Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

1967 Furd Church Bus, Please Help

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by babyburb, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. babyburb

    babyburb 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Posts:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    1H North of Dallas
    I am having problems with head lights. They come on and work just fine until about 30 minutes into trip and than they all go out. Lights, rear reds, front orange. I think my brake lights come on when I hit the breaks, my flashers work. Everything else just goes out. I swapped bulbs but no luck. I checked the wiring around bulb plug and they look fine. I tracked my wires and nothing looks bare.
    Any help so I don't fly off the road with a group of kids?
     
  2. Goose

    Goose 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2000
    Posts:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South Central Kansas
    Not much help, but back in the day I had a friend with a similar year Ford F150. Going down the road the lights would turn off and on by themselves.
    Sounds like might be common problem.
    I'd check out some Ford web sites.

    good luck
     
  3. 84zz4ss

    84zz4ss 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Posts:
    1,342
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola FL
    Had a T-bird years ago same problem. It was the headlamp switch. The dimming resistor would get hot and shut off all the lights.
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Posts:
    17,581
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Massachussetts
    Not an uncommon problem in Fords...

    I've sold dozens of headlight switches for Ford vehicles from that vintage,up until the late 80's they had "weak" curcuit breakers in the headlight switches--usually they act up only when age corrodes the wiring,or aftermarket lights were added onto the vehicles..(we had to keep 4 headlight switches in stock at all times for Crown Vics that were used as police cruisers in this area--they had a lot of this problem, after the wig-wag lights were added to them!)..perhaps Ford has a "heavy duty" switch available now,none were when I worked a parts counter..

    My older brother and I nearly crashed his '79 E-350 cube van we converted to a flatbed ramp truck when the headlights decided to go off without warning on a dark back road in NH with no street lights!..we tried a new switch ,but a few nights later it did it again!..he had added only one pair of "fog lights" that didn't draw much amperage,and unplugging them did not prevent it from happening again..one night we had to use jumper wires from the battery right to the headlights to get home!..:doah:

    My brother decided to use a heavy duty 60 amp push-pull switch instead of the factory headlight switch,and the lights stayed lit from then on..it would take quite awhile for the lights to go off when they acted up,you had to have had them on high beam for 30-60 minutes before the breaker in the switch would start making them blink on and off,or go out completely..and it didn't always do it,so it was hard to diagnose why they were doing it..

    Of course,any short in the headlight wiring will cause the same symptoms,so you'll have to check all the wiring carefully for pinched wires,chafed insulation,etc,before condemming the switch..:crazy:
     
  5. babyburb

    babyburb 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Posts:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    1H North of Dallas
    That must be it. It does the same thing that diesel was saying. I figured out I could go further on dim than brights. So I need a new switch or run a new push pull switch. Do I need to go with another factory or just get a heavy duty push pull like you did?

    I'm happy now because I am not only the youth pastor, I am also the bus driver and mechanic!

    I found the bus and the people gave it to us. I have put probably 60 to 80 hours and spent $2000 from church to fix it up. All new brakes, brake lines, brake cylinders, master cylinder, converted oil bath to air, hoses, belts, radiator flush, thermostat, tires, fuel pump/filter, exhaust, manifold gaskets, doughnut gaskets, rebuild carb, tune valves. I had to rebuild my brakes from scratch. No one makes them anymore. All the axle seals were gone so I had to leave out the seals (noone makes them anymore either) and drill and tap drums to fill with rear end oil.

    I was made fun of for 4 months while I had it on blocks with the 7.50 20 tires and rims layed on the ground while I rebuilt it. Very redneck. Top speed with the 4 speed (3 speed with granny that I never use) is 50 mph. (SMOKIN') It likes 45 better and gets an aewsome 6.75 mile per gallon. I should have took pics during the build then I could have a BUILD Thread.:rolleyes:

    Thanks for the feed back. I think I have found the answer to my question. I will let you know.
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Posts:
    17,581
    Likes Received:
    945
    Location:
    Massachussetts
    sounds like fun!..

    It's nice of you to do that for your church!..so many would just buy a newer bus and not have the headaches of fixing an older one..but your probably like me--you like old stuff,when things were built to last,not be "disposable" like todays cars are...plus the old vehicle looked neat!..

    We opted to cut the wires on my brothers E-350 and use a heavy duty push pull switch because he had one,and the new headlamp switch failed to solve the problem.....he didn't use a fuse in line,he decided to put a curcuit breaker in line instead,with another switch to by-pass it if the lights happened to trip it again..he figured it was better to heat up a few wires for a few seconds,than crash the truck driving blind !..it never tripped the breaker ever again though,he used a 30 amp one..we ran 12 ga wires to new headlamp plugs,in case the old wires were gangrene inside..

    It would be easier to just use the factory switch,but as your finding out,getting parts that old can be difficult ...especially a headlamp switch for a bus,that is likely "special" because its a bus,not a normal F-600 or whatever,and has many more lights..

    (I'm suprised you cant find brakes or axle seals,there are lots of old trucks like your bus here still on the roads used by cranberry farmers,and we had little or no trouble getting parts for their trucks--you need to find an older counterman at a real parts store that will actually look in a CATALOG--too many places say "our computer doesn't list that",and refuse to do any legwork..but it HAS been 10+ years since I worked a parts counter,and I suppose that stuff IS getting rarer and harder to come by..)

    I'd say you might be better off buying a "universal" headlight switch from a good brand like Cole-Hersee,and wiring it up yourself--it'll take some time to figure out which wires go to the high and low beams,parking lights,etc..being a school bus,I'm sure it has a bunch of flashing lights and other stuff,so it'll likely be a bit complex..or use a heavy duty push pull or toggle switch like we did..

    One option we considered, but didn't pursue on my brothers E-350 was to wire up a relay that would override the headlamp switch ,and route the power to them right from the battery when they decided to crap out..but we figured that was going to take hours to figure out--it was easier to just find which wires ran the headlights and hook them to the push pull switch--we left the original headlamp switch intact,so it still powered the marker and running lights (which never acted up,only the headlights would fail!)..

    Good luck,and God Bless you with your project!...

    :crazy:
     
  7. babyburb

    babyburb 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Posts:
    2,344
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    1H North of Dallas
    I'll have to post up some pics in a day or two.

    I usually deal with autozone because of the computer ease but I learned real fast they wanted nothing to do with me so I looked else where. I did find a good parts man in town and he is old school. Has a counter about 8 ft long of part book and they stack 4 or 5 rows high. If he can't find it I drive 20 more miles to a guy who deals with REALLY old stuff. Even he said he couldn't get it.

    Thanks again for the info. I will get my uncle to help me figure out the wiring.
     
  8. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Posts:
    4,437
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas Baby!!!!
    Another easy solution to your problem would be to add a relay into the circuit so that so much current would not go through the switch. I am a relay addict. Cut the hot wire that goes to the headlights and put a relay in it, close to the headlights. Power the relay from a fused wire to the battery. Use the other end of the wire you cut for the signal to the relay. Then ground the relay.
    Now, when you turn on the headlights with the switch, only enough power to close the contacts of the relay is needed. Less current equals less heat. I would still replace the switch, for peace of mind. If you are going to help do His work, you should do yours properly.
    If you need a hand, let me know.
     

Share This Page