Gain extra benefits by becoming a Supporting Member Click here find out how!
Silver
Gold ***Platinum***
50chev1067 (2)Don H (5)Runningon6zonk2ajoda (6)
ShoeboxTOMD45 buscobill
1963SBHD (4)Dean50 (8)Backyardbuild jumbojim (3)
InkaholicMike (3)
Classic Performance Products
Ciadella Interiors American Auto Wire Art Morrison.com
Exile® Battery Keeper™ 6/12 volt charger w/ LED battery monitor
Hellwig Products IncPerformance Rod & Custom
Impala Bob's Bob's Chevy Trucks Bob's Chevelle Parts Bob's Classic Chevy

  >> Switch to Mobile Version <<

Recent Hot Topics
Current Quote
"I just want to say thanks to all of the contributors on this forum. There is a wealth of knowledge here and a super willingness to share. I can't get better and faster answers here than on ANY other board and I do frequent a lot of forums. THANKS AGAIN!!"
~ Member
Recent Topics
Join the Community today
**
New ** Easy eBay Search Tool







Username Post: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch        (Topic#33652)
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
05-08-03 07:26 PM - Post#226438    

I've been lurking around the site for a while, but this is my first post. I have a 1954 Chevy Pickup truck with a '55 - '59 headlight switch I'm just now installing (in the interest of having chrome/matching knobs; headlight, wipers and cig lighter).

I've got everything on the headlight switch figured out (I think) - it's connectors are labeled :

GRD = ground (for interior lights, right?)
PL = panel lights
H = headlights
PK = park lights
BAT = power
S - D = I'm at a loss on this one
T = I'm at a loss on this one, too

Can anyone direct me on how to wire this puppy?

Here's a picture of it :


And here's a clearer picture of the contacts :


Thanks!
Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
This Forum is Sponsored by

bobsclassicchevy.com
Royer 
Needs to Get Out More Member
Posts: 11411

Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 02:10 AM - Post#226439    
    In response to horvath

I think that you might benefit from a bit of continuity-checking with a multi-meter.

But, I'd hazard a guess that the "T" is for taillights. Also, I would think that the "D" is for the dome light. I believe the "Ground" should be connected to a good ground (otherwise completing the ground path for the dome lamp circuit would be chancey - no?).

I'm not so sure about the "S", but it is actually the same terminal as what is also labeled "D", isn't it? If this is the case, I'd venture a guess that it might stand for sail panel. Possibly, some 2-Door hardtop styles used sail panel lamps rather than a single dome lamp?

 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 03:03 AM - Post#226440    
    In response to horvath

You neglected to say this was a truck light, which in appearance and layout is different than the 57 pass. car uses from what I see in my car shop manual. My 57 truck manual shows the light you have: S - 20 gauge orange wire providing power to stop light switch, D - is dotted (normally indicates an option) 20 gauge orange and goes to the dome light, T - 20 gauge black and goes to the tail lights. The H BTW goes to the dimmer switch and from there the power goes to the appropriate filaments.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 03:37 AM - Post#226441    
    In response to Royer

Thanks, Royer

All your suggestions make great sense ... I'm going to buy a multi-meter today and learn how to use it.

The only thing about the GRD (ground) connector that bugs me, is that it goes directly to the copper arm that makes contact with the metal portion of the body when you twist the knob for the dome light ... so it LOOKS like it would provide constant ground to the dome rather than providing ground only on contact -- but the continuity test will settle that matter -- and now I'm thinking how it can work by sending the ground to the D contact when the copper arm makes contact.

Jeeze! It's amazing how something so simple can get so confusing when you don't fully understand it's workings!


The S *is* on the same terminal as the D, as you said - I've never heard the term "sail panel."

This is the "last leg" of my rewire project -- I'm doing an EZ-Wire kit on my truck. Never did this kinda stuff before but I'm having a blast. I just got the truck in January - had it transported to New Jersey from Texas. I'm totally in love with it and want it as a daily driver.

Thanks again.
Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 03:48 AM - Post#226442    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

Thanks, Mike!

I appreciate the info, man! Yes, it *is* a truck switch ... '55 - '59 Chevy ... from BrothersTrucks.com

You guys got me clear on the S - D and T contacts --- THANKS!

I'm a bit confused about the difference between P (park lights) and T (tail lights) ... aren't they the same thing?


Also -- I'm on the last leg of rewiring the truck -- since my fuse panel from the EZ-Wire kit provides a fuse for the headlight switch, how would I best deal with the existing fuse on the headlight switch?
Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
Royer 
Needs to Get Out More Member
Posts: 11411

Loc: Bloomfield Hills, Michiga...
Reg: 09-25-01
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 04:46 AM - Post#226443    
    In response to horvath

Keep in mind that this switch was really designed for use in vehicles that were on-the-road 40+ years ago. Back then, parking lights was a term used to refer to the roughly 3 candlepower white lamps on the front of the vehicle that were positioned somewhere near the headlamps. Taillamps were the roughly 3 candlepower lamps at the rear of the vehicle. When you pulled the light switch out to the first detent, both the parking lamps at the front and the taillamps at the rear were illuminated (toi mark the vehicle location while parked). This illumination was never designed for running the vehicle, and its' use while moving was (and is) technicaly illegal in a number of States. After 1968 when the NHSB and NHTSA got into the act and FMVSS 108 came into effect, the illumination of those front parking lamps (amber, by this time) also came to be required any time that the headlamps were illuminated. [If you want to accomplish this on your old truck, simply connect the parking lamp wire lead to the "T" terminal in addition to the lead that goes to the taillamps.]

