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Discussion Starter #1
OK the Manta is due for inspection In Governor Cuomo Land, AKA New York.
The directional signals flash rapid fire.
I can see the bulbs flashing both front and back on each side when I move the stalk up / down.
The 4 ways work perfect. All the bulbs test good and I have cleaned and tested each one.
I can hear the flasher relay going rapid fire but have not bent myself into a pretzel trying to find it.
Do I have a bad flasher? How do i get to it? Do I need to replace the switch on the steering column?
I also checked for loose ground wires and B- ground (re-done last year with all new battery cables)

Thanks in advance for the help
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah it will pass in NY too.
But would be nice to get it sorted out.
Garage gets toasty in the PM and I don't enjoy baking inside a car.
Home A/C took a dive today so more pressing issues at hand.
 

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Opel Rallier since 1977
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Get the A/C fixed for sure!

Could be the front and/or rear dual filament bulbs installed backwards, or the wrong bulb. The rapid flashing usually is due to too little current begin drawn from too much resistance. A burned out bulb is common, but that does not sound like your issue. If the bulbs are inserted backwards, then the higher resistance parking lamp filament will be in the blinker circuit. The dual filament bulbs ought to be type 1157 and will have the 2 pins on the bayonet base at different depths to match offset pin receptacles in the socket. But they can still be forced in backwards. You have to check both front and rear for this problem.

If that is not it, then IIRC the flasher unit is under the dash, above the driver's left leg and near to the fuse panel. Turn on the blinkers and you will be able to feel it clicking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Get the A/C fixed for sure!

Could be the front and/or rear dual filament bulbs installed backwards, or the wrong bulb. The rapid flashing usually is due to too little current begin drawn from too much resistance. A burned out bulb is common, but that does not sound like your issue. If the bulbs are inserted backwards, then the higher resistance parking lamp filament will be in the blinker circuit. The dual filament bulbs ought to be type 1157 and will have the 2 pins on the bayonet base at different depths to match offset pin receptacles in the socket. But they can still be forced in backwards. You have to check both front and rear for this problem.

If that is not it, then IIRC the flasher unit is under the dash, above the driver's left leg and near to the fuse panel. Turn on the blinkers and you will be able to feel it clicking.
Maybe it just wanted to go out for a drive and get a full tank of premium. Once I started down the road the directionals performed perfectly. I'll move the seat back and take a good look around once the temps go
down. The house A/C went out yesterday. Fixed today with a new flux capacitor and 1.5 lbs of cold stuff.
 

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My 74 does the same thing. Sometimes the flash is rapid but has been ok recently. Not that I drive it much but I have been testing that when it is running. I'm thinking bad ground. It hasn't acted up since I put in the engine to chassis ground strap but like most things on the car that may have nothing to do with anything.
 

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Maybe it just wanted to go out for a drive and get a full tank of premium. Once I started down the road the directionals performed perfectly. I'll move the seat back and take a good look around once the temps go
down. The house A/C went out yesterday. Fixed today with a new flux capacitor and 1.5 lbs of cold stuff.
The flahser depends on adequate current flow to work properly; I always thought it is designed that way intentionally to show you a burnt out bulb. I bet that when you ran the car, with the alternator putting out a higher voltage, that would increase the bulb current juuuust enough to make the flasher work right.

Some of this my be just dirty/corroded contacts and sockets and grounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was getting the rapid flash when the engine was not running. I had the same problem last year and replaced the battery and both battery cables. Also cleaned up the engine to chassis and B- to firewall connections.
Made a huge difference with engine turnng over to start. So far the problem has been resolved. If it reappears I'll replace the bulbs. The local NAPA store had 1 each of the directional and tail light bulbs in stock.
I guess automotive bulbs are a non essential business since we're all sitting home.
 

