<VV> 1965 Turn Signal Switch

norman.witte at comcast.net norman.witte at comcast.net
Sun Jul 16 09:47:35 EDT 2006

I've been messing with the turn signal switches on my two '65 Corsas, both of which have the standard, non-telescoping steering columns.  The shop manual has precious little information in it regarding the turn signal switch and I just had a few "Hoover" moments, so I thought I would share what I learned with the list.

First, a tip about removing steering wheels.  Just before I start cranking on the steering wheel puller to pop the steering wheel off, I put a piece of tape over the gap between the wheel and the mast jacket and cut it with a knife.  It's not fool-proof, but I have found that by doing this I am far more likely to get the steering wheel on straight to start with.

Now, for the switch.  The problem I had with my convertible is that the left front turn signal and the dash blinker light would not come on unless I put a little extra pressure on the turn signal lever.  The turn signal lever is attached to a "C" shaped arm.  The arm has a blade the protrudes downward into the switch and moves a set of contacts.  I figured that there was a problem with the contacts, but because I didn't understand how the contacts worked, I messed them up on my first attempt, with the result that the front blinkers blinked like 4-ways regardless of the position of the turn signal lever.  After a little more study, I came to understand how the contacts worked and I want to pass on what I learned.

The illustration at this link


will be helpful in understanding my explanation.  

As the illustration shows, there are three contacts and six posts.  One contact is tied to the left taillight, one to right taillight, and one to the front turn signals.  Separate contacts for the front and back are required because the brake lights only illuminate in back.  In my illustration, you can see that contact A is normally in contact with contact C, as is contact B.  This closes the circuit for the brake lights, so that when the brake light switch closes, both brake lights come on.  As for the front turn signals, it is important to note that their contact comes close to posts D and E, but DOES NOT TOUCH THEM unless the turn signal lever is moved.  When the lever is moved to indicate a left turn by pulling it down, the blade on the lever pushes both the left taillight contact and the turn signal contact so that they both touch post D.  At that point, the circuit for the blinker is closed through the lights on the left side of the car.  Of course, just the opposite occurs w
hen the turn signal left is moved to the right turn position.

The concacts bend easily, so it's easy to screw them up if you don't understand how this little box works.  Knowing this, you can make sure that there is the proper amount of clearance from all of the posts when the switch is in the neutral position and that there is full contact when it is in the right or left position.  

Norm Witte 

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