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Technical We have dashboard lights... 1960 Biscayne

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rob-redm, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Well checked the fuses, and they all look fine...headlights come and Taillights... can turn the switch all the way left and interior light comes on.. The new replacement switches are not a lot money. The knob/shaft seems a bit sloppy...so I wonder if something in the switch is bad .. since the rheostat would dim the dash lights before...
     
  2. Yep- the dash feed/rheo comes off the headlight switch. Pull the switch out of the dash so it's hanging to where you can get the ol' test light out....... not an uncommon prob. The knob/shaft will always have a lil play,but once you start probing,you'll see which leg is dead.;)
     
    Nailhead Jason likes this.
  3. Probably the bulbs in the dash. HRP
     
  4. all 47 of them?:eek:
     

  5. If they shorted out with a bad switch, yeah

    47 is a slight exaggeration I hope. HRP
     
  6. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,024

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    got parking lights? usually they are on the same circuit.
     
  7. The dash lights worked just fine, last time I drove the 60 (New Years Day) and parked in the garage at night. dash lights were fine... The Fuses all looks fine . I don't have wiring diagram for it so that's a small problems .
     
  8. I will check that, pretty sure they worked this afternoon... will double check
     
  9. For sure!!!!! 8 give or take.............most likely the switch. BUT- possibly a grounding issue?
    we're going back 56 years,,,,,, if things have never been touched=ever, well,the possibilities......... Being optimistic.....:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
  10. 327Eric
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 1,515

    327Eric
    Member
    from Diablo Ca.

    Just Google search for the wiring diagram. They are online. I use this resource all the time. It is a website called the wiring project I believe.
     
  11. I'd be looking at the headlight switch and grounds for the guage cluster. If the head light switch tests OK try putting a ground jumper between the guage cluster housing and a good body ground. I've had to do that more than once.
     
    INVISIBLEKID likes this.
  12. Most cars of this vintage also have a fuse for just the dash lights, and it's usually on the switch. The rheostat (dimmer) in the switches go bad or get dirty too, I'd suspect that before a bad ground.
     
  13. park lights work, headlights & taillights ok.... can turn the knob all the way left and the interior light comes on... just no dash lights.
     
  14. Chavezk21
    Joined: Jan 3, 2013
    Posts: 641

    Chavezk21
    Member

    have you had the headlight switch out? if so did it have a fuse in the switch? Like Crazy Steve said it may have a fuse in back portion of switch. I believe that what was wrong in my 64. Many years ago, but drove me crazy. Replaced all the bulbs and every thing and bought a new switch, noticed it looked different, the new one didn't have the fuse.
     
  15. EZ Cool
    Joined: Nov 17, 2011
    Posts: 261

    EZ Cool
    Alliance Vendor

    My '62 Impala had the dash lights fused with the brake lights. I suspect so you would have a good indicator that you had an important fuse blown. So do you have brake lights?
     
  16. Inked Monkey
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 1,825

    Inked Monkey
    Member

    Dumb question, but have you turned the dimmer. Mine goes out from time to time and it's just the rheostat.
     
    jackandeuces and jack_pine like this.
  17. Check to see if your brake lights work. If I remember right somewhere in the 60's the dash lights are slave to the brake light circuit so that failure of the brake light switch causes the dash lights to go out.
     
    jackandeuces likes this.
  18. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257

    oj
    Member

    If you pull the switch out of the dash you'll see the spring wrapped around in front of a ceramic block, that 'spring' is the rheostat. Thats what you'll have to check. To get the shaft out so the switch can be removed is tricky, feel on the backside of the metal plate that keeps the switch together, there is a small spring loaded push button - about the size of the one on a pen. You pull the shaft out to near furthest point (headlights 'on') and push the button in to release the shaft and pull it the rest of the way out. Then you can unscrew the trim ring to get the switch out.
     
    51 BIRD likes this.
  19. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    Not being a smart a., here but you know how to get knob out of switch? I chased a problem like this for a long time. fuse looked good so i didn't pull it. it was the contact spot where fuse goes into fuse block. the fuse holder had corrosion on it where the fuse could not make good contact with holder. Pull fuse out and try to clean the 4 little fuse holder prongs. But i have to say this sounds like the rheostat Keep us posted. By the way my problem was on a 59.
     
  20. yep brake lights work just fine... I will clean all the fuse contacts and get new fuses also... May just get a new switch to boot... I have never had the switch out. Going to try to play around with later today
     
  21. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,253

    slowmotion
    Member

    My bets on the switch.
     
  22. If the switch is old, replace it before something else goes wrong with it and leaves you with no lights.
     
  23. If you decide to replace the switch, I'd look for a genuine GM or quality aftermarket piece (I think NAPA quality hasn't suffered too much); most of them in my experience are junk.
     
    chiro likes this.
  24. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,703

    B.A.KING
    Member

    Ecklers late great chevy has direct replacement for it.Just sayin!!
     
  25. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,492

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Get a "Factory Chevrolet" shop manual. It'll have all of the wiring diagrams in it. It will also have info on everything else about working on your 60 Biscayne. That way, when other problems pop up, you can just look it up in the book.

    Since the 59 - 60 shop manual is a supplement, you'll need a 58 shop manual, too. Both are available in reprints are a really cheap investment in your car.

    By the way, it sounds like a bad headlight switch. It's possible to bypass the rheostat, but that takes a wiring diagram. The dash lights will come on, but the brightness can't be adjusted.
     
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,413

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Funny what Danny said..."Check the bulbs."
    Twice I found that to be the problem...Once in my '56 Cad, (all of 'em were burned out!) Then again, in my '63 Impala.
    Similar instances with customers' cars, (German cars) over the years; usually around the 100K mark...
    It can happen!
     
  27. NAPA in Spanaway had a switch... so I bought it and put installed it this afternoon... So I can now cross out the switch being bad, yep no dash lights still.. Could find my test light... so ran to Sears and bought a new... ran out of time.. to check things(electrical is not my forte') has to be a ground issue.. I'm wondering now is the stereo that was installed last week may caused the issue... Had a retro sound radio installed... I know they piggy backed for memory off the power to the brake switch.. He did a nice install...maybe a wire was pulled off the cluster.. Does anyone know what fuse in the box is for dash lights maybe ? I such reading wiring diagrams also... park lights ok, headlights ok, taillights ok, brakes lights check ok... interior light I can switch on...sorry to over think this... is most likely something simple... lol , now I have a spare switch
     
  28. dirtracer06
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 198

    dirtracer06
    Member

    should have been the first thing you mentioned....
     
    54fierro likes this.
  29. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,354

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  30. dash lights were working fine post radio install.. Like I said no fuses were blown... May a wire came off... Sorry, did think the radio would have been what caused the dash light to not work... since it was ok before... just saying.. thanks dirtracer06... Just trying to fix my problem, I really want to thank all the guys who have chimed in and helped..
     

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