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The Gentleman's Express: Tech-Tips from the JIOC

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Turns Signal (Flasher) Relay

Author: Brennan J. Holland

If your turn signals don’t work, don’t work properly, or do funny things when you signal a turn - - it may be the fault of the flasher relay. It is hidden under a difficult-to-remove panel under the instrument panel on the left-hand side of the steering column. It is the one on the far right, of the three ‘black boxes’ hiding in there. It has two terminals and is held in by its own little molded bracket. A common garden variety American part will work wonders. The standard, one size fits all terminal flasher relay, (I got a Wagner #552) for most American cars will work nicely - for $3.50 or so. It is round and won’t fit in the little bracket for the Lucas relay, so throw the bracket away, and just stuff the relay and wires up in place, and put that *Z!!* panel back in place. Or, if you’re picky, get some thick, double stick tape, and tape the back of the relay to the bulkhead.

My car was having some starting problems which I eventually traced to the relay - the big one on the driver’s side of the engine compartment, below the brake master cylinder. A fat cable from the battery runs into one side, and an equally h.d. cable runs out the other side down to the starter motor. A large byndle of brown wires are connected to a small terminal on the right side and a wire from the first ignition relay (and from the ignition switch) is connected to the other small terminal. Now that you have found the culprit, remove all wires noting where they were, remove the two attaching screws, and THROW it away! Firmly believing all the tales/myths of Lucas unreliability - I decided to forgo waiting 2 or 3 weeks for an expensive electrical device and went out and bought a good of American part. Ford uses a similar system for starting as our beloved Interceptors, so I hopped down to the local autoparts store and bought a Ford relay - PN B6AZ- 11450-A, for $8.00. Neat, huh? I don’t know what vehicles/ engines this particular item was designed for, but any relay for a late model Ford with a large V8 ought to be able to handle the electrical requirements nicely.

You’ll have to drill a new hole to mount the Ford relay, as its base is wider than that of the offending Lucas part. And you may have to make some modification to the terminal on the small white wire to get it to fit the Ford relay. All in all, this is probably a one-beer job!

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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