Front Indicator Trouble shooting

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CoupeBoy
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Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #1 by CoupeBoy » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:38 pm

My 75 F250 has a weird issue with the front marker/indicator

The front bulbs are 1157 type.

(left = driver side, right = passenger side)

With the headlights off, either blinker works as expected (somewhat)
The front left blinker illuminates the taller element.
The front right blinker illuminates the shorter element.

With the headlights on, the shorter element on the right side illuminates very dimly, also the right blinker indicator light in the dash lights up.
The tall element on the left side lights up as expected. (no light in the dash)

When using the blinkers with the lights on
The left side works as expected.
The right side does not blink at all.

With the lights on using the emergency flashers
The tail lights work as expected, both on and off at the same time.
The front marker blinker lights alternate left/right as you would expect on an emergency vehicle.

I made this video of the front maker lights/emergency flashers on.
Image

I'll be working on adding in a bunch of ground cables, currently there is only 1 from the battery to the engine, I have not confirmed any from the engine to the body or the frame. I'm thinking of adding some from battery to body, battery to frame, frame to body, and engine to body and engine to frame.

Probably overkill, but I've never heard of having too much ground, and I'd rather not have to guess if something has proper ground or not.

thanks in advance,
-ron
1968 Mustang Daily Driver Rebuild (on hold for the Season 3/1/2015)
1963.5 Falcon Convertible Build (just getting started 3/15/2015)
Case 1830 Skidsteer FordSix Repower Thread (started 4/4/2015)
1970 170/C4
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1975 250/flexplate
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bubba22349
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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #2 by bubba22349 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 1:44 pm

Sounds like there has been some rewiring done to the front lights and the right side front turn signal / park light was hooked up wrong to verify this see what happens when you just turn on the park lights? Dose the bright side (turn signal or tall element) of the 1157 bulb light up on the right hand side and the park light (low or short side of the 1157 bulb) on left side. I think your right on track about maybe some bad or weak grounding going on there too. Good luck :nod: Also in custom wiring them it may have had an another flasher or a timer unit installed to flash them side to side. :hmmm: Was it maybe once a county truck before?
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I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #3 by CoupeBoy » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:42 pm

At some point in its past, this truck took a punch in the nose.
The radiator support was replaced by one out of a truck with AC, the cab on my truck does not have AC; although I am looking for a factory setup, mainly I need the stuff from under the dash
My guess is that when the radiator support was replaced, something got cobbled together.

I'll check the parking lights when I get home.

Lots of things on this truck have been changed over the years, the VIN says it should be a 360/C6. It currently has a 400/C6, which wasn't even an option for F250 until '77. The power steering setup isn't the correct one for a '75 F250 4x4 either, it is an integrated PS box, not a control valve/hydraulic cylinder setup like it should have. Luckily I like integrated boxes, and very much dislike the control valve/cylinder setup.

I've got some reading to do, new guy has a pretty slick turbo setup.
79 F-100 Turbo 300-6 Sleeper -- FordSix Forum -- Sick6Turbo

I don't need the top end speed, but with a smaller turbo for lower end boost building, this could be pretty great for towing.

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #4 by thesameguy » Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Be, um, considerate with grounds. More is not necessarily better. You need a substantial ground from the battery to the body to "return" from the starter and the ignition system, and on a '75 a modest ground from the battery to the body to "return" primarily lighting loads. I like using a 1ga or 2ga cable for the block and typically a 6ga cable for the body, but on something that old an 8ga should be plenty. You may want a ground strap from head or intake to body, and from body to frame.

As for the problem, is it possible you have a goofy headlight switch that is passing small amounts of voltage to places it shouldn't and not to places it should? You could also have a damaged bulb socket - on my Falcon a couple of the bulb sockets failed (left tail light and right marker, IIRC) which resulted in some weird feedback across the rest of the lighting circuit. I would try a) removing bulbs from sockets one at a time and see if symptoms change, and b) disconnecting the plug from the headlight switch and do some voltage/ground continuity tests.

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #5 by Lazy JW » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:33 am

There is no such thing as too much ground.
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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #6 by CoupeBoy » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:13 pm

I was always under the same impression as LazyJW.
About the only reason I knew of that people didn't use heavy ground cables was that they are a pain in the keister.
I still have not added any extra ground cables.

I should have said from the beginning.
All light bulbs are new (front/rear/side marker) but not the headlights.
The headlight switch is new, this happened with the original one and the new one. The new switch did fix the issue with the dash lights.
The ignition switch is new, I replaced it before I diagnosed the real problem to be that the neutral safety switch needed adjustment.
This issue happens whether the dash gauge pod is plugged in or not.

I have not really started probing wires yet, the day is coming. With holidays, I just couldn't find the time.

