Amazon lighting/1967 122S
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    1. #1
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      Amazon lighting/1967 122S

      Any suggestions for headlight upgrade, brighter tail lights/brake lights and 3rd brake light in rear window?

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    3. #2
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      HD;

      Welcome to this forum!

      Before thinking about "upgrading" lighting, and unnecessarily things like relay controlled headlights, I suggest you check and assure a solid system voltage (consider modernizing to an alternator) then compare sys V to V at the individual lamps (Voltage Drops?), eliminate these. See also: https://www.sw-em.com/voltage_drop_i..._connector.htm

      There are a number of areas in the Tail Light fixture for instance, where VDs can occurr, and after these are addressed, the light output should be considered also...see: https://www.sw-em.com/Amazon_Rear_Li...estoration.htm

      A third Brakelight is not such a bad thing, and if your 122 is truly a '67 (it wouldn't be the first time a early '66 chassis was registered as a '67) , it will have a Pedal Position Sensing Brk Lt Sw, and not the late acting Hydraulic Pressure Sensing Brk Lt Sw...see: https://www.sw-em.com/safety_bulletin_1.htm

      Cheers

    4. #3
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      I swapped out for LED bulbs in the whole back cluster and front signals. They're a lot brighter, were an easy swap, but i had to add some directional diodes to the front signals because the single indicator in the dash would spill back just enough voltage to light up both front signals.

      They look good, are bright and easy to see, but don't have the soft glow of incandescent bulbs.

      For the headlights, I just went with some premium sealed beams. I know you can do a pretty easy upgrade to H1 bulbs, but i haven't done that.

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    6. #4
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      This is a drop in headlight upgrade, it's the e-code lenses so they have the modern hard line cutoff with a higher angled beam off to the right for road signs and pedestrians. And you can put whatever brand or color bulb you want in it.

      https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      Ron, you're awesome but I have to disagree. I think adding a headlight relay is mandatory. As you know, headlights on these cars are un-fused, and the entire current passes through both the dash switch and the floor switch. There's a reason modern cars don't do that and it's because it's a recipe for starting fires. Especially in an old car like this.
      2003 C70 T5M Convertible - Eibachs, Koni FSDs, Enkei RSF5s, OBX downpipe, Snabb intake, RIP kit, & drop-in intercooler, Quaife LSD, 19T, Green Giants, 22 psi Hilton tune.
      2006 V70 2.5T - Ice White - Oak Arena, (almost) bone stock daily driver.
      1966 122s - Collectible project, restoration and many mods on the way.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD - Daughter's first car. No mods unless she does 'em herself.

    7. #5
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      Re: recommended headlight relay upgrade...Tru Dat.

      Correctly wiring in a 140/240/740 “latching” headlight relay will be the cat’s meow from every standpoint;
      Wiring safety + adequate current to run 100W H4s + eliminate awkward foot dipper switch...
      '62 Amazon Original 65K mile time capsule
      '94 MBz E320 wagon 120K miles '92 MBz 300CE 2Dr 180K cold weather miles
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    8. #6
      Member LloydDobler's Avatar
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      I also found a generic latching relay on amazon that will allow you to use cheap generic relays for the headlights rather than a specialty relay.

      https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000C83N...v_ov_lig_dp_it

      I actually can't wait to get to that part of the project, I want to do all LED lighting on this car.
      2003 C70 T5M Convertible - Eibachs, Koni FSDs, Enkei RSF5s, OBX downpipe, Snabb intake, RIP kit, & drop-in intercooler, Quaife LSD, 19T, Green Giants, 22 psi Hilton tune.
      2006 V70 2.5T - Ice White - Oak Arena, (almost) bone stock daily driver.
      1966 122s - Collectible project, restoration and many mods on the way.
      2005 V50 T5 AWD - Daughter's first car. No mods unless she does 'em herself.

