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64 dash lights won't go off

629 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  chevy28356
Hi guys, My 64 chevelle wagon dash lights and tail lights won't go off when I turn the switch off. The problem was almost the opposite when my headlights went out and the tail lights were the only thing that would come on. But I got the headlights coming on now by pulling the dash and putting in a new switch (which might have been unnecessary) and checking the grounds and hitting and dimmer switch 20 or 30 times to clean off the oxidation on its contacts. Now all the lights come on, but when I push in the switch the headlights go out but the dash and taillights stay on.
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This'll be a real PITA to check, but...

The headlight switch, wiper switch, cig lighter and gauge cluster assy. are grounded by 2 tin stampings that are trapped between the switches and the dash housing plastic. The driver's side (headlight & wiper) achieve ground through the left-most upper bezel mounting screw. The cig lighter (and cluster again) achieve ground through the radio chassis & rear radio support mount.

It's a pretty weak design - the dash screw loosens/rusts and you lose that ground, put in an aftermarket radio (cutting the dash & altering the tin stamping) and you lose that ground.

Run a dedicated ground wire (18ga) using some ring terminals from one of the instrument cluster to bezel screws (1/4" hex heads - on the metal cluster) to the body sheetmetal above the E-brake. This usually solves a myriad of flaky dash problems. Also tighten all the dash bezel holddown screws, and headlight/wiper switch attaching nuts.
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