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Odd Turn Signal Issue

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Solomoriah, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    So I had to resolder the wires to the turn signal switch to get it working, but it still isn't perfect. It's sometimes hard to get the left signal to come on, and it seems to self-cancel way too quick, and then sometimes it self-cancels and then comes back on a few miles down the road.

    Sometimes when it doesn't want to come on, hitting the right turn setting first, then pulling back to left turn gets it going.

    I'm not entirely sure it's the switch (though that might seem most likely). Is it possible the automatic signal canceller is causing an issue?

    And can I disconnect it and still have working signals?
  2. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Solomoriah,
    most likely it's that the fiddly, frail and over-complicated turn signal switch didn't get fixed quite right.
    Yes, you can just unplug the self-canceller and the signals will still work.
    Note that the self-canceller only works with the stock flasher. If that appallingly expensive unit fails
    it can be replaced by a $10 2-pin electronic auto flasher which plugs into the XS650 wiring's 3-pin flasher
    receptacle 2 ways, one way works, t'other does nothing. A 3-pin auto flasher is wired different inside so
    you gotta swap wires to make it work and just like the 2-pin, it won't self cancel.

  3. MaxPete

    MaxPete New knee installed but still breakin’ her in.... Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Yup - my self canceller was permanently glued to my left hand at birth.

    I don’t always remember to use it, but it works great when I do.
    robinc, timbeck and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  4. CoconutPete

    CoconutPete 1979 XS650 Special

    I yanked out my self-canceller while I was working on the bike, I did not wait for it to break.

    It was just one of those "Good ideas to come out of the 70's" that hasn't quite held up.

    I replaced the relay with a standard flasher relay (2 pin instead of 3 i believe)
    And also created my own "yer blinker is on" indicator on top of the headlight, using a $6 Amazon recessed LED. MUCH brighter than the old incadescent bulbs - you never leave your blinker on by accident.

    I like this setup much better.
    peanut and robinc like this.
  5. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Thanks for the info, guys.

    I am a computer technician by trade, and I've had the pleasure/terror of training technicians. One of the rules I try to impress upon them is the "contact lens rule." It goes like this:

    A man was crawling around on the ground, and another man came by and said, "What are you doing?"

    "Looking for my contact lens" was the reply.

    "Where did you lose it?" asked the passerby.

    "Over there."

    "Then why are you looking over here?" asked the stranger perplexedly.

    "The light's better."

    After the new technician finishes laughing (or groaning, whatever) I explain. When faced with a technical issue, start not with the most likely thing but with the easiest to test. In this case, unplugging the canceller is easier than taking that dang left pod apart again.
  6. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Rode 70 or so miles today, still haven't unhooked the canceller, and I'm sure at least part of my problems are coming from it. I don't think I'd like it if it worked right, so I definitely don't when it doesn't.

    I understand how the crummy switch can cause issues getting the signal to come on, but I have to think the issues with it coming on when I don't want it will be reduced or eliminated without the canceller.

    Honestly, I wish it worked like my 1980 Honda CB650. The switch on that bike doesn't even have push-to-cancel... you slide the switch back to the middle to cancel the blinker. The nice thing is, I can just lay my thumb on it and know if it's on or off. Though the indicator on the dash of the XS is a lot easier to see than the one on the CB, so it might be less of an issue if the switch worked and the canceller was eliminated.

    Strongly considering picking up a used TW or XT left pod and installing it. They're adequately retro looking, but I know from experience that the switches are a lot better.
    peanut likes this.
  7. MaxPete

    MaxPete New knee installed but still breakin’ her in.... Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    FWIW - the MikesXS left hand bar switch looks good, fits perfectly and after three years on my 1976 Lucille, still works great. It comes with the correct factory wiring for a 77-later bike (i.e. one w. self cancellers). I used one on the ‘76 and had to do a couple of little mods on the wiring, but it works great.
    robinc and peanut like this.
  8. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Thanks for the tip, MaxPete!
  9. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Okay, following up on MaxPete's post... I found a curious thing.

