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'57 Ignition Switch Removal

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  • '57 Ignition Switch Removal

    I need to work on the ignition wiring, a previous owner has hacked it badly, looks like I will need to remove the ignition switch to fix it properly.

    So before I try anything I thought I would ask if there are any tricks to it, I know GM cars need to have the key in the switch and tumbler removed before the bezel can be unscrewed. Do the Fords have a similar deal?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.


  • #2
    '57 Ignition Switch Removal

    Hi Doc, the first thing I can think of is to disconnect the battery... As for answering your question regarding a '57 Tbird, I will leave that to a Little Bird owner to comment on.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator.....
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411


    • #3
      Hi Doc,

      From pg 8-9 in the 57 Shop manual.
      "The ignition switch is removed and installed at the rear of the instrument panel. Press in the switch body from the rear of the panel. Rotate the bezel 1/4 turn counterclockwise. then remove the switch from the rear of the panel and disconnect the wires from the switch terminals."

      Also here is some info from "Gil's Garage" on wiring.
      The link has the info I c&p below. Some good stuff in his Garage or as some of us reared in Ohio say "Gararge".

      "Gil's Garage
      Gil Baumgartner
      CTCI Authenticity Chairman
      Ignition Switch Wiring - 1955, 1956, 1957

      The wiring diagram can be confusing, especially the ignition switch, for anyone using the FoMoCo Electrical Equipment Installation Manual for the first time. The manual has been reproduced and is available from CTCI, item number110-25. The wiring is correct but the drawing of the back side of the ignition switch for the 1955 on page 18 and the 1956 on page 57 is not correct. It shows the post for the start wire (red/blue) #32 on the outer circumference of the switch with the other three post instead in the center as it was original made. The 1957 portion of the manual on page 99 corrected the drawing except for View F.

      All three years use the same switch and the wires are connected the same. The wire numbers are found in the manual and references the color codes that are found on the wiring harness.The back of the switch is marked as follows:

      BATT- #21 yellow wire, supplies voltage to the switch.

      ACC - #30 black with green - fuel and temp gauge, #8 orange with yellow - turn signal, also attached is other accessories radio heater, etc. Note: Some accessory wires do no have rubber molded ends. The wire goes straight to the eyelet.

      IGN - #16 red wire with green attaches to the coil on a 1955 and to the ignition resistor on a 1956/57, #30A,30B black with green wire attaches to oil pressure and generator light. The eyelet is single with the wires clustered together.

      ST- #32 (the center post) Red/blue wire is energized when the ignition switch is held in the start position. It supplies voltage to the starter solenoid which engages the starter.

      A single sheet electrical wiring schematic (non FoMoCo) is also available from CTCI item #110-41. The back side ignition switch is not marked to coincide with the markings on the switch but it is functional and fairly easy to decipher. The diagram is marked as follows:
      B - BATT
      A - ACC
      C - IGN
      S - ST

      Also (brought to my attention by C.L. Hood) be advised that on some of the non FoMoCo Schematics the B-G wire is on the Batt post of the switch which would cause the fuel and temp gage to read at all times. This has been corrected with white out on most of the schematics.


      Check the publications section also at the CTCI site. You need to join CTCI to purchase from the store but well worth joining to get "Early Bird" magazine alone.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Jimz Bird; May 15th, 2012, 12:55 PM.
      Jimz Greenie with a White Hat and Brown Guts (ZE-XG)

      CLICK HERE for Jimz web site


      • #4
        Jimz picture shows volumes of info if you know what to look for.

        Ford (GM, & all of them) bought their wire harnesses from Essex Wire and other vendors. They always kept the correct color codes but in different ways.

        For example, if you see R/O on a schematic, that could mean the wire is Red with an Orange trace OR it could be a solid Red wire with an Orange connector. Look back at Jimz bottom picture again. Notice, the Yellow wire has a Yellow connector. That would show on the diagram as simply, 'Y' or 'yellow'.

        Yellow wires are always on and not fused. That's where Ray's suggestion comes from. He had a 'mechanic' who caused a fire under his Squarebird dash. Disconnecting either battery terminal would have prevented it.

        Take lots of sharp pictures from different angles. There is no such thing as, too many. As described, disconnect the battery, and push the whole switch from behind so as to collapse the spring. Then, loosen the bezel from the driver's seat. Once the bezel is out, the switch will drop into your hand.

        Here's the drawing showing Ford group numbers on each part:
        Attached Files
        My latest project:
        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
        --Lee Iacocca

        From: Royal Oak, Michigan


        • #5
          If you have a problem removing the bezel, there is an inexpensive tool for it.

          Getting it back in is more of a chore as the switch is spring loaded.
          Midland Park, NJ
          56 TBird, 54 Ford, 48 Ford,


          • #6
            Here is the tool that Paul mentioned.

            BEZEL NUT TOOL - Here’s a handy tool specially designed
            for removing the retainer nuts for the ignition, lights,
            wiper and heater controls. TL1.......................................................6. 80

            It's in the CASCO catalog. You can download it from their site.
            There are some other neat specialty tools also.

            If you have another favorite vendor, they probably have something similar.
            Jimz Greenie with a White Hat and Brown Guts (ZE-XG)

            CLICK HERE for Jimz web site


            • #7
              I wanted to replace an instrument panel bulb just above the ignition switch on my 1960. It's not replaced by removing the fuel and temp gauge because I can't figure that one out.

              Do the same instructions apply? Disconnect battery, push switch from rear, rotate bezel and voila?

              Is reinstalling the switch as "easy"?



              • #8
                The ignition switch and bezel are basically the same. Use the same instructions for your '60. Nothing is ever easy but it's certainly not a very difficult job. Just be careful with the wiring that you don't twist it too much or it can break. I use a long large flat head screw driver to rotate the lock bezel.

                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                Thunderbird Registry #36223