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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I spent about an hour last night checking lights to make sure they were working. At first glance it they all seem to be working, except the tail lights, which is likely a bulb or something since all the other lights in front and behind them in the harness are working. I haven't pulled them out to test individually yet, but that should be easy enough. Then this morning, as I am driving the car I notice that my blinkers are not working. This is odd because I know they were working last night, the switch was a little wonky, but I was able to simply push it the direction I wanted and hear the click while watching the lights blink.

If anybody has an idea where to start trouble shooting this one I would appreciate the advice. I don't really know how they can work with the engine off, but not when it is on. It just seems like an odd issue to have.

Edit: It is a 1980 280zx
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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In most cars the dash lights and tail lights are on the same circuit - so if your dash lights go out, you know the tail lights aren't working (although about 98% of the population seems not to have learned this...) If you were testing at night, I'd think you would have noticed no dash lights, but it's something to check.

Have you gone through the fuses? That's one thing to check. Another is to think about the flasher unit for the turn signals. You might pull it and re-seat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you gone through the fuses? That's one thing to check. Another is to think about the flasher unit for the turn signals. You might pull it and re-seat it.
Thanks for the info, that will give me somewhere to start. I have checked the fuses and they look good, I don't see any signs of burning or anything like that. They honestly look pretty new. The dash lights did come on, I was even able to adjust the brightness, which I honestly thought was a little odd, but as far as I now it is a feature. I am not familiar with what or where the 'flasher unit' is for the turn signals. I know the handle that is attached behind the steering wheel is kinda broken, and not particularly reliable, but it was working while the engine was off and I was able to visually verify the lights blinking. I will recheck the fuses just incase and take a look for that flasher unit, thanks for the advice!
 

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1983 280ZX Turbo
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Sounds like you need to download the service manual from https://www.nicoclub.com/archives/use-nicoclub-coms-factory-service-manual-database.html

That will help you locate components like the flasher unit. That unit is really kind of a wild thought on my part, though.

If in doubt when checking fuses, take a moment and use a digital multimeter to check the fuse for continuity. Some fuses are harder to see through than others. There's also the issue that these are 40 year old cars, so the contact surface of fuses can be oxidized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I was able to track down at least part of the issue. The fuse/relay/sensor thing under the passenger seat was not properly connected, after making sure it was properly connected I have brake lights for sure but not 100% about the tail lights specifically so I am waiting until dark to check to see if I have them or just brake lights. I couldn't really tell if the dash lights came on either, so that will be tested after dark also. I have the relevant FSM portions for the circuit diagrams and info, thank you very much for the link. The blinkers I haven't gotten working yet, but I had a coolant line burst near the throttle body, so I had to side track a bit to get that fixed. I will follow up with additional info once I have thoroughly checked/tested things this evening. Thanks again for the tips and info, I would have been so lost without it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Got lucky and that relay solved it. I didn't even notice when I pulled it out, it even says it is for the stop and tail lights on the side. The dash lights still aren't coming on, but the rest work so I'm counting that as a win. Thanks again for the advice.
 
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