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Old 08-27-2010, 11:00 PM
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headlight switch - reinventing the wheel

Ok, I have a Covan dash insert for my 74 Nova and it has a spot for the GM headlight switch but I don't care for the style of the GM pull knob. My thought was to put in a custom three position switch for the lights (off, park, headlights) and put the instrument/dome light on a separate dial switch. I know this is unorthodox, but is there any reason this would not work? I realize I would have to daisy-chain the the park light wire, etc to be powered on two of the switch positions.

Thanks for the input.

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Old 08-28-2010, 08:44 AM
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Iím not familiar with what a Coven dash insert looks like. However, If you go to a salvage yard and scout for a GM lumina, late 90ís, and look for those switches youíll find those parts are already made factory as you just described.

Also, GM has a system that uses an eye for night lights where you donít even have to turn the lights during night driving. They automatically turn on when itís dusk if the ignition on and turn off when ignition is turned off. You may be able to get all of those parts off a salvage vehicle reasonably priced and have an updated light system. Just an idea.
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Old 08-28-2010, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckliever
Ok, I have a Covan dash insert for my 74 Nova and it has a spot for the GM headlight switch but I don't care for the style of the GM pull knob. My thought was to put in a custom three position switch for the lights (off, park, headlights) and put the instrument/dome light on a separate dial switch. I know this is unorthodox, but is there any reason this would not work? I realize I would have to daisy-chain the the park light wire, etc to be powered on two of the switch positions.

Thanks for the input.
There's nothing magic about the GM light switch. It's just a series of contacts that open and close. Toggle switches (or any other kind of switch) will do the same thing. Just be aware of the current carrying requirements. If you want to use a switch with less current capacity than required, use a relay in the circuit. Of course, the one thing you lose when you eliminate the factory switch is the panel dimming rheostat, but many late model cars have a separate dimmer rheostat that you could wire in with no problem.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:10 AM
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See
www.autopartswarehouse.com
or
www.painlesswiring.com

vicrod
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:43 AM
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Thanks guys. That's what I wanted to know!
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Old 08-28-2010, 12:10 PM
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If its just the pull knob you don't like this could be easily changed. The knob and stem have to be removed to attach the switch to the dash any way, at least on the style I have, and there must be other knob styles available. JMO
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:12 AM
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You will need to use relays after the switch, to handle the lamp loads, and the rheostat will need to be the right size to handle the current of the bulbs being dimmed also .. fyi Toggles are just cooler looking then the factory stuff ...
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:49 AM
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67/8 full size Chrysler, Plymouth, Dodge used toggles for the headlights and a thumbwheel for the dimmers.

Chrysler was big on thumbwheels then----they were everywhere
4 of these thumbwheels on the radio----made it difficult to install an aftermarket and make it look good

Might try looking for something in that line, that will not need a relay.
Factory did not use a relay on these.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:41 PM
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My 86 Caprice has a rocker switch for the headlights/parking lights and a separate thumbwheel rheostat also.
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