This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
Old 04-07-2004, 11:59 PM
stielow775 stielow775 is offline
Join Date: Mar 18 2004
Posts: 13
Default Problems with Gauges Lighting up

Yes I just recently bought a 1960 thunderbird that is going to be my primary means of transportation in about a month but tonight when I was driving none of my gauge lights were working? Does this car have a fuse box or how do I go about troubleshooting the gauge lights or fuse to see why none of them work?

Any help is greatly appreciated. Diagrams help also if possible or pictures.

Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2004, 07:12 AM
JohnG's Avatar
JohnG JohnG is offline
Join Date: Jul 28 2003
Posts: 2,288
JohnG is on a distinguished road
Default RE: Problems with Gauges Lighting up

I had the same problem last summer. I assume ALL of your lights are not working and therefore it's pretty safe to say that it's not the bulbs being burned out.

Assuming you have a multimeter, you need to consider the Headlight switch as the culprit. They had a variable resistor which allowed one to lower the level of the instrument lights. It is a thin wire coiled around a non conductor. It gets brittle with age and heat and breaks - at that point no instrument lights!! The multimeter will allow you to verify that there is voltage AT the headlight switch, a necessary requirement. If you get the wiring diagram, you can identify the lead to the instrument lights and put a temporary jumper to them, allowing you to determine that they are indeed capable of working.

DISCONNECT the battery FIRST!! There are hot leads in the area and you can easily ground one of them out!

You can get the switch loose and have a look at it by unscrewing the lock nut on it from the front and then pushing a little spring loaded button on the switch from the engine side of the dashboard to allow the shaft to be pulled out (standard setup on these types of switches). You then either work the switch (which still has
numerous wires attached) down below the dash OR remove the fuel/temp gauge and go in through that opening ( the latter is pretty easy - it is held in by 3 small screws and the wires for it slide off of posts (4 wires, two light bulbs on that gauge) ).

You will need a wiring diagram. Alexander may already have one scanned in and could provide it or I can scan one in for you. Pages 8-6 and 8-8 of the 1958 Manual provide both the diagram of the wiring in this area and a nice picture of the headlight switch itself.

Once you have had a look and decided if the coil (readily visible) is broken, you then have two options:

1) replace the Headlight switch (approx $45 )
OR 2) wire around the variable resistor. ($0)

The latter would result in the instrument lights only being 100%
on when the headlights were on; you could not vary them anymore.
(Personally I never thought this was much of a feature...). They do shut off when the headlights are off.

Wiring around the coil meant building a little "Y" connector
with connectors compatible with Ford connectors; not hard if you

But all this depends on getting a wiring diagram so you know what's what. We will wait to hear from you on that...

'58 Hardtop
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:46 AM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by