Headlight Switch

Headlight Switch

Niedhogg

Old Time Jeeper
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Location
Thor, Iowa
Vehicle(s)
'79 Jeep CJ7 Renegade with 304ci V8, TH400 auto, Quadratrac T-case, Stock 20 and 30 rears with no mods yet, not sure of the gear ratio.. 4" Softride Superlift, w/widetrac shock towers and 35x12.50x15 BFG Mud-Terrains

'76 CJ5, 232 ci, T-150 3-speed, D20 T-case, Corp. 20 rear w/full float axles and lockout hubs and Detroit auto locker, D30 front w/lockout hubs, gear ratio is unknown..
So I bought a new switch, because it seemed like it wan't working.. you know how you should feel a positive engagement when you pull or push the knob, like one click and the parking lights come on, and then the second click the headlights come on, right?? So I wasn't getting this with the old switch, in fact the whole rod just pulls right out of the switch, besides the non-engagement, so I'm thinking it's screwed up internally.. so the new switch, I install it into the dash, and then slide the rod into the switch and try to work it, and nothing... exactly the same thing, no physical engagement and the rod pulls right out still.. I don't get it, is the rod bad? it has a notch on the end of it that I would guess is what is supposed to engage the switch, and there is a small spring loaded button on the back side that maybe is supposed to release this rod??

What's the deal??:confused:
 
I changed mine yesterday and the same thing happened. Finally took it out and pushed the released button while inserting rod and it finally worked.
 
I changed mine yesterday and the same thing happened. Finally took it out and pushed the released button while inserting rod and it finally worked.

That's it exactly. Did it with mine too....Looked like an idgit for about an hour.
 
That's it exactly. Did it with mine too....Looked like an idgit for about an hour.

I seriously cannot get mine to catch... I am seriously going to sell this Jeep!


...just kidding, that's what I tell my son everytime something doesn't work right :D, so if you ever get a chance to hang out with me while I'm working on this damn thing, good chance you'll get a deal on a CJ7...LOL!
 
FYI: There are two light switches listed at Morris 4x4: one has the brass terminal connector. The PO had put the wrong switch in mine....actually when stripped mine down he had two CJ5's: a 77 and a 28. I think he put in the wrong switch from the later model. Hence I couldn't get it to work. Ordered the right switch with right knob length and hit the little release on the side and Voila: working headlights. The arm length of the two knobs are different. Perhaps that is where you problem lies. Just sayin'....Nothin' is for certain, except death, taxes and the idea that this won't be the last time you scream in exasperation, "I am going to sell this jeep." HAHAHa:chug:
 
FYI: There are two light switches listed at Morris 4x4: one has the brass terminal connector. The PO had put the wrong switch in mine....actually when stripped mine down he had two CJ5's: a 77 and a 28. I think he put in the wrong switch from the later model. Hence I couldn't get it to work. Ordered the right switch with right knob length and hit the little release on the side and Voila: working headlights. The arm length of the two knobs are different. Perhaps that is where you problem lies. Just sayin'....Nothin' is for certain, except death, taxes and the idea that this won't be the last time you scream in exasperation, "I am going to sell this jeep." HAHAHa:chug:

Not 28! I meant late 78.
 
FYI: There are two light switches listed at Morris 4x4: one has the brass terminal connector. The PO had put the wrong switch in mine....actually when stripped mine down he had two CJ5's: a 77 and a 28. I think he put in the wrong switch from the later model. Hence I couldn't get it to work. Ordered the right switch with right knob length and hit the little release on the side and Voila: working headlights. The arm length of the two knobs are different. Perhaps that is where you problem lies. Just sayin'....Nothin' is for certain, except death, taxes and the idea that this won't be the last time you scream in exasperation, "I am going to sell this jeep." HAHAHa:chug:
OMG, are you serious? I had the other switch here at the house! The one that was in the Jeep had the brass terminal connector, and had the same problem, the knob wouldn't catch so i thought the switch was bad. I called my son from the parts store to look and see if it had that or not, he promtly looked at the wiper switch and said no. Then I got home with the switch without the brass terminal, looked at my old switch and said to my son "WTF?", and then took it back. I didn't even try it... Could you verify which one I need? I was wondering why they were different, looking at both of them on the parts counter... I just got the one I had, and thought was bad..
 
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-lighting-parts/jeep-cj/factory-replacement.html

Here's the link. I am not certain what the distinction is. I do know that on my 77 the non-brass terminal switch didn't work. I couldn't get the rod to seat. You say yours is a 79, but if you have the brass terminal connector on the switch you are replacing, it would follow that that is the one you would need. (Note: are you using the cheap plastic knob and rod assembly that came with the replacement switch or are you using the assembly from the old switch?)
 
http://www.jeep4x4center.com/jeep-lighting-parts/jeep-cj/factory-replacement.html

Here's the link. I am not certain what the distinction is. I do know that on my 77 the non-brass terminal switch didn't work. I couldn't get the rod to seat. You say yours is a 79, but if you have the brass terminal connector on the switch you are replacing, it would follow that that is the one you would need. (Note: are you using the cheap plastic knob and rod assembly that came with the replacement switch or are you using the assembly from the old switch?)

My new switch did not come with a new rod and knob assembly, so I am using the rod I already had. Now understand this, the switch I had in my jeep has the brass terminal AND the rod would NOT engage that switch either. This is the reason I thought my switch was bad to begin with, so, this is now my dilema, did I even have the right switch in the jeep to begin with?