    For reference, here's the link for Mike's left side switch pod: https://www.mikesxs.net/yamaha-xs650-bar-switch-clutch-side-black-77-81-oem-1t3-83973-00.html

    I did a Google image search for the picture and found it on a few foreign sites I couldn't read (Japanese and Chinese sites). Then I did a little looking around for alternatives, and I found this:


    I'm certain that's the same part. Weirdly, it's MORE expensive from Dime City than from Mike's; I'd have expected it to be the other way around. But then, it's a K&S part on Dime City's site.

    I really like the looks of this unit (whichever one, obviously I want the least expensive if they're identical), but I can't justify the expenditure for a few months (which probably means I'll get it done next year at the earliest).
  10. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    SO a few minutes ago I went out to the Garage of Questionable Financial Decisions, pulled the seat and tank off of my XS, and found and removed the signal canceller. Static testing shows that the signals work as expected; real-world testing to come later today.
    MaxPete and robinc like this.
  11. CoconutPete

    CoconutPete 1979 XS650 Special

    Have you had the switch apart? These things may be old but they are built like tanks. I yanked mine completely apart, one connection had to be re-soldered and then I cleaned everything off w/ electric cleaner. Then I used dialectric (sp?) grease to put it all back together and you'd think it was a brand new switch. HUGE difference and all I paid out of pocket was the $5 for the tube of grease and around $7 for the 2 beers I drank while I sat at my workbench and did it (good beers).
    MaxPete and gggGary like this.
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The push-to-cancel feature will still remain and function on the switch even if you remove the self canceling unit. It's a mechanical function of the switch and the way it was designed to be turned off.
    MaxPete likes this.
  13. xjwmx

    xjwmx XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Better than a self-canceller would be a beeper wired to the flasher out to remind you the signal is on.
  14. MaxPete

    MaxPete New knee installed but still breakin’ her in.... Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    ZACKLEY!!! The MikesXS switch works really well - self canceller or none.

    Now - when I bought mine, it was actually before I joined this Forum and met all these great folks, some of whom have absolute sh!tloads of old parts sitting around just waiting for some newby to ask: "Has anybody got a.....?"

    The other thing - as pointed out by CoconutPete above, is that these switches are very rebuildable - unless, they are totally filled with corrosive muddy stuff and disintegrate the moment you open them up....

    ....as mine did. Sooooo, I didn't have much choice but to buy new.

    robinc likes this.
  15. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    CoconutPete, yes, I've had it apart. As I said in the very first post: "So I had to resolder the wires to the turn signal switch to get it working, but it still isn't perfect." :D

    And to follow up on my last message... went 110 miles today, without the auto-canceller, and had exactly ZERO problems with the signals. So the switch, poorly assembled by Yamaha and crudely repaired by me, was in fact NOT the problem at all. Much happier now, thanks guys!
    gggGary, MaxPete and robinc like this.
  16. MaxPete

    MaxPete New knee installed but still breakin’ her in.... Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Good for you!
    Solomoriah likes this.
  17. CoconutPete

    CoconutPete 1979 XS650 Special

    An 11MM orange LED recessed in to sit flush somewhere (i did mine in the headlight) lets you do a fun mix of old-meets-new, plus you will not have to listen to the beeping. It's so bright, you will NOT forget to turn off your blinker.
    robinc likes this.
  18. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Couldn't I just put a bright LED replacement bulb into the standard indicator slot, in place of the puny incandescent?
  19. brianmac

    brianmac XS650 Enthusiast

    if u ride multiple bikes, the one without self canceling signals will put you in the grave , quickly.
  20. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Solomoriah,
    Wouldn't you have to use two LEDs because LEDs only work one way and the incandescent is wired between the signals so the current gets reversed depending on which side is flashing?

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