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40Clubcoupe

38 Zephyr headlight switch removal

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I am removing the wiring harness from my 38 Zephyr, so I am nearing the end and trying to remove the headlight switch from the instrument panel. I am mystified at how this switch is removed from the dash. It appears that maybe the knob screws off the switch shaft...but this knob is square and has no room to turn against the other knobs, even with the panel nut behind the knob loosened. It's humbling that something so seemingly simple is such a puzzle. How is this switch removed ?

The Zephyr is perhaps the first car I have encountered that has soldered connections to various components...wires soldered onto headlight switch, dimmer switch, antenna rail. Good thing I bought a 300 watt Weller soldering iron at Hershey a few years ago.

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  I may not be much help but I replaced that light switch 22 years ago on my 38 LZ. , cant remember how I got it out but do remember  it was a bear of a job and I wouldn't want to go back in there for that again.  That nut you have loosened possibly needs to come right off the thread, there could be another nut further inside, then I think the light switch can be moved back and clear of the pull knob shaft. You may have to remove the wiring terminals from the switch. I don't know how much access you have already but  over the years when I have been back in there  I find it easier to remove one or two glove boxes for access. The box doors have to come off first. I then  use a 7/32 ? socket, a torch and a mirror to remove the speedo for greater access. My light switch had burst open, hard to reseal for reliable service but I managed to replace it with a regular everyday  [or night]  light switch, don't tell the judges!! so it does come out!   That shaft from the knob is hollow, the high beam lamp shines thru it to a lens in the finger pull knob, quite arty. the lens is quite often missing or painted over. You have probably have got the switch out by now, it was a long time ago its hard to remember exactly for me,, anyway have fun.  

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Thanks for your reply. Not removed yet. I've been looking and studying this switch for more than a week now. It seems that maybe that hollow shaft you refer to has threads at the switch end, where the shaft and knob could be unscrewed from the switch. But that would mean removing the throttle and choke knobs also so that the switch knob could be rotated. The sliding lever inside the headlight switch that the hollow shaft attaches to looks somewhat flimsy to withstand a lot of twisting torque though. Perhaps a few days of soaking in penetrating oil.

I thought the switch really needed to be removed rather than trying to unsolder wires behind the dash. A hot soldering iron above your head in the dark is an accident waiting to happen.

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The 1940 Ford switch knob comes off with the shaft by pulling it out and turning it 90 degrees and then pulling hard to release it form the switch.

The 1941 and later  Fords, there is a small spring loaded catch that must be released before the knob can come out. The release button is on the top front (the end nearest the engine) of the switch. There is a small hole that you can insert a tool into, press down on the tool while pulling the knob out.

 

I don't know if your 38 Zephyr uses one of these methods or another method, but you can explore these 2 options until some one with a 38 or 39 Zephyr can give you better information.

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Another day in the cold garage struggling to remove the 38 headlight switch.

 

Does the pull knob remove from the shaft?  Does the shaft remove from the switch lever?  Is there a small tab that I can't see that releases the shaft and knob ?  Is this some kind of press-in fit?   Is there any documentation somewhere that tells about this removal ?  Anyone pulled a 38 headlight switch recently ?

 

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