    9. #7
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      Lloyd;

      Preface: Our respect is mutual without question! I know you to also be highly experienced, hands-on technician, who considers his statements well before making them, so please accept my considered comments in the spirit I intend them...

      ...so just what are you disagreeing with...?...my statements (that's too bad because they are based in inarguable facts and I stand by them), or my recommendations (which are based on what I know of the original design and execution [manufacture with quality components and practice...and what I know of track record and experience], so are subject to interpretation and individual experience...there will clearly be variation in this so I accept personal preference here!).

      Again, as I explain here: (https://www.sw-em.com/lighting.htm#r...led_headlights) ...there is NO technical advantage to controlling Headlights with a relay on our cars...this practice in contemporary cars allows use of dainty, decorative switches which are not capable of handling the full load current directly, and allows the incorporation of other "features" like auto Hi/Lo beam switching, and the computer to also be in control of these relays for "pathway lighting" etc... As a point of info for our cars, I recently took apart a 122 Lightswitch and was really impressed by the internal construction...a high quality component all the way, which will outlast any relay!

      Regarding fusing, as a mission critical load, a conscious decision was made (and this was typical for the era) to incur a slightly higher risk and not fuse Headlights (like Ignition also), but typical failure mode of these loads is that they open (not that they short to chassis). So this does not mean everybody should freak out about it, and immediately change their wiring and add a fuse...adding a fuse means adding wire terminations and decreasing reliability strictly from a parts and connections count (and fuses have been known to "nuisance fail"...so it would be a significant nuisance to loose Headlights for that darn reason!) ...besides, how many electrical fires/meltdowns on the Headlight circuit (not accident caused) have you heard off? [I've personally heard of only one, on an 1800, when the guts of a Footswitch self-disassembled (thanks again Lucas!) and shorted to chassis. See: http://www.volvoforums.org.uk/showthread.php?t=89108 ] "Creative wiring practices" like shown here, in a vibration environment, NOT lack of a fuse in a properly wired system cause electrical fires:
      Dashboard_Ratsnest_not_Volvo.jpg

      I have looked your latching relay recommendation, and agree this modestly priced unit will work nicely in place of the oe bistable unit, when doing this modernization. I agree this is a nice modernization, but not for the sake/reason of headlights being relay controlled...

      Cheers
      Last edited by Ron Kwas; 08-10-2019 at 09:20 AM.

    10. #8
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      What LED lamps did you use for the brake lights? Getting to this point in my project as well.

    11. #9
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      Rave;

      I have not installed LEDs, but the 1157 (dual element) equivalent tower or pedestal style is what you should look for. Be certain to conduct tests to assure good/improved visibility from all angles and position following.

      ...something like these (no relation!): https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...MaAj6REALw_wcB

      See also: https://www.sw-em.com/Amazon_Rear_Li...lacement_Lamps


      Cheers

    12. #10
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      3rd brake light

      Quote Originally Posted by HulgarDansk View Post
      Any suggestions for headlight upgrade, brighter tail lights/brake lights and 3rd brake light in rear window?
      I sort of did a 3rd brake light design that I like, but it did not get Ron's approval ("too low").

      I (had) fabricated some polished stainless steal brackets (that look like chrome) and the bracket attaches to the bottom two screws of the license plate bracket- double duty. The bracket holds a Hella lamp housing and a red HELLA lens. This is the same housing that was used for the 67 VW back up light (only that one year). You may know that light. A similar housing (if not the same) was used for an accessory Amazon back-up light, before the back up light was standard (1958?).- Some of you may know of this accessory. But for me, I felt the design also made me (Hella) ...period correct... for my 1967 122s. As well, it is something that can be UNDONE in the future, should I desire to. That's always important to me when I think I have another good idea, that may only be an ephemeral one...So far so good- no undo's.

      The light is just low enough to not cover important areas of the plate. It's not 100% complete (non interfering to original harness wiring), but I have put it on for fit. I may have a complete extra, if you are interested. I'll look for some photos, and I'll attach if I can.