As to the term "sail panel", there really isn't one on most trucks. But, the same guts of that switch were likely used on a number of pass car applications as well (many of which do have sail panels). If you look at the panel behind the rear side window on a 2-door hardtop (say, a '62-'64 Chevy for example), you can see the resemblence to the shape of a sail and thus the reason for the name.

There are a number of unique names used in the automotive body business. "Tulip panel" ( the one that sometimes goes between the bottom of the rear window and the trunk) and "Dog leg" (the area behind the rear door on a 4-Door sedan) are a couple of others.

 
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 10:30 AM - Post#226444    
    In response to Royer

Thanks again, Royer

I'll connect my park and tail leads to "T"
Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 12:48 PM - Post#226445    
    In response to horvath

Also when these trucks were built only the tail light on the driver's side (or rear door on a panel/burb) was standard equipment, the R/H tail light and turn signals were all options.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-09-03 03:16 PM - Post#226446    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

Well, I've got it all wired up now ... tomorrow I'll install my new Dolphin Gauges (with custom dash inserts), hook the battery back up and see how I did -- not only on the headlight switch, but on the entire EZ-Wire kit.

I took a lot of time carefully rewiring the whole truck ... all wires are secure, and in loom everywhere. I can't wait to turn the key and confirm that the truck did NOT explode!

Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
horvath 
Senior Member
Posts: 269
horvath
Loc: Milltown, New Jersey - US...
Reg: 05-08-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
05-10-03 04:18 PM - Post#226447    
    In response to horvath

Hey all

I finished the wiring project today ... headlight switch and all ... and everything works!


THANKS for your help!
Alan 54 Chevy Pickup


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 09:06 AM - Post#226448    
    In response to horvath

hi all sounds like you guys got this figured out
well i bought the exact item fron chevs of the 40s and it came with no instructions or marking again it says its for a 1955 -59 cevy truck or 1955 - 56 full pass car. I own a 1951 pass car and they said it would be fine. Well if any on can provide me with the instructions i would appreciate it. Also was wondering where you got the letters that marked the terminals?
i really appreciate your help on this matter
cactimick

 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 11:15 AM - Post#226449    
    In response to cactimick

found a link does this look like it is it?
http://www.55-57chevys.com/coccc/tech/56/12-7.gif
it looks close?


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 11:50 AM - Post#226450    
    In response to cactimick

I also noticed that on my switch diagram 1951 seen here
[url=http://www.geocities.com/babby_98_58/hedlitesw.gif[/url]
show that the dome light and instrament light are on differant contacts???
what do i do?
always a challlenge:)
web page

 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 12:08 PM - Post#226451    
    In response to cactimick

copy and paste the URL i show here or it will not work
http://www.geocities.com/babby_98_58/hedlitesw.gif

www.geocities.com/babby_98_58/hedlitesw.gif


 
patrick_rodgers 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 3973
patrick_rodgers
Age: 57
Loc: Heart of the California G...
Reg: 07-18-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 12:08 PM - Post#226452    
    In response to cactimick

You are correct, the dome light only works when you turn the headlight knob all the way until it clicks, that is the sound of the switch closing. Otherwise the dome light would come on with the headlights or the parking lights.
1957 Sports Sedan and Nomad

2005 Subaru Legacy wagon (built in Indiana from parts made in the US)


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 12:26 PM - Post#226453    
    In response to patrick_rodgers


in the 1956 switch and i see no dome light contact only a instrument light contact?

in the original 1951 and you see a seperate dome light contact and a seperate instrument light contact
any suggestions? does the 1956 have a dome light??

 
patrick_rodgers 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 3973
patrick_rodgers
Age: 57
Loc: Heart of the California G...
Reg: 07-18-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-20-04 12:33 PM - Post#226454    
    In response to cactimick

I know this says 1957, but the right hand drive cars used the 1956 dash. See if your headlight switch matches the wire locations, the natural white one is the dome light ground.
COCC 1957 Right hand drive wiring diagram
1957 Sports Sedan and Nomad

2005 Subaru Legacy wagon (built in Indiana from parts made in the US)


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
1951 car 1955-56 replacement headlight switch :)
03-20-04 02:23 PM - Post#226455    
    In response to patrick_rodgers

mine is like this
1951 car replacing headlight switch with a 1955-56 replacement headlight switch. I have figured out where most wires go except i am confused on the dome and the instrument
the original switch has a seperate terminal for dome and instument lites but the replacement i am un clear of what to do on these two.. I have pics of both may have to copy and paste address into browswer to view
please HELP
go see this address'
http://www.geocities.com/babby_98_58/hedlitesw.gif
and
http://www.55-57chevys.com/coccc/tech/56/12-7.gif

if you cannot see the image of either site -copy and paste the address in you browser
thanks need help with dome light and inst lite contacts
on the new replacement switch
cactimick

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 17970

Age: 71
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
Re: 1951 car 1955-56 replacement headlight switch :)
03-20-04 11:28 PM - Post#226456    
    In response to cactimick

Ok, instrument lamps are no problem. Just hook them up to the terminal indicated for them.