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As my Old Man (a design electrical engineer with his name on four or five patents) used to say, "...electricity is perfect. Any failures in an electrical circuit have to be mechanical in nature.": It is almost impossible for all of the dual-filament bulbs to be put into the sockets backwards because of the location of the pins, but it is not impossible for all of the subject lamps to be hooked up backwards. However, they do not hook themselves up and if the flashers worked correctly up until (pick a day), the only logical answer for this would be if the Sneaky Bastard next door snuck into your garage overnight and switched the wires. Further, the flashers should not play in tune with the speed of the alternator -- if they do, then you have to look for either a loose or dirty connection somewhere, a wildly defective alternator circuit (that will show itself with all of the lamps playing in the same tune), or a defective flasher. A "loose or dirty connection" could also include a bad ground for the lamps, although that should also show up with the other side of the dual filament circuit.

If you understand how a flasher works, it is easy to see how, over time, it will go bad. Especially if it has never been changed in fifty years. And yes, in the process of going bad, it can also make the appearance of fixing itself periodically.
 

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As my Old Man (a design electrical engineer with his name on four or five patents) used to say, "...electricity is perfect. Any failures in an electrical circuit have to be mechanical in nature.":
Very true statement!
I always look at electrical circuits as being a finer version of a hydraulic/pneumatic system with electrons being the fluid trying to get from point A to point B.
 

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LOL Michael, you'd be surprised how many of these dual filament bulbs I've worked out of their sockets after finding someone put them in backwards! Wrong bulbs too... whatever somebody had on hand that fit, or what some parts counter jockey said was 'the same thing'.
 

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As stated by others I have seen bulbs installed incorrectly in the socket, they can be made to fit....but a more common problem is the filament in a dual bulb will fail and just lay over on the other contact in the bulb as a new path to drive you crazy because you see the bulb and think "it looks OK". Take a good look at the bulb on dual filament bulbs for this crossover contact. HTH
 

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I can see an incorrect, defective or improperly installed bulb for one or even two bulbs, but all four corners? More likely another, more simple problem.
 

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Just stating that the reversed bulb issue is not uncommon. And it only has to be on one end or the other to effect the blink rate of a side.

For the posters above, the lower system voltage when not running (with the consequent lower current.... creating the same effect as a reversed bulb) could do it. Where the additional problem lies to enable that to trigger the symptom, I'd be thinking a poor connection somewhere. I just don't know if these blinkers 'wear out'. I HAVE replaced them but for complete failure, not fast blinking that I ever recall. It IS a thermomechanical device...so if the internal heater reistance chanaged, I suppose that could indeed be it.

FWIW, there are 'heavy duty' flashers that will keep the same blink rate with a very wide range of current. They are made so you can attach a trailer to a vehcile and not have the extra current mess up the blink rate. I have never tried on in these cars and do not know if there is one in the correct pin configuration.

For the OP, the only reason I could imagine having to mess with the blinker switch on the column is if that was a location of high circuit resistance.
 

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The flasher consists of a strip of metal that offers a contact point that connects the circuit between the power source and the bulbs. The current that passes through causes the metal strip get hot, causing it to flex away from the circuit's contact point, breaking the circuit and causing the lights to go out. The strip then cools, and returns to its natural state of rest, which then connects the circuit again, causing the lights to go on. The process repeats.

If one or more bulbs are burned out, an insufficient amount of current will flow through the [flexible] strip, so that it does not heat sufficiently to break the circuit. The remaining lamps will stay on and there will be no blinking action.

Consider that the filaments used in the turn signal circuits, where applicable, are the brighter of the two filaments in the lamps in question. If the bulbs were in "backwards" such that the dimmer filaments were forced into the turn signal circuit, then there would be an insufficient amount of current to activate the flasher, in which case the bulbs would remain lit, not blink at an accelerated rate.

The fast blinking can be explained by a couple of things, including bad connections that cause an excessive amount of current to pass through the flasher; or simply a flasher going bad (possibly because of a bad connection that has formed between the flexible metal strip and its contact point with the circuit). It's possible that the strip flexes with much less current than it was designed for; it's possible that a bad connections causes it to heat and flex prematurely, in which case it cools sooner than was designed, making a rapid re-connection.

The Manta Rallier does not see how the flashers "wear out"? I am 73-years (young). But you flex for fifty years and see how much energy you have to bend!
 

