Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

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rrb6699
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Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

Post by rrb6699 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:45 pm

I have a list of things that went wrong electrically with this beetle.
First of all my turn signals only half work. I had a problem where they stopped working completely and decided it was not the Flasher but the column switch. So I ordered a new column switch for the turn signals and installed it. I kept the old one just for the sake of keeping it in case it still works.

Now I have a right turn signal but no left turn signal. When I put the new flasher on the turn signal flashes rapidly like it was having an issue with one of the bulbs being burnt out. I checked all the bulbs and they are fine I replaced all the bulbs with new bulbs for the turn signals to eliminate that being a possibility. Both situations I only have a right turn signal but no left turn signal. What could be the problem?

Also when I'm driving on low beam, my headlights will go out for no reason. If I flash the brights on and off they will stay on and sometimes not go out again. What could be this problem?

Sometimes my horn works and sometimes it does not. It seems like if I start the car one time it's fine. The next time it doesn't work. Sometimes it'll work occasionally.

I believe I'm burning out starter switches. Right now if I turn the key I get nothing. And if I pull the plug and reinsert it back into the starter plug for the ignition switch sometimes it will start. Sometimes I have to do this several times to get it to start. Is there anyone has one of those triangular plugs from the harness or know where I could get one that's not 50 bucks onlline? I'm half tempted to eliminate the plug altogether and put Spades on the end of each wire to the ignition switch. I've ordered two ignition switches in case this is the problem I'm having. I plan to take this one apart and check the contacts to see if they're burning or not. I guess I'll have my answer then.

Those are the 3 nagging issues I'm having at this point
RR

1972 Restoration Project.

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SCOTTRODS
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Re: Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

Post by SCOTTRODS » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:42 pm

Aside from the Long overdue wring harness replacement... the turn signal issues and headlight issues often turn out to be simply Fuses getting tarnished/corroded just enough to cause a poor connection. Instead of wiggling the switches, try spinning the fuses in their holders or pulling then out completely and using a little Scotchbrite on them (Or a fiberglass brush works really well too) and re-installing them. Also clean the terminals they sit in to help with connectivity. I've seen almost every light in a beetle fail due to this issue... it may not be *your* issue... but it's worth trying for a cheap easy fix.

The Starter switch issue seems like the wiring is old and has high resistance in your car, from rear to front and front to rear... High Draw caused by the internal resistance of Old internally corroded wiring will indeed burn out switches... and voltage regulators... and bulbs.... and just about anything that is getting less power than required to function properly.
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rrb6699
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Re: Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

Post by rrb6699 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:47 pm

ok well I am not giving the full scenario. apologies. wiring harness should be considered new. was replaced 5yrs ago. the wires on the ignition switch plug are bent quite sharply at the plug base. that's why I suspect the plug.

Since I put a new turn signal switch in the column I've had issues with tightness. Like the wiper motor and the turn signals shutting off once activated. If I turn the turn signal on when I turn the steering wheel back it does not snap back off. When I turn the wiper motor on I have to force the handle back to position with my hand for the wiper motor to continue until it seats at the bottom of the windshield.

I'll try cleaning all the fuses I checked them all with a meter and they all seem to be conductive. I've redone all the grounds with fresh wire and eliminated the ground strap. I plan to switch to an alternator as soon as I decide which one to get. I'm hoping I can go more than 60 amps but 60 will be 10+ more than I have now.

which fuse(s) are turn signals? I found the headlight to be the 2nd fuse from the left looking towards the front of the car.
RR

1972 Restoration Project.

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Re: Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

Post by Marc » Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:09 am

rrb6699 wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:47 pm
...which fuse(s) are turn signals? I found the headlight to be the 2nd fuse from the left looking towards the front of the car.
Well, there are FOUR fuses for the headlamps, one for each filament in each bulb, so you've got a way to go as regards electrical diagnosis.

Power to the flasher is selected by the hazard switch. When the knob is in, it comes from the last fuse via a green wire to the hazard switch. Power is only present there when the ignition switch is "on"

When the hazard switch knob is pulled out, power to the flasher comes from the fifth fuse in, via a red wire to the hazard switch. Power is present there at all times regardless of the ignition switch position.

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rrb6699
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Re: Several Electrical issues on my 1972 Beetle

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:26 pm

UPDATE: I put my old turn signal switch back on since I wanted to see if it would bind like the new one. I lined up the catch for the turn signal with the assy and put it back together. it works perfectly. I RMAd the new switch since it was obviously faulty. then I went for a drive and noticed something.

my steering wheel is "turned" 45deg to the left while I'm driving straight. I also remember when I got the car it was like that too.

All these dam problems started when I "straightened out" the steering wheel to point straight while driving straight. so, I obviously cannot straighten out the steering wheel for some reason.

it's such a minor thing to deal with I'm leaving the wheel where it is. too many issues just to have a straight steering wheel.!

rr
RR

1972 Restoration Project.

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