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Turn signal issues...

heepiejeepie

Basic User
Silver Member
City
Herriman
State
UT
Hi everyone, looking for a little direction on an issue with my turn signals. I'll try to write as much detail as I can to help diagnose the problem. Electrical and lighting is definitely not my strong point and I appreciate any advice the community has to share, thanks in advance! This is on my 1984 CJ8.

I noticed my signal switch felt spongy when I was trying to signal left and also noticed the left flasher wasn't operating. I went ahead and replaced the signal switch and harness inside the steering column. That fixed the spongy feeling because the old worn out plastic switch had cracked. However the left blinker still wasn't working.

I had been planning to swap out the old light for LEDs anyway so I decided now would be good time to do that and possible rule out the blinker issue at the same time. I also replaced the OEM flasher for a unit that is LED compatible. Things are still weird and not working. Here are my notes on what is and isn't working:
- Signal left. All lights blink including both arrow indicators on my dash, just like I had switched on my hazzards. I noticed if I turn the headlights on, everything still blinks except for the front right blinker directly under the headlight.
- Signal right. The front right blinkers flash, but both rear lights flash.
- Sometimes, when I turn on the headlights, the right dash arrow indicator illuminates.
- Noticed when the vehicle isn't running or in ACC position, if I press the brake pedal both rear light illuminate as they should. However, the right arrow indicator on the dash lights up and the front right blinkers illuminate.

I know this is a lot of information, please let me know if anyone has any ideas! Thanks again!
 

Chamba

Not obsessed: focused.
City
Vero Beach
State
FL
I'm thinking grounding issue on your left turn signal and it's using your right turn signal's ground as a jump. I would try grounding the light housing on either side with a long wire to see whether that solves the issue then if it does do a permanent fix.
 

FLCJ8

Legacy Registered User
City
Palm Bay
State
FL
However the left blinker still wasn't working.
Can you provide some details of the symptoms you were having with the new switch and old lamps?
I had been planning to swap out the old light for LEDs anyway so I decided now would be good time to do that and possible rule out the blinker issue at the same time.
Which did you replace with LED's? (dash indicators, front side markers, front grill, rear lights)

The front signal system has some weird characteristics that are not compatible with LED's without modifications.
Maybe try to remove the lamps in the front grill and side markers and see how things function.
 

heepiejeepie

Basic User
Silver Member
City
Herriman
State
UT
Can you provide some details of the symptoms you were having with the new switch and old lamps?

Which did you replace with LED's? (dash indicators, front side markers, front grill, rear lights)

The front signal system has some weird characteristics that are not compatible with LED's without modifications.
Maybe try to remove the lamps in the front grill and side markers and see how things function.

Can you provide some details of the symptoms you were having with the new switch and old lamps?

Which did you replace with LED's? (dash indicators, front side markers, front grill, rear lights)

The front signal system has some weird characteristics that are not compatible with LED's without modifications.
Maybe try to remove the lamps in the front grill and side markers and see how things function.
I replaced the rear lights with LEDs from Gen Right, they say Trail Tail on them. They are definitely high quality, so I’m inclined to believe the problem isn’t the lights rather the way they are interacting with the old school OEM front blinkers and potential wire/fuse/relay issues. I’m going to swap everything to LED soon. I will try removing the front blinkers and markers and see if that makes a difference!
 

heepiejeepie

Basic User
Silver Member
City
Herriman
State
UT
I replaced the rear lights with LEDs from Gen Right, they say Trail Tail on them. They are definitely high quality, so I’m inclined to believe the problem isn’t the lights rather the way they are interacting with the old school OEM front blinkers and potential wire/fuse/relay issues. I’m going to swap everything to LED soon. I will try removing the front blinkers and markers and see if that makes a difference!
I removed the front blinkers and side markers and both rear blinkers still blink when I signal both right and left. I also noticed something new. When signaling right or left the blinking on the rear lights stops when I press on the brake. This happens when the front blinkers and side markers are both in and removed. So weird. Any other suggestions? The system wasn’t working properly even before I replaced the signal switch and the installed the LED tail lights.
 

FLCJ8

Legacy Registered User
City
Palm Bay
State
FL
I replaced the rear lights with LEDs from Gen Right, they say Trail Tail on them. They are definitely high quality, so I’m inclined to believe the problem isn’t the lights rather the way they are interacting with the old school OEM front blinkers and potential wire/fuse/relay issues. I’m going to swap everything to LED soon. I will try removing the front blinkers and markers and see if that makes a difference!
Okay, I'm taking it that you have only updated the rear to LED's (with complete new lights) the removal of the front lamps shouldn't be an issue if you hadn't changed them to LED's, the fact you removed them confirms this.

Like Chamba mentioned earlier, an inadequate ground can cause this issue.
How was the grounding on the old lights, and what was done to obtain grounds with the new setup?
 
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