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1951 Pontiac Chieftain Turn signals Help

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Recently bought a 51 Pontiac chieftain older restoration. 

Trying to get the turn signals to work.

Initially flipping the lever up or down would do nothing (no click or lights on the dash or outside) went ahead and tried to replace the flasher relay and now both the left and right turn signal lights illuminate on the dash "at the same time" still no click or outside lights. The wiring appears to be good and bulbs look ok so i'm a bit lost from here on what to look at next, any advise would be helpful.

Edited by itsonlypain
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For starters, there is a recurring and confusing issue with the dash indicators on 53-54 Pontiacs, Chevrolets, and probably other GM cars. I highly recommend that you ignore those dash indicators entirely until the system is mostly working. If you have separate indicators on the dash for left and right, there is a good chance the 53-54 issue applies to your 51 car as well. I'll have more advice about that later if the dash indicators still malfucntion after you solve the main problem.


What I would do: I would make a jumper wire with a couple of spade lugs, pull out the flasher, and jump 2 of the terminals on the flasher plug of the wire harness. Ignore the terminal that normally goes to flasher terminal "P", jump the other two terminals together. Now, if everything was working you would be able to turn on the signals solid (no flash).


Turn a side on. Start by testing the front because the front is simpler and does not involve sharing a bulb filament with the brake lights. On the signal light on the side you turned on, try another bulb. Also check the bulb number. I suspect it should be 1154, but don't have a 1951 shop manual handy. If another bulb doesn't help, try grounding the socket shell. Attach a temporary jumper wire to any good ground. The (-) battery terminal is best, but any solid ground will do. Poke the other end to the outside (metal shell) of the bulb socket.


1) Does the bulb light?


2) If not, does grounding the shell of the socket make the bulb light?


3) If that made it light, which filament in the bulb lights when you ground the shell? It should be the biggest heaviest filament. Is it?


Let us know what you find out.


EDIT: Are these factory signal lights with a factory signal light switch?

If it is an aftermarket switch on a car that was built without signal lights, that changes things slightly.


Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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I had the same problem with my '51 Chieftain. As my car had sit many years before I got hold of it,I had problems with the grounds. I finally got them all to work,but both indicator lights burn no matter which turn signal was used. I want to get that problem straightened out,but right now I have bigger fish to fry. I'm just glad the turn signals work like they should.

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I mean it could be very possibly my wiring/grounds. My driver taillight will work intermittently as it appears the wiring is all original. and in need of some TLC in some areas...still the old girl is in really good shape...but one thing at a time.

Its my first 50's car/ first classic, period....i'm still learning but its a fun/challenging process.

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