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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone swapped to a 1964-73 style headlight switch on their 1962-63?

As far as I can tell they both have the same 8 wires, just in different positions, so you would just have to get the newer harness (5.99 on Rockauto). The newer switches are much easier to come by & cheaper (AC delco still makes em). PLUS I think it the front parking lights will stay on with the headlights (for safety).

*I've upgraded to a modern 3-wire alternator using the MAD Electrical kit. From what I understand the reason the parking lamps turned off when the headlight came on to go easy on the original regulator, so that should no longer an issue for me.

One thing I'm not sure of is if the newer switch has the same type of circuit breaker as the older style does. So what do you think, will it work, am I missing anything?
 

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I cannot answer about the circuit breaker, but I know of ones done not purposely. Crappy repairs done years ago. Dash harnesses swapped between years. All the upgrade wiring kits come with the later switch.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I cannot answer about the circuit breaker, but I know of ones done not purposely. Crappy repairs done years ago. Dash harnesses swapped between years. All the upgrade wiring kits come with the later switch.
Thanks for confirming it should work. It seems like it would be an improvement to me, especially if they’re using it on upgrade kits.
 

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If the plug for the newer switch has short wires coming out of it, instead of making a splice in the wires maybe see if the connectors interchange between the plastic housings. It seems to me on those connectors there is a little tab inside that serves as a retainer to hold the female terminal in the plastic housing and if when comparing them they are different, someone should sell new ends you could crimp onto the wire ends in the car.

As far as circuit breakers, I would think the circuit breaker size is matched to the wire gauge to where if both switches have the same size wires on them going out to the headlight dimmer switch, then they probably have the same size breakers but if the old switch has let's say a 16 gauge going out to the dimmer switch and the new switch had a 12 gauge, then they probably have different breakers in them. I will also add that I do remember buying a headlight switch plug with some pigtail wires on them for a project car and the wire gauges on the pigtails were smaller than what was factory in the car so watch what you are comparing things to. This is why I said earlier that there should be terminals out there to go into the new style headlight plastic housing and I'm thinking this is what I did. It was just MANY years ago.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If the plug for the newer switch has short wires coming out of it, instead of making a splice in the wires maybe see if the connectors interchange between the plastic housings. It seems to me on those connectors there is a little tab inside that serves as a retainer to hold the female terminal in the plastic housing and if when comparing them they are different, someone should sell new ends you could crimp onto the wire ends in the car.

As far as circuit breakers, I would think the circuit breaker size is matched to the wire gauge to where if both switches have the same size wires on them going out to the headlight dimmer switch, then they probably have the same size breakers but if the old switch has let's say a 16 gauge going out to the dimmer switch and the new switch had a 12 gauge, then they probably have different breakers in them. I will also add that I do remember buying a headlight switch plug with some pigtail wires on them for a project car and the wire gauges on the pigtails were smaller than what was factory in the car so watch what you are comparing things to. This is why I said earlier that there should be terminals out there to go into the new style headlight plastic housing and I'm thinking this is what I did. It was just MANY years ago.

Jim

Thanks Jim, I haven't confirmed if the tabs are the same size or not. I was hoping I could just snap my old connectors into the new housing without doing any splicing. My dad has old some old parts GM parts books and found that the 64+ switches were rated as 6 gauge but no rating was given for the older style switch.

My last question is if the knob length would need to be adjusted. I'm not sure if those changed from 62-64, no manufacturer seems to sell them so I can't compare.

Here's a picture of my old burned up 62-63 headlamp switch. I'm almost positive a leak in my windshield seal is what ultimately caused it. The result was that my high beams would go out with no apparent rhyme or reason.
402587
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think I may need to do this to use my original knob, or at least to keep it from sticking out tot far.
402590
 

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Thanks Jim, I haven't confirmed if the tabs are the same size or not. I was hoping I could just snap my old connectors into the new housing without doing any splicing. My dad has old some old parts GM parts books and found that the 64+ switches were rated as 6 gauge but no rating was given for the older style switch.

My last question is if the knob length would need to be adjusted. I'm not sure if those changed from 62-64, no manufacturer seems to sell them so I can't compare.

Here's a picture of my old burned up 62-63 headlamp switch. I'm almost positive a leak in my windshield seal is what ultimately caused it. The result was that my high beams would go out with no apparent rhyme or reason. View attachment 402587
Yep, I don't know if the terminals are the same or not. I've not had to cross that bridge yet with what you are wanting to do.

On a 55 Chevy I did a while back, it got a newer style headlight switch and while the older knob and shaft worked, the shaft was way too long. We ended up getting the knob off of the old shaft, cut the shaft down on the knob end and then epoxied the knob back on. Some older knobs like one or two in my 68 have set screws in them.

On your switch picture, the one arm going up and down on the left side that goes from steel color to a discolored purple to blue then to a gray with contact buttons on the end should be the breaker arm. When the headlight switch is on then power and current which created heat through this arm will then flow out to the dimmer switch and then to the working headlights. If an overload occurs then the arm will pass more current or amperage which then creates more heat and then due to the design of the arm it then begins to warp or bend to the point that the contact buttons no longer touch each other and then the headlights go off. Now with no current flow the metal arm cools and then straightens out and remakes contact and the headlights then come back on. If the overload is still there then the arm heats up too much again and disconnects and then once cool reconnects. This cycling can go on and onto where it looks like it might have and the arm now has taken on a set curve and is no longer straight like when it was originally made.

A reason I DO not like auto reset breakers is a car I had to look at years ago and the breaker kept cycling and damaged the fuse block which in this corvette was not an easy repair. The damage is in between the two circled spots. From what we could tell it was from a jammed and broken in the on position power seat switch.

Weber Corvette Overloaded Circuit Breaker in Fuse Block (1).jpg
 
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