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Old 05-08-2003, 05:20 PM
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Post Wiring Headlight Switch

I wound up going through a bit of a fiasco getting my interior knobs where I was happy -- getting them all to match.

I decided to go with wiper knob, cigarette lighter and headlight knob from a 1955 Chevy, for two reasons. #1) I couldn't get a headlight switch for my '54 knob, or a '54 knob for my electric wiper conversion kit ... and #2) the '54 stuff is plastic whereas the '55 stuff is chrome (and much nicer quality).

Okay, so now to my problem : I've got a '55 headlight switch and I'm not sure how to figure out the wiring configuration.

Can anyone help?

Here's a picture of the headlight switch :


And here's a clearer picture of the contacts layout :


My question is, What goes where? I can see "GRD" is the ground, PK is Park, H is Headlights ... but I'm not sure about the others ... and "BAT" has two contacts - what do I do there?

Also, since I've got the EZ-Wire kit, which has fuses allocated for the headlight switch, what do I do about the fuse on the switch?

THANKS for any help or direction you can give me.

Alan Horvath
<a href="http://AlanHorvath.com/54chevy/" target="_blank">54 Chevy Pickup</a>

[ May 08, 2003: Message edited by: horvath ]</p>

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Old 05-08-2003, 05:47 PM
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horvath,

these things are hard to do when you can't actually be there to see them. anyway, i would try to simplify this as much as possible. whenever you have a double terminal on the same pole it doesn't mean you have to use it. maybe the original wiring used it, but if you're rewiring then you can probably clean it up a bit. if your headlight circuit is fused at the main block then just supply power to a terminal after the fuse, totally bypass it. you have to figure out what terminals are for what. get a continuity tester and figure out what terminals are switched in the low and high positions. if you are running one wire to supply power to low and high beams then you only need :

1. power to the switch
2. power to lowbeam circuit
3. power to highbeam circuit

just figure out what terminals get switched when, and wire them appropriately.

does this switch also dim dash lights? if so then you should have a terminal that will be on when the switch is in both the low position and high position. run from that terminal to your dash lights and hook up your ground on your switch. the ground is probably for a variable switch for dimming because it wouldn't be required otherwise. or, i just thought, is this switch illuminated? then the ground would be used for that.

hope this helps.

JB

[ May 08, 2003: Message edited by: johnnymopar ]</p>
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Old 05-08-2003, 06:49 PM
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One thing you can do if you wanted to use the original knobs is drill them out and epoxy in the centers from the newer knobs that you cut out of them. I am doing that with the VW electric wiper switch in my '53. I am drilling out the back of the knob that used to run the pickup's vacuum wipers. Then I am cutting out the screw nut from the VW switch. I will glue the nut into the '53 knob, mount the VW electric switch on the top of the dash and put on the '53 knob.
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Old 05-08-2003, 07:13 PM
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JB - Thanks for such a concise answer, bro'. I figured as much on the double terminal - it's obvious enough.

I'm afraid I don't know what a continuity tester is, or what to DO with it, but I'll find out. I guess I can get one at Pep Boys - I'll do that tomorrow.

This switch DOES dim the dash lights - the GRD connection runs right to the dimmer section of the switch. Re: the "terminal that will be on when the switch is in both the low position and high position" ... those are easy to spot - they would be PK (park) and H (headlights), so I guess you're saying I could run the dash lights from "PK" ... makes good sense.

willys36 ; Oh, man! I can't believe I didn't think of that before!

Oh well - I've got all the new gear now ... but thanks - I'll remember that one.

Thanks.

Alan
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:33 PM
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Al,

hey, i forgot about the parking lights. never occured to me. that would be another position to check for. so i guess you should have 3 switched terminals on there.

i just thought of an easy way to test your terminals. i guess you should try this with a car battery to keep things safe. anyway, get a 12volt light and run from your battery to the light, to the power terminal on your switch. then run a wire from the ground terminal on the battery. using the ground wire, you can touch the ground wire to each terminal and you then you can find out where each circuit is being completed. when the bulb lights, you've completed a circuit. check each position of the switch and you can figure out what's what. of course, a continuity tester is a lot easier.

good luck,

JB
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Old 05-09-2003, 05:10 PM
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Thanks again, JB

I went to Pep Boys today and bought a self-powered continuity tester ... brought it home and the bulb was bad - rattled like crazy ... so I took it back. It was the only one they had and - can you believe it - they don't sell replacement bulbs for it! Jeeze!!!

Well they had one other tester there - same thing only cheaper ... so I figured I'd buy it. It, again, was the ONLY one they had, so I figured I'd test it out first. ANOTHER bad bulb!

That was it. I just got my money back and went home. I'm slowly developing a strong hatred for Pep Boys.

Anyway, I got some great info last night from <a href="http://www.chevytalk.org/threads/ubbthreads.php?Cat=&C=5" target="_blank">ChevyTalk.org</a> and I've got the switch wired up.

Tomorrow, I'll install my guages and hook the battery back up and test the switch for real!

Along with the entire EZ-Wire kit I did!! YIKES!!!

Alan Horvath
<a href="http://AlanHorvath.com/54chevy/" target="_blank">54 Chevy Pickup</a>
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:36 PM
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Just reviewed your website. Looks like you are an Old Aire/EZ intallation pro! Aren't they great products? I LOVE your web site. Is that one of those freebies or did you have to pay for it?
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Old 05-10-2003, 07:36 AM
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Hey willys36

You turned me onto the Old Air AC/Heat unit -- THANKS, man. It was no party puttin' in, but it was NO problems either! I love it! You can't even see the unit, where before the heater was right in yer face -- a much neater look!

And the EZ-Wire kit was really easy to do - a lot of work for a first-timer, but a real no-brainer! Thanks again to Hotrodders.com ... I don't know what I would do without you guys!

Glad you checked my web site. I built it myself. I started learning how to do HTML back in 1999 when I wanted to get my music to my fans without selling my soul to the music industry. I got a degree in commercial art when I was in my teens ... put the two together and I found another passion.

I own my domain - AlanHorvath.com - and the site receives 300-500 unique visitors daily and I keep it up to date on all counts. It costs me $14 per month for hosting services + the domain name costs about $25 per year.

Alan Horvath
<a href="http://AlanHorvath.com/54chevy/" target="_blank">54 Chevy Pickup</a>

[ May 10, 2003: Message edited by: horvath ]</p>
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