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Username Post: Headlight switch style change - Can I ?        (Topic#348380)
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-25-17 08:53 AM - Post#2715663    

My vehicle is a 1949 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe - 12 volt - 235 engine with 3 on the tree manual . Original style headlights , original dimmer switch , pretty much stock . - My question is can I switch from original style switch to a plug pigtail style connector switch like 1958 59 switches ? Can I do this without too much trouble ? For me it is a pain in the rear removing the original style switch whenever I have to remove it . I do not like how the terminals stick way out . I am just trying to clean it up behind my dash as best as I can . Any advice ? Should I just stay original ? Or should I go for it ? If so what switch works best ? I appreciate all help . Electrical is not my strong point . I provided a photo of what my switch looks like and a photo of what I want .

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Edited by westsiderider on 11-25-17 08:57 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 

VANDENPLAS 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1788
VANDENPLAS
Age: 38
Loc: ontario canada
Reg: 07-29-09
11-25-17 10:47 AM - Post#2715675    
    In response to westsiderider

Don’t see an issue in changing the switch out for something a bit more modern.

With a plug it will definitely make it cleaner behind the dash and easier to remove the switch when the time comes

Don’t want to sound like an censored, but how often are you up under your dash removing switches?

As long as the replacement switch has the same functions and rating should be fine.

The light circuits should be fused and on relays also.

" The chain in those handcuffs is made of high tensile steel. It will take you ten minutes to hack through it with this, if your lucky. You can hack through your ankle in fivei



In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king 👑


 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-25-17 11:14 AM - Post#2715682    
    In response to VANDENPLAS

Lately I have been under the dash quite a bit . I installed power windows from Nu-relic, that are great and are working flawlessly . I was able to keep original window handles so it looks original ..... you would never know i have power windows ..... I installed a 4 switch master control switch so the driver can control all the windows . I installed it directly below the light switch , not on the dash but under the dash , so you cannot see my master switch . It works great , but now I have a lot of wires in one area , so I want to clean it up. I know no one sees it but when it comes time to reach back there for whatever reason , I prefer not to have handle so many wires when wanting to remove or add something , or even just check something . I appreciate your help .



 
jeffery_1965 
Poster
Posts: 16

Age: 98
Loc: SW Washington
Reg: 03-28-17
11-25-17 02:43 PM - Post#2715700    
    In response to westsiderider

I haven't installed this one yet, but this is what I purchased.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000IYU4AY /ref=o...

and the plug: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HSIF8MM /ref=o...

Unfortunately the knob/stem is different from my '52, so I purchased this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CO7E5I /ref=o...

Then I'll use a repro knob from Chev's of the 40's and get it all installed.

Good luck!

Jeff



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27554
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
11-25-17 05:09 PM - Post#2715716    
    In response to westsiderider

Are you planning to cut and splice the wires, or are you going to run the original wires all the way into the connector? If the latter, make sure you can get the female terminals you need before you cut anything.

Ray



Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-25-17 06:43 PM - Post#2715721    
    In response to raycow

Ray I was planning on splicing the wires . A plug with wires ready to splice to is what I will look for . Thank you Ray



 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-25-17 06:47 PM - Post#2715722    
    In response to jeffery_1965

Jeffery - Exactly what I was thinking ! The knob was my biggest concern , but you are right , just glue a knob onto that shaft .... Thank you .



 
cbmkr56 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1051
cbmkr56
Age: 62
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
11-26-17 04:48 AM - Post#2715749    
    In response to westsiderider

A 1957 Chevrolet pass car switch is what you are looking for, the shaft is the same and they plug in with spade terminals.



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4256
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-26-17 05:04 AM - Post#2715750    
    In response to cbmkr56

Hi Westsiderider, Unless I was rewiring to replace old cables I think splicing into an old loom just to change from ring to spade terminals is not of any value and more likely to cause an issue than solve anything.

If it worried me that the under dash had exposed terminations then I would be dealing with removing the ammeter first. Also I would be using sealed switch gear that has internal connections and detaches at a male female multi-pin.

If you want to keep the car near stock then leave it alone. If you are going for lots of modern electrical features then a complete new more modern style loom is required.

Over the last 50 years we have learned a few things about electrics. Also old looms from hot zones are a real fire hazard. Plenty of folks have burn't down Arizona cars trying to get them started.

When I got my 48 PU decades I got a 261 to replace the 216, a 54 front end for better shocks and brakes, and a complete shop rewire.
Only problem it ever had was occasional flooding so some years later I went to a modern carb.

Cars with butchered wiring are such a complete pain to own.

Cheers kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 11-26-17 05:10 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-27-17 12:42 AM - Post#2715875    
    In response to cbmkr56

Thank you for that tip 56 !



