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Triumph TR6 - Turn indicator issue

Some help with this problem would be much appreciated. My turn indicators have quit working. I have changed the flasher fuse under the dashboard near the glove box......did not solve the problem. I am not getting any reaction to moving the lever in either direction. Have checked the wiring and all seems to be connected. Any ideas or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!!
Jeff Shirhall


Does your AM-meter react when you move the lever ? If so, could be a electrical short in a wire somewhere. Been there.


Eric de Lange

You did not mention the year of your car, but the early hazard switch ( 68-72 I believe ), can be one source of this type of problem. The switch is so seldom used, it can develop corosion on the contacts that ocasionally when it is used and then returned to its off position, it will not pass current to the turn signals. This is only a problem for the "rocker" style switch. Usually operating the switch a few times back and forth will "clean" the contacts enough to carry the current through to the turn signal circuit.
If you have the later style switch, this is of course no help to you.
Dan Masters book outlines this and a few other possibilities for your problem, this was the one I found on my own TR, a 72. It took a few ops of the switch, but the signals did come back to life eventually.
Maybe someone else can post the link to Dan's book here.


Mark Riddle

Mine didn't work either when I first got it. The problem was two of the three wires going to the blinker lever were torn apart. It appeared that they got caught on the steering shaft somehow. They were not broken where the wires go into the lever switch. It was about an inch or two back in the steering column. I soldered them back together and they work. Probably not your problem but worth a look if none of the other suggestions work.
D J Guess


Mark has probably hit the nail, so to speak. The 'trafficators' get their power through the hazard switch.

If the hazard switch contacts are lazy then no 'trafficators' (I love that word).

I'd wager you'll find no 12 volts coming into the trafficator switch.

As Mark opined, manipulate the hazard switch several times. Failing that, replace it. Failing that, yet again, leave it in place and put a hidden toggle under the dash to operate the hazards.


Jim Deatsch

Jeff, is everything else on that circuit working? I think that would include the gas gauge and temp gauge, but I don't have the wiring diagram here.

If the other things on that circuit are working, you need to work backwards. If the hazard lights work, it is probably your turn switch or the wiring to it.

These guys walked me through some electrical issues on my tail/brake lights that eventually resulted in getting them to work. It is really frustrating trying to trace weird electrical problems, but it gives one a great sense of accomplishment when you get it.

JL Bryan

Success.....Thank you all for your comments. Mark and Jim, it was indeed the Hazard switch on my '71. One of the wires had become disconnected. Now if I could get the Hazard switch to work. Have not justified purchasing a new switch....the supply houses are very proud of that switch. Thanks for the help!!
Jeff Shirhall

You can clean all the contacts in the hazard switch. I carefully pried mine open, cleaned it, and it works fine now. Its been a couple of years, but I think it was the rocker itself that you can spread carefully, right at the pivot point to open it up.

Mark Hauser

I have a similar problem with the right turn signal. All other lights work, including hazard, brakes, left signal, gauges etc. I have replaced the bulb, and cleaned the no avail. The wiring itself is in good condition. Any ideaswhere next to look??
Pete Russell
Pete Russell

Like Mark H says, the contacts can be cleaned "internally" for the hazard switch. You only have 2 problems doing this . One, the dash has to be pulled in order to get at the screws holding the switch and its bracket to the back side of the wood dash. Second, when disassembling the switch, be very carefull that the internal tiny little small springs do not go "sproing" and go off into never never land.

Been there done this ( did not loose the springs though).

I had exactly the same problem last year and a simple multi click of the hazard switch got the traficators working again.

