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  #1  
Old 08-12-2014, 12:07 AM
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Default Car Dies & All Power Dies

Jay ~ JAY DAVIDSON, has a '59 Squarebird that he has been restoring and ran into this problem tonight..

"Was out cruising tonite but had a problem. Car died right in my driveway. Once a month, the car will die and stop. The only thing that works is the HORN. No lites, radio, brake lights.....oil or gen lite.............nothing except horn. After 5 minutes everything comes back. I changed the ignition switch....still happens. I changed both wiring harnesses under the dash.

There is a yellow wire that starts from the battery terminal at the Fender Solenoid............This carries current to the Ignition Switch. When I disconnect the yellow wire at the firewall, I lose everything except the Horn. So now I am pinning it down. The yellow wire is part of a 3 prong connector.

I am going to buy another new ignition switch., I will install it with this yellow wire on the back terminal. I will then snake a second yellow wire from the back terminal to the firewall.
Therefore I will have a duplicate wire in case it is the first one that is no good.

Remember, the only thing that works when this happens is the horn. Now there is a circuit breaker above the left floor vent, but the manual says it is for the headlites.

Is there another circuit breaker that is between the yellow wire and the ignition switch?"

If anyone can give his some advice, I am sure he will appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2014, 02:16 AM
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The yellow wire goes to the headlight switch first then gets jumpered to the ignition switch. I would check the connection at the headlight switch.

John
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
...'59 Squarebird...
...There is a yellow wire that starts from the battery terminal at the Fender Solenoid............This carries current to the Ignition Switch. When I disconnect the yellow wire at the firewall...

I am going to buy another new ignition switch., I will install it with this yellow wire on the back terminal. I will then snake a second yellow wire from the back terminal to the firewall.
Therefore I will have a duplicate wire in case it is the first one that is no good.

...Is there another circuit breaker that is between the yellow wire and the ignition switch?"..
There is no circuit breaker on the yellow wire that goes from the Starter Relay post to the HEADLIGHT SWITCH. A short jumper feeds the Key Switch from the HEADLIGHT SW. The yellow wire is continuous with NO breaks from the Starter Relay to the Headlight Sw.

Changing the Key Switch is barking up the wrong tree. There is a loose connection at the Headlight Sw (screw post) where that yellow wire connects.

Look at the wiring diagram. +12 power runs directly to the Batt terminal on the Voltage Regulator. That terminal also feeds the Horn Relay, right next to it, so the Horn would certainly work. - Dave
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:08 AM
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Default Car Dies & All Power Dies

Jay sez: I need to know:

* Where does the yellow wire from the relay connect to on the h switch ?

*Where does the jumper wire begin at the h switch.?

*Where does it end at the ign switch?

what terminal the jumper wire is bolted to on the H SWITCH and what terninal on the key switch?

According to Dave the yellow wire goes to the HLITE SWITCH.
and there is a jumper wire from the H switch to the ign switrc

Where does the jumper wiire bolt onto the H switch, and what terrminal does it bolt onto the ign switch?
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:59 AM
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Tell Jay his 'story' didn't make sense. He "changed both wire harnesses under the dash"? The yellow wire is BOLTED with a nut. There is only one. How on earth did he miss this? If he actually traced the yellow wire from the Starter Solenoid, he would not have found a firewall connection and it doesn't stop at the Key Sw. If he looks at a wiring diagram it's all there. Headlight Sw. only has one yellow wire (called 'B') and there is only one jumper to the Key Sw, (also connected to 'B').

John caught all this right away, too.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:07 AM
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Default Car Dies & All Power Dies

Perhaps Jay is running into what so many of us have.. A previous owner who did a re-wiring job on this car. In any case, Jay should be able to log onto the Forum now and should be able to talk directly with ya'll and explain what he is running into.
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Last edited by YellowRose : 08-12-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:38 AM
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Here you can see where the large yellow wire bolts to the headlight switch. You can also see the second yellow wire that goes to the ignition switch. Many times I've seen this wire broken or burnt and a repair made; usually badly.

John
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File Type: jpg headlightswitch.jpg (60.4 KB, 75 views)
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:09 PM
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My car has been rewired and now has a standard headlight switch, but when I look in the Ford shop manual they talk about 2 fuses and 2 "circuit breakers" on the headlight switch. The 2 fuses protect the interior lights and the second the turn signals. The circuit breakers, which are integral with the switch, one protects the headlights and second the instrument, parking, stop and tail lights.
I am always suspicious of circuit breakers getting weak when a circuit opens and then later resets itself. This is also very common on the circuit breaker used on the power windows. Along the same lines, I have seen loose connections that cause heat to build up and then cause the circuit to open.
I definitely agree that the headlight switch instead of the ign. switch is where I would focus.
Nyles
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2014, 11:16 PM
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Default Car Dies & All Power Dies

Jay is having problems getting onto the Forum. Hopefully, with the help I gave him a bit ago, he will be able to get on tomorrow. In the meantime, he asked me to give you this information and see if ya'll can answer some more questions.

"My thanks to all who threw in their two cents on my loss of battery into the ignition switch in my 59 Hardtop

Thinking it might be the circuit breaker in the H Lite switch, I went to our local antique parts store and bought a new Hlite switch. I still feel that the the circuit breaker in the hlite switch will shut down the battery feed.

I also think that I will buy a new voltage regulator. It could be sparking in the points and that could set of the breaker.

Current flows to the hLite switch and then to the Ign switch via a jumper wire

I pulled down the ignition switch to see if anything was broken on it. Nothing was but missing was the second wire from the hlite switch to the B Terminal on the ign.

Looks like someone simply cut it out.

I replaced the hlite switch with a new one.

I added a wire from the ign to the hlite switch

I will tell you that remounting the headlight and ignition switches is no picnic

This is about the 6th car I've restored, and I spend MORE time fixing what the previous owner messed up

*There was no wire from the Battery post on the Hlite swicth to the Ign switch. It was not there.

*A thin wire was bolted onto the battery terminal at the ign switch. I don't know it's origin but it lit up my test light.

*The yellow wire coming into the Hlite switch battery post was about a 10 gauge.

*I did not have any 10 gauge wire so I used a thinner 16 or 18 gauge to make a "jumper" from the hlite switch to the Ign switch.

Should I go back in there and use a heavier wire or will I be OK with the thin wire?

THANKS"

Here are some additional comments from Jay.

The wire I put in was not super thin but half the thickness of the OEM.

I just measured it with my stripper. It is 12 gauge..............Ask Dave if 12 gauge is ok.

Now this is in addition to the mystery wire that he attached to the B post on the ign switch
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Last edited by YellowRose : 08-13-2014 at 12:05 AM. Reason: Additional Comments
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2014, 11:22 PM
Itsa60 Itsa60 is offline
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I'd like to know the correct and easy way to replace the headlight switch. Right now I don't have any instrument panel lights. Would love to see that light up at night! I haven't seen it yet and I've owned the car for almost 10 years. I tried a few times to replace it but I get frustrated and just put it back together.
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