Rear tail light turn signals - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Rear tail light turn signals

In troubleshooting the rear tail light turn signals not working in my 67, I tried the emergency flasher knob on the steering column. The front and rear did not operate. I found that the emergency flasher in the fuse panel is missing, so one was purchased and I'm waiting on it to be delivered.

My front turn signals work with the turn signal lever, but not the rear turn signals. In looking at the wiring schematics, it looks to me that the emergency flasher and turn signal flasher are two separate circuits, so I don't see the missing emergency flasher as being a culprit in the rear turn signals not working.

My next step is start tracing the wiring to the rear tail light signals, yellow and green wires I believe from the steering column connector to the rear. As mentioned, the front turn signals work but not the rear, so that tells me the turn signal flasher is good. Have not tested the brake lights yet (same bulb filament as turn signals). Tail light parking lights work.

Am I on the right track? If the Stop lamp switch were bad, can that cause the rear turn signals to not work?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 05:42 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Kevin - The complications of the turn/flasher/brake switch is that a lot of the same systems travel thorough them.
So troubleshooting can be involved as you isolate each system.

BUT before you start chasing your tail have you double checked that the right bulbs are in the sockets for the tail lights?

As you state you have parking lights out back, but do you have brake lights on the tail, you need to test that next as you hint.
If you do have brake lights, then the turn signal issue is most likely in the turn signal wiring or maybe at the harmonica connector on the steering column.
You can pull the flasher unit for the turn signals and put it in the emergency flasher socket and see if you have flashers all around. If you do then again you issue is in the turn system someplace. While testing the flashers also test the Brakes - emergency flash should stop when brake is applied.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 06:12 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Another hiccup in the rear lights is grounding issues, I chased my tail with a lot of wierd issues on my rear turn signals and brake lights, one would flash, hit the brakes nothing, right one would work with brake pressed, left wouldn't etc.
Turned out to be my aftermarket benzels were not making good contact, scuffed them a lil and voila, everything worked.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

The double filament (1157's) are in the tail light housings, so yes, correct bulbs. I'm not happy with the replacement sockets that a previous owner installed (several metal tabs that have to snap into the hole; the copper contacts inside the bulb holder move around), so I ordered new ones from Ecklers (for Camaro). They are correct ones and much better quality.

Because of thos socket bulb holders, I used a volt/ohm meter to check for voltage at the socket wires. I do not see a 12V "pulse" at the green or yellow wire (turn signal) when operating the steering wheel turn signal lever. What I'll do today is to use a piece of 2x4 to press the brake pedal wile I check those same wires for voltage. If I see voltage/the lights work, then I agree, the fault would be in the wiring from the "harmonica" connector (did not know it was called that!) at the steering column. If I do not have brake lights, then I'll probe for 12 volts at the brake light switch (dark green wire) at the brake pedal, and work from there.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

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Originally Posted by PhantomRider View Post
Another hiccup in the rear lights is grounding issues, I chased my tail with a lot of wierd issues on my rear turn signals and brake lights, one would flash, hit the brakes nothing, right one would work with brake pressed, left wouldn't etc.
Turned out to be my aftermarket benzels were not making good contact, scuffed them a lil and voila, everything worked.
Did you remove these tail light housings to scuff and get a good ground? The fact that my rear parking lights work tell me I'm getting a ground I'd think, as the two filaments in the bulb share the same ground at the bulbs brass side skirt, which then grounds via the bulb holder snapping into the metal housing, which is then bolted to the body. If my parking lights in the rear did not work, then I'd agree with you.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 08:34 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

There are two power sources for brake/turn lights.
Brake and turn, emergency gets power from brake power.
All power goes through turn signal switch.

Since front turns and no rear turns, you might gently lift up on handle to see if rears work.
If rear turns work, then need new bushings for TS switch or a new switch - TS handle is heavy steel and after holding for 49 years, it gets tired.

However, the problem may be at column connector as suggested.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 16, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Day three in this troubleshooting. I used my volt meter, and detect "pulsing" 12 volts at the green and yellow wires (when the turn signal is operated down/up) at the connector behind the drivers kick panel. I have power at the brake light switch (at pedal). However, rear tail light turn signals still do not work, nor the brake lights.

