JDRiv

'63 Turn Signal Switch

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Can someone please tell me if this is the correct turn signal switch for a '63 Riv?...and if not, where I might be able to get one. I'm troubleshooting turn signals. I currently have brake lights working and turn signals working in the front only. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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It looks like the correct switch to me, assuming you have a tilt column. If you have a non-tilt column, that is the wrong switch.

Assuming you have a tilt column and use this, the first thing you need to do is remove that spring from the switch! This is my advice to all 1st generation Riv owners with a tilt column: Remove that spring from the turn signal switch! You do not need it. This was Buick engineers being a bit too clever. The only thing that spring ends up doing is pulling the metal ends off of the signal actuator cable, and then your signals don't work right.

Your switch may be dirty. Try spraying some contact cleaner in it and working it back and forth. Read out the terminals with a meter. The brake light on one side or the other gets interrupted with this switch and then that brake light gets power fed to it through the flasher unit.

I suspect your actuator cable from the top of the steering column down to this switch is broken. (A common problem.)

HTH.

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Thanks Jim! I do have a tilt column. I think the bottom of my cable is okay...not sure about the top yet. I will do as you suggest and get back to you later on how it turned out.

Best regards,

JD

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The photo shows what the broken cable looks like when it parts up at the turn signal actuator end.

When the plastic sheath is allowed to move around, the turn signal lever does not move the wire properly down at the switch end.

You can usually get the signal to work in one direction, but not the other, and often one brake light will remain out (because the turn signal switch has not fully centered after use -- due to sheath on cable being broken).

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Thanks Jim. Except for some troublesome connections at the fuse block, the signals are all working. I'll try to remount the switch and connect the cable hopefully this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out.

JD

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Well Jim - It seems to be as you predicted. With everything reconnected, the cable doesn't have enough throw to actuate the switch. The plastic sheath is cracked in several places on my cable and it must also be disconnected up at the actuator end (though I haven't been able to figure out how to disassemble the actuator to check for sure). It looks like I'm going to have to rig something up on the outside of the steering column for now to get usable signals. If you have ideas on how to do that or where to get a new cable, please let me know. Thanks!

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I hate to be the one with the bad news all the time, but I know these cars well and I know their design weaknesses.

Your best bet would be to try to find a good used signal actuator cable from someone with a parts car.

New cables are impossible to find.

Some guys have made new cables by working with their local motorcycle shop, using materials normally used for throttle cables. I have not done that and do not know what is involved.

The instructions for opening up the top of the steering column to get to the turn signal mechanism are in the shop manual.

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Gents,

 I see that this post was from some time ago. Does anyone know of a place to get a replacement actuator cable these days? I took mine apart and yes...the rubber was missing and cracked. Only the left side turns on and stays on actually  and my tail lights dont work, Would this be tied together?

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Gents,

 I see that this post was from some time ago. Does anyone know of a place to get a replacement actuator cable these days? I took mine apart and yes...the rubber was missing and cracked. Only the left side turns on and stays on actually  and my tail lights dont work, Would this be tied together?

 

Yes, this is all part of the same problem.  The actuator cable needs to be replaced.

 

I do not know of any supplier of this part new.  You can contact people that sell used parts and see if you can get a good used one.  It's not easy to find them unbroken.

 

Someone was going to contact their local motorcycle shop to see about having a new cable made.  I never heard the result of that.

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Gents,

 I see that this post was from some time ago. Does anyone know of a place to get a replacement actuator cable these days? I took mine apart and yes...the rubber was missing and cracked. Only the left side turns on and stays on actually  and my tail lights dont work, Would this be tied together?

An improper position of the turn signal switch will affect brake lights but should not affect the tail lights. You may have more than one problem.

  Tom Mooney

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Someone was going to contact their local motorcycle shop to see about having a new cable made.  I never heard the result of that.

 

That would be me.  Everytime I talk to Mark, my neighbor who owns the motorcycle shop, it's about baseball or what ever is happening in the neighborhood.  It's still on my bucket list.  Thanks for reminding me.  Anyone have one that they've removed that I could use to show him?