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In my case, I doubt it is bulbs in backwards since they work correctly at times and then will rapid flash and it hasn't done that in a while. I think it is related to changes in the current draw, more current, heats faster, flashes faster, but what is doing that is the mystery. You would think a bad ground would cause resistance and so decreased current flow that would slow the blink.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, if it will make everyone happy I will replace all the bulbs, double check the contacts in the lamp assemblies and install a new flasher (when I can find the dumb thing). I could also run a supplemental ground wire to the lamp housings and replace the directional switch assembly on the steering column. However, since this is Summer and I only drive the car 4 months out of the year and the directionals work I think I will roll down the windows and take her for a spin down a country road. I would stop at a pub for a cold one but you have to order a 5 course meal in NY to have an adult beverage. Just a reminder, the 4 way flashers works so that eliminates the bulbs, contacts and ground but not the flasher because the 4 ways have their own relay.
I do love the great feedback. I only wish I had a fluid dynamics thermal nuclear problem that needed a fix.:)
 

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Consider that the filaments used in the turn signal circuits, where applicable, are the brighter of the two filaments in the lamps in question. If the bulbs were in "backwards" such that the dimmer filaments were forced into the turn signal circuit, then there would be an insufficient amount of current to activate the flasher, in which case the bulbs would remain lit, not blink at an accelerated rate.
Absolutely right on the principles, but not quite correct on what happens. Easy to see what actually happens; just pull out either front or rear bulb on one side (and thus lower the current flow) and see what happens.... a rapid blinking rate will occur.

The more likely way this works: the proper current heats more and that makes the thermal arm bend more and it moves further away from the contact, and thus take longer to cool and bend bend back and remake contact.. Hence less bending when the bulb current goes down (reversed or bending bulb), a quicker return of the bimetallic strip to make contact, and a faster blink rate. I always assumed this was done on purpose like this, as an indicator to the operator that a filament was burned out.

Hey, don't worry over this too much OP... I am just waking up and want to run up my post count LOL :D
 

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As my Old Man (a design electrical engineer with his name on four or five patents) used to say, "...electricity is perfect. Any failures in an electrical circuit have to be mechanical in nature.": It is almost impossible for all of the dual-filament bulbs to be put into the sockets backwards because of the location of the pins, but it is not impossible for all of the subject lamps to be hooked up backwards. However, they do not hook themselves up and if the flashers worked correctly up until (pick a day), the only logical answer for this would be if the Sneaky Bastard next door snuck into your garage overnight and switched the wires. Further, the flashers should not play in tune with the speed of the alternator -- if they do, then you have to look for either a loose or dirty connection somewhere, a wildly defective alternator circuit (that will show itself with all of the lamps playing in the same tune), or a defective flasher. A "loose or dirty connection" could also include a bad ground for the lamps, although that should also show up with the other side of the dual filament circuit.

If you understand how a flasher works, it is easy to see how, over time, it will go bad. Especially if it has never been changed in fifty years. And yes, in the process of going bad, it can also make the appearance of fixing itself periodically.
Very nice explanation!
 

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Absolutely right on the principles, but not quite correct on what happens. Easy to see what actually happens; just pull out either front or rear bulb on one side (and thus lower the current flow) and see what happens.... a rapid blinking rate will occur.

The more likely way this works: the proper current heats more and that makes the thermal arm bend more and it moves further away from the contact, and thus take longer to cool and bend bend back and remake contact.. Hence less bending when the bulb current goes down (reversed or bending bulb), a quicker return of the bimetallic strip to make contact, and a faster blink rate. I always assumed this was done on purpose like this, as an indicator to the operator that a filament was burned out.

Hey, don't worry over this too much OP... I am just waking up and want to run up my post count LOL :D
That would explain why a bad ground would cause the blinker to cycle faster. It was done to alert you that one of the bulbs had failed. I have seen where the filament in the bulb broke but could flop around and make contact so that it intermittently worked. I wonder if a bad ground would cause the flasher to blink faster but the bulb still lights at a lower brightness? Thus, the 4-ways still look like they work.
 
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