 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-27-17 01:09 AM - Post#2715876    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Thank you Kiwi, I value your advice always . The only thing modern is my power windows and it will also have a hidden stereo real soon. That is as modern and hi tech as i am going to get. i believe these cars are works of art . I would never butcher it up . In fact i installed a new original wiring harness in the entire car. Original harness for the 49 but 12 volt ... I got it from the Filling Station .... every wire is new . It was labeled and great instructions too . My first time attempting such a task .... everything is good but the only problem I am having is the fuel gauge . It is a new 12 volt gauge and a new sending unit .... it is stuck on past full mark .... I tried troubleshooting the problem and nothing has changed . Tomorrow I am down to my last try and that is to pull the sending unit out and test it , see if it is even any good . While in the process of dealing with the gauge behind the dash my hands hit some light switch wires and now my switch gets hot and my lights will turn off . They turned off on the darkest road possible .... it scared the crap out of me ..... I have been trying to pinpoint the problem but no luck . The switch is new ..... I checked the dimmer switch , it is good, I looked at all my wires and terminals and everything looks in tact . I must have removed and installed the light switch 10 times this week and I am getting irritated with it . What could be causing my switch to get hot ? All my lights will work , dash , parking , headlights , dome light , glove light .... for about 1 minute and then they turn off . Let the switch cool down a while and they will go on again ... and repeat the process . Any advice ? ps The light switch was working fine until i reached behind the dash and started messing with my gas gauge . I used multi meter on my light switch off the car and it was working fine and when I put it back in the car , it will get hot and lights out . Kiwi appreciate your wisdom , I am all ears ... Thanks ! pss I almost forgot what I think may be a clue , I did notice that my left front parking light is no where near as bright as my right parking light . The left looks weak . What do you think ?



Edited by westsiderider on 11-27-17 01:23 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
VANDENPLAS 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1788
VANDENPLAS
Age: 38
Loc: ontario canada
Reg: 07-29-09
11-27-17 10:32 AM - Post#2715921    
    In response to westsiderider

Sounds like you may have bent the switch internally, are two of the wire eyelets touching?

When you pull the light switch out it’s almost like a key with each segment operating different lights / functions

Try disconnecting the switch entirely then one by one add the lights back onto the switch untill you find the circuit causing your issue

Or get a toggle switch and wire that up circuit by circuit ( one at a time ) to see witch circuit is causing the issue

My guess would be you hamb fisted the switch and something is shorted

Also If you’re going to splice in the connector to your new switch , I would suggest soldering and heatshrink between the pig tail and wiring

Butt connector just add two more connections , connections cause heat and issues also, pet peeve of mine is messy spliced butt connected wire

Call it spaghetti wiring !

" The chain in those handcuffs is made of high tensile steel. It will take you ten minutes to hack through it with this, if your lucky. You can hack through your ankle in fivei



In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king 👑


Edited by VANDENPLAS on 11-27-17 10:35 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4256
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-27-17 01:40 PM - Post#2715940    
    In response to VANDENPLAS

Hi Westrider, Great work replacing the loom. It will play dividends in the long run.

If your fuel gauge is pegged on full then there is an unplanned earth after the switch. Don't leave it like this as it can cook the gauge.

To test your circuit take the sender side lead off the gauge. Turn the key on and if it still pegs "F" the problem is in the gauge. It should not move off "E".
Using a test lamp, not a wire, earth the sender side of the switch to the dash. It should go up to "F" peg.

(Using a test lamp limits the current flow which a wire doesn't so much, much kinder to the gauge. Also if it has an electrical damping system this will help protect that also.).

If that worked then replace the sender wire on the switch and then remove it at the sender end. Turn the key on and it should stay on "E". If the needle rises you have a short in that wire. Turn it off and find it.

If it stays on "E" then earth it at the rear chassis using the test lamp again. If it rises then that's good and you should be looking at the sender and the tank earth.

You can earth the sender/tank using a lead to a good earth on the chassis.

You will need an Ohmmeter to test the sender so let me know if you have this?

The problem with your headlight switch may well be that as you are now running 12V direct through it and that is causing the over heating.

Volts x current = Power, so if you double the volts, 6 to 12V, then twice as much energy flows in the circuit. It'l get hotter!

The answer is to use a relay so the dash switch is only dealing with very light currents and you can run big bright lights and old school switches will last.
All modern stuff is done this way.

Light's, wipers, fans, horns, power windows, big stereos, hydraulic or air pumps, etc all should be Relay switched.