Pete R..can we assume your left turn works? You also do not say if the front or back or both are not working. This would have been helpfull information.
You have 2 bulbs in this circuit..front and back. Check both bulbs. The rear bulb holders are notorious for rusting. Having brake lights only means you have 12 V at the back of your 6. The brake lights and running lights are not on the same circuit as the turns or hazard.
Now, here is most likely your problem and with the information given, I make the following assumption. You say you have hazard (lights?) Are you saying ALL 4 corners of your car are flashing when you turn the hazard switch on????? If this is true and interestingly enough is possible, then here is your problem. You have 2 (Green/White tracer) wires going to the MOLEX connector hidden behind the drivers outside of car "kick" pannel. One of these G/W wires is from the turn signal switch the other G/W wire is from the hazard relay. They are both into one connector at the MOLEX connector and head to the back of the car as one G/W wire. (Green/Red tracer is the left side lights front or back). Simply the G/W wire that goes to the turn switch is in question or the turn switch itself is in question. The contact of the turn switch could be dirty...the wire could be broken off ( this would give no front or back right turn signal only...hazard would work).
So there are 3 places to examin. I make the assumption a wire is not broken in half.
1. The contact connection point at the turn switch.
2. The 2 in 1 out double connector ( have been know to rust and corode)at the base of the steering column.
3. The MOLEX connector connections.
In your case here it is not the hazard switch. The hazard switch simple "switches" power to either the turn signal switch or the hazard relay, at least in early TRs.
Now that I have said the above I need to make a point.
Please take no offense here Pete.
From '72 0n power first goes directly to the hazard switch then the turn signal flasher unit then the turn switch. The senerio is the same here but is wired differently.
My point: In another recent thread I said "clarification is the order of the day"
Simple, the more information given, the easier it is to diagnose and pin-point the problem area. There was many changes to TRs over the years both mechanical and electrical. The year of a car is important along with all the details. Again Pete, please take no offense here. Many threads have not got all the information.
Sorry guys for the rant here. I do not like to ass-u-me anything.
Pete, let me know what you find. I do not think you want to drive around with your left hand out the window at a up 45* angle:)
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Rick, thanks for all the info. The light in question is the rear passenger side turn signal. ALL OTHER LIGHTS WORK, INCLUDING THE FRONT TURN SIGNALS. The contacts ie 2 wires at the bulb are clean with good contact & no rust at all. I have not checked the turn lever arm, as I'm not sure what to look for....I assume a loose wire or something? So when the right turn signal is turned "on" only the front works. When the hazard warning is turned on , all 4 lights work.?? And yes it is a little cold to be sticking my left arm up when making a turn. I also wonder how many drivers today would in fact know what the heck that he waving to somebody or what?
Pete Russell

Yup the younger folf would think you are waving at someone.

What year is your TR??

OK so:
1. All 4 flashers work
2. Just the rear R turn does not work
3. The bulb and holder are clean ( must be because the flasher works and as you know the flasher is the same single element bulb as the turn).
4. The front R turn works.

1.It is not the turn signal lever as the front R works.
2. It is not the G/W wire FROM the MOLEX connector to the back of car because the RR flasher works.
3. It is not the bulb or bulb holder or a grounding issue at the RR bulb ( see #3 above).

1. The 2 in, 1 out double connector ( have been know to rust and corode)at the base of the steering column. This is the connector (original style bullet connector)at the base of the steering column where all the wires come out of the steering column ( turn, lights, horn, and OD if you have one). This connector will have 2 G/W wires in and one G/W wire out. It is the out single wire that is in question. Ignore the G/R wires as they are left turn.
2. The MOLEX connector connections. The single G/W wire in #1 goes directly to the MOLEX connector and at some point it is joined with another G/W wire that comes from the hazard relay. So as you can see, the wire coming out of the MOLEX connector (behind left drivers side kick panel)to back of car MUST be good as the hazard (all 4 corners) works. I am not sure where these 2 wires come together...they maybe spliced together before they hit the MOLEX connector or be a joined together at the connector and be on the same terminal (pin).
3. The wire itself from the column connector to the MOLEX conector. could be Broken?? This is not likely It would have to been cut. It is not frayed and touching metal(ground) as you would be poping the fuse.

SO: the connectors are your best bet for the fault.
HOW TO Find the fault:
Disconnect HT lead to distributor, Turn ignition on, Turn R signal on (not the 4 way flasher). Take volt meter set to 20 V scale and take a V reading at both the output sides of the 2 connectors in question. Start at the one at the steering column base. It might be this one and would save you having to take the kick panel off. Your meter should go from 0V to approx. 12V up and down as the flasher comes on and off. If you do not see 12V to 0V that connector is your problem.
That is it...good hunting.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Rick C. My TR is 1974. The detailed hunting directions were much appreciated. I decided however to start at the problem area ie the bulb itself, and work backwards. ( No offense Rick )So 1)take the bulb out & test on "the bench". It works. 2) take the socket out & test (with the bulb in) on "the bench". It does NOT work. So I quickly found the problem. It was the copper ground connector on the plastic housing that was broken. Problem solved. I now have all "trafficators" working.
Thanks all for your help.
First "top down" drive for me yesterday. Rick C. I am planning to be up your way sometime soon. Would like to pop in & say hello.
Pete Russell
Erin, Ont.
Pete Russell

Well blow me away. Pete you said that all 4 ways worked. To me that says bulb and bulb holder are OK. Like I said, the turn and flasher share the same bulb and holder. I had to do a repair to one of my housings also. Ya goota love our little cars and Dr. Lucas:)
At least you can keep your arm in now:)
Would like you to pop in. I do beleive you still have directions? I will e-mail you off line. I look forward to seeing your TR.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

I'm glad I came across this post. I'm having a similiar problem with the turn signals on my 71 TR6. My left (driver side) turn signals work fine, but my right turn signals only come on when the TS switch is in the right turn position, but they don't flash. Neither front or rear.