Now the dome light is a different story. On the 51 car switch and the 55 truck switch the dome terminal is just jumpered from the battery terminal. It gets power all the time, just like the brake light switch. The 55 CAR switch doesn't have that terminal - or at least the one shown in your picture doesn't. The closest equivalent terminal would be the stoplamp terminal, or you could also connect to the battery terminal instead. This would then work like the original switch, but one apparent drawback is that it possibly wouldn't be fused. However, I'm not sure how it's fused on the original hookup either, so if you want to be absolutely safe you might want to use an inline fuse on that lead.

Ray
I promised to serve you. I didn't say to whom.


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: 1951 car 1955-56 replacement headlight switch
03-26-04 04:13 AM - Post#226457    
    In response to raycow

ok well
I got going on this and it was a real hard project.
I spent hours under the dash and finally got all the lead contacts converted over to hook up on the new switch.
My questions are as follows
1 --As far as the new switch does it need to be grounded?
2 --I cant get the stop lights to work as i hooked them to the terminal on the new switch? As you said the stop light always has power to it. So i could just hook up the stop lites to a battery source? and the dome also?
why do the stop lamps go throught the switch?



 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-26-04 04:50 AM - Post#226458    
    In response to horvath

Alan horvath
I need your advise.
I have tried to hook up the 1955-59 truck 1955-56 pass car headlight switch on my 1951 chevy pass car. As chev of the 40's says it is a perfect replacement.
Here is my boggle....
I cant seem to get the stop lights to work?
Do i need to ground the unit to the terminal marked groung?
As i heard this terminl is for the dome? But my dome does not use a ground..
I am not concerned about the dome i do really need stop lamps.
Can you tell me about your way of hooking this up to your vehicle. and maybe about the stop lamps and ground and dome
thanks
cactmick

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 17970

Age: 71
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
Re: 1951 car 1955-56 replacement headlight switch
03-26-04 05:04 AM - Post#226459    
    In response to cactimick

The switch doesn't need to be grounded because you aren't using it to control the dome lamp. However, just mounting it in the dash should ground it anyway.

The stop and dome can be connected directly to any point that has battery power all the time. They didn't really go "through" the switch - it was only used as a junction point because it had a battery terminal. Wherever you do end up connecting them though, it would be a good idea to put a fuse in the lead.

If the brake lights don't work now when connected to the battery terminal on the switch, you may have other problems not related to the headlight switch itself.

Ray
I promised to serve you. I didn't say to whom.


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-26-04 05:24 AM - Post#226460    
    In response to cactimick

Thanx for the quick reply. unfortunatly i have to use this to commute and have to get this figured out today.
Can i do this?
attach a "jumper hot wire" to the stoplight wire and depress the brake pedal to see if it works? since it worked prior to to this?
also could i do this to all the wire leads to trace them to their source? and see if they work?
also if i do decide connecting the wire of the dimmer\headlamp to another source other that the headlight switch what size fuse would i use for this?

thanks
cactimick


 
57_sedan_delivery 
Old as Dirt Member
Posts: 6720

Loc: Hog Valley, Fla.
Reg: 02-19-01
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-26-04 07:02 AM - Post#226461    
    In response to cactimick

To get the brake lights to function w/o the headlight switch just connect it to a 12 volt source, prefereably through a fuse. Many older vehicles were done this way.
Mike W.

Founding father Desert Classic Chevys in Phoenix, Az.

1957 sedan delivery 454 TH400
1956 windowed sedan delivery US Dept of Ag car
1956 Chevy 3100 US Navy pickup
1959 rare GMC 100 fleet option 100 pickup


 
cactimick 
Member
Posts: 27

Reg: 12-04-03
Re: Wiring '55 - '59 Headlight Switch
03-28-04 05:37 AM - Post#226462    
    In response to 57_sedan_delivery

I GOT IT
Wow that dash work it a pain in the neck....
I finally got pissed off and the wife went to the store and got colored elec. tape {which she mentioned earier}and we tested each one and documented the color code and its all great now.
we also hooked up a headlight relay to the car to keep headlights bright and save switch from hi spike volts.
got that fron 5th ave auto parts in kansas..
I really appreciate everones help as i was not haveing fun
thanks again
cactimick

 
This Forum is Sponsored by

bobsclassicchevy.com
Icon Legend Permissions Topic Options
Report Post

Quote Post

Quick Reply

Print Topic

Email Topic

6198 Views
FusionBB
FusionBB™ Version 2.1
©2003-2006 InteractivePHP, Inc.
Execution time: 0.63 seconds.   Total Queries: 13   Zlib Compression is on.
All times are (GMT -0800) Pacific. Current time is 04:06 AM
Top