Headlight Dimmer Switch

BigSky Senior Contributor
I’ve diagnosed that my headlight dimmer switch is bad on my 37 Hudson, still 6volt system.  Where can I get a replacement?   Thanks


  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited June 2023
    Could you describe your problem?  When you step on the button (to change from low to high beam or vice versa), do the headlights simply go out?

    I am told that -- In some NOS dimmer switches that have been lying around on the shelf for years, the grease in the switch has solidified to the point that the moving parts won't easily turn.  If these switches can be taken apart, the old grease can be removed  (with a solvent), then new grease inserted.  How to open the switch?  Some switches are screwed together (easy to dismantle) while others are held together with bent metal tabs that can carefully be bent open, then pushed back together again).

    Another thought:  Do you use headlight relays?  If so, you might possibly be able to use a modern, 12-volt dimmer switch, since it is no longer handling the amount of current that a standard 6-volt switch would be handling.  (The relay now directs that current to the correct headlight, but the dimmer switch only uses a little current to run the relay.)  A modern 12-volt dimmer switch will work much better than an old fashioned one.  Just be sure that the mounting bolt pattern on the 12 v dimmer switch fits the threaded hole pattern in the floor of your car.
  • BigSky
    BigSky Senior Contributor
    No headlights with switch on, all connections at the dash switch had power, power down to foot dimmer switch but not out to headlights from there, so bad switch.  Coupe is still all original wiring with 6 volt system, has not been converted to 12 volt.  Step on the foot switch has no effect on the lights working. 
  • Jon B
    Jon B Administrator
    edited June 2023
    When I checked that link (for the DS72T switch), the "Amazon Confirmed Fit" warned that this product does NOT fit a 1937 Hudson / Terraplane.  I believe the mounting screws must be 2-1/2 inches apart on center, and must be offset unequally, from the button itself.

    Note how the tapped screw holes are unequally offset from the button, on this particular switch: https://www.classicindustries.com/product/all-years/chevrolet/corvette/parts/1796260.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhfzMw5zN_wIVlenICh203w6GEAQYBCABEgJVPPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
  • lostmind
    lostmind Expert Adviser
    How hard is it to drill new holes?
    It's a universal switch, just a suggestion.
    Maybe someone has an original you can bolt in directly.
  • Lance
    Lance Member
    BigSky, check your email.
  • eddiehudson
    eddiehudson Senior Contributor, Member
    From old parts catalogs:

    Echlin DS 103 = 1930 - 1947
    Echlin DS 106 = 1948 - 1955
    Echlin DS 107 = 1956 - 1957

    Standard DS 47 = 1940 - 1955
    Standard DS 53 = 1956 - 1957