1956 Parking Brake Dash light

Discussions related to braking systems.
Howard56
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: 1956 Parking Brake Dash light

Post by Howard56 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:39 pm

The double terminal in the center of the ceramic is dash lights. On a 55-6 there is only one of the terminals used because the Ultramatic quadrant is part of the dash lights. The same basic switch was used 51-4 and on those models one of the double terminals was dash lights and the other was for the bulb in the Ultra quadrant on the steering column.

The double terminal on the left side is for the tail and dash lights. One small black jumper goes from one of the terminals up to the left end of the ceramic section and provides power to the dash lights and the other should have a black wire feeding the tail lights.

The disconnected tan wire goes into the small gold inline connector which you barely see under the center terminal. That is the small jumper assy I mentioned which made more than 1 tan wire connection to the switch possible.

PMCCTX
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:25 pm

Re: 1956 Parking Brake Dash light

Post by PMCCTX » Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:44 pm

Ok - should this correct the issue of my dash lights not working? That's the whole reason I started this project, ha! The courtesy lights have always worked, and yes it's a 2 door HT.

Howard56
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: 1956 Parking Brake Dash light

Post by Howard56 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:00 pm

Probably not. I suspect you are going to find your rheostat section is dirty and corroded to the point there is not enough current available to light the dash bulbs. I can see some traces of green corrosion on the courtesy light terminal and suspect once you pull the switch and check down around the wiper and contact plates you will see much more. The photo shows what a very dirty switch looks like.

Since the ceramic portion of the switch does not normally come apart, best suggestion is get a tiny bit of valve grinding compound on the end of a small stick and place it on the wiper contact surfaces around the shaft. Work it under the moving parts where they rub against the parts fixed on the ceramic. Dash light section is the side toward the knob, courtesy light section is on the side near the box switch part. Turn the knob back and forth and get as much of the corrosion off as you can so you can see bright metal and then clean the compound off with brake cleaner trying to get as little as possible of the brake cleaner into the back headlight section of the switch. If there is someplace you can buy a lubricating contact cleaner it would be good to follow up with that after the brake cleaner.

If the terminals are loose enough to wiggle there is every chance corrosion has started under the rivets between the terminals and rivets. If that is the case you can clean as best you can but I have not found anything that will permanently stop if from recurring.
Attachments
headlight sw courtesy light section.jpg
IMG_1175.jpg

Post Reply