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Think I need a new turn signal switch...maybe?

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imacarfan2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imacarfan2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Think I need a new turn signal switch...maybe?
    Posted: May/11/2018 at 10:32pm
So I'm trying to resurrect a 68 Ambassador and need some electrical help. Here's the deal:

The headlights and taillights both work fine. The front running lights come on with the half pull of the headlight switch, then go off when you pull the headlight switch out the whole way turning on the headlights (which I believe is how they're supposed to work being a 68).

Now for the bad. First, I have no brake lights. Next, when I push the flasher button in, the front flashers work, but I get no rear flashers at all (no brighter lights). If I try to use the turn signals, nothing happens. No front or rear turn signal lights. 

I pulled the steering wheel today (needed to as it sounded like rocks inside the column when turning the wheel) and it looks like someone has been in here before. The internals of the column weren't right and it looks like the turn signal wiring may have been spliced (only the two wires behind where the turn signal lever attaches) . Due to all this, I'm assuming I have an issue with the whole turn signal switch. I also read somewhere that the brake lights go through the turn signal switch, so this also makes me thing it's the switch.

Anyone know anything about this? And yes, I checked the bulbs, sockets, and fuses.
68 Ambassador 4 door
71 Hornet SC/360
71 Hornet SST (parts car)
77 Matador coupe
78 Concord 2 door
81 Concord Sport wagon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote knightflight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2018 at 12:52am
Yeah, I'd be willing to bet it's the turn signal switch. If it's not all of the problem, it is a good portion of it. Start with that and go from there. The switches are easy to get.
The brake lights do go through the directional switch. That is how the rear brake light knows to flash when your foot is on the brake and a turn signal is on.

The park lights go off when the headlight switch is pulled all the way out.

Walt
'67 Rebel SST conv.
'68 Rebel SST coupe. (X2)
'69 SC/Rambler (#6 on registry)
'69 Javelin SST Go-Pak 390-4 speed
'70 Rebel Machine 4spd
'74 Hornet-X hatchback
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 1948kaiser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2018 at 7:28am
your upper bearing and possible lower bearing in the column are shot if you hear rocks while turning the wheel. check the lower shaft where it comes out of the column and see if it is loose too. may need to rebuild the entire column. but find someone that can do it and not one that says they can.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote knightflight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2018 at 10:13am
Yeah, that's a good point. Usually it's the upper bearing and a lot of times it's just dry and not 'shot'. So maybe try packing the upper with grease. It may save a lot of unnecessary work on the column.
Walt
'67 Rebel SST conv.
'68 Rebel SST coupe. (X2)
'69 SC/Rambler (#6 on registry)
'69 Javelin SST Go-Pak 390-4 speed
'70 Rebel Machine 4spd
'74 Hornet-X hatchback
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imacarfan2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2018 at 10:23pm
Thanks for the replies! 

When I took the steering wheel off, I found that someone had been in the column doing some work as the three springs that are supposed to go on the three bolts were sitting at the bottom of the column. I'm assuming this is the noise I head when turning the wheel as the sound was coming from right behind where the steering wheel mounts. I also found the "fixed" wiring. 

Since my horn doesn't work (as it seems to be missing some pieces) along with the wiring, turn signal and assembly issues, I think I'm just going to look for a good column that everything works on. I actually found one (a tilt column, no less) that I might pick up and swap in.

I'll update what happens. Thanks again!
68 Ambassador 4 door
71 Hornet SC/360
71 Hornet SST (parts car)
77 Matador coupe
78 Concord 2 door
81 Concord Sport wagon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imacarfan2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2018 at 10:29pm
Actually, one more question. I know where there's a column out of a 67 Rebel that was a 3 speed (on-the-column) car. Think this would still work the same as my original? I know it's different as my car is a column-shift auto and this is a three on-the-tree car, but I'm converting to floor shift anyway (putting an automatic overdrive in it), so the column shift part shouldn't matter, right? 

(And don't worry, the automatic overdrive is going behind a 360. :) )
68 Ambassador 4 door
71 Hornet SC/360
71 Hornet SST (parts car)
77 Matador coupe
78 Concord 2 door
81 Concord Sport wagon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skynless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/12/2018 at 12:41pm
Did you ever replace the turn signal switch? I'm in the same boat, bought '68 Ambo and get lights to work. When I got it, only top headlights, one parking light, and one taillight work. Only the dash signals work when hazards are on, and most importantly, no brake lights. I'm reading up as much as I can before diving in.


Thanks!

Brian
1968 Rebel SST 343
1968 Ambassador SST 343
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2018 at 7:50am
skynless, the turn signal switch could be your problem, but I'd check all the grounds and the bulb sockets first. Corrosion takes a toll on those. You will need a good wiring diagram, preferably a TSM.

imacarfan2, the columns will interchange. You're not going to be using the shifting mechanism, so you can remove the shift lever simply by driving out the pivot pin. Some take the shift collar off and grind the boss for the shift lever off as well. Then put some duct tape inside and fill over the hole with filler or solder in a piece of metal (don't weld -- the alloy used will melt to easily! I prefer to epoxy a piece in) then fill. Sand and paint -- looks like a factory floor shift column.
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote knightflight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2018 at 10:16am
You have different issues here.. First, for headlights, you could have two bulbs burned out, but probably a bad dimmer switch.

Park light and tail light issues are either burned bulbs, corroded sockets, or wiring right at the given bulb area.

Directionals are probably a combination of a bad signal flasher (emergency flasher uses a separate one), and a bad directional switch. Always check all bulbs and sockets first. Ground is always an issue, check that carefully.

Walt
'67 Rebel SST conv.
'68 Rebel SST coupe. (X2)
'69 SC/Rambler (#6 on registry)
'69 Javelin SST Go-Pak 390-4 speed
'70 Rebel Machine 4spd
'74 Hornet-X hatchback
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote skynless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/13/2018 at 10:41am
First I want to make sure, imacarfan2, it's OK for me to hijack your original post. The cars, issues seemed so close, I figured the discussion could benefit us both.

I got new 1157 bulbs for the rear, wire brushed the sockets and housings so there's lots of bare metal, got the brake lights to work intermittently. If I hit a bump or wiggle them, either one could stop/start working. But i'm grateful the wiring TO the bulbs is at least good. 

As stated, with light knob fully pulled, top headlights, one right grill parking light, and taillights are on. Hazards now trigger both taillights to blink (nothing in the front blinks), but turn signal does nothing but turn on the left dash arrow.

The sockets appear to be pretty clean, no discoloration or substance indicating corrosion, but they're pretty loose and the two contacts inside may not be lining up with the two bulb contacts.

Thanks!

Brian
1968 Rebel SST 343
1968 Ambassador SST 343
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