 PM
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I remember the Big Chief!
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2014, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
I grew up with the big red "Big Chief" tablets, with the flecks of wood still in the paper...
Tom, we are the same age. Welcome to 2014 where everything runs by computers.

I remember those big black #2 pencils. That was the only time I ever used 'the big hole' in those Boston pencil sharpeners. Remember that distinctive smell of Ditto fluid?

Now imagine, all the Ford parts catalogs up until the 1980's were done without computers. The scheme Ford used was perfectly suited for millions of parts, and still used today.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:58 PM
tomfoolery tomfoolery is offline
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This turned out to be a carnival of errors. First, the previouse owner(s) broke or cut the front turn signal/parking light wires and spliced them back together incorrectly causeing the wrong filiment to light on the drivers side. That caused the difference in light intensity between left and right. The failure of the turn signals to work at all was due to an unterminated wire at the fuse on the back of the light switch. Once this wire was connected properly three out of four signal lights worked. The passenger side rear turn signal did not work until I traced the voltage back to the new turn signal switch and found that if I manipulated the signal switch by hand, pressing it further by hand than the turn signal stem/switch naturally did, the passenger side rear signal would work. Which means that I must decide if I want to slightly press up on the turn signal stem to activate the passenger side (right) rear turn signal each time I want to signal a right turn or pull the new signal switch out and send it back in the hopes of getting a replacement that works properly. Hope this makes sense to the reader. Tomfoolery.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:06 AM
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Tom, I'm glad to hear you got your lights straight and everything is good, now.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
...First, the previouse owner(s) broke or cut the front turn signal/parking light wires and spliced them back together incorrectly causeing the wrong filiment to light on the drivers side. That caused the difference in light intensity between left and right.
Two conditions would present themselves, the front parking lights would have been vastly different in brightness and the left/right turn signals would have flashed at different rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
...The failure of the turn signals to work at all was due to an unterminated wire at the fuse on the back of the light switch.
I supplied a good wiring diagram with wire colors. If you start troubleshooting at the steering column bullet connectors (which are easy to find) all of the lights could be tested right there. The green (hot with the brake pedal depressed) and blue wires feed the column and all the lamps. Both wires either show power or they don't. Evidently you found one to be dead, so you went to the fuse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomfoolery View Post
...Once this wire was connected properly three out of four signal lights worked. The passenger side rear turn signal did not work until I traced the voltage back to the new turn signal switch and found that if I manipulated the signal switch by hand, pressing it further by hand than the turn signal stem/switch naturally did, the passenger side rear signal would work. Which means that I must decide if I want to slightly press up on the turn signal stem to activate the passenger side (right) rear turn signal each time I want to signal a right turn or pull the new signal switch out and send it back in the hopes of getting a replacement that works properly. Hope this makes sense to the reader. Tomfoolery.
The new signal switch should work flawlessly, provided the plate was mounted correctly and it isn't burned out from overcurrent. Overcurrent usually happens when someone adds trailer lights to the system and it usually happens in the turn signal portion of the plate.
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