Golden Lion Grrrages
F & G Headlight Switches
More than you ever want to know

There is a lot going on with our headlight switches. In 1962, Chrysler went to a modular connector on the headlight switch so you can't mess up the wiring connections. But if you look at a 60 or 61 switch, there are all these wires that could easily go on the wrong post. Things are not as bad as you think.

Here is a picture of the 1960 wiring schematic for the headlight switch. The 61 is slightly different but first let's work on the 60.

The "B" terminal is actually a nut and screw post. It connects to the battery and is the main power source for the car. A second wire runs from the post to feed power to the ignition switch.
The "AUX" terminal feeds power to the brake light switch through the D-3 wire . The AUX and the B terminals are always connected inside the switch. If B is hot, AUX is hot; you always want your stop lights to work.
The "P" terminal feeds the front parking lights (wire L-6) and the ignition switch light (wire E-2). When the pull knob is out one notch, B and P connect. When the pull knob is out two notches, B and P are not connected.
The "H" terminal feeds the headlights (wire L-2) after it goes through the highbeam switch. When the pull knob is out two notches, B and H are connected.
The "T" terminal feeds the tail lights (wire L-7). B and T are connected when the pull switch is out one notch or two notches.
The wires coming off of the "I" terminal run the electroluminescent power pack as well as the lamps for the transmission and heater push button arrays. They work off of the dimmer rheostat when the pull switch is out one notch or two notches. The rheostat is a weak link on these switches. If you are having trouble with the electroluminescent panel or the pushbutton lights, put a jumper between "B" and "I". If you get lights, the problem could be with the rheostat or internal to the headlight switch.

You can see the posts are labeled. There are differences in switches, probably from manufacturer to manufacturer. For instance, this switch has an "R" terminal but no "T" terminal. A quick continuity test will confirm if on this switch "R" is the same as "T".

Let's take a look at the 1961 wiring diagram.

Our "B", "AUX", "P", and "H" posts are the same as 1960. "T" runs the tail lights as well as the light in the autopilot control. According to the diagram they now separate out the rheostatic feed to the electrolum power pack (wire E-2A) and have another rheostatic feed to the trans and heater push button lamps (wire E-2). I have never seen a switch like this, with a primary and secondary rheostat but I know you can use a 1960 style on a 1961 just fine.

You can see the wiring isn't all that complicated. Once you take care of the "B", "AUX", "P", and "H" posts you have only the "T" and "I" to deal with. You know the "T" isn't in the circuit of the rheostat so a quick ohm test will tell you which terminal you want. Button up the "I" and you are home free.

In case you'd like to hear more, the "AUX", head lights "H" and tail lights "T" are protected by internal thermal circuit breakers of about 20 amperes . In the event of a short they will keep trying to click back on. Beside the brake lights , the "AUX" terminal also feeds the dome lights in some cars.

Working the dash dimmer back and forth rapidly 15-20 times will often clean off corrosion and restore operation.

If the light bulbs in the push button arrays for the transmission and heater are working but the panelescent lights are not, most likely the switch is ok and the problem is in the EL lighting system. The capacitor inside the EL power supply is easy to fix, and if the original Bendix white capacitor is still there it is almost always bad.

For the G there is a fuse near the El supply which is not on the wiring diagram. It is usually taped to the harness. If you have a blown fuse, expect a bad EL power supply.

If your panelescent lights operate with the rheostat full on but fail as the rheostat is rotated to dim, the rheostat is burned out or corroded. The simple fix is to leave the rheostat full on -- you won't hurt anything.

If your panelescent lights do not operate with the rheostat full on, expect other problems in the rheostat. If you do not want to change the headlight switch, you can move the orange wire(s) (E-2) to the tail light flag. The dash lights will come on with tail lights, bypassing the rheostat completely. A device called a 1/4” connector “ chair” is used to add spaces for more wires to a single terminal.

You can find more information on F G H headlight switches here.