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Old 05-02-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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'99 AmTran FE Turn Signals Quit Working

Hey everyone,

I was out driving my bus tonight and both the left and right turn signals quit working. However, hazard lights still work. Do you think it could be a fuse or a relay that is causing my issue? If so, I'm not exactly sure where I should look for it. Under the dash? Inside the fuse box? I looked over the fuse box briefly and didn't spot anything that my yellow (left signal) and green (right signal) wires were coming out of. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:49 PM   #2
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Probably it's the flasher. might be in or near your fuse panel, not sure.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:52 PM   #3
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Hello Matt

I just found my fuse panel a couple days ago. We don't have the same bus but maybe they're in the same place. On the back of my dashboard instrument panel there is a plate on the back side of the gage cluster that comes off exposing the fuse panel.

Getting to know your bus.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:54 PM   #4
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I found the flasher. It was under the dash inside another small fuse box. I've been doing a little research and I recently switched a bunch of my turn signals to LED and from what I understand the LEDs won't generate enough amperage to activate the flasher. I will try to mess with it a little more tomorrow and see if I can get it fixed.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:21 PM   #5
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I remember hearing about this problem once before. My eyes glaze over when people start talking electronics, so naturally I don't remember the fix. I'm betting the answer shows up sometime tomorrow.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:45 AM   #6
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I tried swapping the 20A fuse for the turn signals with another 20A fuse nearby and that didn't solve the turn signal problem and the hazard lights still work. I stopped at Autozone this morning to grab a flasher and I ordered one that is supposedly compatible with LEDs and that should be in tomorrow. I picked up a really cheap flasher while I was in the store that said it was compatible with LEDs and incandescents and it didn't fix the turn signals either. I flipped on the hazards and the frequency that they flashed increased versus the flasher that was in there. So I'm not sure I will put much thought into that cheap flasher not solving the problem. I may try swapping some incandscent bulbs back in for some LEDs and see if that creates enough resistance to activate the flasher again.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:32 AM   #7
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I'm a total electro-dunce but have read that LED tail lights and turn signals need the special LED flasher. Explanation I saw said something about the fact they use so little current (?).
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:55 AM   #8
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Hi Tango, yeah that is essentially what I have read too. I tried a cheap flasher this morning but it had no effect. I ordered a name brand LED compatible flasher to the store for pickup tomorrow so I'll see if that solves the issue. In the meantime I'll install some incandescents and see if I can get the turn signals to work again.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:33 PM   #9
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I tried swapping two left turn signal LEDs with two incandescents and still could not get the turn signal to work. I tried the original flasher and the cheap one I bought this morning. Hazards still work. I tried swapping the 20A fuse for the turn signals with another one nearby and that didn't work either. I'm at a loss of what to try next. Anyone have any suggestions? I may try to take a look at the turn signal stalk on the steering column. I would find it odd that both the left and right turn signals quit working at the same time.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:50 PM   #10
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It sounds like you're getting close to having your turn signals working again. A lot of us need to know the solution to this problem.

Meanwhile you can always stick your left arm out the window at turns.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:32 AM   #11
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While I was driving last night with the headlights on the turn signals started working again. My only guess is that because I had the headlights on and in turn had all of my running lights on that there must have been enough resistance in the circuit (after I replaced two LEDs with two incandescents) to activate the flasher. I'm still waiting on my new flasher to come in and I will try to swap the LEDs back in to see if the new flasher is compatible.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:09 AM   #12
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I am curious as to how many LED's you have in the turn signal sockets as compared to the incandescents.
I think you should go with one type only, not a mixture of types as you have now.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:17 AM   #13
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Do you still have turn signals out back?
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:49 AM   #14
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Well let's see if I can count how many turn signals my bus/flatbed has... It has about 18-20 turn signals (9-10 on each side). I have LED turn signals down the side of my flatbed, turn signals at the back of the bed, the original turn signals at the front of the bus, and I have converted the old flashing lights to function as brake lights/turn signals. When this problem first started I only had two incandescent bulbs and 7 or 8 LEDs on each side of the bus. Yesterday I swapped two LEDs out for incandescents (dual element, 1157's) on the left side and my turn signals started working again as I was driving it last night with the headlights on. My assumption is that the added resistance from the incandescents and the running lights being on allowed the flasher to perform it's job.

