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Username Post: 1958 BelAir        (Topic#352943)
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 691
ragtp66
Reg: 12-09-07
09-10-18 09:06 PM - Post#2745861    

I have a question regarding the Instrument Panel lights on a 58 Belair with stock wiring harness.
I am not getting power on the very bottom fuse on either terminal with key on or off and with park/headlights on or off.

I am not the greatest at reading wiring schematics. So on one side of the fuse terminal is a smaller gauge maybe a 16? light blue wire that I believe is going up to the front parking lights. The other wire is heavier gauge maybe a 12g? That I am having trouble figuring out where that one heads to. I assume that is the HOT side of the fuse since its the heavier wire. Trying to get my dash lights working. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Headlights, tail lights and dome light are all working correctly.

Toys:
1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


 




JayChicago 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 332
JayChicago
Loc: Chicago
Reg: 01-03-13
09-12-18 10:36 PM - Post#2746017    
    In response to ragtp66

My resto-mod has aftermarket wiring and fuse panel, so I can't help by looking at my car. But I did look at the schematic and can offer a suggestion.

The schematic shows that bottom fuse feeding only the instrument panel lights. It shows a single 16 gage grey wire from the fuse up to an internal wire splice where multiple grey wires branch off to the various light bulb sockets. The schematic also shows that fuse being fed by a 16 gage dark green wire coming down from the light switch.

You have no power reaching that fuse. Other lights work, so you know you have good power to the light switch. Problem should be either internal in the switch, the connection at the switch, or a break in the dark green wire going down to the fuse holder.

I would start by removing the big connector on the underside of the light switch and clean the copper contacts in the connector and in the switch. I think the big connector just pulls off with gentle force and wiggling. But of course it is up high under the dash, pain-in-the-back work.

Those instrument lights are fed thru the light switch's dimmer circuit. The dimmer rheostat runs hot, is fragile, is common to fail. I would guess that is the most likely source of the problem, and will require replacing the light switch. I replaced mine a few years ago with a reproduction part from one of the usual vendors. It's a good quality reproduction piece.

BTW, I know you are doing a fully correct restoration of your dad's 58 Impala. Who's BelAir are you working on?




 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 11056
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
09-13-18 07:01 AM - Post#2746029    
    In response to ragtp66

Most likely the dash light dimmer rheostat in the light switch is open or corroded. The green wire gets power when the tail lights are on, through the rheostat to the dash light fuse.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
Gene_Schneider 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12158

Loc: Wisconsin..USA
Reg: 09-27-02
09-13-18 07:35 PM - Post#2746103    
    In response to acardon

Jook the dash light wire to the tail light terminal and you will have bright dash lights.

ChevGene 1934 Master sedan 1939 Master DeLuxe Town Sedan 1950 Styline DeLuxe Power Glide 1957 Nomad 283 PG 1963 Corvair Convertible


 
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 691
ragtp66
Reg: 12-09-07
09-14-18 08:46 PM - Post#2746195    
    In response to JayChicago

It is a rat rod project car/flip car I picked up last year. I will take a few pictures of it tomorrow. I have a few from when I first bought it. https://imgur.com/gallery/CEgOpgN Will be driving soon just working some bugs out first.

350/700R4 was a 348 car originally. All new brakes, wheel cylinders, hard lines, rubber lines, fuel lines. Needed front and rear floor pans of course and the trunk floor was gone. Got a nice west coast trunk floor all the way back to the tail pan including all the braces, gas tank straps and supports for $200. https://imgur.com/gallery/hTBX8OL It's a rough old girl but it IS a 2 door Bel-air Hardtop so it wasn't worth restoring but just piecing it back together for a driver. Going through it making sure it is safe and reliable before cutting her loose. Might wait til spring to put it up for sale --Cash in on the income tax season and not as many looking for a giveaway just because the season is over.

I am pretty sure I have a couple extra headlight switches in my stash so I will definitely try that as well as clean the terminals and make sure there are no backed out terminals if that does not work I will try Gene's suggestion.



Toys:
1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


Edited by ragtp66 on 09-14-18 08:53 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
ragtp66 
Contributor
Posts: 691
ragtp66
Reg: 12-09-07
09-14-18 08:50 PM - Post#2746196    
    In response to acardon

Don, Gene, Jay

Thanks for the suggestions guys I will let you know how it turns out.

Chris

Toys:
1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


 
JayChicago 
"8th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 332
JayChicago
Loc: Chicago
Reg: 01-03-13
09-15-18 08:15 AM - Post#2746225    
    In response to ragtp66

Pretty neat project you have going there. Thanks for sharing. I love it that you saved another old car from going back to the elements!

I think the more shoe-box dimensions of the 58 BelAir look better than the long lines of the Impala. Personal taste. (But I'm not a potential buyer; another car would require renting another garage, couldn't justify that expense to myself or wife)

Good luck with your latest project!



 




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