OK, I didn't consider the fact the front wheels were stationary, I'll wait until the "maiden voyage" to see what happens.
I initially suspected the hazard switch as the cause of the blinker prob, and swapped it out with an extra I had on hand. Same results. After posting last night, I got bored so I started gutting the column to check out the combo switch. got the switch screws out but couldn't get the column adjustment switch to unclip, got frustrated and went to bed. I'll poke around some more later today.
The slip rings look like a very easy fix, appears they just pop out and pop in a new set, even have a relief under each pair of rings, which I guess is to aid in removal. Now to find the part number to see if I can get them through PartsShop/FastLane.
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72
'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis
2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel
Non illegitemae carborundum.