      And I have HEARD of issues with that rear brake light switch that is in the cowl. However, in ten years I have never had a problem with any hydraulics. But I should note that given we are driving Swedish cars with steel and alloy (British) hydraulic systems, I try to flush both my clutch and the brakes as a standard practice, every spring. It beats having future, unexpected, trouble. I push a lot of fluid through- and it's just plain (Autozone) cheap Valvoline brake fluid. -Never had a hydraulic issue.

      (I think I attached 2 photos of my 3rd brake light design).

    13. #11
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      2nd attempt (attachments)Attachment 53773Attachment 53771

    14. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rave0035 View Post
      What LED lamps did you use for the brake lights? Getting to this point in my project as well.
      Here is a newsletter excerpt I recently wrote for my 122! You might find it beneficial.

      • Headlights:

      With LED headlights there is usually a well-defined compromise between output and originality. LED headlights are significantly brighter than halogens but tend to look far too artificial and/or “white” or “blueish” when fitted to Pre-2005 Volvos. These following bulbs are specifically designed to replicate the traditional warm glow of H4s with signifincalty increased lighting output (in high-beam mode, either of them will make Sylvania SilverStars look like Dollarama keychain flashlights).

      1. Cruize Performance LED “3000K” H4 – For owners that care deeply about originality, Flat-4 (a classic VW restoration company based in Tokyo, Japan) has developed a plug-and-play solution with Cruize Performance LED’s for classic VW beetles and busses and use the same “H4” style 3-pin P45-T headlight plugs as our Volvos. These LEDs are plug-n-play, specifically designed to retain that trademark classic warm “yellowish” halogen glow, put out way more lumens than a standard H4 halogen, draw way less current and best of all do not require an additional/bulky controller ballast to run!

      First and subsequent impressions of the bulbs were absolutely fantastic! They look original but have a wide light output range and are especially useful during those day/dusk transition hours when most halogens typically get drowned out. Installation took about 10 minutes.

      Original draw on a typical H4 halogen is +50W (low)/+60W (high) and approximately 1100-1500 lumens. These LEDs output approximately +2600 lumens and only consume 20W (less wattage than a regular brake light bulb). Bulbs were provided by Flat-4 Japan and retail for approximately ‎¥ 25,000 ($294 CAD). As the website is entirely in Japanese you may wish to contact Nao Fujita directly at [email protected].

      2. Smart Division LHS-08C LED “3000K” H4 – Like the Cruize Performance bulbs, the Smart Division LHS-08C LED “3000K” H4s are also designed for period correctness. The LHS-08C’s are their latest generation of classic warm “yellowish” plug-and-play (to an extent) bulbs. However, the one sticking point I had, especially for originally minded enthusiasts is that they require an additional and bulky controller ballast to run them properly (the bubs cannot be directly plugged into the 3-pin H4 socket connector).

      These bulbs are great! Of the two LED bulbs I tried, these have a richer and fuller colour and are the closest in hue to the original halogens I think I have ever seen! Again, my only complaint is that they require a ballast to be fitted in a relatively cramped portion of our cars. A little bit of wiring sorcery is required but they still remain a fantastic option. Installation took roughly an hour and a half.

      Original draw on a typical H4 halogen is +50W (low)/+60W (high) and approximately 1100-1500 lumens. These LEDs output approximately +2800 lumens and only consume 25W (less wattage than a regular brake light bulb). (almost the same wattage as a regular brake light bulb). Bulbs were provided by Smart Division Japan and retail for approximately ‎¥ 39,960 ($470 CAD). I am told these bulbs will be available via the Japan Auto Parts by Automesse eBay webstore or you may also wish to contact Masahiro Tanaka directly at [email protected]).

      • Rear Parking/Brakes: 1157 CREE “Plasma” LED (Red) BA15D bulbs – A direct plug-and-play replacement for the standard 1157 bulbs. Original output on the dual filament 27W (brake)/12.8W (parking) 1157 bulbs were approximately 161 lumens versus approximately 400 lumens for the 8W LEDs. Sourced from West Coast Cougar Parts.

