Attaching L series knobs


IHC in the early to mid-fifties.

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 74

Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 7:49 am

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:22 am

Attaching L series knobs

I am in the process of attaching the original L series dash knobs to new switches,I have been successful on the push pull cables and the headlight switch, but the wiper switch’s shaft is too short to attach the know. What would be my options here other than purchasing a Nother new switch with longer shaft ?
And I must say without input from this website I would’ve never figured out how to get those knobs on and off .......

Thanks,
T

AZD

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Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

Posts: 541

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:00 pm

Location: SLC, UTAH

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:57 pm

Re: Attaching L series knobs

I found the same thing when using a new electric wiper switch. The shaft is about 1/8” shorter than the original. The knob won’t seat correctly because the shaft must be supported internally for the spring to keep it set. No easy solution I could find. However, if you have some 3/16” steel rod you could disassemble the new switch and make a longer shaft. Tinkering will be required. I was headed that direction but found a good original switch at a wrecking yard for $5. Cleaned up nice.

Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

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Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:45 pm

Location: Canada's left Coast

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:46 pm

Re: Attaching L series knobs

I installed a
10/32 riv- nut in the knob then put 10/32 threads on the switch shaft. I applied some red Lock Tight threads . You will need to hold the shaft with a small Vice Grip to avoid damage from
The switch, while you are threading.
I have an extra knob with a riv-nut installed. If I can find it, I will post a picture later.
I would rather have tools I do not need than to need tools I do not have

Yard Art
Yard Art

Posts: 74

Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 7:49 am

Post Sat Jun 30, 2018 10:01 am

Re: Attaching L series knobs

OK, I have all knobs firmly attached( except the wiper, still waiting on the switch), found that Ron Francis has a really heavy duty headlight switch with an optional extended length shaft that you cut to length so the knob will stay on.... will let you know about the wiper when I get that switch.
On the headlight switch I had to enlarge the dash hole to 7/16" and turn the key way around to the top of the hole, so there was room to plug and unplug the wiring harness. Also had to make a longer 7/16 x 28tpi sleeve to get the original bezel to fit properly.

T

AZD

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Golden Jubilee
Golden Jubilee

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Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:00 pm

Location: SLC, UTAH

Post Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:51 pm

Re: Attaching L series knobs

Seems like none of the universal headlight switches are actually universal. Just went through the experience myself, and if I had to do it again, I wouldn't. In fact, right after I got my new switch working a buddy at work told me he had five of the old ones from 1950s Ford trucks he had gutted. Oh well...

My adventure began with a broken old switch that was too far gone to repair, and I've repaired quite a few old switches. So I ordered something that looked darn close, and for only $15. It was very well made, at least as good as the original. Plus I really like how the circuit breaker mounts to it. Problem was the plastic bezel was metric, as was the (too-short) D-shaft. Plus the knob was tacky plastic junk, not that I planned to use it anyhow.

Dash Switch 001.jpg
"Universal" headlight switch - Guaranteed not to fit anything!


Unlike the original switch with a button release for the shaft, this one is permanently mounted. So, unless I could change it, it was worth nothing. Since I figured there was nothing to lose (except the parts inside) I opened it up by prying the tabs. A quick look inside and I realized I could make it work with parts from the original switch.

Dash Switch 002.JPG
Spilling its guts in the name of progress.


First, I had to snip off the indexing tab and tap the bracket to 7/16-20. This way I could mount it with the original bezel in any position necessary. A 7/16" outside tooth star washer on the back will keep it from spinning.

Dash Switch 003.JPG
Index tab removed. Tapped to 7/16-20 to use the old bezel. Didn't have to drill it at all, just went right over the old metric threads. Looks factory


Next, I cut the old shaft to length and slotted it to fit in the new switch. I did this on a mill at work, though you could just as well use a drill press or lathe. One catch here is that the white ceramic insulator for the dimmer rheostat was keyed for the metric rod. A Dremel tool with a cylindrical diamond grinder opened it up for the 3/16" D.

Dash Switch 004.JPG
The old shaft cut down and re-shaped to fit the new slider mechanism.


Lastly, I put it all back together (and forgot to take a picture). But here it is on the dash while I wire up the back side. Green painter's tape protects my rattle-can paint job from scratches.

Dash Switch 005.JPG
View from the front. The LIGHTS text is only upside down because I had the dimmer turned. It is in the PARK position here. When off it fits flush with the bezel.

Dash Switch 006.JPG
View from the rear. Wiring going in. I like the circuit breaker position. Very handy for accessory wires.


This project took me a year of thinking and not doing anything, and about an hour of actual work once I got going.

Freshly Restored
Freshly Restored

Posts: 267

Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:55 am

Post Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:12 am

Re: Attaching L series knobs

Reproductions of the originals are available. If you Google the Delco part number, you should be able to find matches that won't take modification work. https://www.ecklersearlychevy.com/chevy ... -1954.html

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