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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Replacing my headlight switch, get the old one out, no problem, plug the wiring harness in to new switch..no problem. Installing new switch..made me walk away from the car. I can get the switch into position but cannot get the damn screw started!!! Anything tips I should consider? Do I need to take the dash pad off?


Drives me nuts when I think the car is winning :mad:
 

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Did you try threading the nut onto the switch with it not in place in the dash ?. Maybe there is a burr on something keeping it from easily starting ?.

Yep, I think we all have had to walkaway from something only to come back to it and it then it goes as planned with no real answer as to why it didn't go right the first time.

Jim
 

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Why are you replacing the switch?

Taking the dash pad off is the only way to do it properly.

Relax. Breathe.
:)
 

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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
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I'm taking you have a 70. On my 71 that's how I did mine by removing the dash pad it's right there on top. On mine there is a round metal disc that gets sandwiched in between the switch and the dash and runs down to the wiper switch. You have to watch out when you put the knob back in also. I think you have to push the little button down with the spring on it to engage the rod properly otherwise you can push the switch mechanism in the switch to far back to engage on the rod and then you have to remove the switch take it apart and reset the position and hope you don't crack the plastic housing like I did. I would just make sure the locking nut screws into the switch before you try to mount it in the dash in case the thread is buggered up on the switch or nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yep nut threads right in...Already checked it. Looks like I will just take the dash pad off. 6 screws right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Copper,. Replacing because my dimmer was not working properly "assumed " the easy and smart thing was to just put in a new switch.
 

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On my 71 there were 6 screws. 4 above the gauge cluster and 2 are in the top front of the glove box. Lift up on the front of the dash pad and pull it back towards you to release the 6 clips that hold it down near the windshield.
 

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1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
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Old car dash lights aren't as bright as the new car dashes are. A lot of people are going to led bulbs in the dash to brighten it up.
 

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Forgot what's wrong with the dimming? Wasn't there something about the LED dash bulbs and dimming being an issue unless there was enough load on the circuit for the rheostat to work on the headlight switch? I forgot...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Car has LED bulbs but they are very dim. The dimmer worked on my old switch but the lights got as bright as they were going to get pretty much as soon as you started rotating the knob. Probably 80? of the time your turning the knob the lights are not getting any brighter..Thought it might be a bad switch.
 

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Does the new switch do the same thing? If so, how about putting a small load in series (from the dash light connection on the switch to the dash light wire) This seems to ring a bell with me from a while ago. OR, as a SIMPLE experiment, take one of you dash light LED bulbs out and replace it with a stock bulb. See if it helps the entire circuit as for dimming.
 

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I'll add my logic to this. LED's as you know, do not take much current to operate, therefore; the design of the dimming rheostat (variable resistor) on the switch allows as much current at the LEDs need to run at full brightness at the first turn of the knob. Make sense?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Yes that makes sense. I think I will grab a couple 194s and see if that makes any difference. I stink at electrical issues so if that does not do it not sure what else I can do.




My three aftermarket gauges under my dash are nice and bright as are my turn signal indicators. Just the lights around the tach, speedo and clock are very dim.
 

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Do you have the dash ground strap installed? Should look like this one.
 

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I'll add my logic to this. LED's as you know, do not take much current to operate, therefore; the design of the dimming rheostat (variable resistor) on the switch allows as much current at the LEDs need to run at full brightness at the first turn of the knob. Make sense?
This is the correct logic.

I was hoping you weren't replacing the switch "just because of the dimming".

You will not get very much (if any) dimming action with LEDs installed. They draw only a fraction of the current compared to the factory incandescents. This means you have bright-bright-bright situation when rotating the knob, where as with all factory set-up, you get very dim-dim-brighter-bright.

If the "pods" are dim, chances are the replacement LEDs are not ideal. The ones installed in there may be very directional so they are shining a "spot" directly forward from the base socket, where as bulbs and some modern modules broadcast light outward in all directions so the illumination is reflected back correctly from the factory assembly onto the face of the gauges.

We'd need to know more info. It would be nice to see a pic of what "bulbs" are in there now.

:thumbsup:
 
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