      • Front Parking: 1156 5W Super Bright LED’s 67-A12-G BA15S (Amber) bulbs – A direct plug-and-play replacement for the standard 5W BA15S bulbs. Original output on the 5W bulbs was approximately 50 lumens versus approximately 125 lumens for the 1.6W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

      • Front Turn Signals: 1156 Super Bright LED’s 1156-A26-CBT (Amber) BA15S bulbs – A direct plug-and-play replacement for the standard 26.9W 1156 bulbs. Original output on the 26.9W bulbs was approximately 160 lumens versus approximately 540 lumens for the 8W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

      • Rear Turn Signals: 1156 JDM Astar 3030 SMD (Amber) BA15S bulbs – A direct plug-and-play replacement for the standard 26.9W 1156 bulbs. Original output on the 26.9W bulbs was approximately 160 lumens versus approximately 500 lumens for the 6.5W LEDs. Sourced from JDM Astar.

      • Reverse: Original incandescents to maintain originality, the LEDs look too artificial and/or “white” or “blueish” when used as reverse lights and they are only ever on for a few seconds at a time.

      • Instruments/Heater Controls: Super Bright LED’s BA9S-GHP5 (Green) – Given the relatively small size of the instruments on the 120-Series, the very weak green glow tends to get drowned out and can be a little hard to see during the twilight hours or at certain angles.

      Most Volvos have a rheostat to dim or brighten the gauge/heater control lights but as these switches get on in years they can become brittle and the rheostat can fail sometimes leaving you with non-existent, flickering or rather weak gauge illumination. There common fix was to simply install a jumper wire to bypass the rheostat (full gauge brightness when the parking/headlights are on with no dimming function).

      However, rather that mess with the switch (mine worked fine) I simply upgraded the gauge bulbs and heater control bulb so the instruments were clearer. Original output on the 2W BA9S bulbs was approximately 11 lumens versus approximately 40 lumens for the 0.96W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

      • Interior Dome: Super Bright LED’s 6 LED Festoon 3710-WWHP6-V2 (38mm) – The 3700K warm bulbs were chosen to mimic the look of the original incandescents. Original output on the 10W bulbs was approximately 40 lumens versus approximately 105 lumens for the 0.96W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

      • Glove Box Light: Super Bright LED’s BA9S-WWHP5 – The 2700K warm bulb was chosen to mimic the look of the original incandescent. Original output on the 2W BA9S bulbs was approximately 11 lumens versus approximately 90 lumens for the 1.2W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

      • Licence Plate Lights: Super Bright LED’s 6 LED Festoon 3710-WWHP6-V2 (38mm) – The 3700K warm bulbs were chosen to mimic the look of the original incandescents, especially behind the clear licence plate lenses. Original output on the 10W bulbs was approximately 40 lumens versus approximately 105 lumens for the 0.96W LEDs. Sourced from Super Bright LEDs Inc.

    15. #13
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      A bit late to the headlight relay debate; but, I will still throw in my 2c.

      The Amazon is like my 140 in that just about everything in the car is powered off a single wire that connects from the starter (Amazon) or distribution block (140) to the ignition switch. Even unswitched loads such as the headlights are supplied from this single wire. Of note is that the ignition coil is also supplied by this wire and the ignition coil does truly qualify as a current pig.

      On my 140, when the engine is running the + terminal on the alternator is right around 14 volts. I did a test with the engine running, headlights on (H4 on low beam), 4 ways flashing, heater fan running max and the radio on (no wipers). I measured the voltage on the output of the headlight latching relay (easy to get to) and it was around 12 volts (4 ways flashing off and on resulted in some periodic variation), so about 2 volts less than the alternator. So, I was loosing roughly 2 volts in the internal car wiring. Power consumed by an incandescent bulb is approximately equal to the square of the supply voltage so the 2 volt reduction is netting an approximately 36% reduction in light. I installed some external high and low beam relays controlled by the latching relay and supplied directly by a short #10 wire from the distribution block. Under the same test conditions, this gave me a test voltage of around 13.7 - 13.8 volts at the headlight connections on the low & high relays, so roughly an approximate 30% increase in light output.

