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Thread: HOW TO: make your parking lights stay on with your headlights! 5 minute, super easy mod!

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    HOW TO: make your parking lights stay on with your headlights! 5 minute, super easy mod!

    Have you ever noticed that when you turn your headlights on, the parking lights go off?



    The factory wired your van like this because the factory alternator back in the 60's did not put out much juice... and this was a way to save on the amount of power required to run the lights, heater fan, radio and spark the ignition.

    If you have upgraded your alternator, then you can now re-wire your headlight switch to make your parking lights stay on with your headlights... which looks better, and is also safer for night driving. This mod is super simple and easy. It takes about five minutes with only a couple simple tools.

    Step one:

    Crawl under your dash and find the headlight switch. There is a spring loaded small button, press and hold this button and this will allow the headlight knob to come all the way out of the switch.



    Pull the headlight knob to the on position and depress the small button under the dash, pull the headlight on/off knob all the way out.



    Now, with a large flat screwdriver, or some needle-nose pliers, unscrew the retaining nut that holds the headlight switch assembly to the dash. Turn it counter-clockwise to loosen it. Use caution not to scratch or marr the washer behind it, which is made of soft aluminum.

    They probably make a special tool for this, but I didn't have it, so I just used what I had on hand, which was a screwdriver. Sometimes this nut can be stuck pretty tight and not want to let go, so you may have to use penetrating oil and work at it a little.




    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  2. #2
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    OK, now remove the switch assembly from the dash and let it hang down.

    You will notice two purple wires going together into one socket on the plug on the back of the headlight switch. These purple wires go to the front parking lights.



    Pull the plug off the headlight switch and set the switch aside. Your headlights will go off now so you don't drain your battery.

    The plan is to remove the purple wires' spade connector out of the hole that it is currently in and install it in the blank hole in the center bottom of the plug... next to the orange wires.



    Turn the plug over and using a very small flat blade screwdriver or a small poker tool, release the little holding tab on the spade connector. This tab holds the connector into the plug. The hole on the plug is shaped kind of like a top hat. you want to work your small screwdriver into the smaller top portion of the hat, this is where the little tang on the spade connector is. You can push in on the purple wires as you work your screwdriver into the hole to try and get the little tang to release. Once it releases, the purple wires and their spade connector should pull easily out of the plug.



    Once you have removed the spade connector with the purple wires out of the hole, use your mini screwdriver or poker tool bend the tang out a little bit, so it will lock into the plug when you re-install it in the new hole.

    Last edited by kookykrispy; 11-05-2011 at 06:24 PM.



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  3. #3
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Install the purple wires and spade connector into the new hole in the center lower part of the plug... next to the orange wires. It should just push in and lock into place. Make sure not to put it in upside-down.



    Here it is with the purple wires now installed in the new hole, ready to reassemble!



    Your plug should now look like this:


    Put it all back together and your parking lights will now stay on with your headlights!




    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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    VCVC Member Kustomizer's Avatar
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    Cool tip!! I'll add that to my winter list of to-do's!

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    Van Addict Lesabre Lar''s Avatar
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    very cool! once i get some lenses and put bulbs in my park lights ill be doing this for sure.

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    VCVC Member eddieg's Avatar
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    Cool

    Kewl Beans
    a list for the Early this winter...

  7. #7
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  8. #8
    VCVC Member TurboVan's Avatar
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    Nice!!!
    Keep one foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold...

    '65 Panel, with turbocharged 327 (originally 153 four), TH400 (originally 3-speed), and 3.31 '67 Camaro 12 bolt rear (my first car, 1970)
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...meE_Jf-hgJU2mG

    '69 Sportvan 108 with turbocharged original 250 six and 700R4 (originally Powerglide), 3.73 rear, starred in eight Taco Bell commercials
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDfPJ3xmwjY


  9. #9
    VCVC Member
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    that is a very clever idea. how did you figure that one out joe? also, can you just unplug the harness from the back of the headlight switch and perform the change or does the switch have to come out to do this? thanks for posting this. john

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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    If you can get the plug off the switch, with the switch still installed, then yes you can just simply swap the wires. I removed the whole switch, since its so easy to take out, so I could see what I was doing easier and made sure the wires were going to the right location.. I tested that everything worked ok before putting it back in the dash.

    I have to give Taz some credit here. He told me about this mod being possible when I was at CofC last year in L.A.

    I noticed the plug on my '65 has wires in a little bit different location. There still is a place to swap the purple wires to just the same, but the plug is of a somewhat different design. I'll post a couple pics of the 65's plug and switch later for reference.



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  11. #11
    VCVC Member ron bonomo's Avatar
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    great idea <<<
    1964 chevy g10 , straight 6 250, 3 on the tree

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    VCVC Member lvjjj's Avatar
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    I've always wondered what the purpose is for having the parking lites on with headlites. I don't like it because it tends to cut down on the effectiveness of the turn signal lite, so it's hard to tell if the on-coming car is going to turn or not.
    LARRY OF THE PACIFIC NW
    1965, 292, TH350
    purchased Nov. 22, 1970

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    VCVC Member 66NO-DICE's Avatar
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    I like the running lights on with the headlights.

    I don't think so. The running light is not as bright as the turn signal light. If you look at your bulb, there are two elements, one is a very thinly wound element, for the running lights, and the other is a much thicker, and when lit, much brighter light for turn signals. Thank you for the tip Kookykrispy, it did take 5 minutes, maybe less. Keep in mind the running light will still work by themselves for driving at dusk.
    66NO-DICE

  14. #14
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up WIRING on a 1965:

    the '65 wires are just a little different. Note the locations of the individual wires. The brown wire (tail lights) is in a slightly different location than in my '64... no problem. The two holes are connected to each other on the circuitry of the headlight switch, so they both do the same thing. The process is exactly the same... simply move the purple wire to the available unused hole!

    Before:




    Move the purple wire to the empty hole and your plug should now look like this:




    Have fun and keep on truckin!
    Last edited by kookykrispy; 11-07-2011 at 08:59 PM.



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  15. #15
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesabre Lar' View Post
    very cool! once i get some lenses and put bulbs in my park lights ill be doing this for sure.

    Lesabre Lar,

    I have a pair of lenses for you... I have a clear pair and I also have original ambers. Let me know which you prefer and I'll shoot 'em off to you in the mail.

    -joe



    64' wikivan 292 tripower/4 speed/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project.. soon to be 400SBC/200r/3.73 posi

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

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