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Thread: Head Light Switch Replacement: HELP!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    94

    Default Head Light Switch Replacement: HELP!

    I've decided to come in and have a cold drink to calm down...nothing is simple on this damn car.

    Patient: 1972 Buick Centurion Convertible.
    Problem: The Tail Lights and Dash Lights do not work.
    Diagnosis: Headlights work, Brights work, Interior Lights Work (when door is open and from the headlight switch). Flashers work, brake lights work, turn signals work. Fuses checked and all ok...I even replaced a few for good measure.
    I'm pretty sure it's the headlight switch.

    Procedure:

    Disconnect Neg Battery Cable
    Remove Headlight Switch Plunger by pulling it all the way out, reaching under dash to press release button to fully remove it.
    Use Large Flat Head Screwdriver to unscrew escutcheon.
    Removed Dash Pad
    Loosened the IP (four small 1/4" screws with hex head)

    Disconnected the wiring harness

    The damn switch won't budge! From what I can see and feel, nothing else is connecting it to the dash...but it won't move. I need your help. HOW TO REMOVE THE HEADLIGHT SWITCH??? Here are some pics:

    Royalton-20150719-00657.jpg
    Last edited by RadRiv455; 07-19-2015 at 01:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    94

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    94

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
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    Default

    I think I've narrowed it down to something other than the switch...however, if anyone knows how to remove the switch, I'd still like to know.

    I disconnected the wiring harness to the light switch, plugged it into the new one, hooked up battery, and the same problem occurred. I've got to have a short in the system somewhere. Ug.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Saint Charles, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    2,039

    Default

    You do not unscrew anything behind the dash to remove the switch. All you need to do is unplug it from the back and remove the nut that is behind the bezel you have already removed. It will then come out from the back side. Also, the dash pad does not have to to come off.
    Adam Martin
    BPG# 1358
    BCA# 39765
    1970 Buick Skylark Custom 455 Coupe


  6. #6

    Default

    I can't tell you the number of times I wish I had stepped away when a repair was frustrating me, well done.

    There is a large nut behind the face plate. The faceplate is the large piece with the wood grain on it. The first step to removing the faceplate is to remove the first threaded knob on the headlight switch and you've done that. Now the faceplate pulls straight out of the dash. Be patient and move carefully and you can avoid breaking any of the clips that hold it in place. Watch out for anything attached to the faceplate. There is some plastic webbing used to light up some of the labels (at least there were in my '73). Once the faceplate is out you'll see a large nut holding the headlight switch in place. If you have a large enough socket it should come out fairly easily. If I remember correctly it is threaded onto plastic so you don't want it to be much more than finger tight.

    If you remove the faceplate a little silver touch up paint can fill in the areas where it has worn thin. Convertibles are particularly prone to wear and fading on these faceplates.



    Good luck,
    Livin' Large.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Saint Charles, Missouri, United States
    Posts
    2,039

    Default

    Thanks for the clarification on the faceplate. I forgot that it has to be removed. Can you tell I haven't had one of these in a few years?
    Adam Martin
    BPG# 1358
    BCA# 39765
    1970 Buick Skylark Custom 455 Coupe


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Guys, thanks for your help...I am absolutely floored.
    So, the wood panel comes off. Damn. How easy is that? It's frustrating because in both of my 1972 manuals...it says nothing about a large nut or taking off the panel. Evil.

    Thanks again.

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