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Old 05-21-2018, 11:03 PM   #1
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'78 Dodge Trans Van odd turn signal behavior

So I thought my (front) turn signal lamps were dead. It turns out they're not, but they only come on when I step on the brake. They both come on and they're steady, not flashing. I don't know anything about the state of the rear lights because someone cut all the wires.

Does this sound like a 'normal' malfunction or the result of somebody's creative wiring? I ask because:

a) at some point something happened to the original turn signal lever (it's gone) and someone replaced it with a universal unit that clamps to the steering column. The wires are spliced, but I don't know if it's done correctly or not.

b) I understand that the rear turn signals are connected to the brake light switch because they use the same lamp. I'm not sure how this would affect the front turn indicators.

If anyone has a wiring diagram that would also be incredibly helpful!
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:15 PM   #2
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Somebody's wiring .
I'd think that a replacement signal switch should still be available , I have wiring diagrams for a 73 van , I'll check the site that I downloaded them from to see if there are 78 diagrams available.
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:52 AM   #3
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Find the 4 way flasher switch and turn it off.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Somebody's wiring .
I'd think that a replacement signal switch should still be available , I have wiring diagrams for a 73 van , I'll check the site that I downloaded them from to see if there are 78 diagrams available.
I dug into the steering column today to find out what's going on. What I found was the turn signal lever was snapped off inside the column, the threaded puller holes in the steering wheel were stripped and mangled. I'm guessing the lever broke, guy started to fix it the right way, ruined the puller holes, gave up, cut off the entire wire loom where it came out of the column, and cowboyed on a universal turn signal lever and switch unit, connecting wires who-knows-how. The good news: he didn't cut actually remove any of the wiring, so the original harness plug and socket were still there. It's possible that if I just reconnect the wires on the original switch and add a new lever, it might work fine. The thing is only $30 on Rock Auto though so for peace of mind I'm just going to pop a new switch in. And my Chilton's repair manual arrives Friday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Find the 4 way flasher switch and turn it off.
The original hazard switch was disconnected as a result of the hack wiring job... if the universal turn signal unit had a hazard feature I couldn't find it. Benefit: now I know where the hazard switch is! I'm still getting to know this thing.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:13 PM   #5
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Any wiring diagrams I found on line were so fuzzy they were useless , good thing you found a manual .
I worked at Chrysler /Dodge from 75 to 07 , if you run into trouble send a PM ( Personal Message ) and I'll scratch my head for answers.

To send a PM , click on my user name , top left of this post and select , send PM.

EDIT: Does this van have the tilt steering column?
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Any wiring diagrams I found on line were so fuzzy they were useless , good thing you found a manual .
I worked at Chrysler /Dodge from 75 to 07 , if you run into trouble send a PM ( Personal Message ) and I'll scratch my head for answers.

To send a PM , click on my user name , top left of this post and select , send PM.

EDIT: Does this van have the tilt steering column?
Wow, thank you! I ran into the same problem with wiring diagrams online. Today I learned for sure that I do not have the tilt column... I couldn't remember which one it was, and the van is still at the seller's place 45 minutes from me until it's roadworthy. For a lot of this stuff I have to go on memory and pictures I've taken. O'Reilly's had the turn signal switch for the tilt column only and I picked one up just in case it was the right one, figuring I could just take it back if it wasn't. It's going back, and now I know exactly which signal switch I need to order.
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Old 05-22-2018, 11:37 PM   #7
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Steering wheel puller and perhaps a steering column lock plate puller, sockets and screwdrivers. 3' length of mechanic wire .
Manual should walk you through it, with pictures.
Tilt would have made things worse.
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