head scratching on this one

R

RustBucket

Greasemonkey
Feb 8, 2018
138
28
1981 Chevrolet El Camino 5.0L TH350
Let me start from the very beginning. i had issues with my turn signal lever not locking into
place, so I replaced the turn signal switch. After putting everything back together i noticed that
my left blinker indicator was staying lit on my dash so i figured it meant a burnt bulb. Inspected the lights and neither rear were blinking, only front driver and passenger. Changed the rear
driver bulb out for a led type bulb and went ahead to change the passenger one as well to have matching bulbs. Still no blinking from rear. Switched on the hazards and both front blinks, and only rear passenger blinks. After messing with it for a while the rear passenger stopped blinking with hazards. Only front was blinking then with turn signal lever or hazards.

Left it at that for the night because it got late. So today I went and looked and now nothing works with turn lever. Turn indicators don't even light up on dash. So I tried the hazards and two front and passenger rear are flashing. I plugged my old turn signal switch and nothing changed. Put on new relays (Hazard and turn signal) and still no improvement. I read somewhere that there is a separate flasher behind the headlight knob inside the dash so i changed that out too but later found out it was a horn relay. I unbolted my column brace to reach above the column and there is no relays up there. Just some connectors.

What should I be looking at next? I really need to get this car fixed. Thanks in advance.
 

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pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,024
113
Shelocta, Pa
Check the grounds. Stick with regular bulbs until the issue is fixed unless you already have the right turn signal & flasher fuses for LEDs. As for the turn signal & flasher fuses, your '81 will only have them on the fuse box.
 
R

RustBucket

Greasemonkey
Feb 8, 2018
138
28
Ok I got all original bulbs all around. Nothing changed. I plugged my old turn switch (turn signals did work but I replaced because it would not lock the lever in place) and still nothing has changed. My back lights turn on with the headlamp switch so with that said, is the ground for the lights the same ground for the blinkers?
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,024
113
Shelocta, Pa
There is a common ground bolted under the dash which grounds everything. The column is self grounded thru the body. From what I looked at in the diagrams the issue maybe within the switch or it's self grounding in the column.
 
R

RustBucket

Greasemonkey
Feb 8, 2018
138
28
Should I splice my negative bulb wire into the frame of the car?
 
pagrunt

pagrunt

Comic Book Super Hero
Sep 14, 2014
4,024
113
Shelocta, Pa
I would restart at the switch & track it under the dash. Check for breaks in the wires at the connectors. Look for corrosion on the aluminum wires on the front to rear harness. The main wire colors to check is Light Blue (#14 L.H. Indicator & Directional Lamps ), Dark Blue (#15 R.H. Indicator & Front Directional Lamps), Yellow (#18 L.H. Stop & Rear Directional Lamps), Dark Green (#19 R.H. Stop & Rear Directional Lamps), Purple (#16 Directional Signal Sw., Feed From Flasher), Brown (#27 Traffis Hazard Sw., Feed From Hazard Flasher).
 
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M

mikester

Royal Smart Person
Mar 10, 2010
1,090
113
Small town NY
Did you take the column out at all ? I had a similar issue a month ago. Turned out to be the long plug n the side of the column. You can check the circuit by taking a test light and sticking it into the bulkhead connector on the firewall under the hood. Check each wire. Thats how I found out my problem was inside on the column. Of course this was after I redid almost every connection in the whole light harness.
 
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R

RustBucket

Greasemonkey
Feb 8, 2018
138
28
Did you take the column out at all ? I had a similar issue a month ago. Turned out to be the long plug n the side of the column. You can check the circuit by taking a test light and sticking it into the bulkhead connector on the firewall under the hood. Check each wire. Thats how I found out my problem was inside on the column. Of course this was after I redid almost every connection in the whole light harness.
If it's not too much trouble would you be able to take a pic of the bulkhead wire? Or tell me which colored wire distributes power to blinkers in the turn signal switch?
 
R

RustBucket

Greasemonkey
Feb 8, 2018
138
28
Found this while replying to another thread. It's the people wire I need to start with. I'll go from this tomorrow. Thanks I'll post my outcome.

 
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