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1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 03, 2022 11:49AM

Hello, I'm a college student in socal I recently bought a nice cave car and am having trouble figuring out why some lights work and some don't.

When I turn on the car, the turn signals (front light and back red tail light)used for turning left, automatically turn on and don't turn off, no matter how much I move the turn signal arm on the steering column.
when I brake, the two tail lights (red lights) turn on fine, but the driver's side tail light will continue to signal as stated above...I assume it must be a problem with the mechanism located directly behind the wheel
none of the 4 headlights work, and the two white tail lights don't work.

I have four questions related to this predicament
1 is my wire harness functioning fine?
2 could the problems I described be caused by a bad fuse under the dash board?
3 how do I MAKE SURE that the headlights are bad before buying now headlights?...cause they don't look old or cracked
4 is there somewhere else I'm missing that could affect these specific lights?... the four front headlights and the two white taillights

Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading!!!

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Monzaguy110 ()
Date: September 03, 2022 12:02PM

Not an expert by any means, just tossing out what I have experienced. I was having problems with my taillights, I ended up replacing the turn signal switch under the steering wheel which solved half the problem. I than replaced the engine wiring harness which has the rear light sockets included. My back up lights were solved by replacing the under dash fuse. As far as your headlights, you will need to check to see if you are getting power at the connectors. Hope this helps

1965 Monza Convertible

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 03, 2022 12:09PM

Thank you so much, I'll see if the wires are sending any power, I don't suppose you know which fuse in the fuse box to check for the back up lights?

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Monzaguy110 ()
Date: September 03, 2022 12:14PM

I have a LM and do not know if its the same one.

1965 Monza Convertible

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: BigGeorgesVair ()
Date: September 03, 2022 12:37PM

For the headlights, check the floor dimmer switch. The lights go through this. Mine were only working on high beam and it was the dimmer switch that was bad. Mine is also a l/m car too...but I 'think' its the same. The dimmer switch is pretty cheap and available locally too...so hopefully that is your headlight issue.

George O¸
1967 Corvair 500 110/PG. in family since 1969 with 1200 miles(75k currently).
,,

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: RobertC ()
Date: September 03, 2022 02:14PM

Amadeus_Emilio Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you so much, I'll see if the wires are sending any power, I don't suppose you know which fuse in the fuse box to check for the back up lights?

The "layout" of fuses should be in the 1960 Owner's Manual and the 1960 Shop Manual. Look at the "electrical" / diagrams / engine info in the back of the manual.

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: September 03, 2022 08:04PM

These numbers are my rambling, nothing to do with your numbers.

1. punch the dimmer switch (on the floor) many times with the headlamp switch pulled out (to the second position). Sometimes this will clean the contacts to make the lights work. If it does, replace the dimmer switch.

Same with headlamp switch, pull out, push in several times to clean internal contacts.

2.Early (1960 to 1964) turn signal switches are mounted on the steering column halfway down or so. The mechanism behind the wheel is just a motion changing device to make a "bowden" cable move the switch mechanism.

3.put your finger into the area between the switch and steering column and see if anything moves when the turn signal lever is moved. Yes, adjust the switch. No, time to take the steering wheel off and take a look.

4. Fuses do not control headlamps. They are protected by a circuit breaker inside the headlamp switch.

5. white taillamps are Backup Lamps. Let's get those working later. First question, Powerglide or manual shift, if manual then 3 or 4 speed transmission (all have different switches).

6.All 4 headlamps fail (burn out) at once, VERY VERY rare. I have seen both low beams burn out on cars driven in the city, as people drive with one low beam out for a long time (unless stopped by police or state inspection) since they can see, then the second one goes out, "Hey, my headlamps suddenly died!". But not all 4 high beams....

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: caroseiii ()
Date: September 04, 2022 12:13AM

Headlights are fused through the light switch. If your last get switch is bad, this will cause the problem you are describing.

C.A. Rose
Metairie, LA
1962 Spyders

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: September 04, 2022 09:00AM

I wouldn't call it "fused", because there is a circuit breaker inside of the headlamp switch. If there is a short, it will trigger the circuit breaker, and the circuit breaker will trip, and then reset. When this happens, you can clearly hear the circuit breaker, unlike a fuse that makes no sound when it blows.
Most likely is poor ground or poor contact at the back of the headlamp itself where the prongs are subject to corrosion. The best way to troubleshoot headlamps is to remove both headlamps from one side and use a volt meter or test probe and check for voltage at the sockets. On the low beam socket, there are both positive and negative terminals. You can check the grounds with an ohm meter, and the positive wire with the test probe to determine which of the 3 black wires is hot and ground on the 3 terminal bulb. Then do the same for the 2 terminal bulb. If there is no power, then go to the floor switch and check the terminals there. 2 of the 3 should be hot and the one that isn't will be when you depress the switch. The top single wire is 12 volts into the switch and the bottom 2 are split, one going to the low beams and the other going to the high beams depending on the depression of the foot switch. If you don't have power at the foot switch when the headlamp switch is pulled out, then you have a defective headlamp switch or it has become unplugged. To remove the headlamp switch you have to pull the switch staff out, and then reach up and depress the small button on the top of the headlamp switch and continue to pull on the staff. Once it comes out, using a tool unscrew the headlamp switch nut and lower it towards the floor. You can then probe the various terminals to see if there is power coming into the switch. If no power comes into the switch, then the problem lies somewhere within the harness and that is a troubleshooting lesson for another day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/04/2022 09:02AM by junkman.

