View Full Version : Trunk Light switch?

05-18-2014, 05:03 PM
Is there a switch that turns this light on and off as you open/close the trunk lid?. My 1963 has the light socket and to my amazement it not only works but seems to turn off and on with the trunk lid. I traced the wires and cannot find a switch. Is it just a kink in the wire? My worry is that it will stay on and t=drain my battery. Any help would be appreciated. I looked at my manual and does not discuss the trunk light circuit.

05-18-2014, 11:07 PM
I'm honored to answer your first post, Dale. Welcome to Squarebirds.org.

The answer is, there is no switch, but you can add one.

Back in the day, the electrical options for all cars was sparse at best. Most cars had no trunk light but if you wanted one, the dealership would add the light and tie it to your tail lights. That means it will be on all the time when your lights are on, but off during daylight.

These cars came with a measly 30-amp generator, and it only put out full power when the engine rpms were high. Ford tried to conserve some of this demand by shutting off the front parking lights when the headlights were on. That's right, check it out... pull the headlight switch out to the first detent and the parking lights shine. Pull it out to the headlight position, and the parking lights go OFF. This makes my skin crawl because I ride a Harley. If one headlight is burned out, this is a recipe for disaster because the rider doesn't know which headlight is out and no parking lights mark the corners of the car.

Getting back, you can add a wire from under the dash for a trunk light with a lid switch or you can add the lid switch to your existing trunk light. If you know the light only comes on with the headlight switch, you will get used to it.

We are all familiar with the pin switch most doors and trunk lids use but there are other methods. A mercury switch is common but environmentally wrong. Chrysler (and other trucks) use a cute light with a metal ball inside (for under the hood). When the lid is upright, the ball makes an electrical connection and the light shines. This 'trick' is inexpensive and junk yards throw them out daily. Another idea is to use LEDs. Six LEDs in series works well with 12-volts. If they are spread out, there are no shadows and the current draw is only .02-amps (twenty milliamps). Even the smallest wire you can find will run them safely. I hope I got you thinking about how you want to do your car. - Dave

05-18-2014, 11:34 PM
Thanks for your reply! I've had the car a couple of years and a few old fords before this one.

As you said, I expected the trunk light to be controlled by the headlight switch, (like the console glove box light). I was very surprised when it stayed on even after I turned the headlight switch "off". Then, to my further surprise, the trunk light consistently (about 10 cycles) came on and went off at the exactly the same point in the arc of the trunk lid opening and closing. Then I tried to find a switch(to no avail). Then I tried wiggling the connections and wiring to make it go off, or at least blink. Stayed on the whole time:confused:

The car was restored back in the 80's, but the wiring loom and connection points, as well as the light socket etc... appear to be stock. So you are saying that: 1) from the factory, the trunk light was an option or a dealer install? and 2) it should have originally been controlled by the headlight switch? Can anyone explain why it stays on with the switch off or has experience with this situation

05-18-2014, 11:38 PM
Did Ford ever use a mercury switch in 1963? No pun intended:o

05-19-2014, 04:39 AM
Did Ford ever use a mercury switch in 1963? No pun intended:o

I don't know but my '66 seems to have something like that to operate my trunk-light.

05-19-2014, 09:27 AM
According to the wiring diagram it says trunk light AND switch. It shows the wire going directly to the fuse box and not the headlight switch. I'll see if I can do some research on it. I had one on a '60 one time and as you said it came on when the trunk lid reached a certain point. I couldn't find a switch either.


05-19-2014, 09:40 AM
Did Ford ever use a mercury switch in 1963? No pun intended:o

You are correct. Ford did use a mercury switch in the 60's according to the MPC. That's exactly what you have.


05-19-2014, 11:12 PM
Thanks for your reply! Mine is a January 1963 build. I thought it almost had to be switched as it was just too darn consistent coming on and going off at exactly the same arc of the trunk lid.

So you have no idea where the switch is? I guess it has to be in the circuit under the trunk lid for it to work and hidden in the reinforcement cavity.

Does your documentation mean that it was factory installed and not dealer installed? In what manual did you find the above info?

Thanks again. The quality of these cars is unbelievable.

05-20-2014, 12:32 AM
The light could've been factory or dealer installed. The info is from the 60-64 Ford Master Parts Catalog. I'm thinking the mercury switch is inside the light socket since there doesn't seem to be any other wiring involved.


05-20-2014, 11:06 PM
the socket is held in place with one screw. I,ll check it out a little more thoroughly with this new info. Thanks again.