|General Instructions for Installing the STS-2
Sequential Turn Signal System
|Thank you for purchasing the STS model Sequential Turn Signal System. These systems are state of the art electronic modules that, when installed properly, will provide you with years of trouble-free service.
The STS-2 module is designed to sequence two lamps on each side of the car. Examples of two-lamp cars are Corvette, Crown Victoria, Ford Taurus, Grand Am, etc.
There are two ways to install these modules -- with brake light sequencing, and without. Read the section on Installing The Control Wires for more information.
For ease of installation, the system comes with two separate modules. One module attaches to the left side lamps, and the other attaches to the right side lamps. Since the module pairs are identical, either one can be installed on either side of the car. Please take a moment to review the connections to the module.
The STS-2 modules will control 2 combination brake/turn lamps (bright filaments) on each side of the car. Be sure to note that your car might have two tail lights, but only 1 brake/turn signal lamps. If this is the case, you can modify your tail light fixture to have 2 brake/turn lamps by adding/changing a socket.
Refer to the diagram below and start on one side of the car. Identify the BRAKE/TURN SIGNAL wire that goes to the tail light fixture. On late model cars, there are 3 wires going into the first socket. Typically, the ground wire is black, the tail light wire is brown, and the brake/turn wire is yellow, green, or orange. You MUST identify these wires in order to have a successful installation. Use a volt meter or test light to aid you.
Note that on older cars, the ground connection is made through the chassis. This is the case with cars that have metal sockets that are snapped into the fixture. If your car is like that, you must make a separate ground connection with the black module wire.
1) Remove the tail light fixtures and remove the lamp sockets from them. If you need some extra room to work on the wires, carefully pull the inside and outside lamp harnesses away from the body of the car by pulling any hold-down clips out of their holes. Also, peel away some of the harness tape.
2) On the INSIDE bulb, there are three or four wires coming out of the socket. Check the car for the correct wiring colors, but usually, the BLACK wire is ground, the BROWN wire is the tail light and the YELLOW wire (sometimes it is GREEN, GREEN/ORANGE or ORANGE/GRAY) is the turn signal. There may be two turn signal wires. You must identify these wires in order to install the STS system correctly.
3) The STS modules must be mounted inside the trunk. Trace the signal and ground wires back to where they exit the car body, and find a suitable place in the trunk to mount each module. They are small enough that most of the time, they can just lay behind the trunk panel. Once you find the harness, unwrap it to expose the SIGNAL and GROUND wires.
4) Inside the trunk, use a quick-splice connector (supplied), connect the RED wire of the module to the SIGNAL wire of the harness.
5) Using another quick-splice connector, connect the BLACK wire of the module to the GROUND wire of the harness. If your car has grounded sockets (no black wire) ground the black module wire directly to the car chassis.
6) Using an awl or other pointed tool, punch a hole in the grommet that holds the wiring harness in the car. Then, feed the WHITE wire through the hole and out to the lamp sockets.
7) Cut the SIGNAL wire that goes to the OUTSIDE lamp, about 2 inches from the socket. Strip 1/2" of insulation off the SIGNAL wire that goes to the socket. Trim the WHITE module wire to length and strip about 1/2" of insulation. Using a wire nut, connect it to the socket wire. The dangling wire you just cut is still connected to the car's electrical system, so insulate it by covering it with electrical tape.
For the other side of the car, repeat the above steps using the other module. Note that the colors of the car wiring may be different on this side of the car.
Brake Light Sequencing
You can wire the modules to operate with or without brake light sequencing. As you received them, the modules are set up to "burst" (single sequence) the brake lights. That means, when you press the brake pedal, the brake lights sequence once, then stay on as long as you hold the pedal. When you release the pedal, the brake lights go off. This is the way most people have their cars set up. If this is what you want, then you are finished with the installation procedure, and you should go to the section Testing And Troubleshooting.
If you don't want the brake lights to sequence, then follow the section Installing the Control Wires.
Installing the Control Wires (OPTIONAL)
The STS modules are designed to operate with or without brake light sequencing. As you received them, the modules are set up for brake light "burst". That means, when you press the brake pedal, the brake lights sequence once, then stay on as long as you hold the pedal. When you release the pedal, the brake lights go off. This is the way most people have their cars set up. If this is what you want, then you are finished with the installation procedure, and you should go to the section Testing And Troubleshooting.
