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Discussion Starter #1
I am new here and recently purchased a mostly original 1969 SS 396 Auto car. I had a retro sound radio put in this week. Everything was fine before this. Now the left turn signal is always on even when the ignition is off. it constantly flashes on the dash and at the lamp. The right signal indicator does not work now. All the lights work properly when the car is running. the left signal just will not stop. Is this a possible ground issue? Is this a turn signal switch issue, or is this improper wiring on the radio install wiring? Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I would start by looking to see how the radio is geting power. Probably straight off the fuse panel. They might have jostled some wiring around enough that it is causing your issue. Maybe remove power from radio ans see if issue goes away. You could always pull one fuse at a time to see what circuit is causing the problem. Then at least you would know where to start troubleshooting.
 

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I would definitely suspect the radio installation. It is possible that you need to replace the turn signal and hazard flasher switch. That little metal looking cylinder that sticks out of the fuse box. But I would check all the fuses and the grounds first. Brian has the right idea to narrow down which circuit is causing the issue.
 

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Well, if you were over 70 you could just leave it blink, as us old guys never can hear if it's left on or not. The forever left turn.......very dangerous.
Yep, I bet they hit the signal arm when rolling around underneath the dash. If not, start isolating by removing each fuse and checking.
 

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Well, if you were over 70 you could just leave it blink, as us old guys never can hear if it's left on or not. The forever left turn.......very dangerous
30 MPH in the fast lane?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took the radio out and put everything back the way it was. Still blinking. I did notice the turn signal switch has a crack in the plastic portion. I ordered another one to replace it to see if it helps. I removed the hazard light fuse and it stopped the flashing. I don't know a lot about electrical. Could the turn signal switch is broken be the problem now? Thanks again for all the help.
 

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The Turn signals and hazards aka 4-way all are in the steering column and are one single switch.
The Audio installation team could have jammed the turn signal lever and broken a brittle cancellation cam which usually shuts off the signals as you turn the wheel through the turn. Or banged into the hazard switch with a big shoulder and jammed or broken it in partial position.

I assume you tried moving the turn signal lever through neutral to right and back to neutral.
The behavior likely was that at right you got the right flashing and the left still flashing were they flashing in sync or at different rates?

If different rates your left issue is most likely the Hazard side of the equation.

If the left and right were beat on sync then the issue is the turn signal side of the equation.

Push and pulling on the hazard switch? Can you activate the hazards using the switch? Does it flash all the lights? does it stay depressed or the second you back off it stops - except the left?

Options - well you are going to have to pull the steering wheel which can be daunting first time. Just park the front wheels straight first.
The turn signal switch is plastic and they make "repair" cancel cam parts and kits but I find once you are in there time and energy wise replace the switch.
Luckily the Hazard switch is also part of the same turn signal switch so one and both done.

Not that it maters greatly but there was a design change in the connector located on the column beneath the dash. This connector is lovingly called the harmonica. When you look at it you will understand why. GM makes turn signal/Hazard switches that are generic to the straight or curved versions of the harmonica and most switches come with an adapter to accommodate either. And others are specific for your connection.

Warm and fuzzy's: As with any vehicle this old, look at your actual connector because just because you know you have a 69, you step up to the parts counter buy your part only to come home and find a PO had made a repair/maintenance/service change and used another years this or that. Save a back and forth exchange or an afternoon of had to change all this out to get back to factory 69.... Been there done that. We all have. So look first and then inspect the part you get at the counter and make sure everything you need is there and ready to go.

Easy project to do? Yeah in my experience it takes longer to pull the steering wheel so you can do the actual repair. Take pictures - lots of pictures at each step to reference when you put it all back together. Readers digest version, kill battery - most likely already done given your posting. Pull steering wheel - requires a wheel puller, most parts places will loan or rent you one or buy one for the toolbox. Watch out for the horn button spring. Like a retractable ballpoint pen spring it can fly. Disconnect the the harmonica connections for the old switch, unscrew the hazard button or knob. Remove the turn signal lever mounting screw, remove the turn signal screws, carefully unseat and remove the old switch and then reverse the process. >:)

Lastly there were two suppliers back in the day and any car could have either switch if still original. Look at your hazard switch knob. some replacement 70 and 80's era have a small screw holding a funnel like knob, original knobs have embedded shaft that screws into the switch. Generally all are interchangeable but sometimes you find the ones with a screw need a little persuasion.

Brian
 

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I don't think this is going to be a ground issue. Sounds like a broken blinker/4-way switch that is stuck in left turn all the time. Somebody probably leaned on the lever to hard when they where extracting their self from under the dash.
I totally agree with Blitzer454's assessment, look here. Ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I already disassembled the steering column and have the harmonica connector ready to pull out. Fortunately, I helped my dad go through this process on my 71 Corvette Convertible years back. I Order the parts to replace the wiring and switch assembly. As for the lights, everything works properly except for the left signal always flashing. When I use the hazard lights or the turn signals they all work as well. The only noticeable difference is when I use my left turn signal it flashes quicker when I activate it. While it's constantly flashing it is a little slower than normal. If that made any sense. I will update once I replace the turn signal switch and wiring.

P.S. I spent more time changing my spelling thanks to this sights spelling and grammar checker than I did taking apart my steering column lol
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I replaced the turn signal switch and signals work. Now my tail lights and brake lights wont work. However, they have sparaticly came on while I was troubleshooting. My headlights work and all turn signals and hazards but not tail lights, park lights or brake lights now. The headlights stopped working for a bit and if I wiggle the knob they would come on but nothing else would. I'm going to replace the headlight switch, but the rest will get addressed one wire at a time.
 

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I would check the harmonica for loose connections for the brake and parking lights, then move to grounds for the headlight issue. If I remember right
1969 had a strange solution for the headlight ground since the carrier was plastic the body of the switch was pressed up against the back of the metal dash frame and if only a bit loose it was subject to fail to ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'll check those when I get back home. the switch is replaced and only fixed the flickering headlights. I noticed my fuse box where the fuses go in has some rust/corrosion could this be an issue I should clean up first before going to the grounds? I bought all new fuses to replace as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FINALLY FIXED!!! I redid all of the grounds and nothing. I then played with the connector above the emergency brake and found a bad connection. Thanks for all of the guidance. If anyone is going on the Power Tour will be there in Martinsville and Bristol. Orange 396 SS Auto with a lot a character lol.
 

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Thanks for the wrap-up. The intermediary connection is bear to get to for most people but yeah you would have found it by testing out of the brake switch/harmonica for turn and brake signal, finding it in both places, then testing in the trunk sockets finding nothing for those same connections, and the only place in between is the connection. Or some people have had issues after putting carpet in or new threshold plates and the screw goes through a wire in the cable run under the plates especially if the protectors over them are missing or rusted out.

On to your next project. :)
 
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