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#1155895 Sun Mar 20 2016 06:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 123
Last night I was driving around my '54 3800. The dash lights were working. I stopped at the gas station, turned the lights off. When I got back in the truck I pulled them on and the dash lights didn't go on. Headlights and all still work. I'm assuming that the bulb (s) blew? I can't find anywhere in the manuals about where the lights are. How should I fix this problem?

1942 BK 1/2 Ton Pickup
1954 3800 1 Ton Pickup
1942ChevyPfost #1155898 Sun Mar 20 2016 06:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 16,156
It seems odd that all of the bulbs would go bad at one time. I had the same problem with my 52panel and it turns out the NEW light switch is defective. I could twist the knob back and forth and would "sometime" see the dash lights flicker.
Perhaps you have the same problem??
...and of course, check the fuse panel for a bad fuse.

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1950 Chevy Coupe
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I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
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1942ChevyPfost #1155900 Sun Mar 20 2016 06:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 123
So I'm a beginner in a lot of this but the first thing I thought of was a bad fuse, however, didn't think this truck had fuses. Would they be under the hood in the black box attached to the fire wall?

1942 BK 1/2 Ton Pickup
1954 3800 1 Ton Pickup
1942ChevyPfost #1155901 Sun Mar 20 2016 06:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 182

See if you have voltage at the instrument light terminal [ shown upper right, Fig. 62 ].


1942ChevyPfost #1155908 Sun Mar 20 2016 07:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 27,003
Kettle Custodian (pot stirrer)
The dimmer rheostat on the light switch stalk is the most common cause. Try twisting the knob back and forth vigorously to see if you can rub away some of the corrosion. If that doesn't work, get a mirror up under the dash and look at the back of the light switch- - - -some of them have a built-in fuse for the dash lights. Last resort is a new switch.

"It is better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and eliminate all doubt!" - Abraham Lincoln
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1942ChevyPfost #1156103 Mon Mar 21 2016 09:11 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 123
It was the dimmer switch, it now works with a little wiggling back and forth. Thanks!

1942 BK 1/2 Ton Pickup
1954 3800 1 Ton Pickup
1942ChevyPfost #1156107 Mon Mar 21 2016 09:19 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 31,815
Bubba - Curmudgeon
If you can remove the knob, you could spray this rheostat cleaner/lubricant (or something like it - preferably with no silicone) to clean the oxidized contact surfaces.

Tim []
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. []
1942ChevyPfost #1156202 Tue Mar 22 2016 02:57 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 123
Good to know! I'll try it!

1942 BK 1/2 Ton Pickup
1954 3800 1 Ton Pickup
1942ChevyPfost #1156961 Sat Mar 26 2016 08:53 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,749
Yep the light switch. Common fails: dirty, burned out resistor and, loose wiper. On the AD type there is a "circuit" breaker like bit. Those contacts can get burned and dirty as well. Isopropyl based works well. No power when using please, it will burn until dry. Drys fast and cuts oils/grease, no silicone.

Steve H

Moderated by  Jon G, Rusty Rod 

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