If you do not want the single brake light burst (one sequence each time the brake pedal is pressed) read this section. It describes how to install the Control Wires so that the brake lights do not sequence. Your STS-1 kit comes with a length of RED/DK BROWN twin-lead wire. Run this paired wire from the tail lights to the instrument panel. Locate the wires that go to the turn signal indicators in the instrument panel (see example below). If you don't have a wiring diagram of the car, you may be able to find one in an automobile reference at the Library. Once you get the wires up to the dash, make the following connections:
Example of Turn Signal Wiring
1) At the instrument panel, separate the PAIRED WIRES about 6". Locate the wire that goes to the RIGHT turn signal indicator in the instrument panel. Cut this wire, strip both ends and connect them to the RED paired wire using a wire nut.
2) Locate the wire that goes to the LEFT turn signal indicator in the instrument panel. Cut this wire, strip both ends and connect them to the BLACK paired wire using a wire nut.
3) Back at the sequencer modules, find the GREEN wire with the butt splice.
4) Connect the RED CONTROL wire to the GREEN wire of the RIGHT side module. Use a real crimping tool (not a pair of pliers) to make the connection.
5) Connect the DK BROWN CONTROL wire to the GREEN wire of the LEFT side module. Use a real crimping tool (not a pair of pliers) to make the connection.
You can quickly program the sequencing of the STS modules by installing an optional Control Switch. Obtain a Double Pole - Double Throw (DPDT) switch from your local Electronics Supply place. To install this feature, follow this diagram.
If you need to Modify the Flasher
If your system flashes too quickly and the outside light barely comes on, you need to get a slower flasher. Try to get a heavy duty unit, or one that is used for 5 lamps or more since they generally are slower. If you can't find one that works, you may be able to modify the flasher you have. The first thing to do is open the flasher. Take a wire cutter and carefully peel back the rim of the can as shown in the picture.
If possible, plug the flasher back into the connector in order to adjust it 'on the fly'. BE CAREFUL, the unit is thermally driven, so you can get burned if you touch the heating element. HOLD THE UNIT BY THE BOTTOM DISK.
While the unit is flashing, take a small pliers and bend the contact very, very, VERY slightly away, so that you are opening the gap. You will quickly notice the change in speed of the flasher.
When you get the flashing speed to your liking, turn off the signal, and carefully remove the flasher from the connector being careful not to bend the contact. When you have the unit in your hand, place the can back on the disk and seal with super glue or silicone adhesive.
Some cars are equipped with electronic flashers that monitor the current going to the lamps. If one of the lamps burns out, it flashes at twice the normal speed to let the driver know that there's a problem. Adding a sequencer effectively removes one or more lamps from the flashing circuit. At twice the flash rate, the outside lamps never have a chance to come on. There are several ways around this. One is to dig into the electronic flasher module and modify the current sensing function, or remove it all together. For a nominal charge, I will modify your flasher for you (see the Questions page). Another way is to replace the electronic device with a thermal/mechanical unit. Your local car parts dealer should be able to provide you with one that will fit your car, however this might not be possible since some cars use a combination turn/hazard flasher.
The easiest way is to leave the lamps in the circuit and add socket(s) that are controlled by the sequencer. In the case of rear turn signals, simply pull the OEM sockets out of the fixture and tie wrap them to the wiring harness or some place where they won't bang up against anything. Then install new sockets and connect them to the sequencer. When lamp #1 comes on, all the original lamps come on. The electronic flasher is happy, so it flashes at the normal rate. The sequencer then does its thing and turns on the next lamp, and so on.
If you are doing this to the front of your car or truck, you'd be better off swapping a new socket with the old one. Wire the original socket to the sequencer as lamp #2, and wire the new socket as the original one. This way you can re-locate this socket to the engine compartment to keep it dry. If you can see this 'extra' lamp flashing at night, spray it with black paint. In either case (front or rear installation) disconnect the parking or tail light wire from the dummy sockets in order to reduce the amount of heat produced by the bulbs.
Turn on the ignition and turn on the right turn signal. It should be sequencing from the inside to the outside. Turn on the left signal and check for proper operation. If something isn't working, double check your wiring for errors.
Use the supplied tie wraps to neaten up the wires and to fasten the STS module to the wiring harness. When mounting the modules, make sure that they are oriented with the top up, and the wires pointing down. DO NOT over tighten the tie wraps that hold the module to the harness. If you damage the outer cover, the unit may not function properly or may allow moisture into the system.
When re-mounting the fixtures, be careful not to pinch any of the wires on the frame or mounting studs. This can cause a short and will destroy the module! Point the wire nuts "up" so that water doesn't collect in them.