Please note the front flasher light comes on correctly with the running lights on. I have checked both front and rear grounds to the light sockets and they are solid.

The only wiring I have done differently to spec is I have bypassed the hazard switch. (i.e., I jumpered the two TS wires together that connect to the hazard switch.) But, this should not cause my problem since the left TS lights work fine.


Check the bulbs. Do not trust a visual inspection...ohm them out. If no ohm meter then simply replace.

"Please note the front flasher light comes on correctly with the running lights on. I have checked both front and rear grounds to the light sockets and they are solid. "
That statement tells me it is the back bulb. Not sure what the running lights have to do with this though.

Remember: front turn bulbs double filament, back bulbs single filament. If bulb OK then it is either a power or ground issue. Read Petes' last post. The bulb holders are notorious for bad "internal" workings.

Now a question for you. Did this problem occur after you did your non spec wiring change? Also there is only one wire from the hazzard switch to the traficator....what are the colour of wires you joined together? Explain further please.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Thanks for your response, Rick C.

"Not sure what the running lights have to do with this though."

I mentioned the fact that the running lights worked to show that the front light had a good ground.

"The bulb holders are notorious for bad "internal" workings."

Sorry I didn't mention this in my previous post, but I am aware of this and I have resoldered the ground contact to the bulb holder on all six rear bulb holders.

"Did this problem occur after you did your non spec wiring change?"

No turn signal on the car worked until I bypassed the faulty hazard switch. (Please note that I am rebuilding this TR6. I just got it last fall and there wasn't one external light that worked when I got it.)

"Also there is only one wire from the hazard switch to the traficator....what are the colour of wires you joined together?"

On my '71 TR6 hazard switch there are two wires that connect to the top of the switch that are part of the hazard light wiring system and two wires that connect to the bottom of the switch that are part of the turn signal wiring system. I disconnected the bottom two wires from the switch and jumpered them together. (I believe these wires are green. One comes from the flasher unit and the other goes to the flasher switch (I think)). This simply takes the hazard switch out of the equation.

I was looking at the wiring of the front right flasher light last night. I thought that the bulb may have been in 180 degrees wrong, but the bulb is constructed so that it is idiot proof and cannot be put in incorrectly. But, this doesn't rule out the fact that the previous owner may have put the wires - one red and one green/white - in backwards in the bulb holder.

My thinking is that the running light power is going through the high wattage filament in the bulb and the flasher power is going through the low wattage filament. Therefore, when the switch is in the right turn position, the light comes on through the low wattage filament, and does not pull enough amps to cause the flasher unit to work properly - as it does with the left side TS lights.


Assuming that your rear turn filament is functional then even the low wattage filament in the front turn lamp would draw enough to cause the flasher to function. Remember that flasher is nothing more than a bi-metal strip that heats and cools and causes intermittant contact (no Lucas jokes please. <G> ).

To verify this you can simply hook your test light up to the suspect side trafficator circuit and see if it flashes.

Failing that, just get a replacement, solid state flasher and put it in your car. THAT way you'll have at least ONE trafficator bulb flashing regardless of load. <G> Sorry, couldn't resist that.

Reason I bring up the solid state falsher is because on the 41 Willys coupe I built I used LED bulbs as turn signals. They were superbright bulbs, single bulbs rather than the arrays, and they, of course, didn't have enough load to light off a conventional flasher. The solid state flasher did the deed delightfully.

The sad part was that the Goose wasn't around back in those days. I think he still lived with Rick then.

Jim Deatsch


Can I pick up a solid state flasher at Autozone?



Cain - Yes, Autozone has them. I almost bought one a couple of months ago.

Brent B

"Also there is only one wire from the hazard switch to the traficator"...this is still a true statement.
I just was not sure what wires you joined together. Now I see what you did. I am '71 also. Also now appreciate the point of mentioning running lights. Will your 6 pass a safety inspection (get certified or what ever you call it AR)without a 4 way flasher system? Maybe if it is this backwards double filament thing then you can go back through the flasher unit. See original point to this thread.
Also your statement "Please note the front flasher light comes on correctly with the running lights on" I took that to mean ..when you put R TS on, the bulb gets brighter. and you said but does not flash. Cars of 70s era including NA metal where designed (the flasher unit) that if one bulb was out then the other would come on but not flash...the Jim D. reason. A little safety thing if you will to tell operator you have a blown bulb ( or in our case you have a Lucas problem:). That is why I said the back bulb.