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:04AM

by "get switch" switch do you mean the dimmer switch on the floor?

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:18AM

Thank you so much, I'll try to see if the problem is the switch, thank you for being so descriptive!!!

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: September 04, 2022 01:31PM

The dimmer switch is the place to start. It has the most information and is the easiest to get to. With a test light prob the terminals of the dimmer switch with the headlight switch in the on position. If one terminal lights up the headlight switch is working. If 2 light up at least half of the dimmer switch is working. Step on the dimmer switch and if one of the terminals goes out and the other one lights up the whole dimmer switch is good. If this doesn't happen, you can cycle the dimmer switch several times and see if your results change. If power is coming out of the dimmer switch and the headlights don't work now would be the time to pull out the head lights and start checking, there. I would use a test light over a voltmeter for this, first it is quicker and easier and second if you have one strand of wire making contact the voltage will be good, but it won't light up the headlights. If it lights the test light, you should have enough amps to light up the head lights.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:01PM

I'll try this tomorrow, thank you for the suggestion




I figured out the reason for the constant LH turn signal being on.
The small wire that comes from the signal arm/lever and leads to the turn signal switch located further down the steering column does not respond to the signal arm.

the signal-control-wire will move if I push it into each position manually (LH, RH, and no signal) -using the end of the wire located down the column, near the signal switch itself.
To summarize, the signal arm is not pushing the signal control wires nd therefore not able to move the turn signal switch

Funny, because my horns have a contact problem on the horn button, which gives me even more reason to take off the wheel, but I don't have the tool to take off the wheel itself..yet lol.

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:04PM

Frank DuVal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> These numbers are my rambling, nothing to do with your numbers.
>
> 1. punch the dimmer switch (on the floor) many times with the headlamp switch pulled out (to the second position). Sometimes this will clean the contacts to make the lights work. If it does, replace the dimmer switch.
>
> Same with headlamp switch, pull out, push in several times to clean internal contacts.
>
> 2.Early (1960 to 1964) turn signal switches are mounted on the steering column halfway down or so. The mechanism behind the wheel is just a motion changing device to make a "bowden" cable move the switch mechanism.
>
> 3.put your finger into the area between the switch and steering column and see if anything moves when the turn signal lever is moved. Yes, adjust the switch. No, time to take the steering wheel off and take a look.
>
> 4. Fuses do not control headlamps. They are protected by a circuit breaker inside the headlamp switch.
>
> 5. white taillamps are Backup Lamps. Let's get those working later. First question, Powerglide or manual shift, if manual then 3 or 4 speed transmission (all have different switches).
>
> 6.All 4 headlamps fail (burn out) at once, VERY VERY rare. I have seen both low beams burn out on cars driven in the city, as people drive with one low beam out for a long time (unless stopped by police or state inspection) since they can see, then the second one goes out, "Hey, my headlamps suddenly died!". But not all 4 high beams....


Your really helped me figure out the turn signal problem, and I thank you!!!
Also, I have a powerglide... in terms of fixing the backup lights

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: RexJohnson ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:05PM

The horn contact just grounds to the steering wheel hub to trip the relay and make the horns work. The metal disc must be touching something metal when it is not being pushed down.

RJ tools
Salem,Oregon

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 04, 2022 10:08PM

RexJohnson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The horn contact just grounds to the steering wheel hub to trip the relay and make the horns work. The metal disc must be touching something metal when it is not being pushed down.


it did seem a little concave on one side. Should it be like that, or complexity flat?

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: junkman ()
Date: September 04, 2022 11:33PM

Concave

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Woodstock CT... Located on the Connecticut / Massachusetts border, approximately 6 miles from the center of Southbridge MA. About 45 minutes from Hartford CT. 1 1/2 hours West of Boston MA. Woodstock CT to Los Angeles CA 2,937.1 miles. 1 Mile as the crow flies to Big Bird's nest.

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Amadeus_Emilio ()
Date: September 09, 2022 02:44PM

junkman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Concave

got it!!, horns work now!!

I fixed the headlights too. bought a new dimmer switch and had to eventually replace the "low" headlights. all he lights work great...excpet the back up lights

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Frank DuVal ()
Date: September 09, 2022 06:06PM

Look at the fuse "box" and see a fuse marked "heater", maybe with B U also. Not heater blower. Replace it. See if backup lamps work, Ignition on, shift lever in R.

Also is there a wire or two connected to the terminal on this fuse?

Frank DuVal

Fredericksburg, VA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/09/2022 06:08PM by Frank DuVal.

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Re: 1960 corvair lights don't work!!
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 10, 2022 03:48AM

If the fuse doesn't fix it, it is either bulbs, wiring or the PG shifter neutral safety switch. The safety switch is on the shifter assembly.

Start with the bulbs, since you just got the car. Last owner may have let them stayed burned out.

If wiring or switch, it will require access to the switch. EM people can tell you how to access the switch, but you need to do an ohm check across the switch with it in reverse. If switch is good, wiring need attention from dash through tunnel to lights. Get a wiring diagram for the car. A copy is in the shop manual.

If no ohms reading (infinity), it is either a bad switch or maladjusted. If switch is maladjusted, you can tell by trying to start the engine in Reverse and Drive. HAVE YOUR FOOT PUSHING THE BRAKE PEDAL, if you attempt this. Or pull coil wire and ground it to body.

If maladjusted or a bad switch, the shifter needs to come out to be adjusted or replaced.

Good luck.

Al
Georgia



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2022 03:51AM by Lane66m.

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