Plus in this day and age, how many drivers really use blinkers anyhow? :bang:

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #7 by thesameguy » Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:14 pm

While it may be true there is no such thing as too many grounds, it is also true that more is not better. Remember, the point of a ground is only to complete a circuit - once you have a proper ground path, adding more wire improves nothing - it just increases weight and complexity, and *might* create a hazard down the road. Consider the scenario where the primary ground (which usually exists for the starter) fails and the next time you try and start the car you light all your other tiny ground wires on fire. I have actually watched that happen. Grounds exist solely for a return path - whatever goes out must come back in, anything beyond that is just extra wire.

You need to ground the starter to the battery (usually via the block), you need to ground the alternator to the body (the same cable as the starter) and you need to ground the body to the battery. On a body-on-frame car it makes sense to ground the body to the frame, and in certain scenarios (eg, alloy head) it makes sense to ground the head independently but that's really it. Given those connections are solid, there is no reason to do anything else. Really, I promise! :)

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #8 by Lazy JW » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:56 pm

thesameguy wrote:... the primary ground ... fails and ...you light all your other tiny ground wires on fire. I have actually watched that happen...


There obviously was not "too much ground". :wink:
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #9 by thesameguy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:01 pm

Indeed! Lacking the primary ground, it was totally insufficient! :rolflmao:

I think people tend to go wrong by letting old cables hang around. They can look good and be totally failed - they don't last forever. These are my cables on my '62:

http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org/mi ... cables.jpg

The positive cable goes from the battery to the starter solenoid and the alternator. That's it.
The negative cable goes from the battery to the block near the mount and to the base of the radiator. That's it.

I have a ground link from the head to the firewall, which I beiieve is factory. Nothing else anywhere in the car. I've got 14v everywhere in the car measured at any point, 14v off the ignition switch as reported by an Autometer gauge, and 14v at the EDIS ignition system as reported by the computer.

This is my '67 Fleetwood:

http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org/mi ... attery.jpg

It has a dual battery conversion so you can see the positive cable running off to the driver's side of the car, but the ground consists of the same one to block, one to chassis wiring as the Falcon. The Fleetwood has a pair of hefty ground straps from the transmission to the tunnel and a small ground strap from the intake to the fender. Same excellent electrical performance - 14v at the air compressor in the trunk 22' away. :D

Good terminals, good assembly (crimp or solder), and good attachment points are all you need for proper work. More ground straps may cure problems, but those problems only exist in the first place because the primary cables aren't doing their intended job... ask my neighbor to tell you about all the little scorch marks in his Jeep's engine bay. :bang:

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #10 by ludwig » Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:19 pm

First and foremost, trace the main ground to its attachment. That would be the black cable to the block. So far, so good. BUT... but, my friends, that will not ground the gauges. Sand and reattach the firewall ground everywhere metal touches metal.

Now you can sand and reattach your 'too much ground' here and there throughout the engine compartment and the body. That's what ol' Lazy JW is talking about.

Everything else is cufflinks and collar studs. Of course, when all the cufflinks are grounded and the cummerbund is not attached properly.... you're just not well dressed.
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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #11 by CoupeBoy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:09 pm

FWIW, when probing the socket with a multimeter, the ground terminal/contact (protrouds from the side of the socket) is fully grounded on both sides.
Additionally, the socket only has a 1ft ground strap from the socket to a bolt that is screwed into the radiator core support.

When comparing the right to the left.
The bottom contact nearest the ground contact/strap tests full positive voltage on both sides.

What I forgot to test was the other bottom connection/strap, the one farthest from the ground.
Something odd and accidental, but I found of interest.
On the driver side socket, I accidently grounded the multimeter touch probe across the ground strap and closest positive connection at the bottom, it made a spark.
On the Passenger side, I did the same thing on purpose, and no spark.

When I say full power and ground, I tested it with the engine off, and after I had run the battery down and trickle charged it overnight, my multimeter showed 12.88v

When I eventually build bumpers, I want to put quick connects at both ends.
Something similar to this, after I assure it is sufficiently large gauge.
KFI Products (QC-96) 96" Battery/Contactor End -- Amazon.com
And I need to research if these things have standard type connectors or if these are brand specific (proprietary)

Every winter I end up pulling about 6 cars out of the ditch and jump starting about the same number of people, with these at each end, and a winch on receiver hitch adapter that can be used at either end.

On the topic of grounding, has anybody ever use a common bus for power and ground?
Not everything can be directly connected to the battery directly.

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #12 by thesameguy » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:16 pm

When you say "closest positive connection" what specifically are you referring to? There should never be anything positive exposed anywhere except, I guess, various lugs in the starter circuit.

Those big quick disconnects are pretty cool and there are probably a half dozen more common ones. I'd assume your intention would be to have a set of jumper cables that you could plug into the socket and connect to someone else's battery, yeah? You just gotta be careful with such an arrangement as you could do yourself some serious damage. I'd throw in one of those 250a or 500a Megafuses in such a circuit to ensure if anything is wrong on the other end you don't end up shorting out your own electrical system. :)

The car's body (and/or frame) is the negative bus. As long as you have a good ground from battery to body/frame and block you don't need anything else. Really!