P.S. morris shows both switches, the one with the brass terminal is for yrs '73-'79... the one without the brass terminal is for yrs, now get this... '79-'86... great help there.. LOL
 
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My new switch did not come with a new rod and knob assembly, so I am using the rod I already had. Now understand this, the switch I had in my jeep has the brass terminal AND the rod would NOT engage that switch either. This is the reason I thought my switch was bad to begin with, so, this is now my dilema, did I even have the right switch in the jeep to begin with?

P.S. your link doesn't work...

Morris 4x4 CJ parts you can find it.

As for your query, just so we are clear here: "Your switch never worked. Right?" Then you probably had the wrong switch. You need the non-brass connector as recommended for a 79 CJ7.

Here's that link again:
Jeep CJ5, CJ7 & CJ8 Scrambler Lighting Parts & Accessories

:chug:
 
It's not that the switch does not go with the jeep it's that the switch does not go with the knob.:D
If all else fails pull the knob from a grave yard Cherokee, 97 or so, they are noticeably longer.:cool:
 
It's not that the switch does not go with the jeep it's that the switch does not go with the knob.:D
If all else fails pull the knob from a grave yard Cherokee, 97 or so, they are noticeably longer.:cool:

Ok, well, that's all fine and dandy, but how do you know this switch even goes with my Jeep? Morris shows the other switch for my Jeep as well, so which is it? What's the brass terminal on the one switch for? does it burn up my wire harness when I plug it in and turn it on??:eek:
 
there is nothing to say that the lights will work or self destruct when you turn them on but that has a lot more to do with the way you and/or the PO have maintained the wiring than the switch, I believe.
That is a pretty generic GM switch as I recall and if the plug matches the switch I would bet lunch that the switch will open and close all the same contacts. The service manual diagrams will tell you what does what and 10 or 15 minutes with an ohm meter will pretty much tell you what is what with the switch.:cool:
 
there is nothing to say that the lights will work or self destruct when you turn them on but that has a lot more to do with the way you and/or the PO have maintained the wiring than the switch, I believe.
That is a pretty generic GM switch as I recall and if the plug matches the switch I would bet lunch that the switch will open and close all the same contacts. The service manual diagrams will tell you what does what and 10 or 15 minutes with an ohm meter will pretty much tell you what is what with the switch.:cool:

Well the plug matches both switches, so I pretty much can't go wrong.. I found a wiring schematic for a '79 last night as well that shows that brass connection between the terminals, and it looks like it's for cabin lights, which my Jeep has as well. So I was at my local Napa today, and asked the guy about these switches, he looked them up but nobody sells the rods, or plungers for them, so I asked if he knew a local junk yard and he called the local guy who had a CJ in his yard. Went out there and pulled the switch to check it out. No brass tab, but the same switch with a rod, and started playing with it, in and out, then pushed the button and pulled out the rod and then re-inserted it with out pushing the button in and it did exactly what mine has been doing, it didn't engage but it pushed in the mechanism to the off position which is most likely what happened to mine. There was, however, a bit of rod showing at this point, and I forced it in all the way and it engaged the mechanism like it should and the switch worked like it should. So at least now I understand how it works, so when I got home I started messing with mine and found that when the rod was inserted, it was in as far as it could go and wouldn't engage. So I unfortunately had to force the knob off of the rod, and then forced the rod into the switch where it finally engaged the mechanism... now i say unfortunately because I hate doing this to a knob that is factory installed in this fashion, there is no clip or set screw, I imagine it's most likely heated up and then pushed, or melted into the soft plastic for a permanent set. This will undoubtedly cause my knob to readily come off at some point in the future now, which is too bad. Maybe I could reheat it the rod and reset it at some point, I don't know, but at least for now I have a working headlight switch. :D
 
Well the plug matches both switches, so I pretty much can't go wrong.. I found a wiring schematic for a '79 last night as well that shows that brass connection between the terminals, and it looks like it's for cabin lights, which my Jeep has as well. So I was at my local Napa today, and asked the guy about these switches, he looked them up but nobody sells the rods, or plungers for them, so I asked if he knew a local junk yard and he called the local guy who had a CJ in his yard. Went out there and pulled the switch to check it out. No brass tab, but the same switch with a rod, and started playing with it, in and out, then pushed the button and pulled out the rod and then re-inserted it with out pushing the button in and it did exactly what mine has been doing, it didn't engage but it pushed in the mechanism to the off position which is most likely what happened to mine. There was, however, a bit of rod showing at this point, and I forced it in all the way and it engaged the mechanism like it should and the switch worked like it should. So at least now I understand how it works, so when I got home I started messing with mine and found that when the rod was inserted, it was in as far as it could go and wouldn't engage. So I unfortunately had to force the knob off of the rod, and then forced the rod into the switch where it finally engaged the mechanism... now i say unfortunately because I hate doing this to a knob that is factory installed in this fashion, there is no clip or set screw, I imagine it's most likely heated up and then pushed, or melted into the soft plastic for a permanent set. This will undoubtedly cause my knob to readily come off at some point in the future now, which is too bad. Maybe I could reheat it the rod and reset it at some point, I don't know, but at least for now I have a working headlight switch. :D

New Switch came with the rod and the cheap chinese knob. I cut the cheap chinese knob off and replaced it with the factory one. A little two part epoxy and it is good to go.
 
New Switch came with the rod and the cheap chinese knob. I cut the cheap chinese knob off and replaced it with the factory one. A little two part epoxy and it is good to go.

I wonder why mine didn't come with a new rod? Oh well, it's working and epoxy is the ticket for mine too.
 
I can't get the little rod to come out of my switch

If you have it out of the dash, you should see a spring loaded button on the back.. pull the knob out as far as it will go normally, and then hold that little button in and pull the shaft from the swith. It should be that easy. :D
 
I've tried that, I guess I need to grab it with pliers and pull
 

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