      The side benefit to the relays is that the current drawn by the headlights is no longer causing voltage drop on the supply to the ignition coil. Under the test conditions, the running voltage on the + terminal of the ignition coil was around 12.5 volts. Removing the headlight load from the supply circuit bumped this up to around 13 volts which results in a slightly hotter spark.

      That is my experience. However, ultimately empiricism reigns. It would be appropriate for any Amazon owner considering this to carry out a test by measuring the voltage at the headlight plugs with the engine running and as much stuff as possible switched on. If the difference in voltage between the + terminal on the alternator / generator and the headlight plug is less than 0.5 volts, then there is not much up-side to the relays. If the voltage drop is significant, then there may be significant benefits.

      As a note, I did this test with the stock wiring with the spade terminals / connections cleaned and lubed with conductivity enhancing grease. I did not pull apart the headlight switch to clean or lubricate its internal contacts.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    16. #14
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      142g;

      A 2V drop between Alt output and Headlight relay is pretty high...I'd locate any more than a one Volt drop more precisely and address it. ...and yes of course, if you calculate Watts for 14 vs 12V, the diff will be significant.

      AHEM...there is no such thing as "conductivity enhancing grease"...I refuse to use this term, as it is marketing department embellishment and pure hokum!! ...because it suggests that this grease can somehow immediately improve conductivity/reduce resistance, when applied to even a clean and tight connection...and it just cant! What this term fails to mention is that the benefits from applying any kind of protective or anti-corrosive grease to a connection does nothing immediately!...benefits only come after time, when a similar untreated connection exposed to the same operating conditions would start to degrade...only that is when the treated connection would have a measurably better (or enhanced) conductivity due to the effects of the treatment. The better, and more truthful terms would be protectant or anti-corrosive, but that is not nearly as impressive...as a smart, experienced guy, I just hate seeing you also be taken in and spreading such creative, but false, terms...

      Cheers

    17. #15
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      The 140 runs a rather tortured path for the main DC supply. From the alternator on the right side of the engine the supply runs to the right fender and then under the front of the top cowl to the distribution block on the left inner fender. That looks to be a single #10 wire. From the distribution block to the ignition switch there is a single wire, looks to be about a #12. Everything in the car, with the exception of the rear window defroster, gets supplied over that single wire. With everything switched on, most of the voltage drop is on that single wire between the distribution block and the ignition switch. There is a small voltage drop between the alternator and the distribution block (particularly if the battery is accepting significant amounts of charge current) which is why I was measuring 13.8 - 13.8 volts at my headlight relays. If I wanted to address the fundamental problem I would have had to cut open the wiring harness and replace the ignition switch supply wire or at least double it up. It was much, much easier to install separately switched headlight relays that cut open and fix the wiring deficiency in the Volvo harness. I scored a nice weather resistant fuse and relay box from an early 2000s Toyota Corolla. It had four nice relays and four mini ATC fuses for $15 from a pick and pull. As I said, much easier than cutting apart the wiring harness to address the marginal 140 design.

