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Dashboard lights

This is a discussion on Dashboard lights within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; I have checked all of the light bulbs and fuses that I can find all have checked out good. Any ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 209.10.67.186
Old 03-21-2005, 03:09 PM
 
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Dashboard lights

I have checked all of the light bulbs and fuses that I can find all have checked out good. Any idea of why my dash lights don't work
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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could be the light switch. the rheostat fails some times.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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Rich,
I agree with jfhbird that your light switch rheostate may be the problem. Try some of the electrical contact cleaner sprays that are available and rotate the switch rapidly afterwards to see if you can resurrect it. As well, I would try turning on the lights and then ground one of the sockets to a good ground source to see if it lights. If it does, but won't work when installed in the dash, you may have to scrape paint off the holes in the dash where the light sockets insert. I had to do that on 2 or 3 of mine when I pulled the dash and repainted it during a total restoration of the car.
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Old 06-02-2017, 05:37 AM
 
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over ride the headlight switch

I'm told there is a way to over ride the headlight switch to keep to dash lights on the brightest setting. Does anyone know if this is true and how to do it?
Thanks, Also, I installed halogen dash bulbs in my old Corvette and it really makes a nice difference at night! They are a bit pricey and didn't seem to get very hot. If anyone is interested I'll give you the bulb type and source.
I'm thinking of installing these same bulbs in my 57 Ebird.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:41 PM
 
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The rheostat operates the lights from dim to bright. Once you get all the way bright there is one more detent that you can turn the headlight switch. This action will cause the interior lights to turn on (Same as if you open the door) There really is no other override to operate the lights in the dash
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:47 AM
 
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Actually, there is a thread on one of the forums that details how to permanently wire the switch so the dash lights stay on the brightest setting without having the interior lights come on. I just don't remember what leads on the switch to jump to accomplish this. When I find it, I'll post it.
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:42 PM
 
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You can move the wire that feeds the dash lights to another location on the head light switch. Then the dash lights would be on a full brightness whenever you turn on the lights. I would go to the tail light circuit. That way the dash lights would go on whenever you are in parking light mode or in headlight mode. Terminal "I" on the headlight switch is the dash lights (blue wire with red tracer). you should disconnect from that location and move it to terminal "R" on the headlight switch. (black wire) which feeds the tail light circuit.
I'm looking at my wiring diagram.
Terminal I is blue with red tracer ( dash lights)
Terminal H is red with yellow tracer (headlights)
Terminal P is black with yellow tracer (parking lights)
Terminal R is black (tail lights)
Terminal A is green (stop lamp circuit)
Terminal B is Yellow (power from battery terminal of the starter relay)
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Last edited by fordrodsteven; 06-03-2017 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 06-03-2017, 05:48 PM
 
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Steve, Thank you very much! That is exactly what I was looking for.
I am thinking of using a 5 watt German halogen bulb for dash illumination.
They really brighten up the instruments at night. I have used them for years in my 1967 Corvette with no issues. They are a bit pricey at $10.00 a bulb but I love how it makes the panel look at night.The only concern is that I'm not sure how they will do with a generator. My Corvette is charged by alternator. Jim
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Old 06-03-2017, 11:33 PM
 
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Look on ebay for halogen bulbs that are a direct replacement for the factory bulb. And very inexpensive. I replaced all the dash lights in my 54 Ford with them and the difference is amazing.

I wired my dash lights so they are on full bright according to the info on Page 302/303 of the CTCI Restoration manual

Last edited by paul2748; 06-03-2017 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:27 AM
 
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do you know how they were listed on Ebay. I can't seem to find them.
I get mine thru a lighting supply but they are close to $10.00 each
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:12 PM
 
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They are led's (which are better in my opinion), not halogens. Sorry for the mistake. LEDS run cooler and take less energy. Number is BA9S. There are two kinds. The ones I used, which were recommended to me as brighter, where the ones that had led's around the sides and one on top. Such as ebay # 301116586438.

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Originally Posted by Moonframer View Post
do you know how they were listed on Ebay. I can't seem to find them.
I get mine thru a lighting supply but they are close to $10.00 each

Last edited by paul2748; 06-04-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:42 PM
 
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Thanks a million! That's what I'm looking for. I'm installing the dash next week so the timing is perfect! Jim
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