As of this morning, again driving with the headlights on, the turn signals were still working. I will try them without the headlights on and see if they still work or not.

Why do you think I shouldn't run a mixture of bulbs? I don't think any harm will be caused by it. Eventually everything will be LEDs but I haven't gotten around to doing the front of the bus yet. Only the rear of the bus and the flatbed are all LEDs (except for the two bulbs I swapped back in yesterday).
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:59 AM   #15
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The flasher unit is nothing more than an automatic resetting circuit breaker.
Headlights and tail lights etc. Have no effect on a flasher.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rensch26 View Post
Well let's see if I can count how many turn signals my bus/flatbed has... It has about 18-20 turn signals (9-10 on each side). I have LED turn signals down the side of my flatbed, turn signals at the back of the bed, the original turn signals at the front of the bus, and I have converted the old flashing lights to function as brake lights/turn signals. When this problem first started I only had two incandescent bulbs and 7 or 8 LEDs on each side of the bus. Yesterday I swapped two LEDs out for incandescents (dual element, 1157's) on the left side and my turn signals started working again as I was driving it last night with the headlights on. My assumption is that the added resistance from the incandescents and the running lights being on allowed the flasher to perform it's job.

As of this morning, again driving with the headlights on, the turn signals were still working. I will try them without the headlights on and see if they still work or not.

Why do you think I shouldn't run a mixture of bulbs? I don't think any harm will be caused by it. Eventually everything will be LEDs but I haven't gotten around to doing the front of the bus yet. Only the rear of the bus and the flatbed are all LEDs (except for the two bulbs I swapped back in yesterday).
To simplify, let's say this is your car and you add a trailer with lights. The flasher is designed to run only the car lights which calls for replacing that flasher with a heavy duty flasher so that the trailer lights will work along with the car and flash normally.
In your case you re confusing the flasher by your mixture. Too much or too little current for the flasher to recognize instantly. Using all incandescents lets the flasher recognize the load while adding LED's, lessens the load and may lead to intermittent or non working lights.
That's why there are special flashers that are intended to run one system or other but not necessarily both.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:08 PM   #17
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In your case you re confusing the flasher by your mixture. Too much or too little current for the flasher to recognize instantly. Using all incandescents lets the flasher recognize the load while adding LED's, lessens the load and may lead to intermittent or non working lights.
That's why there are special flashers that are intended to run one system or other but not necessarily both.
I agree with what you're stating. I have assumed all along that the draw from all the LEDs is not enough to activate this current flasher in the bus. I just drove it at lunch time and the turn signals worked when I first started driving it, quit for a little bit, and then started working again. I'm waiting for an LED compatible flasher to arrive and I will see if that permanently fixes the problem. For the time being I will swap 1-2 more incandescents back into the circuit to hopefully help this flasher perform more consistently.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rensch26 View Post
I agree with what you're stating. I have assumed all along that the draw from all the LEDs is not enough to activate this current flasher in the bus. I just drove it at lunch time and the turn signals worked when I first started driving it, quit for a little bit, and then started working again. I'm waiting for an LED compatible flasher to arrive and I will see if that permanently fixes the problem. For the time being I will swap 1-2 more incandescents back into the circuit to hopefully help this flasher perform more consistently.
If you keep your LED turn signers you need a flasher that has a ground wire attached to it, I changed my 67 f250 to led's & that's what I had to put in.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:46 PM   #19
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I have a mixture of LED's and regulars and my signals all still work. I do know the wiring harnesses on the conventional busses are plug-in so you can remove the entire bonnet.. make sure each of the connectors are tight.. on my DEV.. one of them was loose making a PITA for signals and the front running lights..

-Christopher
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