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Thread: Wagon/Nomad interior and cargo space lighting and control??

  1. #1
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Wagon/Nomad interior and cargo space lighting and control??

    OK, the title is the best I could do.

    I know wagons/Nomads didn't have lighting specific to the cargo space, but Nomads do have the dual B-pillar lights, and other wagons have a dome light which do light up the interior space along with the cargo area (especially if the rear seat back is folded down).

    Paul (WagonCrazy) made a comment in MPC's wagon build thread re a 'gate switch', so I thought I'd start a new topic rather than cluttering up MPC's build thread.

    Paul? Did you install a 'gate switch' to automatically turn on the interior lighting when the tailgate was opened in your current Nomad build?

    I don't recall any wagons (nor Nomads) coming with a 'gate switch' to automatically turn on the interior lighting, ALTHOUGH at least some Nomads came with a manual switch enabling someone loading or unloading items to/from the cargo area to switch the lights on at night when necessary. I'm trying to confirm if my current '57 Nomad came with such a switch (I think it did), and if ALL nomads came with the switch for all years? I know my '55 Nomad came with the switch, although I'm not remembering exactly how the switch was mounted.

    I'm totally unsure if other wagons came with such a switch at the cargo opening or not??

    Can someone more knowledgable (or with a better memory?) fill in some of the unknown info re this topic?

    The way I recall the interior lighting being controlled was 1) either door opening provided a ground via the door switches to the interior lights (which always have power), and 2) manual operation of the switch at the rear gates opening gave another source for the necessary grounding.

    Another question I don't recall answer to: Did the '55-57 headlight switch have a position function to turn on the interior lights, as later cars do? I suppose an operators manual would answer some of these questions if I could lay hand on one promptly!

    Gary

  2. #2
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    An alternative would be to mount a gravity type switch like a lot of cars use for hoods, and trunks. I don't know, but at some time they probably used mercury switches. I really don't even know how a lot of hood/trunk lights work, because I never needed to work on one.

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    Registered Member Tabasco's Avatar
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    Both of the '56 Nomads I once had both had the manual switch near the tailgate for interior lights. The '57 BelAir wagon I have does not.

    The stock 55-57 headlight switch does have a position to turn on interior lights.

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    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Thanks Tobasco! You've answered two of my questions... Given that the light switch provides a means to turn on the interior lights, the addition of the rear switch is not really 'necessary' (except to match what the factory did)... and probably the door switches aren't either for that matter.... reminding me how as a teenager (and young adult) we probably all disabled the door switches (or the interior lights themselves)..

  5. #5
    Registered Member WagonCrazy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [B
    Paul? Did you install a 'gate switch' to automatically turn on the interior lighting when the tailgate was opened in your current Nomad build?[/B]

    I don't recall any wagons (nor Nomads) coming with a 'gate switch' to automatically turn on the interior lighting, ALTHOUGH at least some Nomads came with a manual switch enabling someone loading or unloading items to/from the cargo area to switch the lights on at night when necessary. I'm trying to confirm if my current '57 Nomad came with such a switch (I think it did), and if ALL nomads came with the switch for all years? I know my '55 Nomad came with the switch, although I'm not remembering exactly how the switch was mounted.

    I'm totally unsure if other wagons came with such a switch at the cargo opening or not??

    Can someone more knowledgable (or with a better memory?) fill in some of the unknown info re this topic?
    I dont have any rearmost headliner light housing or wiring in my Nomad. I don't think they came with them.

    I haven't wired the new interior lighting in my Nomad yet. When I do I may consider adding a rear cargo light that is mounted-centered in the rear headliner area just inside the liftgate. It would probably operate with the same switch that is used for both doors (where the switch completes the ground circuit...thus allowing the light to come on when the liftgate is opened). And I'd probably make that in the same lighting circuit as all other interior lights that can be dimmed by turning the main headlight switch.
    1957 Nomad- LS1/T56 on C4 chassis
    1959 Fleetside Apache 1/2 ton, shortbed, big window, 327ci.

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