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View Full Version : How to install an electronic turn signal flasher in your first gen Wbody



ScoobyDoo82
05-22-2012, 11:10 PM
Well I just did this mod in my Grand Prix (http://www.w-body.com/showthread.php/53358-Scooby-s-1991-Grand-Prix-SE?p=1116822&viewfull=1#post1116822) today. Its significant if the slow blinking of mechanical flasher bother you, or if you just want to modernize your car a bit.

You only need 4 things... head to the junkyard and find the flasher relay along with the wiring harness out of a U-body van** (Venture, Trans Sport, Montana, Silhouette), two male crimp connectors, and one eyelet connector.

First, take your flasher relay and crimp (or solder if you have connectors that accept it) the two male end connectors to the blue and purple wire. Do the same with the black wire, only with the eyelet.

Second, locate the mechanical flasher in your car (near the steering column almost at the fire wall on 88-93 w's) and remove it. Then take the harness and plug in the male end connectors, the wires are the same color so just match them up.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j78/ScoobyDoo82/91GP138.jpg

Third, find a suitable ground to bolt the black wire up to. I used a small ground just above the ALDL connector.

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j78/ScoobyDoo82/91GP139.jpg

Last but not least, find somewhere to tuck the flasher (the original location works if you have enough length on your ground wire)

Enjoy your faster blinking, more modern sounding turn signals!


**The flasher relay of the u-body vans is located to the left (sitting in the drivers seat) of the steering column. Remove the knee panel and lower carpeted panel and look up. You'll see a block with blue connectors in it, look just past that and you'll see the flasher. Also, not ever U-body has the flasher in the same spot, so if you don't see it there, you're not going nuts. Unfortunately, if its not in that location, I don't know where else they like to hide them, so I'd just move on to another van.

keywords for google search: how to install electronic flasher relay 1988 88 1989 89 1990 90 1991 91 1992 92 1993 93 Pontiac Oldsmobile Buick Chevy Chevrolet Grand Prix Cutlass Cutless Supreme Lumina

carkhz316
05-22-2012, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the write-up. This should be made a sticky. And also, this will completely eliminate the need for any resistors soldered in series with any type of LED turn signal bulb swap. (I can't believe people are still going that route instead of using an electronic flasher).

ManicMechanic
05-23-2012, 12:07 AM
Hmmmmmm...

http://i1220.photobucket.com/albums/dd448/NorthportTroller/Smileys2/hmm.gif

RobertISaar
05-23-2012, 12:07 AM
i'm kind of surprised there are no electronic versions that will readily adapt to the ones W-bodies use...

ScoobyDoo82
05-23-2012, 12:13 AM
Well this kind of does... it doesnt hack up the wiring harness if you use the male connectors, easily reversible if need be.

ManicMechanic
05-23-2012, 12:20 AM
Note to self: One for Indy and one for Blazer...

ScoobyDoo82
05-23-2012, 12:23 AM
Super easy install... I got home at 7:45 from the junkyard, had to leave by 8:00 to make it to the movies on time, and did. It probably helps that none of the trim panels were bolted on, I just had to yank them off :P

white4d96
05-23-2012, 06:22 AM
My GPSE had a plug-and-play electronic flasher in it when I got it...

Also, random tidbit on the thermal flashers, if they're slow, they're old. Toss and replace. I got a new one for my hazards (same one) for $3.

virtuetovice
05-23-2012, 12:50 PM
Sweet post! Sticky?!?

1988PhantomFE3
05-23-2012, 07:38 PM
What improvement does this occomplish friend?

ScoobyDoo82
05-23-2012, 10:04 PM
Its not a huge improvement but they're more reliable than mechanical flashers (or so I've heard, this is the first time ive put one in my car). I like to add modern touches to my car and since I got the flasher for free I figured why not.

tornado_735
05-23-2012, 10:07 PM
Even easier and better.

Use a hazard flasher relay. Fixes slow blinker syndrome. Only problem I forsee is that it doesn't tell you when a bulb is out.

It's plug and play, no wiring required.

tornado_735
05-24-2012, 05:22 PM
Oh yeah, the other good thing about the hazard flasher relay is that it flashes the same speed even with LEDs.

base93lumina
05-25-2012, 05:54 PM
So these first gen Lumina's dont use the traditional 552 style flasher? I thought they did? If it was the case just go buy an EL-12 electronic flasher and have a ball ;)

tornado_735
05-25-2012, 06:09 PM
They use a traditional flasher, but I don't know what number it is.

base93lumina
05-26-2012, 11:23 PM
At Napa, the part number is a 552 thermal flasher. The electronic replacements are an EL-12. I would rather do plug and play than try to wire something else in from another car.

GnatGoSplat
05-30-2012, 04:29 PM
I didn't care as much for the 2-wire EL-12 flasher because its timing is based on capacitor discharge which can change over time as the capacitor ages. I installed the 3-wire IC controlled one of the same brand, but don't remember the model #. The original 2-wire connector plugs right in, and you just have to run a single wire to ground. Really easy, just take an ~18ga wire, crimp a female spade lug on one end and a ring terminal on the other and ground the ring terminal end on an existing screw nearby. I think the flashers I got were square, but they still fit in the OEM clip.

Schurkey
05-31-2012, 11:42 AM
i'm kind of surprised there are no electronic versions that will readily adapt to the ones W-bodies use...
Of course there are.

Drive to any auto parts store--NAPA, for instance.
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx?R=NF_EL12H_0325425806
http://partimages.genpt.com/largeimages/1329294.jpg
Remove original flasher, plug in new flasher. $15, no junkyard trip needed. As said previously, the EL12 is a regular-duty electronic flasher in a round case, and a couple of dollars cheaper than this one.

LED turn signals? No problem.
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/CatalogItemDetail.aspx?R=NF_EL12L1_0325425807
http://partimages.genpt.com/largeimages/1329297.jpg

In addition, there are electronic "LOUD" flashers available too. Useful for Grandpa who keeps forgetting his hearing aids.

madbrad
06-08-2012, 09:10 PM
On my 98 Lumina, I swapped in a flasher from Canadian Tire that was meant for the added load of trailer lights. Even though the flasher is proprietary, they had it. This trailer flasher stops the fast flashing that LEDs give you. But on your 1st gem W, I can see the flasher socket is not the same. That looks like a universal one.

Mel87
06-08-2012, 09:38 PM
What are the components of a mechanical flasher? I wouldn't mind having a slow flasher in my truck. I like slow blinkers.

Penglii
06-09-2012, 01:40 AM
I would like an adjustable blinker... some days i am feeling like I want a fast blink, others I feel like the usual slower blink is just fine. :lol:
I think a faster blink would just piss me off sometimes... I wonder how hard it would be to make an electronic flasher adjustable somehow...

ManicMechanic
06-09-2012, 02:21 AM
I think a Lumina should have sequential turn signals...:lol:

RobertISaar
06-09-2012, 03:53 PM
I would like an adjustable blinker... some days i am feeling like I want a fast blink, others I feel like the usual slower blink is just fine. :lol:
I think a faster blink would just piss me off sometimes... I wonder how hard it would be to make an electronic flasher adjustable somehow...

replace turn signal flasher with 555 circuit with a pot to adjust flasher speed?