Rip's New '73 Navajo

Ripinator

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Have made a lot of progress with the new Navajo and it has become a real joy to drive; however, I have no dash lights and never did since I bought the car. Checked the four dash light bulbs. All appear to be good - including the light above the cigar lighter ash tray. I can't see where any wires are not connected or messed up, so I am suspicious of the headlight switch. I think all the power to the aforementioned lights goes through the headlight switch. I found this switch on Summit's site:

1973 CHRYSLER NEWPORT Standard Motor Products DS165 Standard Motor Headlight and Dash Light Dimmer Switches | Summit Racing

Can anyone validate my trouble shooting and / or tell me if the above switch is correct? Thanx muchly.
 

cantflip

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Apparently, the bulbs are grounded through the switch. The bulb housings are a one wire affair and just snap into holes in the plastic dash surround.
shooting from the hip here... the cluster bulbs are POWERED? through the rheostat... so remove it and see if it has power available, if you can plug it into the wiring you can see if power makes it through the switch... not uncommon for a copper tab to break on any rheostat switch... Not familiar with the 66, if a separate switch with only 2 wires, you could jump them to see if you complete the circuit... use schematic before jumping anything if more than 2 wires are present.
 

Ripinator

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shooting from the hip here... the cluster bulbs are POWERED? through the rheostat... so remove it and see if it has power available, if you can plug it into the wiring you can see if power makes it through the switch... not uncommon for a copper tab to break on any rheostat switch... Not familiar with the 66, if a separate switch with only 2 wires, you could jump them to see if you complete the circuit... use schematic before jumping anything if more than 2 wires are present.

Thanks, Jeff. Great minds think alike. . .
 

70NEWYORKER

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If the bulb housings have only one wire the housings must be grounded by what they are mounted to. Touch a well grounded wire to one of the housings and see if that bulb lights.
 

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Have made a lot of progress with the new Navajo and it has become a real joy to drive; however, I have no dash lights and never did since I bought the car. Checked the four dash light bulbs. All appear to be good - including the light above the cigar lighter ash tray. I can't see where any wires are not connected or messed up, so I am suspicious of the headlight switch. I think all the power to the aforementioned lights goes through the headlight switch. I found this switch on Summit's site:

1973 CHRYSLER NEWPORT Standard Motor Products DS165 Standard Motor Headlight and Dash Light Dimmer Switches | Summit Racing

Can anyone validate my trouble shooting and / or tell me if the above switch is correct? Thanx muchly.
That looks like a generic switch to me.

Does your car have the separate dimmer switch? It's been decades since I owned a '73 so I don't remember. Those are known to get dirty or worn. They can be rebuilt.
 

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That looks like a generic switch to me.

Does your car have the separate dimmer switch? It's been decades since I owned a '73 so I don't remember. Those are known to get dirty or worn. They can be rebuilt.

Thanks, John. The switch has a built-in dimmer function that works by turning the knob to the right to dim and to the left to brighten the dash lights. Turning it further to the left, until it clicks, turns on the dome light.
 

Ripinator

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If the bulb housings have only one wire the housings must be grounded by what they are mounted to. Touch a well grounded wire to one of the housings and see if that bulb lights.

Normally, I would agree, but these bulb housings snap into a round hole in the plastic dash surround. So. . . Since plastic cannot serve as a ground connection, I must assume that any required ground connection must occur at / in the headlight switch.
 

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Some strangeness with the '73 Navajo: Last month, we drove the Navajo from Germantown, MD to Auburn Hills, MI to attend the Chrysler 300 Club, Intl meet. Before we left, I did a quick self serve car wash; when I finished, I tried to start the car in the wash bay, and it would not start. I messed around checking things under the hood and found nothing amiss or wet. Jumped back in and hit the starter. It fired and immediately quit. Went through this scenario a couple more times. I waited a few minutes more and hit the starter again. It fired right up and did not die again, until over eight hundred miles later, after we arrived in Michigan. Tried to start the car in the parking lot, after seeing the Chrysler museum collection. Again - Hit the starter and no fire. Checked around under the hood, looked down the carb throat for presence of fuel. All looked OK. Diddled with it for a while and it would start and die multiple times. Finally, it started right up and did not die again until this past Thursday (many miles after leaving Michigan and returning to Germantown). It died in my driveway and would not start. I pushed the turd into the garage and left it. Started right up the next morning - no issues. BTW, the car runs beautifully and got anywhere from 11 MPG to 17 MPG during the Michigan trip.

I think the problem is electrical, but I'm not sure where / how to diagnose. I replaced the coil yesterday and will drive the car for a while to see if it fails again. I think failing coils are insidious . . . Because they seem to fail only when they get hot, but not always. If it fails to start again, I'm gonna replace the ECU and see what happens afterwards. Do any of the cognoscenti here have a suggestion or two regarding this problem?
 

azblackhemi

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I would try replacing the ballast resistor. May not be the problem but it's easy and cheap. The intermittence doesn't sound like a ballast resistor but not starting after a short time does.
 

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I would try replacing the ballast resistor. May not be the problem but it's easy and cheap. The intermittence doesn't sound like a ballast resistor but not starting after a short time does.

Yeah. The ballast resistor is in the rotation. Before we left Michigan, I bought a coil, an ECU, a ballast resistor and a pickup coil for the distributor. Of course, since I had all these spare parts, the turd never faltered during the return trip. My plan is to just replace all of these parts one at a time to see which one is finally revealed to be the culprit.
 

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Sounds like the same issues I had with a failing coil. Start and run fine when cold but start to sputter then completely fail when warmed up. Both a standard coil and gel filled coil failed when I was running a pertronics unit. Put the points back in and have had flawless running since with a std. coil mounted horizontally per stock.
Long trips often can finish off an already questionable electrical devise. Often had batteries go out after returning from long trips.
Oh, and you were three miles from me when at the A.H. Tech Center. Are the museum cars still downtown in a warehouse?
 

Big_John

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My money would be on the pickup coil. Had a car ('73 Plymouth) with the same symptoms many years ago.

They seem to be an intermittent failure point.
 

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Sounds like the same issues I had with a failing coil. Start and run fine when cold but start to sputter then completely fail when warmed up. Both a standard coil and gel filled coil failed when I was running a pertronics unit. Put the points back in and have had flawless running since with a std. coil mounted horizontally per stock.
Long trips often can finish off an already questionable electrical devise. Often had batteries go out after returning from long trips.
Oh, and you were three miles from me when at the A.H. Tech Center. Are the museum cars still downtown in a warehouse?

Dan: Wish I'd known you were so close to us. We coulda had a libation or two.

The museum collection is in the facility where they used to build Vipers. I forget the name. They opened the collection for us only. It was terrific. Unfortunately, they would not allow any photographs. I don't think they want the public to know what is in there. . .
 

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My money would be on the pickup coil. Had a car ('73 Plymouth) with the same symptoms many years ago.

They seem to be an intermittent failure point.

Thanks, John. I have a pickup coil; if I decide to install it, I'm gonna need a brass feeler gauge to install it correctly. Can't believe after all the years I've been messing with cars / engines that I don't have one. . .
 

Big_John

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Thanks, John. I have a pickup coil; if I decide to install it, I'm gonna need a brass feeler gauge to install it correctly. Can't believe after all the years I've been messing with cars / engines that I don't have one. . .
Look on the set you have... Some include the brass feeler.
 
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