Cheers Kiwi







48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 11-27-17 01:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
53sd 
Contributor
Posts: 128

Reg: 12-08-08
11-27-17 03:16 PM - Post#2715955    
    In response to westsiderider

Kiwi's outline on fuel gauge testing is perfect,you should have that issue resolved soon.
About the light switch circuit popping off and on,relating to the clue of the dimmer front park lamp.I would disconnect park wire at the rad support terminal strip and run lights the time it took to pop.In fact you could test [disconnect] almost all light circuits from the terminal strips and save under dash work. Under dash work is called car yoga around here.



 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-27-17 04:43 PM - Post#2715970    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

Kiwi - I will get on it asap ! This is why i really like this forum . A guy can ask a question and somebody on this forum is always willing to help out . This kind of knowledge and information is difficult to get . I cant go ask a mechanic , because they are wrapped up in work ... and he may not be familiar with these old Chevy's .... Here , it specifically all about our old Chevys ! I will let you know the outcome of my electrical situation ... Thank you



 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-27-17 04:50 PM - Post#2715972    
    In response to 53sd

53sd - You have some great ideas with the light terminals at front of the car . I will do that for sure - why .... because car yoga is lonely and uncomfortable ! Thanks



 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-27-17 04:51 PM - Post#2715973    
    In response to VANDENPLAS

Thank you vandenplas !



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4256
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-27-17 06:20 PM - Post#2715982    
    In response to westsiderider

Hi Westrider, Plenty of guys here are, or were, mechanics; some machinists, some panel and paint guys, electricians, and parts and accessory experts.
Some guys worked directly for GM in service and Plant applications so the info is here somewhere.
Other guys are just enthusiasts with a lifetime of experience and that counts too.

Some guys work in specialisms like carbs, ignition, injection, or transmission and are still active.

It's a great resource and world wide brotherhood of fellow enthusiasts.

Cheers Kiwi

ps. Thanks 53SD

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


Edited by Bel Air kiwi on 11-27-17 06:20 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27554
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
11-28-17 03:06 AM - Post#2716048    
    In response to westsiderider

Instead of a fuse, the switch has a thermal circuit breaker protecting the circuits that are controlled by the switch. The breaker is opening because one of the wires connected to the switch is either overloaded or shorted to ground. Disconnect the wires one at a time until the breaker doesn't open. Then trace that wire until you find the short.

The switch will be much easier to troubleshoot if you let it hang below the dash. It does not have to be mounted in the dash in order to work.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-28-17 02:10 PM - Post#2716116    
    In response to raycow

Raycow - that makes sense .. I should have just done that from the beginning ... but I am glad I am under the dash anyways ... I am double checking all my connections for the last time , for a long time .... I My interior just got finished so I am taking care of all the little details . I just want the car to be safe , I restored it for my dad who is 87 , and he is happy with the car . I would rather the lights go out me instead of him . So yes , I am on the home stretch . Thanks for the help ! i will post pics of the interior in a few days .. I am very happy with the way it came out .



 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4256
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-28-17 05:21 PM - Post#2716167    
    In response to westsiderider

Hi Westrider, it's a rare day when Ray doesn't make sense.

If you have the switch hanging down under the dash then when you pull a wire off to eliminate that circuit, reconnect it through an ammeter and see what the current draw is. Could be anything from five to fifteen?

Alternately you can put the ammeter on the supply side and this will tell you a similar story but it will add together park and headlights.

Note both the switch on spike and current in steady state. (make sure your battery is fully charged when you do this.)

Get back to us with the answer and we can help you move forward. personally I would be putting a relay in at least the main beams circuit, and probably the parks as well.

They will work fine the way they were built, but with relays the load on the in dash switching is way down and this really helps their service life. particularly if the new lights, horn, etc are more powerful, and normally that's the way we go.

Cheers Kiwi


48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-28-17 08:01 PM - Post#2716195    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

I found the culprit ! So I eliminated the parking lights at the switch . I turned on the head lights, after a minute the headlights went out .... so my next move was to eliminate the dash lights from the scenario . I did that and I turned the lights on and they stayed on ! So i reconnected the parking lights and I turned them on and then turned on the headlights again and they stayed on once again . So I started thinking ....... watch out , this is when i'm dangerous ......! I remembered my clock light was not on recently , so I "shoved" a new bulb in and forgot all about it .. since I do not drive the 49 much at night I never see my dash lights on ......Well , guess what .....that bulb was cracked and that is what was causing my lights to turn off . I eliminated that wire for now and reconnected my dash lights and everything was back to normal .... ! I was focused on wires , and terminals ..... and all the while it was a simple led light bulb . I believe i broke it when I "shoved" the bulb in .... Man oh man , if I would have known this , the night my lights went out on that very dark road , i could have pulled the bulb and been back on the pedal in 60 seconds .... Live and learn I guess .... Thanks to all of you cool cats who helped me out ... I really appreciate it ...... Now I can get back on my fuel gauge issue .... ... A dang light bulb ! wow .... Lesson for me was DO NOT EVER "SHOVE" A LIGHT BULB IN ! Install lightbulbs with care . No need for a new switch now ....... I kind of like this switch now , It was doing its job , protecting my car . You got to love that ...
Kiwi - I will be using your instructions today dealing with my fuel gauge .



