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 Headlight Switch

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Lina59

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PostSubject: Headlight Switch   Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:08 pm

Anyone know where I can obtain a headlight switch? Thanks.
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starchief_59
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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:52 am

I highly doubt anyone remakes them. You'd have to watch ebay or find one on a parts car

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1959 Pontiac Star Chief 4 Door Hard Top
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:38 am

Thanks..
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Mon May 11, 2009 5:50 pm

Still looking.....
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creepjohnny

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Fri May 15, 2009 7:10 pm

try this. my ladys switch in here 59 ford went out, they remake em but they are stupid expensive, so I took the old one to a local auto parts place, not like kragen or auto zone but like an independent one where they will most likely have order books and lots of parts in stock, I was able to match up the switch with a GM style one, it wasn't exact but it had all the main connections I needed, the bitch what to get the original ivory knob and rod to fit, the hole in the switch was triangle shape and the witch off the car was a circle shape, I just ground the rod into a (somewhat) triangle and it worked.
thats my nightmare, hope yours works out Very Happy
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Fri May 15, 2009 11:29 pm

Thanks for the reply
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wydtrac

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Sat May 16, 2009 9:11 pm

You could try Steve at Pontiac Heaven. I got my oil pan from him and his price was very reasonable. He is a little slow on the delivery but has a lot of old pontiacs and lot of parts.
Check out Pontiacheaven.org or email him at steve@pontiacheaven.org
If you want to see his cars use google earth and address 52881 w smith enke rd, maricopa, AZ 85239. You won't believe the car yards all around this area. I would be willing to bet Steve can help you if you have enough patience with him. He will get to you eventually. His phone number is 480-899-7873. Good luck!
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Sun May 17, 2009 11:29 am

Thanks also..
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Doug in Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Tue Jun 02, 2009 9:34 pm

In case you're still looking, I'll throw in my two cents worth...

I think the '59 headlight switch is the same part for 1957 through 1959, but changed in 1960 (has a different pin pattern / plug attachment for the wiring harness.)

I've picked up some extra headlight switches for my 1960 Pontiacs for about $20 - $40 depending on whether they are NORS or NOS, but for some reason the '57-'59 switches are hard to find and crazy-expensive. At least, each time one has recently surfaced on eBay, there have been at least two bidders beating the snot out of each other to get ahold of one. I think the last new one went for about $200, but I have seen them go over $600, and a good used one recently topped $100. I watch out for them because I could use a spare or two, but I'm not about to start laying out the Ben Franklins to have one on my shelf.

You may want to check Hemmings for NOS sellers (sometimes people pay stupid money on eBay when a couple of phone calls can find their part at a fraction of the price), or keep an eye on eBay in case the deep-pocketed desperate folks now have theirs and the next ones go for decent money. It may also be worth a shot at a good clean & lube to see if you can get yours functioning right.

Good luck!
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Tue Jun 02, 2009 10:48 pm

I did find one from a guy by just keep emailing different places I found on the internet. It didn't do the trick of fixing the dash lights. It cost me $35.

The guy also had a directional switch but I think it had the same problem as mine had. The raided portions that makes contact were wore down and isn't making contact properly. That is what the mechanic thinks. I still wonder if a brake light switch would be the problem. The mechanic never mentions anything about that.

Thanks for the information and advice. I keep looking daily.
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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:54 am

Didn't realize you're having a dash light problem. I had the same issue. I made a ground wire that ran from the gauge pod itself to a good ground and it fixed the problem.

Worth a shot, let us know.

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1959 Pontiac Custom Star Chief
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59vista

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:10 pm

The dash light may also fail due to the reostat (wire wound resistor for dimming) has failed. This can be fixed by shorting it, which brings light, but no dimming.

In case my switch were to die on me, and the option was to pay 200 $ for a new one i think i would fix the problem by using a still function og the old switch (it has several switching functions) to operate one or more relays, and let them do the switching. This will work practically forever, since it takes the load of the switch, and be way cheaper than the alternative. Since the realys can be hidden under the dash it would have an original look..

Electrical diagrams of the car are available, and it should be fairly easy to do this. I can make you a electrical drawing if you can get someone to put it together, or do it yourself.
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CATBIRD



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PostSubject: Headlight Switch   Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:04 am

Lina59.....It's almost impossible to have a bad ground on these cars. The dash and instrument cluster are all steel and bolted to the cowl very securely. If the turn indicator and highbeam indicator lights work, then your ground is good. As mentioned above, the usual problem with the dash lamps is the reostat that controlls the brightness of them. If you look at the front of the switch, that curved spring mounted on the ceramic block is the reostat. As you turn the knob, a little metal tab wipes across the resistance wire allowing more or less voltage to pass to the lamps. Once the resistance wire (springy thingy) gets corroded and rusted, too much resistance builds up, and the lamps don't light. Unfortunately the wire is almost impossible to clean without breaking it. I was able to clean mine up enough to get the lamps to light full bright (knob all the way to the left) but not to dim. You might also be able to do this, or bypass the reostat completly. The lamps are not all that bright anyway when on full. The alternative is the outrageous prices they are getting for NOS, or pot luck with used. Many cars used this type of dimmer though, and I'm looking for a spiral resistance wire that can be soldered in as a replacement. If I find something that can be used, I'll pass it along. It doesn't bother me on full bright, but I feel that it should work even if I never turn them down......John
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Lina59

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:09 am

Great advice by all. Thanks....I have the manual so I think that has the electrical diagram in it. We'll give it a try.
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starchief1959

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PostSubject: Re: Headlight Switch   Thu Jun 04, 2009 9:03 am

CATBIRD wrote:
Lina59.....It's almost impossible to have a bad ground on these cars. The dash and instrument cluster are all steel and bolted to the cowl very securely. If the turn indicator and highbeam indicator lights work, then your ground is good. As mentioned above, the usual problem with the dash lamps is the reostat that controlls the brightness of them. If you look at the front of the switch, that curved spring mounted on the ceramic block is the reostat. As you turn the knob, a little metal tab wipes across the resistance wire allowing more or less voltage to pass to the lamps. Once the resistance wire (springy thingy) gets corroded and rusted, too much resistance builds up, and the lamps don't light. Unfortunately the wire is almost impossible to clean without breaking it. I was able to clean mine up enough to get the lamps to light full bright (knob all the way to the left) but not to dim. You might also be able to do this, or bypass the reostat completly. The lamps are not all that bright anyway when on full. The alternative is the outrageous prices they are getting for NOS, or pot luck with used. Many cars used this type of dimmer though, and I'm looking for a spiral resistance wire that can be soldered in as a replacement. If I find something that can be used, I'll pass it along. It doesn't bother me on full bright, but I feel that it should work even if I never turn them down......John

Just offering up what worked for me. If it happened in 1 car it can happen in another.

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