Sunday, May 23, 2010


Dash Lights

The rheostat for the dash lights has proven to be the weakest part of the headlight switch. If your Thunderbird has intermittent or no dash lights, you have two choices. Remove and replace the headlight switch or bypass the dash light rheostat and have full dash lights every time you pull the headlight switch. In either case the switch will have to be removed from the dash. Removal of the switch is accomplished by first disconnecting the battery, then reaching under the dash and pressing the round head of the release pin located in the center of the switch on the terminal side. Holding the pin allows the switch knob and shaft to be pulled out of the switch. When the shaft and knob has been removed, you will see a cross slot in the chrome center of the bezel. Use a straight screwdriver to unscrew the center bezel . Now the switch is ready to pull down from behind the dash.
If you chose to replace the switch, remove one wire at a time and install on the new switch. If you choose to bypass the rheostat, attach a new double spade connector to the switch connector marked "R". Move the gray wire from the post nearest to the rheostat to the newly installed double connector installed on terminal "R". This bypasses the rheostat, and the dash will have full illumination all the time the light switch is on.

This process should take 20-30 minutes to complete.

One problem is the fact you may have to purchase a package of 10 double spade connectors as I did. So if you want to bypass your bad rheostat, just see me at any of the meetings as I have the extras in the trunk of my 'Bird. I did not remove my switch from the car, the photo below is taken with an extra switch I had in my junk box.

Dave Tulowitzky

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