For positive distribution, there are a lot of ways to tackle. If you just want battery distribution, try something like a battery distribution stud:

Image

Depending on what goes on the other side, an alternative approach would be to use something like a Megafuse holder:

Image

This is the type of thing I'd use in combination with the quick disconnects you mentioned above. It's only useful for large loads, as the smallest Megafuses are 50a or 75a. You have one stud in from the battery, and the other stud can run multiple big loads. Not a good solution for a bunch of lights or a radio or something! If you want a distribution block to serve and protect (HA!) a bunch of smaller loads, try something like a bussed fuse block:

Image

One big feed from the battery, and a bunch of individually fused circuits going out. The one pictured uses standard ATC/ATO mini fuses and has twelve circuits, but these type of parts come in a variety of configurations - different fuses, more or fewer circuits, etc. "Bussed fuse block" or sometimes "ganged fuse block" is what these types of things are called. If you are looking for a distribution point that can work with the ignition switch rather than directly off the battery, the Cooper PRM is the easy choice:

Image

This thing has a single input from the battery but two circuits out, each protected by a fuse. One circuit is direct to the battery, the other circuit is switched (such as via the ignition switch). A bussed fuse block connected to a PRM gives you a very safe way to run ignition-switched electrical loads in an older car. Far better than stacking stuff on the actual ignition switch! There are other ways to accomplish this and some may be better depending on your end goal, but as a single part that does neat stuff, the PRM is a great choice.

Below is the PRM on my Fleetwood along with a 9-position bussed fuse block:

http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org/mi ... racket.jpg

The big stud on the PRM is in from the battery. The two small studs are loads - one is direct from the battery, the other is switched. The red wire carries switched power from the PRM to the bussed fuse block. It's a compact solution that doesn't cost much and gives lots of flexibility. Here it is half-installed on the car so you can get a sense of size - I made the bracket to mount onto the hood hinge bolts so I wouldn't have to drill into the car. :)

http://www.sacsaabs.org/sacsaabs.org/mi ... newprm.jpg

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #13 by CoupeBoy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:41 pm

thesameguy wrote:When you say "closest positive connection" what specifically are you referring to?
Inside the socket itself, there are contacts that must touch the body of the lamp/bulb. On both the housing and the lead contacts at the bottom of the bulb/lamp.
thesameguy wrote:There should never be anything positive exposed anywhere except, I guess, various lugs in the starter circuit.
As stated, it isn't really exposed, I had the bulb out of the socket, and I was probing the bulb contact points.
thesameguy wrote:Those big quick disconnects are pretty cool and there are probably a half dozen more common ones. I'd assume your intention would be to have a set of jumper cables that you could plug into the socket and connect to someone else's battery, yeah? You just gotta be careful with such an arrangement as you could do yourself some serious damage. I'd throw in one of those 250a or 500a Megafuses in such a circuit to ensure if anything is wrong on the other end you don't end up shorting out your own electrical system. :)
More research is definitely required, and I will absolutely be making/buying a set of jumper cables that will connect into the quick connect. A long time ago (1994/95) I briefly operated a tow truck, and it had the jumper cables as quick connect accessories, I loved those things for jump starting cars.
thesameguy wrote:The car's body (and/or frame) is the negative bus. As long as you have a good ground from battery to body/frame and block you don't need anything else. Really!
Providing the frame has good ground to the battery :rolflmao:
thesameguy wrote:For positive distribution, there are a lot of ways to tackle. If you just want battery distribution, try something like a battery distribution stud:
{stuff was removed}
If you are looking for a distribution point that can work with the ignition switch rather than directly off the battery, the Cooper PRM is the easy choice:

Image

This thing has a single input from the battery but two circuits out, each protected by a fuse. One circuit is direct to the battery, the other circuit is switched (such as via the ignition switch). A bussed fuse block connected to a PRM gives you a very safe way to run ignition-switched electrical loads in an older car. Far better than stacking stuff on the actual ignition switch! There are other ways to accomplish this and some may be better depending on your end goal, but as a single part that does neat stuff, the PRM is a great choice.
On the eventual shopping list will be dual batteries and some method to isolate the batteries from each other.

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #14 by thesameguy » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:42 pm

I found a really cool dual battery isolator somewhere - I was looking at it for my motorhome... I'll see if I can find it somewhere.

On the cheap, if you have a wrecking yard near you, any '90s+ motorhome will have 2-4 battery isolators in the electrical panel. They look like Ford starter solenoids, but they "stick" in position until moved by a switch, so you can install a little rocker in the cab and connect or disconnect the battery remotely. Really handy for isolating a battery to give a jump, then connecting it back up to the system to recharge. Seems like it would work well in the system you are designing. :beer:

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Re: Front Indicator Trouble shooting

Post #15 by falcons99 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:25 pm

I am probably a little late here but, in my experience, when dual filament bulbs in old wiring start acting weird the problem is ground related. Usually bad sockets are the problem.

When checking wiring, especially in a low voltage system, test for resistance rather than just continuity. Most digital meters still indicate continuity when the resistance is much higher than acceptable in 12 V systems.

Hope this is useful. Dave :?:

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