Ugh...I keep burning Turn Signal Switches - Vintage Mustang Forums
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Ugh...I keep burning Turn Signal Switches

I thought I had this problem licked but it keeps coming back. As mentioned in the subject line, I keep burning through turn signal switches and I can't figure out why. First off, its on a 65 Coupe with stock wiring which I replaced two years ago with new Alloy Metal harness' from NPD (Main Harness and Tail light). Every time I replace the TS Switch, everything works fine for a few months then out of nowhere the right brake light will stop working followed by the turn signals and I'll see smoke come from behind the steering wheel. I originally thought the problem came from the right tail light connection itself because when I first noticed the issue, I jiggled the connection and it worked for a split second then stopped and I saw the smoke from the behind the steering wheel. Since that time I replaced the tail light buckets as well as the connector type, from the socket plug to the two wire pigtail. Everything was working fine until this weekend when I was installing a new steering wheel boom it blew again. I'm tired of blowing money on these things and thinking I got a cheap defective one and the next one will be the one that works/lasts. It's time to get in there and figure out whats going on. This last one, I took apart a can can see where the short happened, my question to you guys; is this happening at the turn signal itself or a result of something else in the system. If so where should I start?

Just to add to this, looks like the short is happening between the orange Blue (right Tail light #5 on Wiring schematic) and the blue flasher wire.
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Last edited by xela.zue; 09-23-2018 at 09:46 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 11:29 PM
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I was just thinking about posting one of my experiences with my own turn signal switch.


On mine it was popping the fuse randomly. The signals would work fine but at some point it would go crazy and pop one. I don't recall if the mustang has a turn signal fuse or not. I don't think it does and if that is the case, it would explain why you are melting down inside the switch maybe. It has to go somewhere or other.



So I went down to the parts store and got a half dozen 15 amp fuses to try and use to bug this out. I was testing it at some point laying under there staring at all the wiring so I felt the flasher to see if it was flashing. The flasher module was hot to the touch which didn't seem like that should ever happen and it blew another fuse. I swapped my 4 way to the turn signal connector and it quit blowing fuses so I bought a new turn signal flasher. The problem turned out to be inside the flasher module but it wouldn't blow consistently. It just seemed random and I might go for weeks and it wouldn't blow one and then I might blow a fuse every 2 or 3 days.


It would be nice if your problem is something this simple and its not a part you would generally consider to cause a problem.


65 2+2, 331, C4 presently apart for complete a restore
1979 Ford F150 custom, 302, C4, AC, tilt wheel, main transportation

Last edited by macstang; 09-23-2018 at 11:34 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:01 AM
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Just throwing this out there. What are you torqueing your steering wheel nut to? My manual says 30 - 40 foot pounds. If you are over torqueing the nut, it may be binding or pinching your switch from your steering wheel and maybe causing it to overload somehow. Also maybe back off the small bolt on the switch itself. Letting it have a little less resistants so it can move freer.

I was having issues with my blinkers after I replaced the column harness. One was I was over torqueing the steering wheel. Blinkers would not cancel. And sometimes the blinkers would still be on but no indication. I also thought the switch itself was a little tight to. So I loosened the bolt about a 1/4 turn. Now everything works perfect.

Just thoughts or something to think about.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I wish it was easier to figure out, or, at least that the TS switch was cheaper and I could grab a bunch, haha unfortunately they're about 30-80 bucks each. Since I'm seeing the burn marks on the orange/Blue wire (right brake light) and the Blue wire (flasher) I'm thinking the issue is with one of those wires? Anyone know how I can check these two sources or a way to run some tests? I have a multimeter and test light. Also, I've been doing searches on the forum and keep seeing "bad Ground" as a common culprit. How can I check and see if the ground is good or not? Currently my tail lights work and and so do the front parking lights. When I hit the brakes only the drivers side lights up, and the turn signals don't work at all. I know if I change the TS switch, all will be okay for a while then blow out in a few weeks/months. Thanks all.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 10:48 AM
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Are you using a custom steering wheel? Is it possible one of the cancel roll pins is causing this?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xela.zue View Post
I thought I had this problem licked but it keeps coming back. As mentioned in the subject line, I keep burning through turn signal switches and I can't figure out why. First off, its on a 65 Coupe with stock wiring which I replaced two years ago with new Alloy Metal harness' from NPD (Main Harness and Tail light). Every time I replace the TS Switch, everything works fine for a few months then out of nowhere the right brake light will stop working followed by the turn signals and I'll see smoke come from behind the steering wheel. I originally thought the problem came from the right tail light connection itself because when I first noticed the issue, I jiggled the connection and it worked for a split second then stopped and I saw the smoke from the behind the steering wheel. Since that time I replaced the tail light buckets as well as the connector type, from the socket plug to the two wire pigtail. Everything was working fine until this weekend when I was installing a new steering wheel boom it blew again. I'm tired of blowing money on these things and thinking I got a cheap defective one and the next one will be the one that works/lasts. It's time to get in there and figure out whats going on. This last one, I took apart a can can see where the short happened, my question to you guys; is this happening at the turn signal itself or a result of something else in the system. If so where should I start?

Just to add to this, looks like the short is happening between the orange Blue (right Tail light #5 on Wiring schematic) and the blue flasher wire.
Whose turn signal switch is that? I'm guessing you can't get them at the dealer counter anymore?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Tired of burning Turn Signal Switches

I’ve probably gone through x4 of these, x2 Scott drake and x2 of the “better” NPD quality. Ordered my 5th one yesterday, a SD version.

I’ve been doing more searches on the forum and another possibility that seems feasible, maybe the contacts on the back are touching the bare metal inside the steering column and causing the short. I’m going to try using duct tape and see what happens.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 07:46 PM
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What are you running for lights in the rear? The reason I ask is that I run 3 1157 bulbs on each side of my 67. I burned out a turn signal switch and two brake light switches before the lightbulb went off. I then installed relays and all is well.

Gary
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1967 Coupe, 289-4V, T-5

Last edited by RV6; 09-24-2018 at 07:51 PM.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know the number off the top of my head, but I recently replaced both tail light housings and they came with new bulbs. I guess I can try replacing them see if that helps.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 11:32 AM
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Did you ever get this figured out? I have a 67 coupe with a very similar issue. I install and burn up a turn signal switch with in a few blocks. Now no driver side rear turn signal and both brakes lights out. Front park lights and signals work fine.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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I did. The switch was shorting out by rubbing against the steering housing. It was probably a combination of poorly made repos and over torquing the steering wheel nut. What I did was place duct tape in the base of the steering column to act as a barrier/cushion and installed the turn signal on top. Its been working great since and no more fried turn signals.

Give it a shot and see if that works.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:56 AM
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Thanks I will. I'm getting tired of burning up switches.
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