The backwards thing. When the running lights are on, is R front brighter than the left front running light? When you turn the R TS on does the front right get dimmer? This should answer the backwards thing rather quickly.
I agree with Jim. This should not prevent the flasher from working. If your front is backwards then I think the R turn would just flash slower..longer time to heat up the bi-metalic strip? But since it does not flash then there is not enough load. Keep in mind Cain that the R rear should come on at least, but maybe not flash. Does it come on but not flash???? If it does not come on , and I kinda assume this as you do not mention it, then I still suspect a problem there.
Cain, are you getting the solid state flasher for testing purposes? I am sure you agree with me that your flasher unit is working...just not on the R side:)

Good luck
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Thanks for your comments and suggestions, Rick C.

Fortunately for me and other LBC owners in Arkansas, the state stopped requiring vehicle inspections a few years ago. But, to answer your questions, no it would not have passed inspection without hazard lights when the state did require an inspection.

"Also your statement "Please note the front flasher light comes on correctly with the running lights on" I took that to mean ..when you put R TS on, the bulb gets brighter. and you said but does not flash."

I wasn't very clear in my description. I meant to state the fact that the front right flasher light bulb comes on when I turn on the running lights meaning I know the light gets power and has a good ground. I did not think to check the difference in brightness between having the running lights on and having the TS switch in the right turn position.

I currently have the right front flasher light disassembled so I haven't been able to test my backward bulb holder wiring theory yet. But, I'll use your suggestion about the brightness when I get around to it. (This is actually how I realized that I had the wires crossed on my rear brake lights.)

One reason the light is still disassembled is that I broke the little plastic disk that the two terminals sit in within the bulb holder when I was messing with the terminals. So, I'll need to run to the LBC shop this weekend to get - among other things - a replacement part to reassemble the light fixture.

I ran by AutoZone yesterday and went ahead and picked up a solid state flasher. I thought it would be worth having for troubleshooting purposes if nothing else. Plus I can always take it back to AZ if I realize that the thermal flasher works.

"Keep in mind Cain that the R rear should come on at least, but maybe not flash. Does it come on but not flash????"

Yes. The right rear light comes on - just as the front right light - but does not flash. (Sorry I didn't mention this before - it definitely would have helped for you to know that.) I guess that is what has me so puzzled. The left flasher lights work so I know the flasher unit works, but both front and rear right flasher lights come on but don't blink. That is why I'm thinking that the two right-side bulbs aren't creating enough heat in the thermal flasher to make it work.

Once again, I certainly appreciate your help.

71 TR6

You are welcome.
Now I see your puzzlement clearly.

That is why I'm thinking that the two right-side bulbs aren't creating enough heat in the thermal flasher to make it work.

This could very well be it. I would have thought that they might just flash slower though. Well the solid state relay will prove this issue. I think you can buy the double pig tail bulb base at AZ....2 bucks? I think it can be replaced in the front turn/run light. Probably cheeper than a LBC part number. If I am not mistaken, the bakelite base that the 2 terminals are soldered on to has a "tab" ( the tab prevents it from spinning in the bulb housing) on it so that it will only go in one way and as you said the bulb will only go in one way. Ya got me which one will put power to which solder point on the bottom of the double filamnet bulb. I suppose one could put a 9 Volt battery to the bulb and see which filament lights up with each solder point touched ( or use a battery charger for 12 V). At least that would tell you which wire controls turn and which one is running light.
Good luck
Rick c

Rick Crawford


Just wanted to let you know that the solid state flasher did the trick. Also, I picked up the bulb socket fittings as you suggest for like $2 at AZ and it works great.

Thanks for the help.

71 TR6

You guys continue to amaze me at the lengths you go to help complete strangers. My hat is off to all of you. Had the same problem on my '76 TR6 with my right rear indicator & it turned out to be simply the old slip-on connector clip. Front worked but no rear. Wiggled it a bit & the indicator flicked on so I cut off the old clip, stripped a little wire & popped on a new connector & Bingo, no more frozen left arm. (Note: thoroughly cleaning & sanding the connection did not work.) Almost got my A-- kicked by a Camry when turning into my driveway because I didn't know my rear indicator wasn't working. Dash flicker worked but after the Camry honked his A-- off and gave me the old finger I decided it would be prudent(just in case he wasn't just an inattentive type)to check my lights from outside; glad I did! Would recommend checking any Lucas electrics regularly. Hey guys, we got the first iceberg of the season this week! Looks like it will be a big iceberg year down here. The twisty roads are even better with icebergs in plain view. Yes, we do get summer; just later and shorter than yours. 16 Celsius today - that's 60 degrees for our American cousins. Anybody driving a Triumph down this way pop me an e-mail & we'll run with the whales!

Bob Evans
Bob Evans

Awww Shucks Bob,

Hey, join up so we can abuse you even better. <G>

Jim Deatsch

This thread was discussed between 22/04/2004 and 23/05/2004

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