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Old 06-20-2019, 06:37 PM   #1
flash9376
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Default Light Switch question

I know the settings for the light switch are supposed to be clockwise-parking, 1 counter clockwise-low and 2 counter clockwise- high, but all 3 of the settings turn on all the lights, i.e. powers both bulbs in the lamp and the tail lamp.

My car is technically my dad's even though I;m the one who restored it and it's kept at his house. He tends to tinker around with things and I know he "rebuild" the light switch rod and reattached everything. They worked fine last summer but now that it's been tinkered with, I'm getting the above issue. Electrical stuff isn't my strong suit so I'm not sure what to look for in fixing this problem.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:33 PM   #2
Joe K
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Default Re: Light Switch question

Many of the switches and perhaps more especially the plates are of poor quality. Something about the strength of the spring, depth of the contacts, protrusion of the contactors.

Likewise many of the bulb holders, ferrule sockets are of poor quality. But you can get past this - or compensate for it.

The only sure way around an issue here is to take a circuit diagram (see https://lesmodela.files.wordpress.co...ng-diagram.pdf) and religiously follow out each path. One can start by undoing the ferrule connections at the light bodies themselves. You'll have at least two if not (more likely) three connections which you can put the switch in an expected position and get an expected response. If you don't then that identifies the problem as being the switch.

I expect given the symptoms you are seeing, Dad may have interchanged the bullet ends of the wiring harness in their plastic holder(s) at the ferrule and "mixed things up."

You can "hotwire' the connector in the lamp side of the ferrule to figure out which is the high beam, low beam (and if there the parking light) but actually, these parts, if they're made correctly, will only go together one way - the right way - and should be correct in their function. Problem is they're frequently not and are not. So one has to be creative, intuitive, and forgiving in figuring it all out and making it work correctly.

The big hurdle, in my opinion, is separating the light fixture issues (which are many) from the switch issues (which are at least as many.) Separating them at the ferrule and figuring out what each of the wires is supposed to do is the start.

Keep in mind too - lower filament = high beams, upper filament = low beams. And both DON'T go on together (or shouldn't.)

Hope this helps. The Harbor Freight "give-away" meter has both voltage, and continuity capability.

And I haven't even addressed the "mixing up" that occurs when one uses the earlier switch with a later version plate. You say it worked correctly before Dad got to it so I assume this is not the problem.

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Last edited by Joe K; 06-20-2019 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:48 PM   #3
flash9376
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Default Re: Light Switch question

It was indeed a fixture issue and not a switch issue. The plastic piece that holds and separates the three input nodes had bowed and all three nodes were touching so they all got power instead of one at a time. Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:58 AM   #4
1928Mik
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Default Re: Light Switch question

"My car is technically my dad's even though I;m the one who restored it and it's kept at his house. He tends to tinker around with things"


Flash, I had the same scenario with my car. I basically did all the work restoring while Dad was doing other things, and then it was kept at his house. He tinkered constantly with it, hardly ever driving it, until he quit and let it sit for 30+ years. Upon his passing I had it running within a very short time. I am still finding things he tinkered with. Glad you got your issue figured out.
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