The influence of heavy atom substituents (Br, I) in the electron donor aniline on the electron transfer reaction with thiopyronine triplet is investigated by flash spectroscopy in solvents of different viscosity and polarity. Triplet quenching constants and radical yields are determined. The results are analysed in terms of decay constants of an intermediate triplet exciplex where the heavy atom substituents significantly enhance the intersystem crossing process leading to singlet ground state formation and thus diminishing the radical yield due to exciplex dissociation. The sensitivity of the radical yield to solvent effects is strongly enhanced by heavy atom substitution though the solvent effects proper on the exciplex dynamics are substituent independent. The heavy atom effect is used to study the solvent cage effect on exciplex dissociation by means of viscosity variation. The exciplex dissociation lifetime is proportional to solvent viscosity, however, it contains a constant contribution which may be attributed to exciplex bonding. By means of the heavy atom probes it is found that increasing solvent polarity intersystem crossing in the exciplex is favored over exciplex dissociation into radicals. A tentative explanation is given in terms of solvent polarity dependence of the electronic energy gap between exciplex and corresponding Franck-Condon ground state.