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1933 Dodge Dome light, how to re-wire?


Sactownog
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On my 33 Plymouth two door sedan the power wire goes up the A pillar on the driver side, runs along the roof line until it makes a 90 degree turn to go to the light. The ground wire goes the other way to the passenger side and is screwed into the body.

 

 I think it would be difficult bordering on impossible to replace those wires with out at least removing the upholstery panels that run along the upper sides of the car and detaching the headliner sides on the front half of the car.

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Does your car make a ground to turn the dome light on? Or does it send power to the light via a switch?

I prefer the ground type switching when ever I rewire a car, with this method you can run door switches easily.

Those little buttons you see on more modern cars simply competes a ground when you open the door and that turns on the interior lights.

You might get lucky and be able to fish a wire or wires from the dome to the pillar without to much bother to the upholstery. Maybe pull new wires with the old wires.

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In my experience on various cars the ground to the frame is more often the bad connection rather than a bad wire.  Make sure you are using the correct double contact bulb not one that grounds through the socket.

Three times I have seen people remove the upholstery and run new wire only to find that it was a ground fault.

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17 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

In my experience on various cars the ground to the frame is more often the bad connection rather than a bad wire.  Make sure you are using the correct double contact bulb not one that grounds through the socket.

Three times I have seen people remove the upholstery and run new wire only to find that it was a ground fault.

If it is like the 33 Plymouth, and I think it is, then it takes a single contact #81 bulb. It has a hot wire from the fuse to the fixture, a switch on the fixture, and a ground wire from the fixture to the steel body (the wood framed roof insert is electrically isolated from the body so it could serve as a radio antenna).

 

Should be easy to check: Remove the lens and bezel (pulls off), remove the screws holding the fixture to the wood frame to get to the wire terminals then use a VOM to check for power on one wire and a good ground on the other.

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I always recommend to start with the easy things first. Maybe you have done these things already? Suggest to remove the light to access the switch and fixture. Using a test light or voltmeter see if you have 6 volts at the wire connection at the light. If you have 6 volts leading to your light your wire is ok. The problem could be the bulb, the switch, the socket or the grounded side of the circuit. To test your grounding you can run a temporary grounded jumper wire from a known ground source and connect it to the switched side of the socket. If the light the light comes you will have to resolve the grounding problem.

If you do not have 6v to the light, look under the dash near the right or left side cowl pillar for the wire that leads to the domelight. This wire must be connected to a power source. Most likely the light switch in the dash. My experience has been connection problems/grounding problems. Not so much the wire itself.

Best of luck. Hopefully you can find the problem without pulling a new wire.

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3 hours ago, knobless said:

Right, it’s been over 20 years since, I had the PD, forgot, and the dome had the tiny on off witch, correct, now I remember, Thanks

Yes, the dome light has an on/off switch located on the light itself.

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