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  #1  
Old 05-11-2010, 12:20 PM
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Paulie9fingers Paulie9fingers is offline
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Question Back Up lights on a '60 ?

I have a question about my back up lights, when the shifter is in the reverse position, they only work (come on) when the headlight switch is in the "driving light" position or with the headlight on, is this normal ?

I looked through my Ford repair manual and some other stuff I have and haven't been able to find anything on it other than they are fed through the circuit breaker built into the headlight switch.

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulie9fingers View Post
I have a question about my back up lights, when the shifter is in the reverse position, they only work (come on) when the headlight switch is in the "driving light" position or with the headlight on, is this normal ?

I looked through my Ford repair manual and some other stuff I have and haven't been able to find anything on it other than they are fed through the circuit breaker built into the headlight switch.

Thanks,
Paul
No, doesn't sound normal to me. They should come on when you shift that car into reverse, the lights function both to see to backup, but also to warn others you are going to back up into them....

Sounds like someone was having problems and well, rewired things maybe. Like my cure on my son's 65, his backup lights would just randomly come on.... removed the bulbs for now....

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Old 05-11-2010, 06:28 PM
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Sounds like the reverse lights are wired to the "P" tab on the headlight switch - "P" for parking lights. It's a real pain but you'll probably have to remove the headlight switch and trace out what is connected to that tab. Should only have a black wire with a yellow tracer for the parking lights - whatever else is on there most likely is the reverse lamps - not sure what color wire they have. Probably should be wired to the "R" terminal directly across from "P"or maybe "A". "B" terminal would work but that is directly from the battery. I'll check mine and see if I can tell what colors are going where.

Geez - if those guys had only used coat hanger wire instead of plastic ty-wraps it would have lasted longer. Who got that picture of my car anyway?

Eric
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:02 PM
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Believe it or not, it is correct that the headlights or parking lights have to be on for the backup lights to work. I have chased this gremlin until I discovered they are all like that.
Carl
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:34 PM
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Hey Paul - simple solution - it's the Flux Capacitor - must be bad - it's not generating the 1.21 Gigawatts necessary to activate the lamps.
E. Brown

HA! - Actually - it appears Carl is the man!

I went out to the garage and took my fuel/temp gauge out to get some pics of the wires on the switch for you. Had them all ready to post and read Carl's response. Went back out to the garage and tested mine - sure enough - they don't work unless the parking lamps are on. Guess Ford figured if it was dark you needed reverse lights otherwise you can see on your own - (remember though - that was back in the day when people actually paid attention to their kids and were not texting as they walked along so Ford probably didn't even think about turning them on in the daylight hours to warn people). Probably one of the first things I'll rewire.

Got to thinking about putting them on the "B" (battery) terminal of the switch - bad idea. If the reverse light switch went bad or out of adjustment or if a short occurred they would be connected directly to the batt which would equal a dead battery of fire. Find a switched point.

Thanks Carl for setting us straight.

Eric
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:24 PM
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Talking

Thanks Carl (and everyone else), I checked all the wiring and in my manuals and everything seemed correct, guess it was .

Thanks again guys,
Paul
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:07 AM
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aha, thanks for this thread, it also solved my last electrical problem.
indeed it must be possible to move a connection to somewhere else to have them powered even when the headlights/parking lights are off but don't forget to install an extra fuse holder with fuse then.
regards,
ron
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:21 AM
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Wow !!

I never knew that !!! Learn something every day (hopefully)
I don't think mine have ever worked, but I didn't realize it's
only w/the lights on.
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:05 PM
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I never knew that. But then again not alot of cars had back up lights back then and I had one of these in 67. I was just trying to see straight ahead in those days. (foot on floor) That thing stayed right on the door of a 63 406 ford. Wish I had that 406 now!
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
...On your 1959 headlight switch, the long fuse works all the time. The short fuse (at the back) is only energized when the headlights are on. On my Galaxie, Ford connected the backup lights to this fuse (and possibly the dash lights). So, if you are taking voltage readings on the small fuse and don't find +12, try it again with the headlights on...
...Another feature that makes my skin crawl, is how they switched the front parking lights. When you pull the headlight knob half-way out the parking lights energize... but when you pull it all the way out, the parking lights go out and the headlights energize...
Paul, when I get to it, I'll post a diagram of our switch operations.

I also took pictures of a real 1959 headlight switch with all the original wires attached. CLICK HERE
- Dave
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