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  #1  
Old 04-03-2010, 01:11 AM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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Default getting to the headlight switch

hello all,
i'm still waiting for all my manuals to come in re my 60ht but in the meantime i can't stand not working on something and as my dash lights don't work i figure i will check out my headlight switch. how hard is it to get to? i hate to take things apart without a manual but if it's not too hard i might give it a shot this weekend. really enjoying reading all the posts, this seems to be a great forum.
regards,
troub
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2010, 01:44 AM
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Default getting to the headlight switch

Hi Troub! It is not to difficult to get to the headlight switch. I will send you, to your email address you gave me, a copy of the wiring schematic for the 1960 Tbird. I will also see what I can scan out of my '59 manual about the light switch and see if that will help you until your manual gets there. It could be something as easy as a blown fuse. Or all the dash light bulbs might be blown. Or it could be they are not hooked up. Check your email in a few minutes for the wiring schematic.

I just sent you the entire lighting system section from the '59 shop manual. Check and see if you have any email from me. You might have to check your Spam folder or Deleted folder. If you do not have me in your address book, you might want to add me, and webmaster@squarebirds.com also. These pages should get you started this weekend and help you until your '60 manuals show up. Please let me know if you got my emails!
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Last edited by YellowRose : 04-03-2010 at 02:52 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-03-2010, 06:36 AM
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Howard Prout Howard Prout is offline
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As Ray said, it's not too dificult to get to the headlight switch. There is a push tab on the switch housing that you have to depress and then you can pull out the knob and stem. Once you have the knob out, you will see that the bezel has four indents at the quarter points. Using a wide srewdriver that just fits between two opposing indents, press in and turn the bezel 1/4 turn counter-clockwise - the bezel should release and free the switch. There are two fuses on the back of the headlight switch, I think one is for the head and tail lights etc. and the other is probably for your dash lights. To get easier access to the headlight switch, you may want to remove the fuel/temp gauges. The bezel for it pulls straight out and then there are four screws holding the gauge plate.
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  #4  
Old 04-03-2010, 10:25 AM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Patrick,
UNDO BATTERY FIRST!!! Before working on dash always undo battery!!!
Richard D. Hord
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2010, 12:08 PM
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Cool

Richard great point, especially if you want your hair to remain straight
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2010, 02:33 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard D. Hord View Post
...UNDO BATTERY FIRST!!! Before working on dash always undo battery!!!
I'm with Richard and Dan... If Ray's garage mechanic disconnected the battery, he wouldn't have set Rose on fire. There are a lot of open connections and close quarters behind the dash. A ring or watch could really mess things up with the power on.

On your 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.

(I've been thinking about this lately) The drawings show wires attached to your switches, but none show switch setting continuity for:
Turn signal switch plate,
Headlight switch and
Key Switch.
The drawings simply show a 'box' with wires attached.

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. I think that was Ford's way to conserve the generator's meager 35-amp output. What a nightmare for any motorcyclist approaching an oncoming car with a burned out headlight. Dept Of Transportation changed that, and so did I on my classics.

Good point about disconnecting the battery, Rich.

EDIT: We have found the RHEOSTAT in the dimmer to be a problem for dash lights. It is the porcelain disk in the front of the headlight switch. The brass portions naturally turn to a patina (oxide) that stops 12-volts from passing through. In particular, the center 'donut' needs to be cleaned so it will pass power to the ni-chrome wire. Some of the guys bypassed the rheostat and are happy. I made mine work. Do a SEARCH for "RHEOSTAT" to see some of the posts. - Dave
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 04-03-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2010, 07:07 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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thanks to all for the quick replies!
ray, i got your email. your are the man! many thanks.
i will keep you all posted on the dash light progress!
great reminder on the battery, i have to admit i probably wouldn't have thought about it and just started digging!
thanks again, i hope to post some pics soon.
troub
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  #8  
Old 04-03-2010, 11:16 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Dan,
Thanks! I forgot to mention when I was working inside my dash trying to figure out what lights went where. I made sure nothing was touching any metal, hooked up battery and was fiddling around with the wires and I got the shock of my life! I don't know what I touched but it jared me good
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2010, 10:43 PM
redneck redneck is offline
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Hey Troub

Try this out before you tear into your lights. The dash lights work with a rheostat type disc. You need to pull the light switch out and then turn it to get the dash lights to light and I found that after I turned my light switch back and forth a number of times, I was able to get the dash lights working again. I think that after a few years, it oxidized and I was able to get a good connection again. I am pleased to say that all the dash lights still work great. Good luck to you.

Redneck
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Old 04-06-2010, 05:58 PM
troubsullivan troubsullivan is offline
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hey redneck, thanks for the tip. i have already removed my instrument cluster cover though so i am knee deep in wires! removing it was not too bad and at least now i can see it all and check the wires out which is a good thing as i can see some previous jury rigged stuff! here are my results so far:
tested some new bulbs and no dice on dash lights. DO HAVE the gen and oil lights though. those were working before i started digging.

fuel, temp, speedo work fine (no lights on them though) clock not working and no lights there either.

radio not working at all.

pulled light switch, cleaned the rheostat (it was oxidized) put it back and still no dash lights. front parking and headlights worked fine both before and after pulling and
cleaning of the switch. both fuses on the back of the switch looked good and i have blinker lights. overhead light not working however.

i have a relay mounted on the firewall near the hood handle that i can't find in my wiring manual. i know my voltage reg for the intruments is located on the back of the instrument cluster cover, i see that. what is this other relay? it's about the same size as the cluster relay and held on by one screw to the firewall. i have a burned piece of wire leading from one tab and that's not good. no wire from the other tab at all. any help would be appreciated. i want some dash lights!

thanks,
troub
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