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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I was in the boneyard and found the drivers and passengers courtesy lights under the dash of a 73 SS Nova, so I snatched them up to put in my 71 SS. Those things are expensive...even the mounting bracket for each. Hate to sound like an idiot but can't figure out the wiring process. The passenger light has a white and orange wire. The white branched off as two separate white wires., one of which I hooked to the door jamb button that was also white. The orange....don't know.

The drivers side light had a junction connection. One white and one orange, but came out of the junction with 2 of each.

The drivers jamb button has two wires, one white and the other white with a black stripe.

I looked at some schematics but they don't match the wire colors of the car and the wires in my car are definately original. This would be great to have working, especially since the interior is black.

Any help would be appreciated fellas
 

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On your added lights, they should have two wires (probably a white and an orange) and these two wires will wire in parallel on the existing white and orange on the dome light.

Basically, the orange is a constant hot and the white when grounded makes the light come on.

The reason you found two wires on the pin switch in the driver's door jamb is it is used for two different circuits. One circuit is for the dome light and the other for the key buzzer. The passenger door will only have the white wire.

If I were to add these lights, I would maybe pull the driver's door sill plate and in the channel there will be an orange and a white as well as other wires for the rear lights on the car. Basically you will extend off of these two wires to each of your underdash lights and now when the door is opened, the underdash lights will come on as well as the roof dome light.

Before you put make the connections, see if the orange shows 12V and then see if you have a ground on the white wire providing the driver's door switch is working and the driver's door is open.

Ideally, after testing, disconnect the battery and then do the work and reconnect the battery. The orange wire is fused but sometimes it easier to disconnect the battery instead of figuring out what fuse is for the orange wire and then removing it.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Courtesy lights

Works just as you described, buuuuuutttt, the lights don't go out when the doors are closed. When I bought the car, I noticed he didn't have the dome light bulb in place which I figured out its because it won't go off with the doors closed. Could it be a bad light switch on the dash?:mad:
 

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Works just as you described, buuuuuutttt, the lights don't go out when the doors are closed. When I bought the car, I noticed he didn't have the dome light bulb in place which I figured out its because it won't go off with the doors closed. Could it be a bad light switch on the dash?:mad:
If the car has 2 doors, with pin switches in both front door jambs, then there are 3 ways the dome light should be able to come on.

You have a dome light activation wire (white) going to a terminal on the headlight switch. If the headlight switch knob is rotated fully counterclockwise you will feel a click and then when this happens a switch in the headlight switch gets connected to a ground and the dome light comes on. If then the headlight switch knob is rotated a little bit clockwise, it will click and then this ground gets disconnected and the dome light "should" go off.

Another way the dome light can come on is from a ground being created by either front door pin switch. On these when the plunger is out, then a ground is connected on the white wire for the dome light and the dome light comes on. An issue I have seen with the door jamb switches are they are self adjusting in that when made, the plunger sleeve has the plunger sticking out more than normal. Once the switch is installed and the door is closed, this friction fit of the plunger sleeve slides past the nut and then since the door cannot close any more the switch takes a setting. Now when the door is opened, the switch connects a ground and the dome light comes on. What I have seen happen is either from an old switch or readjusting a door or from someone shoving their foot in there to keep the plunger depressed is the sleeve becomes pushed in too far resulting in a dome light that stays on all of the time. Since you will not know if one or both of the front doors have pin switch issues is one person needs to be on one side with that door open and them then pushing the door switch plunger all the way in and then a second person opening the other door and pushing in on that switch by hand.

If for some reason pushing in both door switches and making sure the dome light switch portion of the headlight switch is not an issue is the white dome light activation wire could be pinched and shorted to ground.

In very rare cases I have seen, and there is a GM bulletin on this, is the plating on the dome light housing could be an issue. I will try and find the bulletin I have for my car and post the info.

If the door pin switches are bad or old and worn out, Well's has replacement ones with the driver's side having the dual terminals and then another model for the passenger side which is a single terminal. Just for your info, you CANNOT connect both of the pin switch wires on the driver's pin switch together as the two wires are two separate circuits and must be kept isolated from each other.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Lights

Wow, thanks for that lengthy reply Jim...didn't want to put you out of your way on a Sunday afternoon, but thanks again. I did notice that there is a pretty thick white wire running under the dash all the way over to the passenger side. Looks like it runs into the tape covered harness by the drivers kick panel. Kinda has me wondering what the issue is why the dome won't go out when doors are closed.....
 

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Lights

Got it Jim...everything works great now. Again, thanks a million!! I just hope I can return the favor to someone here
 

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Got it Jim...everything works great now. Again, thanks a million!! I just hope I can return the favor to someone here
No problem. I'm recovering from walking a few miles today at a swap meet, cutting the grass, and trimming back the neighbors vines that they allow to grow onto my property.

OK, the BIG question. WHAT WAS IT ?????????

Jim
 
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