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1960 convertible top switch operation

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  • 1960 convertible top switch operation

    Birders, this is my first post in this forum. I thank the forum participants for their robust exchange of sourcing, knowledge, and technique. I have learned a lot from reading here; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I own a 1960 Conv. Y code Bird.

    The good news? The top is in fine shape and operates well.

    The bad news? The top actuation dash switch operates as follows. Push in, top goes down. Pull out, the top goes up.

    According to the 1960 Ford Thunderbird Feature and Specification manual I have (Section Automatic Top Control), it should be the reverse, forward horizontal switch motion for top up, backward horizontal switch motion for top down.

    I checked the switch. Red is connected by pulling back. Yellow is connected by pushing forward.

    From the Ford shop manual Section 16-4, Fig 6, the Top Retract Cycle ((top going down) is initiated through energizing the red wire. So, when I pull back on the switch, energizing red, the top should be going down. However, it goes up.

    Query 1: Is the switch truly operating in an erroneous reverse manner?

    Query 2: If so, then what are the target area(s) for a possible reversing of connections? (I note that the switch wires are hard crimped onto the switch, so the problem is not there.)

    I suspect someone worked on the top motion circuitry and may have made a reconnection error.

    Help is appreciated.

  • #2
    You are correct that the top switch should be pulled out to initiate the top retract cycle and pushed in for the top erect cycle. The wires on the switch are not crimped. They are removable bullet type connectors as per the photo so you can reverse the red and yellow wires although that is just masking the problem if you verified that the red wire is getting power when the switch is pulled out. There is a three wire quick connect plug near the relays I believe so you can check there to see if the red and yellow are correct. I don't think it's reversed wires at the pump as that would probably really confuse things but you can check. If a visual inspection doesn't show what the problem is you will have to start testing with an ohm meter from the switch to the various red and yellow wire connection points. It's possible that the harness that runs from the switch to the trunk area was broken (or eaten by mice which has happened to me numerous times) and someone reconnected the wires backward. If that's the problem it would most likely be under the back seat.


    60 top switch.jpg
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #3
      Dear John:

      Thanks for the prompt response.

      It is good to know that the red and yellow wire connections at the switch are not crimped in and can be removed with care. (Did I mention great care?)

      Which brings me to my failure to describe the wire locations. Both wires are located on the switch, upper side as mounted. They are along the outer edge, towards the car exterior. The proximal (towards the driver) wire is red, while the distal (towards the firewall) is yellow.

      Query: Is this the proper wiring on the switch or have these connections been reversed?

      It sure would be a simpler solution if these have been reversed. If not, then I will follow your suggested tracing path methodology.


      • #4
        I don't have a '60 convertible at the moment so I can't say for sure how the wiring should be although looking at the picture of the switch it would seem to agree with what you have. Do you have a test light or voltmeter? If so it's easy to check. Just pull the handle out and put your test light on the connector closest to you (red wire). If it lights then you have the switch wired correctly and you will have to look for the wire reversal elsewhere.

        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

        Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695