I just got a rebuild on my '73 this past week.  This is the first car I have owned, and I bought it with the intention of learning a lot about auto-mechanics, as I have very little experience in the area.  After I got it back, I noticed the odometer was broken, so I took it apart, replaced the broken gear on the odometer shaft, and put it back in.  I was proud of my first mechanical success until I found out it wasn't the end . . .

The only problem is now my turn signals don't work.  While I was waiting for the gear to arrive, I drove my car to the store.  The signals worked at first, but then stopped working by the end of the trip.  I have been staring at the electrical map for about two days now, but I still can't make sense of it, or figure out what's wrong.  Before I took the odometer out, I labeled all the connections to make sure I put the wires back in the same spot.  I checked the fuses, and all the other electronics work (wipers, headlights, hi-beams, 4-ways, etc.).  When I turn on the car and hit the signal, the signal-indicator pulses dimly (opposite of the seat belt warning light).  From what I've deduced, it seems like there's a missing ground somewhere.  Also, when I pull the lever, there's no clicking sound, but I do see the indicator pulsing lightly.

Any experienced insight would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Sean

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bluebug

Check the grounds for all four lights. Do all the running lights work. When you have the running lights on and turn on the signal lights does one go out? If you have a light going out when you turn on the signals, it is the ground for that light that may be bad.

Clark

Clark Verbockel
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I checked.  No lights go out when I turn on the turn signals.
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flash

You've got something grounded or crossed somewhere. Once when I was working on the license plate light I had the two wires reversed and it messed up my turn signals.  Once I reversed them on the license plate light it was OK.  Generally, it is a matter of eliminating things one step at a time until you find the short.  Also, check the bulbs and see if any connection are bad.  I'm no mechanic, but once in awhile I'm able to run down the small problems.  When I start babbling and muttering then I know it's time to take The Blues to my VW Mechanic.

Good luck.

 

Loren R. Knapp
In The Hot Sonoran Desert of Arizona - 73 Super Beetle "The Blues."
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Another thing . . . during my testing, should I disconnect the battery while moving wires on the back of the spedometer unit?  and is it okay to try different bulbs in different slots?
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68autobug

Hi,

I can read a standard circuit diagram but VW chnaged the circuit diagrams in 1973...

and i cannot read them...

In the beetles up until 1973, in the speedo, there were the alternator light - Oil pressure light,

and the flasher/blinker light...

all these had power to them all the time the ignition was turned on..

 

the speedo illuminating lights and Hi Beam lights just grounded out when You pushed them into the speedo housing..

so they were grounded all the time..

 

I'm sorry I cannot help with Your car

 

Lee  -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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68autobug

 

Hi again,

Maybe a wire has come off...

or the wrong one...

Best method , I have found, when looking at wiring that is unknown,

I use an old VW headlamp bulb/globe [any headlamp bulb will do]

and take off one of the battery terminals..

and put two of the terminals [of the bulb] across between the battery and the lead [You have taken off]

so if You find a short circuit, instead of melting a wire,

The headlamp bulb will glow...

 

but don't have the headlamp bulb ON too long, as if You have found a short circuit, and its on a small wire...

the wire will get hot and burn off the insulation...

this will take a few minutes...

but it would be instantaneous if the Bulb wasn't there...

 

the flasher/blinker bulb in Beetles up until 1973

always flashed when the outside blinkers went OFF...

so they didn't flash at the same time...

thinking about this...

You probably have a wire in the wrong place...

 

Best of Luck

 

Lee -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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Thanks for the fast replies!  I was checking an old post on the 73 sb speedo wiring (http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/superbeetle/vpost?id=96451) and there were a few discrepancies:  My power wire runs in and then is split to connect to the 6:00 hub, and also to the vibrator (which looks much smaller on mine--still not clear on what its function is).  The 6:00 hub also has a green wire running from the connector attached to it (paired with the black power wire).  Anyone know the significance of the green wire?
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ljohn

When you removed the panel below the gages for access to push the speedo out did you remove each connector from there terminals on both sides of the steering wheel or did you pop out the switches with the wires still attached....Are they talking about the wires on the speedo may be crossed or anyone of the switches connections  ...?

I had mine out to repair the gas gage but did not take the time to fix the odometer, by the way where did you obtain the replacement gear...? Only take a few minutes to pull speedo will jot down and send findings..........Now got to post rear brake disaster....

LJohn
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I didn't remove any dash panels.  I disconnected the speedometer cable by reaching up behind the dash, and pushing the unit out.  I only removed wires from the back of the speedometer unit.  I found a guide online to help get me through.  It has a link to a website of a guy who makes replacement parts in VA (www.odometergears.com).  Here's a link to the guide: http://www.midsouthvw.com/TechTips/OdometerGearRR.htm#TOP

Sean
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bluebug
68autobug wrote:

I can read a standard circuit diagram but VW chnaged the circuit diagrams in 1973...

and i cannot read them... 

The 1973 and later wiring diagrams, though they look odd, are not that hard to follow. The line at the bottom of the page is the chassis, or ground. The power runs from the top of the page, which is the fuse panel, through the various paths to the ground at the bottom.

The nice thing about the pre-1973 diagrams they were drawn as the wires are in the chassis. The post-1973 diagrams were drawn as circuit paths to ground.

Clark

Clark Verbockel
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ljohn

Tried once to get my hands under the dash could not do it found it eaiser to remove the 1/4x2 inch covers and remove the 4 screws that hold the control panel, pop out the switches and exposing the underside of the speedo and the cable. Hey what ever works ..... 

 

Guessing you do not need location of the wires on the backside then...?

LJohn
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Clark-That info helped a lot.  I think I've narrowed it down to somewhere in between the flasher relay and the emergency flasher switch.  There are two things left on my mind:

1. Does the flasher relay work differently when the 4-ways are on vs when the turn signal lever is engaged?  I see that there are two electromagentic relays in the flasher relay, but I'm not sure how that circuit works.

2. My fuse #12 is broken, but all the other electronics supposedly on that fuse are working.  Is there a bypass system, or could someone have changed the wiring some time ago (I'm hoping this is not the case)?

Happy Driving

Sean

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bluebug

Sean,

The relay does not do anything different for turn signals or four ways. Its just that your power comes from different fuses.

Looking at the wiring diagram, the power for the turn signals goes through the emergency light switch from fuse S12, to the switch (pin 15).

The power for the four ways goes to the the emergency light switch from fuse S8, to the switch (pin 30).

The wire coming out of the emergency light switch goes to the flasher relay and back to the emergency light switch. There it tees off to the turn signal switch.

Clark

Clark Verbockel
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