'32 903 interior lighting.......

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I’m helping a local friend with a 1932 903 5-passenger sedan that has erratic operation of the dome light, rear quarter-lights, running board lights and rear seat lighters. In addition to these lights operating in erratic patterns, at times the ammeter will jump to a -10 indicating excessive current draw (short)!

We’ve identified two wires bringing power to the rear passenger compartment; one from the headlight switch (“hot” only when switch is “on”) and another “always-hot” wire that comes off the ammeter (and should probably be fused). Unfortunately, the wiring diagram doesn’t cover wiring to the interior. So we have the task of sorting all this out and are seeking clarifying information:


1) With headlights "on," does opening either rear door turn-on the dome light and/or the quarter-lights above rear seat?


2) Or, does opening a rear door operate only the running board lights? If so, do both lights come "on" if either door is opened, or only one light? (I'm assuming those lights are also powered off the headlight switch.....right)?


3) IF the dome and rear quarter lights are NOT operated by the door switches, I assume they're operated by the finger switches on the "B" pillars. Are the dome and quarter lights operated by specific switches or do both sets of lights activate when either "B" pillar switch is flipped?


To further complicate matters, both wires at each rear seat lighter are grounded but one would normally receive always-on power (for safety, we'll keep each lighter's circuit de-activated). And all this wiring is behind upholstery...........


Any wiring-wisdom greatly appreciated! Bill.


Edited by Spitfire8
updated for new information (see edit history)

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I own a '27 Packard 343-290 touring. My answer may not be germaine, but my interior lights only function when the headlight switch is turned on

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I have yet to find a prewar Packard schematic showing all interior body lights or most accessories.  That is probably because so many lights were optional and Packard usually provided option schematics separately with the option installation instructions so they never made it into manuals.  The 903 AEA wiring diagram on this site just shows two courtesy lights with two door switches,  two dash lights and a switch and a reading light and switch.   The courtesy lights and switches are in parallel so both lights operate when either door opens. Unclear if those are in the front or rear door or if the lights are in or outside.  Dash lights operate off their switch as does the reading light operate off it's switch.  Dash and courtesy are fed off the headlight switch so only works with lights on.  The reading light is powered all the time so can be turned on whenever.   There is a body feed wire also powered from the same place as the reading light so hot all the time and that would go to any extra interior lights and in postwar cars at least, also fed the rear seat lighters.

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