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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:01 pm 
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4 BBL ''Hyper-Pak''

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:17 pm
Posts: 30
Location: N. Alabama
Car Model*:
Hey guys:

I'm sure that many of you who have also been around Mopars a long time recall that back in the day, they had a distinct, easily-heard flasher relay...sort of a dink-ump dink-ump dink-ump sound effect...lol. My ex-1973 Valiant had an original, loud flasher relay.

Nowadays a lot of those have been replaced, and I no longer know how to identify an original flasher unit if I see it. I thought it was a Tung-Sol that had a stripe around it,(on the later cars)but I have one of those and it does not sound anywhere like the original, even mounted in the holder.

I have a box full of various flashers, which I tested on my '68 Valiant.The first thing to note is that the turn-signal flasher holder, which is clipped to the bottom edge of the dash, takes a square flasher. The only relay in my stash which was audible and did not flash too fast was a generic Tung-Sol 223. The 4-way flasher relay clipped to the column appears to be the original square unit.

Square NOS or NORS flasher relays seem to be easily available on the bay of E. What part number should I be looking for to go in my '68?

Thank you.

_________________
1966 Chrysler 300 coupe
1968 Plymouth Valiant 100
1969 Dart Custom 273 V8


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:22 pm 
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Board Sponsor & Contributor

Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 5:39 pm
Posts: 23275
Location: North America
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Oh, geeze, believe it or don't, I spent years chasing that elusive original-'70s-A-body-turn-signal-flasher sound. It made quite an impression on me in my grandfather's '72 Dart. I tried every flasher I could get my hands on at parts stores and in wrecking yards—nope, no luck. I put an ad in the old Slant-6 News magazine spelling out what I wanted: an original '70s A-body flasher that went "tick-BZZ! tick-BZZ! tick-BZZ!"—no luck there, either. Eventually I gave up.

Then in about 2010 I bought this really nice '73 Dart, with few enough miles to probably have its original flasher (no, I didn't buy it just for the flasher). Turn signals went "tick-dunk, tick-dunk, tick-dunk". Not the same sound I remembered from grandpa's '72, but also not an unfamiliar sound; the very same sound from the flasher in all the '91-'92 Spirit-Acclaim-LeBaron cars I owned over the years (amplified differently by a different mount on a plastic rather than metal dashboard part). That's the sound of an ordinary Wagner thermal flasher, the kind in the round plastic can with the square nub on top. I pulled the '73's flasher: Yep, sure enough, it's original: same plastic round can, with "TUNG SOL" cast into it—a company whose vehicle lights-and-flashers business was bought by Wagner Electric in the mid '70s. The nub was different: instead of a solid plastic square about maybe 3/16" on a side (insert into square hole, twist to wedge in place, twist opposite to unwedge and remove) like the Wagner ones, it had two stubby legs bowed out in the middle to form a plastic anchor meant to be push-snapped into or pull-snapped out of the square hole.

Operated on the bench, the Tung-Sol and Wagner flashers sounded identical. I put the Wagner flasher in the Dart: "tick-dunk, tick-dunk, tick-dunk". I put the Tung-Sol flasher back in the Dart: "tick-BZZ! tick-BZZ! tick-BZZ!" The hair on the back of my neck stood on end: here was a sound I had not heard since I was a little kid.

Over the next days and weeks of hearing sometimes the one sound and sometimes the other when I would put on the signal, I figured out what was up all along: if the flasher is not quite solidly snapped into its anchor, and its rotative position is just so in terms of how the various parts inside are orientated with respect to gravity's pull, then you'll get that "Bzz!" sound. It's one or another internal part of the flasher vibrating when the bimetallic strip snaps, amplified many times by the metal structure of the dash. Turn the flasher a bit or snap it a little tighter into its hole, and the "Bzz!" goes away. And the volume of sound also varies quite a lot (no matter what sound it is) depending how the flasher is rotated and put in contact with the panel it's mounted to.

Wagner quit making flashers years ago; now they slap their brand on generics from China. But there's TONS of new old stock around. Old Car Parts Northwest probably has full pallet loads of whatever old flasher you might want; which in your case is a Tung Sol or Wagner № 224 in the plastic can. Or if no luck there, there's this.

Note the square hole in the side or rear wall of the ashtray's forward (fixed) housing behind the dash was the site of the spring steel flasher bracket on cars through whenever it was they went from metal-can to plastic-can flashers, probably '71. The plastic-can flasher eliminated the need for the bracket, as the flasher itself could just be snapped into the same square hole. One less part to make/buy/install, a penny saved per car. That bracket looks like it's for a rectangular flasher, and a rectangular flasher will fit, but the original flashers were round. The edges of the flasher bracket serve as "claws" that grab onto the outside of the round flasher can. Same for the hazard flashers. The bracket can be removed and the split-snap or twist-wedge plastic flasher installed directly into the square hole that held the bracket.

_________________
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Last edited by SlantSixDan on Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:01 pm 
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4 BBL ''Hyper-Pak''

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:17 pm
Posts: 30
Location: N. Alabama
Car Model*:
Great story Dan!

I am going to embark upon a mission to find a suitable flasher. I will update here as appropriate. Thanks again.

_________________
1966 Chrysler 300 coupe
1968 Plymouth Valiant 100
1969 Dart Custom 273 V8


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:35 am 
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TBI Slant 6
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:31 am
Posts: 168
Location: Central Oklahoma
Car Model*: 75valiant custom
Thank you, Dan, for that very informative and helpful post!


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