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Thread: Turning reading lights into courtesy lights?

  1. #11
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    That's how the 83's are wired. They have the lights at the backside of the console and come on with the dome light.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by softtouch View Post
    I added a solution in my post.

    I think you are on to something. Maybe I can hack one of the Mark VII reading light switches and put it into the same location without ruining the factory look of the console.
    pro-five-oh

    88 Cougar XR-7...5.0HO, T-56, and much more
    85 Thunderbird 30th...#2471, 29k, all original and might actually stay that way

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    That's how the 83's are wired. They have the lights at the backside of the console and come on with the dome light.
    Hmm...time to see if one of those older buttons is on eBay.
    pro-five-oh

    88 Cougar XR-7...5.0HO, T-56, and much more
    85 Thunderbird 30th...#2471, 29k, all original and might actually stay that way

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro-five-oh View Post
    I think you are on to something. Maybe I can hack one of the Mark VII reading light switches and put it into the same location without ruining the factory look of the console.
    I had a Mark VII and , if I recall correctly, the rear lamps came on with the dome light and also with a switch. There was a rocker switch on each rear sail panel that controlled the lights independently. The Thunderbird/Cougar use a push button single pole on/off switch on the back of the console. Frankly I'm not sure how to make the stock switch function the way you want and retain the factory look. I'm sure it can be done but it's above my head, electrically .
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  5. #15
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    A diode would do it. Really wouldn't be a big deal. Just wire power on with the dome light (bet you could just tap into the ash tray light in the console) and the hook the same power wire up through the switch with a diode in between.
    Quote Originally Posted by jcassity
    I honestly dont think you could exceed the cost of a new car buy installing new *stock* parts everywhere in your coug our tbird. Its just plain impossible. You could revamp the entire drivetrain/engine/suspenstion and still come out ahead.
    Hooligans!
    1988 Crown Vic wagon. 120K California car. Wifes grocery getter. (junked)
    1987 Ford Thunderbird LX. 5.0. s.o., sn-95 t-5 and an f-150 clutch. Driven daily and going strong.
    1986 cougar.
    lilsammywasapunkrocker@yahoo.com

  6. #16
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    leme think...
    i agree with softtouch................

    and

    my first thought is a single wire ran from the overhead dome light "hot" wire
    to............
    rear cpillar lamp "hot" side.

    open door then c pillar lamp comes on.
    close door cpillar lamp goes off.

    push button for rear cpillar lamp and light comes on.........


    with door open and c pillar lamp button pushed on... i dont see any harm in the bulb getting dc power from two sources.

    thoughts on why a single wire solution is wrong?

    havent looked at the evtm yet to see if there is a conflict
    Last edited by jcassity; 10-06-2017 at 09:27 AM.

  7. #17
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    DONE! Here's how you do it:

    1. Get the 3 wire light switch originally from a 1980 Thunderbird: Motorcraft SW-1581 or E0SZ-13713-B
    2. Remove the factory light switch at the back of the console, note the 2-wire plug.
    2. Splice the new switch's green wire to the green wire on the factory 2-wire plug
    3. Splice the new switch's black wire to the other wire (sorry I forgot the color) using the factory 2-wire plug
    4. Test to ensure you retained the reading light functionality retained with the new switch before adding the 3rd wire. (as the 1980 Tbird switch doesn't have a unique color for the 3rd wire)
    5. Run a power wire from the courtesy light that's under the glovebox (it only has one wire) run it under the carpet/console and up to the 2-wire plug.
    6. Connect the power wire to the remaining wire on the switch, by now the switch will no longer be connected to its 3-wire plug.
    7. Gently pry off the 1980's wordless button and switch it out with your "LIGHTS" button so it looks correct. Make sure the spring stays with the button.

    DONE!
    Last edited by pro-five-oh; 10-12-2017 at 10:09 AM.
    pro-five-oh

    88 Cougar XR-7...5.0HO, T-56, and much more
    85 Thunderbird 30th...#2471, 29k, all original and might actually stay that way

  8. #18
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    well thats kinda cool..

    like to see a wire diagram though.......

    good mod!!!

  9. #19
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    There's really no need for a wiring diagram* once you see both switches next to each other.

    *says the guy that's removed his dashboard 3 times
    pro-five-oh

    88 Cougar XR-7...5.0HO, T-56, and much more
    85 Thunderbird 30th...#2471, 29k, all original and might actually stay that way

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pro-five-oh View Post
    DONE! Here's how you do it:

    1. Get the 3 wire light switch originally from a 1980 Thunderbird: Motorcraft SW-1581 or E0SZ-13713-B
    2. Remove the factory light switch at the back of the console, note the 2-wire plug.
    2. Splice the new switch's green wire to the green wire on the factory 2-wire plug
    3. Splice the new switch's black wire to the other wire (sorry I forgot the color) using the factory 2-wire plug
    4. Test to ensure you retained the reading light functionality retained with the new switch before adding the 3rd wire. (as the 1980 Tbird switch doesn't have a unique color for the 3rd wire)
    5. Run a power wire from the courtesy light that's under the glovebox (it only has one wire) run it under the carpet/console and up to the 2-wire plug.
    6. Connect the power wire to the remaining wire on the switch, by now the switch will no longer be connected to its 3-wire plug.
    7. Gently pry off the 1980's wordless button and switch it out with your "LIGHTS" button so it looks correct. Make sure the spring stays with the button.

    DONE!
    Cool. Glad you figured it out. I'll add this to the list of little thing I want to do to the car.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

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