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Brake lights turn off, when either blinker is turned on!

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  • Brake lights turn off, when either blinker is turned on!

    Basically, the title says it all.

    If you activate the brake lights and they light up, then turn on either blinker, both brake lights go out.

    Can't imagine this is correct, but I've made assumptions before and been incorrect.

    So, i'm sure the correct way is brake light on, turn signal for left turned on, brake light goes out on left side and becomes blinker, while the right side stays bright. For the age of technology, is this correct?

    Then, steps to troubleshoot if anybody has been down this road before. I figure its the blinker, and the contacts are doing something funky.

  • #2
    It should work as you describe. It sounds like dirty contacts in your turn signal switch. I would try moving the shift lever up and down a few times to see if it fixes it. If not you'll probably have to take it out and do a visual inspection. I would also check under the steering column and make sure all the connectors are tight and not corroded.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Connections are tight, John. Remember, turn signals interrupt brake lights. He has a bad turn signal switch plate. I haven't seen his but I can imagine too much current messed up the switch.

      The good news is, I'm sure many of our vendors carry that switch.

      Hey, when you pull the old switch out, attach a pull wire. It will make the new installation easy. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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      • #4
        My '66 has the motorized sequential turn signal module. It's like a child's music box. I took mine apart to repair it. The mechanism can get rusty over time such that the relays don't make good contact.

        Take off the metal cover by bending back the tabs, clean the unit, re-solder any loose wires or cracked solder joints, light oil any movable parts.

        When reassembling, seal the metal cover with RTV to keep out moisture. When reinstalling make sure there's a good ground to the body.

        Hope that helps.

        Cheers,
        Richard, '66 Thunderbird Hardtop, 390FE, Edelbrock Al heads, Comp cam, Street Demon 650 carb. Visit my restoration blog at hwythunder.com.

        Comment


        • #5
          Brian has a '64 so he doesn't have the sequential lights.

          John
          John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

          Thunderbird Registry #36223
          jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

          Comment


          • #6
            Correct, that its a 64. No sequential turn signals. I also agree all the connectors and wires would be good, due to they work independent of each other. So, that leads me back to the common area, turn signal switch area.

            Now on to bad turn signal switch plate. Quick google looks like a wire harness and mechanism .

            https://www.larrystbird.com/wp-conte.../B-13341D1.jpg

            Is this the device you speak of?

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            • #7
              And thanks for the quick response and helpful ideas. Its appreciated.

              Side note: i have a buddy looking for a 60s comet or falcon, in decent shape and together. So, if u have any leads it would be appreciated.

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              • #8
                So, I'm back to this problem, didn't get a chance to pull the turn signal switch and see if that's the problem.
                The relay behind the washer bag, seems to also have power from headlights and tail lights running through it. I can hear it click and the brake lights light up,
                Since i haven't reviewed the schematic yet for that circuit, would that relay have an impact on the lights lighting up or not.
                Found out the horn relay wasn't working, so now i was trying to figure out how that relay worked, got most of it with a test light, but the last prong couldn't figure out what made it light up.
                Trying to do the curly shuffle and get it all working to go on the power tour road trip.

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                • #9
                  And if i turn the flashers on only the right side brakes lights work.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by pollolittle View Post
                    The relay behind the washer bag, seems to also have power from headlights and tail lights running through it. I can hear it click and the brake lights light up,
                    Since i haven't reviewed the schematic yet for that circuit, would that relay have an impact on the lights lighting up or not.
                    The brake light relay was added later in the '64 production run. Ford issued a TSB to add the relay to early cars that did not have it. I haven't found a schematic for it but if your brake lights are working it's most likely not the relay that is causing your issue. I would still suspect the switch.

                    John
                    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                    Thunderbird Registry #36223
                    jopizz@squarebirds.org 856-779-9695

                    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So, i got a new switch in, before i went to the trouble of swapping the switch out. Is there a way to trouble shoot the power coming out of the switch with brakes applied. Looking at the schematic. If i turn on left blinker, i should still have power on the orange blue wire. Correct?

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                      • #12
                        Orange blue wire has power at the base of the steering column connector. Power with brakes applied, power with right blinker. No power with left blinker and then apply brakes, no power.
                        so, the next place to check power coming into switch to make sure its not turning off somewhere else would be at the brake switch????

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Understand how your turn signal switch works. There are TWO power feeds coming into your steering column, one directly from the stop switch (Green) and the other from the flasher unit (Blue). The turn signal lever interrupts the brake light (for the side that will flash). The other brake light simply passes power through the switch unimpeded.
                          There is a fuse for the hot wire before the stop switch and before the flasher unit. Different years of Squarebirds have this fuse in different locations.

