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Intermittent flasher [the TR that is]

gac

Freshman Member
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The turn signal on my 1962 TR4 has recently started to work intermittently. Not having had an issue before, I replaced my Tridon HD13 flasher with an EL13 electronic one. Now the flasher buzzes constantly when the ignition is on (it only stops when I operate the signals). My signals continue to work intermittently. All my bulbs are working. Initially when I use the blinkers everything works then goes dead & (if I wait long enough) ocassionally comes back to life. I have always found the signal stalk to be a bit flimsy but up to now the signals always worked. The car has been converted to neg ground. Me blinkers are driving me bonkers :crazy:
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
Online
gac - on my TR3 the flasher unit is very sensitive to resistance. Usually the newer electronic systems just don't work.

When I replaced my original flasher, I just got an el cheapo $12 flasher from NAPA. The flasher uses the resistance in the bulbs and wires to turn itself on and off.

You'll find several earlier topics on this here in the Triumph forum. But my solution was to use an old fashioned flasher unit - not a modern electronic one.

Tom
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
Online
PS - as the flashers are sensitive to resistance, be sure you have the correct bulbs in all your lamps, and clean bulb contacts and sockets. Mis-matched bulbs have mis-matched resistance (watts). Not good.

T.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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NutmegCT said:
But my solution was to use an old fashioned flasher unit - not a modern electronic one.
OTOH, I use an EL13 and it works great for me. "Electronic" is a misnomer, there are no solid-state components inside. It's just a funny relay, with a capacitor to provide the timing.

Checking the bulbs is good. My next step might be to temporarily install a jumper in place of the flasher, and check that each bulb is getting a full 12v, checking as close to the bulb as possible with the bulb still in the circuit. My guess is that you are going to find one or more dubious connections, and bulbs that getting significantly less than 12v. As I recall, Jonmac found that one of the wires was actually corroded inside the insulation, badly enough to keep the signals from working on one side.
 
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gac

Freshman Member
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O.K. got some voltage readings...10v @ the flasher & according to the wiring diagram the wire comes from the gauge voltage stabilizer (all my gauges are working). 11v @ the fuse, 10v @ the bulbs (all bulbs work). Generator output @ idle 11.64v, battery is 12.15v when not running & 11.65v when idling. Now one of my brake lights stopped working, probably just a burnt filament. I'm thinking that the generator might not be providing enough juice, or? Do I just need to do more highway miles (higher revs)rather than short city trips in order to get the electrical sorted out or?! Most parts are fairly new (restored car). Everything was fine till I decided to take a cruise @ night in heavy traffic. Hmmmmm...
 

NutmegCT

Great Pumpkin
Online
"most parts are fairly new (restored car)."

Is the wiring harness new? Or original? If original, you probably have a bad bit of wire, as Randall says. My gut feeling is that if the battery is 12.15v when engine is off, but as you say the bulbs are getting 10v, then it's a wiring problem (corroded, etc.).

Did you remove all the bulbs, clean/sand the sockets and bulb contacts, and check for proper wattage (the "correct" bulbs)?

Did you try replacing the flasher unit?

Tom
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Seems like a lot of little problems stacking up ... 11.65 indicates the battery is substantially discharged. The original generator doesn't do much at idle anyway, so you should recheck at higher rpm (or just have a look at the ammeter). You should see the battery voltage come up substantially at 2000 rpm, and roughly 20 amps of charge on the ammeter. If so, then you need to drive more highway miles (or charge the battery overnight). A fully charged battery should read more like 12.6 with the engine off, and the generator should bring it up to around 14 with the engine at a fast idle.

The supply to the flasher is only daisy-chained at the voltage stabilizer, it doesn't actually go through the VS. So you are losing a full volt in the wiring from the fuse block to the flasher, which is way more than it should be. Probably several marginal connections. I'd probably start with the ones at the fuse block : shine up the blades with a mild abrasive (like a Scotch-Brite pad or a pencil eraser). If any of the connectors were easy to pull off, try crushing the connector just a bit to tighten it up. Smear a little silicone grease (or Vaseline will work) on the blades before you reassemble, to help prevent future corrosion. Repeat the treatment for the fuse & the clips that hold it. If the drop is still more than a few tenths (I try for 0.1, which is usually achievable), repeat the treatment at the VS connections.

My diagram also shows a 4-way union, which I'm guessing is a bullet connector. Might be worth just replacing the sleeve, they aren't too expensive and I've wasted more time troubleshooting than I care to remember, because one of mine was broken internally. The bullets can be polished and smeared; the sleeve can be cleaned with a small wire brush.

11v at the fuse block but 11.65 at the battery means you're losing 0.6 in the wiring and ignition switch. A little on the high side, but that alone won't cause a problem. Still wouldn't hurt to clean up the connections. I found that the TR4 ignition switch (on my TR3A) wasn't making good contact internally, so I ground off the rivet heads with a Dremel, and opened it up to clean and lubricate. For reassembly, I just used some small (8-32 maybe) bolts & nuts. https://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh260...metershunt1.jpg
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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BTW, I would like to add that IMO the problem is very rarely the wiring harness itself, unless the smoke has been let out. Jonmac's problem with Flossie was noteworthy mostly because it is such a rare issue. 99.9% of the time, the problem is at the connections.
 
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gac

Freshman Member
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Well good news, I purchased another HD13 flasher like my old one & just plugged it in...I have signals again! I had this nagging feeling that the new EL13 I had purchased was suspect (someone probably just popped their old flasher back into the box & returned it as new). It drove me a little nuts for awhile since everything was working (except the flasher) & hmmmm, what are the chances that that new $21. flasher was bad. Never assume anything. Thanks for all the help folks! My old flasher looks exactly like the new one & visually I can't see what may have caused it to stop working. Let's hope the new one lasts for a very long time.
 
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