 

Ed

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                     Judging from the picture of the broken piece, it appears to me to be the same size cable GM used on temperature doors

on their cars of that era. If so, you could buy a repro temp door cable for an A-body GM car, then shorten it to the desired length and crimp the 

brackets from the old cable on to the new cable. Looks like it would be pretty simple to make one of these cables.

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If someone ever makes a replacement cable I hope they will make 10 or 20 of them and offer them for sale here.

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I found one previously for sale on this site www.oldobsolete.com. the pictures were good and it says 18" in length. I am going to take mine out and see if I can make a new one or figure out a way to repair it.

 

Too bad its sold already.

 

http://www.oldsobsolete.com/products-page/1963-buick-parts-for-sale/1963-buick-turn-signal-switch-actuator-wire-nos-1960533/

 

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OK guys I factually repaired my turn signal actuator cable. Its not pretty but it works. I used 3M aluminum tape. This stuff is great and I use it an a lot of things.

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Edited by Dantana (see edit history)

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I bought a 63 Corvette cable because it was cheap to see if I could modify it to work. I probably could have made it work even though it was thinner. It would have been easier to switch the end pieces and replace the cable housing. Its just plastic. Anyhow, I put a pic up to show the comparison.

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This is a sobering thread and I think timely for me. Just this weekend I noticed my drivers side front turn signal is out. All other lights/signals/brakes operate perfectly. Tried replacing bulb, but no joy. Is this the telltale sign of cable actuator failure? PRL

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This is a sobering thread and I think timely for me. Just this weekend I noticed my drivers side front turn signal is out. All other lights/signals/brakes operate perfectly. Tried replacing bulb, but no joy. Is this the telltale sign of cable actuator failure? PRL

Sounds like it. Its not that hard to take the cable out to check for sure.

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                   Pete, if your cable is broken, you can buy repro temperature door cables for a Chevelle or GTO, shorten them

to the correct length, crimp on the bracket that was on the old cable and you will be good to go for another 50 years. The hard part

will be getting them out of the column to  work on them. I would guestimate that once you have the cables on your work bench, its

a 30 minute job to make two new ones.

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OK guys I have sorted through the wiring and after fixing some bugs which lead me to 2 things I need to fix them all. A turn signal switch and a headlamp switch. I do not have left blinkers and my tail lights don't work. Does anyone know where I can score these two parts?

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Hello everyone!, I´m new here and I´ve been reading all these threads and what a great help they´have been!

 

I fixed my brake light / turn signal light problem in my 63 Riviera today just by positioning the turn signal switch correctly. The wire movement didn´t move the switch knob to coorect point to connect lights correctly.

 

But then I found a three connector socket with some brown and grey wires hanging loose near the turn signal switch. It would have fitted the three free connectors in the turn signal switch but I didn´have courage to try it. Does anyone know what it is? I didn´t find anything close in the wiring diagram.

 

Br,

 

Tapio J / 63 Riviera

Finland

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54 minutes ago, tapjar said:

Hello everyone!, I´m new here and I´ve been reading all these threads and what a great help they´have been!

 

I fixed my brake light / turn signal light problem in my 63 Riviera today just by positioning the turn signal switch correctly. The wire movement didn´t move the switch knob to coorect point to connect lights correctly.

 

But then I found a three connector socket with some brown and grey wires hanging loose near the turn signal switch. It would have fitted the three free connectors in the turn signal switch but I didn´have courage to try it. Does anyone know what it is? I didn´t find anything close in the wiring diagram.

 

Br,

 

Tapio J / 63 Riviera

Finland

Probably for your cornering lights,

  Tom Mooney

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Great info guys, I too have some electrical gremlins in my recently bought 63. I have no turn signals at all, not even on the dash, can't feel clicking or engaging in anyway with the switch on the column. I have a large do-do list on this car and this job is getting closer. Sounds like I have the common fault

 

During a quick look under the dash I also appear to be missing the bulb holder behind the ignition switch, with two cut wires - black/white stripe and white/black stripe. I guess these came from that?

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11 hours ago, 1965rivgs said:

Probably for your cornering lights,

  Tom Mooney

Thanx a bunch! Cornering lights are optional? I think my Riviera does not have see through grille in the parts of front park/turns signal lights below bumper, I think there is solid grille that looks like the grille above the bumper...? Cornering lights below bumper would sure look cool!

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