I was driving one night trying to beat the sunset. I knew my lights might cut out and I didn’t want to drive after dark.
Well, I got a later start than I wanted and although my headlights were working, my tail lights were out, as evidenced by some guys behind me in an SUV that just could not stop flashing his headlights from behind me.
I knew what he was trying to tell me. I was only a few blocks from where I needed to get to, but this guy was so persistent I waned to get him off my back, so I took the next right just to get him off my case.
I hadn’t worked on my 1970 Challenger for a while, but it was about time I change that intermittent light switch. I had problems with in off and on since I bought the car back in 2006. On the over 350 mile drive from Los Angeles, I did uncover a couple of problems. The dash lights would cut out , which is not really fun when you would like to know how fast you’re going and how much gas you have left. Another problem was I couldn’t fill up the gas tank without gas spilling out the worn tank seal (fixed that several years ago).
She was a real eye catcher though. From LA all the ways up, strangers would give me the thumbs up. When I bought the car it had a 1971 R/T stripe kit (black) and a factory rear wing spoiler.
Okay, so after 14 years, I’m finally getting around to changing out the headlight switch and the dash dimmer.
I was pleased to see these parts a readily available on line. I found my parts from a highly rated E-Bay seller. The price for these parts are nearly $100 each, but unlike buying the parts from the Dodge Dealer in the 1970’s, these muscle car parts sellers 40 years later know they’ve got us baby boomers just where they want us, willing to shell out some cash to keep the lights on their 40 year old muscle machine.
Fortunately, changing the dashboard switches on a 1970 Dodge Challenger is very easy. You need to know which panels to remove, and the watch word when you’re working with 40 year old pieces of plastic is, do not force or overtighten anything! One, those plastic pieces are not as strong as they were when they were young-uns and two, you know they’re going to be expensive to replace!
Here are some detailed images of the headlamp and dash dimmer switches, the 1970 version had the white dot on the toggle..
Total time to replace, about an hour, taking my time.
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2 thoughts on “Dash Switch Replacement”
Help. I’ve gotten the panel loose, but can’t get it to come out, so I need to somehow disconnect the head light switch, wipers and dash light dimmer while it’s still fairly tight in? I’m blind to what’s back there.
Hi Brandon, THe one thing I cannot remember off hand is how many screws you need to remove in order to get the panel to remove from the dash. Assuming that you have all the screws out, you should be able to “carefully’ withdraw the assembly, possibly having to move it in a way to clear other dash parts/upholstery/trim enough to disconnect the two plugs going to the switches. If there is not enough room, I can only suggest carefully pulling it out enough so you can get a clear view of the connectors, far enough out that you’d be able to reconnect them without too much difficulty. I don’t recall my harness being too stiff or hardened to resist moving it out. Worst comes to worse, you’d have to disconnect to plugs by feel only assuming you can get your fingers in there to do it.Good luck.