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Old 05-16-2004, 11:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Install electronic constant rate turn signal relay

The stock signal light relay is designed to flash at a DOT approved rate when it has the resistant of two bulbs. If one of the bulbs is removed or burns out it flashes at a much faster rate to bring to your attention that something is wrong with a turn signal. Sounds and works great until you replace your turn signals with smaller lower resistance bulbs or very low resistance LEDS. When this is done the stock relay will see this reduced resistance as a problem and flash at a very fast rate. While some think this is cool or draws attention I think it only draws the wrong type of attention from law enforcement as everyone knows a fast flash rate is signal light problem. Best case they ignore you, worse case they use it as an excuse to pull you over and discuss your none DOT lights ect… because I don’t like a fast flash and want to avoid LE attention I decided to avoid this problem during planned upcoming mods of VFX DrX kit and LED front turn signals.

There are two choices to fix this problem. The first is the often discussed and recommended flash equalizer and the second is replacing your turn signal relay with a constant rate turn signal relay.

Option 1 - Flash Equalizer
The flash equalizer is just a resistor that you add to your signal light wiring.


This resistor gives your relay the same resistance as the light bulb and makes it flash at the correct rate. After some research I don’t like them for a few reasons.
1. Good ones with heat sinks like those offered by VFX
http://www.vfxkits.com/pr_equalizer.html are expensive.
2. Cheap ones tend to burn out
3. Resistors get hot
4. Harder to install than the replacement relay
5. Increases the number of parts
6. Often two are needed – one for left and one for right
7. Sometimes you have to add two of them when front and rear signal are both LEDS. See problems above X 2. If you have separate left and right units it could mean 4.

Option 2 – Preferred – Replace stock relay
The second choice is to remove your stock relay and replace it with an electronic flasher relay that flashes at a set rate regardless of resistance (0 bulbs or 10 bulbs).


I prefer this because
1. Number of parts stays the same and nothing is added
2. Easier to install
3. Much cheaper
4. Nothing to do regardless of how many bulbs are replaced or added.

Anyway I prefer option 2 so on with how to install on an 03/04 zx6r/rr.

Step 1 – Purchase replacment relay. Go to your local auto store and buy a two terminal electronic flasher relay which should cost about $5. See picture above.

Step 2 – Use your key to remove the rear seat or cowl.


Step 3 – Remove the bolt shown in the picture with a 10mm wrench or socket, slide lever to the right and remove the front seat.


Step 4 – Locate the relay shown in the picture and pull it up off the rubber holder.


Step 5 – Confirm you have the right relay by checking the writing on the side.

Double confirm by unplugging relay and check turn signals don’t work.

Step 6 – Stick some temporary wires between the new relay and stock connector wiring relay terminal L to the orange wire. Test to make sure the turn signals work and remove a bulb to make sure it flashes at the same rate with a bulb missing. If rate changes it's back to the store as you’ve got the wrong relay. If all ok proceed below.

Step 7 – Remove the rubber holder from the stock relay and tape through around to put it on the side of the new round relay.


Choice time as you can either cut off the stock connector and solder in the new relay or use tap connectors on the stock wiring and a push on connector for the relay. I’m not big on tap connectors so I wired in the new relay.

Step 8 – Cut and strip the wires from the stock relay and connect the orange wire to the L terminal on the relay and the other wire to the other relay. Don’t know if this matters but definitely works when wired this way. The usual rules like leave enough wire on both sides so the removed connector can be reused ect.


Step 9 – Test to make sure the turn signals work and remove a bulb to make sure it flashes at the same rate with a bulb missing. Just a last check to make sure everything is wired up right.

Step 10 – Solder and tape all connections and put relay on stock holder post.


Step 11 – Reinstall front and rear seat and test.

Should cost under $10 and take about 15 minutes.
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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good job mayn
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow! Nice how-to.
I wondered why the flashers got faster after putting on the flush mounts. Can you get the relay at any auto parts store?
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Old 05-17-2004, 03:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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My elect flasher was around 13$ from bumper to bumper auto store, yes, any half-assed parts place should carry them...
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Old 05-17-2004, 05:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Any car parts store should have them. Won't help you in Kansas but for the Canadians Autozone and Canadian Tire have the Tridon flasher for $7.99cdn or about $5.75us.
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Old 07-13-2004, 02:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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anybody willing to buy a relay and put it in a envelope and ship it over here ?
I'll paypal.
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Old 07-14-2004, 01:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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"When this is done the stock relay will see this reduced resistance as a problem and flash at a very fast rate. "



Actually it does not sense anything, the "flasher" is typically a thermal flasher, a heating coil is built into this flasher which when current passed through(turn signal on) it heats the coil which in turn heats a by-metallic strip (two pieces) One side bends faster then the other side and a contact is broken which opens the circuit of that lamp or lamps... Lower resistance simply means more current/more heat which heats that strip faster, which gives the faster blink.. Timing flashers just run off of timing and do not care for current, as long as you dont have 3 million lights running off of them.
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Old 07-14-2004, 12:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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why use a 1/2W resistor, and not a 50W one... that should eliminate the use for an relay..... shouldnt it ?
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just did this update... Works perfectly! [:M10]

Thanks for the excellent description!
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Old 08-10-2004, 02:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bbolstad
why use a 1/2W resistor, and not a 50W one... that should eliminate the use for an relay..... shouldnt it ?


You still have to have somthing to break the circuit, the use for the resistor is to change some of that current(too much) into heat and keep the thermal flasher constant, wiring in a simple electronic flasher takes care of this in 10 minutes tops.. Possible other things, wire strippers and some spade ends(female) to crimp on the wire taken off the old stock flasher and to connect to the new flasher..
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