                          Squarebirds use only the OUTER lenses to flash but inner and outer lenses to stop. So, Squarebirds and just about all the other Ford cars use the same flasher unit that controls flashing on one rear, one front and one dash light (on each side).

                          You need to be MUCH MORE specific in your questions. I take it that you replaced your turn signal switch (not your stop light switch).
                          ALL of your troubleshooting may be done at those bullet connectors at the base of your steering column.
                          YES, If you have the turn signal switch pushed down, your left stop/signal light (Green/Orange wire) should flash while the right stop/signal light should be on solid (Orange/Blue wire). This proves, BOTH power feeds are connected, the flasher unit works (and so do the lamps and they are grounded).

                          If you get nothing from pushing the lever UP, then I would address the bullet connectors. You may not understand the color coding. BLUE, means a blue wire AND a blue bullet. ORANGE/BLUE, means an orange wire AND a blue bullet. GREEN/WHITE means a green wire AND a white bullet. WHITE/GREEN, means a white wire AND a green bullet connector. Make sure they are pushed together all the way. Sometimes, I use two needle-nose pliers.

                          There are NO ground wires in any of those bullet connectors. If I simply connected all of them together, all the lights would shine. If you have power at an outgoing bullet but the lamp won't shine, go to the lamp and check for a bad bulb or bad grounds.

                          I once had a Pinto that BOTH headlights burned out at the same time. No, I didn't believe it either until I did my voltage checks. - Dave
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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                          • #14
                            All 3 bulbs in the tailight according to the schematic appear to be in series. That appears to be true in this scenario. Blinker - all 3 lights light up either side. Doesn't follow your description above of just the outer lamp flashing.

                            i havent replaced the turn signal switch, i have a new one on the bench ready to go in. I was just going thru troubleshooting again to make sure i didnt miss something.

                            problem : if i step on brake both sets of lights work.
                            if i use either blinker both sets of lights blink,
                            if i have the brake on, and use a right blinker, the right blinker flashes but the left stop light is out. Reverse is true also.

                            In this case the schematic says orange/blue wire. It means orange wire with blue stripe.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Again, I didn't realize you have a '64 and after re-reading your original post, I understand that you have received the new turn signal switch. When I read that it was 'in' I took that as being installed.

                              Your stop lamps are connected in parallel and yes, they all energize together on each side. You also have 'plug-in connections' not bullet connectors. So, let's go through this again. Your best friend is your camera. Take LOTS of pictures of your wiring. If it is original you will find that it matches the schematics in the Ford Shop Manual.
                              Your flasher unit has three wires which is different from Squarebirds. This extra wire allows all three rear lamps to operate together on each side.
                              This is a LOT of current passing through the turn signal switch considering six brake lights and two front signal lamps.

                              Start your continuity tests on the bench with these power wires: Power comes from; your stop switch (Green) and two from your flasher unit (Blue and Brown). Blue and Brown appear to be connected together at your turn signal switch. Verify this and verify that both wires are energized with the flasher unit.

                              Neutral Position - With the lever centered, green should always supply continuity to Green/Orange on the LH side AND Orange/Blue on the RH side. So, all three wires should be connected together between Gn, Gn/O & O/Bu (all three wires).

                              LH - With the lever pushed down for a LH turn, the switch wiper uses the Brown or Blue wire (from the flasher unit) and connects it to the Green/Orange wire. Meanwhile, the Green brake wire is still connected to the RH stop light (Orange/Blue). So, two separate circuits NOT tied together; Bn or Bu with Green/Orange on one side of the switch and Gn w/ O/Bu on the other side.

                              RH - With the lever pushed up for a RH turn, the switch wiper uses the Brown or Blue wire (from the flasher unit) and connects it to the Orange/Blue wire. Meanwhile, the Green brake wire is still connected to the LH stop light (Green/Orange). So, two separate circuits NOT tied together; Bn or Bu with O/Bu on one side of the switch and Gn w/ Gn/O on the other side.

                              This color scheme has carried over from many years and over many models. The '64 year added an 'extra' flasher unit wire (Brown), probably for more current carrying capacity. I would not connect a trailer to this switch plate unless all the trailer lights are LEDs. You will know right away if your original turn signal switch is burned. - Dave
                              My latest project:
                              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                              --Lee Iacocca

                              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

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