      You make some correct points about grease on electrical connections. For most people, the primary benefit is the anti oxidation property and Vaseline will probably work just fine; but, I prefer silicon dielectric grease because I know it is plastic / rubber friendly and has a very high melt point and avoids flammability issues. However, there are conductivity enhancing greases. Probably every power utility in North America uses one of the Penetrox variants in the large compression fittings and bolted terminations on high and medium voltage transmission systems. The purpose of the suspended metal in the grease vehicle is to help penetrate the oxide coating that is always present on the metal contact surfaces during the compression or bolting phase (pressure is required for the suspended metal to be effective). The grease body then helps to reduce subsequent oxidation of the joint. You are correct that slathering on something like Penetrox after the connection is made will not enhance the connection and will only reduce oxidation and 'any old grease' will probably be just as effective. On the 140, the distribution block on the front fender has all screw lug connections and the application of penetrox type compounds between the connection block, the lugs and the clamping bolt prior to tightening can enhance the electrical connection at that point. The mounting studs for the alternator + terminal and the starter + terminal are other potential bolted connections that might benefit from this type of compound.
      A 142 of course. What do you expect? I'm the 142 guy. / 1971 142 E 102 color

    18. #16
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      Canadian - awesome post! Sounds like I've got some swaps to try this winter.

      After a shorted headlamp left me with a dead battery recently, I finally started going through the lighting circuits on my '66 4-door. I replaced both headlamp assemblies with the H4 ones linked above, completely rebuilt the harness in front of the under-hood junction, cleaned all connections, and lined my tail-light assy's with reflective foil tape (great tip Ron K!!).

      While we're on the topic of lighting upgrades, I noticed my light switch dimmer felt like the pot wiper was going through a bucket of KFC original recipe, so I popped the cap and rebuilt it. Here's what I found inside:



      All the grease in their had turned to paste over the years. Some DeOxit and a little elbow grease took care of it.

      PS - The light switches in these are TASTY! I polished the case and all terminals and it's better than new.

      Mike

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      142g; OK on the tortured path the main power buss takes in a 140...just remember that most voltage drops occur at terminations, and after time, not in the wire itself (presuming cross-sectional conductor area/wire gauge was adequately selected for the expected currents in the first place), and I have to believe the factory did that...so think the term "marginal 140 design" might be a bit harsh (I haven't looked specifically and critically at it myself, so for the moment, I'll accept what you say...).

      I think we understand each other also on anti-corrosive treatments...especially those the power company uses, outside, and subject to weather...not long ago I had a first-hand experience with that...see: https://www.sw-em.com/Realworld%20Ex...and%20ACZP.htm

      Mike; For a 122, be also aware of possible voltage drops at the Hex Conn for Headlights. See: https://www.sw-em.com/voltage_drop_i..._connector.htm
      ...I recently also took a 122 Lightswitch apart for inspection and cleaning...I wouldn't use the term TASTY (maybe this is a British English common usage thing), but they are truly of a beefy, superior construction...a weakness is indeed the resistance wire for Inst Lighting...the surface corrosion it inevitably develops certainly feels crunchy when turning the knob, and moving the wiper-contact across it...not so nice...I simply bypassed the variable Inst Lighting Rheostat to get full brightness lights (see: https://www.sw-em.com/Intermittent_V...t_Lighting.htm ) but to treat this, and return smooth functionality, I'd recommend ACZP over Deoxit, as the former has better lubricating properties and as grease based, and should hang in there much better...I have a Tech Note on the 122 Lightswitch in the works, but would enjoy seeing your pix/vid and hearing of your experience...but for some reason, it is not possible at the moment...please see if you can check this...or is it on my end...?
      Thanks also for kind words.

      Cheers

    20. #18
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      Hey Ron - happy to give you my $0.02 on the switch; let me know what you need.

      I do a lot of electronics restoration, and DeOxit is the ticket for cleaning old pots and switches - it penetrates well, and the solvent evaporates quickly meaning no unintended shorts. They also make a 'FaderLube' product that has some lubrication elements for the pot wiper, which is what I used on the rheostat. I did use some ACZP on the switch post terminals, since that connection really needed a grease application. Long story short: DeOxit is good for cleaning, ACZP is a good conductive grease and preventative measure. A little of column A, a little of column B!

      The switch is tasty in my opinion... a beefy electromechanical device with 'chunky' operation, a bakelight-esque base and a polished steel case? Sign me up. It was a pleasure to rip out of my dash.

      Mike

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