So either both wires (yellow and green) are broke between the drivers kick panel to rear, or ??? I will check for 12 volts "pulsing" one more time at the tail light wires (yellow and green); when I checked the first day, there was no voltage at all for turn signals or when brake pedal was pressed.

Some weird wiring was also found under the dash. A grey wire from the fuse panel labeled "IGN FUSE", but going no where (maybe for a radio). I also see a thin light green and a thin red wire coming from a harness at the right of the steering column that are cut and hanging. In that same taped harness is a larger gauged purple wire: was unable to determine its source/destination; perhaps from fuse panel to the ignition switch?

One last thing. When I press on the brake pedal (rear taillight brake lights also not working), the drivers front turn signal stops flashing (when I have it operated via the turn signal), but the passenger side continues to flash with the brake pedal pressed.

Studying the wiring schematic to figure that one out.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 16, 06:31 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucko View Post
Did you remove these tail light housings to scuff and get a good ground? The fact that my rear parking lights work tell me I'm getting a ground I'd think, as the two filaments in the bulb share the same ground at the bulbs brass side skirt, which then grounds via the bulb holder snapping into the metal housing, which is then bolted to the body. If my parking lights in the rear did not work, then I'd agree with you.
No, I did not remove the housing, the flat balck the sprayed on the housing was also a bit in the light sockets, I scuffed the paint away a bit and also bent the tabs a bit on the actual wiring harness to make better contact.

I also had running lights, when I hit brakes, one side would go out and the other side would get brighter. I also had turn signals on one side and not the other. If I hit flashers (memory is fuzzy) other strange this would happen, like if I remember everything flashed, running and turn.

My issue, was the driver side rear sockets were not making good ground. These cars are grounding monsters, numerous issues all go back to grounds a lot of times. Sometimes you may read a good ground, but once load is applied the ground drops for another section, makes ya chase yer tail and drink plenty of beer scratching your head.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 16, 07:29 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

You could use a lighted test tool and supply power from BAT terminal on fuse panel, or any other battery source, to the green & yellow wire and check rear bulb brightness. No light, air in series of circuit.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 16, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomRider View Post
No, I did not remove the housing, the flat balck the sprayed on the housing was also a bit in the light sockets, I scuffed the paint away a bit and also bent the tabs a bit on the actual wiring harness to make better contact.

I also had running lights, when I hit brakes, one side would go out and the other side would get brighter. I also had turn signals on one side and not the other. If I hit flashers (memory is fuzzy) other strange this would happen, like if I remember everything flashed, running and turn.

My issue, was the driver side rear sockets were not making good ground. These cars are grounding monsters, numerous issues all go back to grounds a lot of times. Sometimes you may read a good ground, but once load is applied the ground drops for another section, makes ya chase yer tail and drink plenty of beer scratching your head.
Gotcha, and appreciate the response. What I'm chasing is that the "brown" circuit (parking lights) work at the tail lights, so that tells me that the ground at the bulb socket to tail light housing is good. It's the yellow and dark green (turn signal/brake light) wire circuits at these tail lights that are not working. When I measured for voltage at the rear on these tail light bulb wires, I got nothing when I tried the turn signal and the brake pedal. I can't try the hazard switch yet, as I'm missing the flasher for that (in the fuse panel). In checking voltage at the connector from the steering wheel harness, I get the "pulsing" 12 volts when the turn signal is operated, and I see this same 12 volts "pulsing" at the connector behind the drivers kick panel at the yellow and dark green wire. That has me thinking that there's a break in both the dark green and yellow wire running from this connector at the kick panel to the rear trunk and tail lights, but the brown wire is good (parking lamps). This seems strange, as I'd think the entire harness that contains these three wires would be cut, not just 2 out of its 3.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 16, 09:12 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Quote:
Originally Posted by bucko View Post
Gotcha, and appreciate the response. What I'm chasing is that the "brown" circuit (parking lights) work at the tail lights, so that tells me that the ground at the bulb socket to tail light housing is good. It's the yellow and dark green (turn signal/brake light) wire circuits at these tail lights that are not working. When I measured for voltage at the rear on these tail light bulb wires, I got nothing when I tried the turn signal and the brake pedal. I can't try the hazard switch yet, as I'm missing the flasher for that (in the fuse panel). In checking voltage at the connector from the steering wheel harness, I get the "pulsing" 12 volts when the turn signal is operated, and I see this same 12 volts "pulsing" at the connector behind the drivers kick panel at the yellow and dark green wire. That has me thinking that there's a break in both the dark green and yellow wire running from this connector at the kick panel to the rear trunk and tail lights, but the brown wire is good (parking lamps). This seems strange, as I'd think the entire harness that contains these three wires would be cut, not just 2 out of its 3.
I've seen trailer hitch wiring installed with Scotch lok connectors that cut the intermediate wires in half. You might have that situation going on and just got lucky on the brown wire.

