Lights don't work at all! I've only had the car around the block 3 times. Are the lights dependent upon the switch selector? Mag/Dim/Bat?
I have a distributer.I have a switch on the console.-i.e-onn/off for the lights.
I know it's a dumb question but what am I doing wrong???
Hello Mike. You have two controls there which are confusing.
First is the key. It can be turned to the left for MAG (magneto powered ignition), center is OFF and turned to the right is BAT (battery supplied ignition).
Also you have the lights which are controlled by the lever. To the left is DIM, center is OFF and to the right is ON.
What I picked up from your post is that whoever changed the car to distributor in place of the original buzz coils, added an on/off toggle switch for the lights. Am I right so far?
It's possible the original light switch, which is the lever below the ignition key, no longer does anything -- or it could function normally, just using the toggle switch as a Master cut-off. Only an investigation of the wiring can tell you.
If all the lights don't work but used to, I'd suspect either a loose connection somewhere, or a blown fuse.
The car originally didn't have a fuse. Many of us added one, usually but not always located right next to the foot-operated starter switch. Crawl under to check for that, and while you're there, jiggle the wires and see if any are loose.
There are multiple places in the wiring where a loose connection can occur. You might start by taking a screw driver to the screws on the terminal block in the engine compartment, just above where the steering column comes through.
If not there, you'll need to look at the back of the switch panel. Before you do, remove the grounding cable from the battery so you can't fry things, and be sure to have the floor boards in place, because you will positively drop something, usually a nut.
Take out the four bolts holding the switch panel in place, and swing it down on the wires. First, check all the connections for tightness, and look for burnt wires or insulation.
If everything is tight and looks good, you can go to the next step. I'd tell you to first disconnect the wire from the magneto post, but since you have a distributor you may not have a working magneto.
Then re-connect the battery. Being very careful not to short things to bare metal, you can use a test light or meter to see whether there is juice to the light switch, and whether it passes juice to the lights when turned on. This is tricky, because your car's wiring has been tampered with (the toggle switch) and you'll have to do some detective work.
Good luck, and write back if you don't find the problem - there are a few other things we can try.
Is the prior owner close enough so he could show you again? I suspect the wiring has been changed from the original setup.
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