Edited by westsiderider on 11-29-17 07:01 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 28691
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
11-29-17 10:22 AM - Post#2716252    
    In response to westsiderider

westside, you're saying you put an LED bulb in the clock, it got damaged during install, and that's what was causing the problem?

I've found some LED replacement bulbs can be problematic depending on the socket type and design of the LED assembly. I myself had some issues installing some wedge-base style in a 3rd brake light (CHMSL) socket on a 90's Chevy truck. The sockets were too tight for the thickness of the bulb base, which broke the leads going into the bulb, shorting it internally. The results were exciting...



Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
westsiderider 
"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 100
westsiderider
Loc: Santa Barbara Ca.
Reg: 04-29-15
11-29-17 12:10 PM - Post#2716259    
    In response to someotherguy

Yes , it was a mini led bulb, but mine broke because of me . I remember jamming that one bulb in and i cracked it and the body separated from the metal socket. So the electricity was passing through the bulb making direct contact to my metal clock . All my other interior led bulbs are ok so far . I replaced the bulb and the car is all good now . My bulb is different than yours , mine has a metal male socket housing , with two points sticking out so you can twist it in and lock it into place.



Edited by westsiderider on 11-29-17 12:13 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Bel Air kiwi 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 4256
Bel Air kiwi
Loc: New Zealand
Reg: 04-24-14
11-29-17 03:32 PM - Post#2716284    
    In response to someotherguy

Hi Richard, its this lack of accuracy in reproduction which tells you someone is making copies, not going to spec, or using flogged out tooling.
That could have been real nasty.

Cheers Kiwi

48 3100 RHD, 51 Deluxe 4DR RHD, 51 Bel Air parts car, 52 Bel Air P-Glide LHD. Others 23T, 32 Tudor, 58 Edsel pacer 4DR HDT, 79 F250 351C RHD. 69,70,82 Capri. No mobile, no TV, and no Jap cars.

And when it was laid to waste, they called it peace.


 
someotherguy 
Moderator
Posts: 28691
someotherguy
Age: 48
Loc: Texas
Reg: 08-01-03
11-29-17 04:00 PM - Post#2716294    
    In response to Bel Air kiwi

  • Bel Air kiwi Said:
Hi Richard, its this lack of accuracy in reproduction which tells you someone is making copies, not going to spec, or using flogged out tooling.
That could have been real nasty.

Cheers Kiwi


100% agreed on all counts. It probably would not have been an issue in most socket designs since many of the small wedge base are made of a rubbery-type plastic, meant as both a socket and a weather seal. However, in the CHMSL design of these trucks, the socket is a bar of rigid plastic which captures the bulbs quite tightly so there's not much give in the contacts as you push the bulb in.

Anyway, glad westside figured out his issue without any dramatics out of the wiring!

Richard

06 Silverado ISS / 06 Silverado SS / 06 300C SRT8


 
VANDENPLAS 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1788
VANDENPLAS
Age: 38
Loc: ontario canada
Reg: 07-29-09
11-29-17 04:50 PM - Post#2716301    
    In response to someotherguy

Awesome on figuring it out!

I have seen lots of issues with the cheap led bulbs offered, anything from melted bulb sockets. , blown fuses and on some higher end cars ( Benz and jag) turning on the bulb failure warning on the dash display.

Don’t mess with junk

Glad ya got it , more often then not it’s the stupid stuff that gets us!

" The chain in those handcuffs is made of high tensile steel. It will take you ten minutes to hack through it with this, if your lucky. You can hack through your ankle in fivei



In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king 👑


 
cbmkr56 
Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1051
cbmkr56
Age: 62
Loc: Basehor Ks
Reg: 02-11-13
11-29-17 05:59 PM - Post#2716310    
    In response to VANDENPLAS

That style of bulb will cause all kids of problems without diodes added to both wires.



 
53sd 
Contributor
Posts: 128

Reg: 12-08-08
11-30-17 01:42 AM - Post#2716352    
    In response to cbmkr56

  • cbmkr56 Said:
That style of bulb will cause all kids of problems without diodes added to both wires.



Please tell me/us more,I'm thinking about led's myself.



 

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