When chasing wiring demons like you are If I find I have power at the front connection I immediately go to next rear ward connection and test. If it's good there keep going back. If not the problem is in between.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 16, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Is there another connector? In the laminated copy of a 67 schematic, it shows one connector in this circuit (wires going back to tail lamps), and that one was located behind the drivers side kick panel; I checked for voltage on the dark green and yellow wire (turn signal/brake light wires) and had voltage there.

My next plan is to remove the back lower seat to see if this wire harness passes through this area, and probe there. I'll then clean up the grounding of the tail light assemblies (even though the brown parking lights are working and share the same ground), and change the tail light bulb housings (don't like the cheap aftermarket ones a previous owner used). Last resort will be to just create a new two wire harness and run it myself from the drivers kick panel to the trunks tail light assemblies.

And I despise those crimp type wire fasteners! I've been soldering all the wiring past owners of this Camaro have done in its life time. I'm amazed that for the most part, the wire is in good flexible condition, but the poor quality splicing that has been done on this car amazes me. I've found scotch tape instead of electrical tape, and the worst was when a previous owner cut and spliced together wires at the floor bright light switch to get the low beams to work, rather than buy a replacement 15 dollar switch!

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Last edited by bucko; Apr 8th, 16 at 02:14 AM.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 16, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Another update: I got the flasher for the hazard circuit (flasher that plugs into the stock fuse panel). Plugged it in, pulled the hazard switch, and the front parking lamps flash, but not the rears. When I press the brake pedal, the dash turn signals and fronts stop flashing as designed.

So, rear tail lamps do not work for brakes, turn signal, or hazard circuit operation (dark green and yellow wire). Parking lights (brown wire) works.

Wiring for yellow and dark green wires are good; I can detect/measure a pulsing 12V when hazard or turn signal is operated, and see constant 12V when brake pedal is pressed at these wires connector behind the drivers kick panel.

I'm going to change the cheap bulb sockets at the tail lamps, remove and clean up the tail light housing ground to body, and see if anything changes. If not, I'll rewire the dark green and yellow wires from the drivers kick panel to trunk tail lights.

I live for this stuff....

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 16, 06:25 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Good plan Kevin, I still think it sounds very simular to my issue I was having, so I still think it's a ground issue. I had lights too, parking, brake ect., but was doing strange things, one side worked, one side didn't, flashers would cause differant results as would turn and brake.

Drove me nuts, I think new sockets and scuffing/cleaning were sockets ground to housing is your culprit.

Mine was also a brand new rear harness, American Auto wire, and I still needed to slightlly bend all tabs out a bit to get a rear good ground. You can have a s slight ground, thus lighting up the park lights, but when applying brakes or flashers, draw more volts causing the weak ground to cause funky issues. These cars are a lot like the old Christmas tree lights as the electrical system is a loop from battery, back to battery with each system or harness a strand of Christmas lights, one "bulb" not working right will cause funky things.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old Apr 8th, 16, 08:54 AM
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Re: Rear tail light turn signals

Harness goes through drvr rocker panel through drvr rear window and over wheel house.

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