Repair Information About Your Imperial's Interior Lighting

Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Interior -> Lighting

Question from Bill (1959):

Today I replaced the dome light bulb, and the bulb in the light over the radio, neither which have worked since I got the car, and they still don't. It got too dark to check the fuses, but I'm wondering if anyone knows if these are on the same circuit? My glove box light has never worked also, but I haven't figured out how to get to the bulb yet.

Reply from Mick:

The bulb is behind the switch that turns on the glove box light. The wire I think it runs to the map light and then to the head light switch.

Question from Dan (1965):

Was wondering if there is any trick to carefully removing the light covers in the headliner in the back seat? Both are burned out and since they are so dry, I'm afraid they will crack or break when I pop them out.

Reply from Dan:

You might think about carefully applying some heat to soften them up a little. Probably could use a hair dryer and go back and forth like a spray painter but keep your distance - don't get to close. When they are warm to the touch (not hot) you should have better luck.

Question from Russell (1965):

We need to replace the white lenses of the small round interior courtesy lights on our '65 Crown convertible. They are below the armrests just behind the front seats. I'm not sure if its the same lens used in interior sail panels of the non-convertibles. Is this lens peculiar to Imperials or was it used on a variety of Chrysler products? Any suggestions?


From Bill:

They were used on all MOPAR model convertibles from the '50's thru the '71 Challenger/Cuda. At least that is what I have been told. Expect to pay around $20-25 dollars if and when you find them.

From Henry:

Those courtesy light lenses were used in the consoles of later Plymouths. We bought some repros at a swap meet and they worked just fine. Don't think you'll find "Imperial" replacement lenses. Also, buying thin cloudy plastic from a plastic shop and cutting to size works quite well. In our experience, those lenses are tough to find so perhaps my suggestions will help. Pretty sure the same lens was used throughout Mopar line for many years, so grab whatever looks kind of possible from the tables of those repro guys at swap meets.

From David:

My '63 Imperial convertible has had cut down ping pong balls (table tennis) in the fixtures by the rear armrests for years and years in fact only when I accidently hit one was it apparrent what they really were! so as a temporary measure they work fine.

Question from Tim (1966):

I was working on the opera or vanity lights in the back seat. They work but unfortunately one will not turn off. The little button doen not respond anymore. What is the best way to take care of this. I am a little hesitant to start taking the interior apart but that may be the best way to get in there and unscrew the bulb or snip the wire. In the mean time I pop the fuse that does the interior lights but that is getting a little old.


From Gene:

Usually the button on the door is just your ground for the light.I'm not sure on the older Imps, but on the GMs that I've worked on these simple unscrew from the body and could be easily replaced or just unscrew the button and pull it out and snip and tape the wire there. (...if the buttons are the same as the old GMs I did this to.)

From Dave:

I have a 1966 LeBaron also. The problem you describe has occured with my car also. Good news; it can be repaired. The satin chrome cover with the magnifying lens in it for reading( these are reading lights only for rear seat passengers and DO NOT come on when any doors are opened, also ONLY offered in LeBaron models ) is just pushed on and held in by friction, no screws. Just pop the light cover off, pull OUT and straight hard, and then you can unscrew the light assembly from the 'C' pillar and unplug the whole thing at the pigtail. The switch can be serviced with good electric cleaner like CRC and some dielectric grease like the kind used on distributors. These switches get corroded from lack of use and get stuck when turned on once every few years. Just be careful when removing the bulb if the light is on, it gets REAL hot and can burn you, ask me how I know.

Question from Marc (1967):

How do you get the lens and mount off for the C-pillar light without tearing the fabric or breaking the lens?


From Roy:

Very carefully! The bezel actually snaps onto the lens and the lens is screwed to the backing which holds the socket. There are three spring prongs on the bezel, put all the fingertips from one hand on the lens and gently try to get your fingers under the bezel once one clip lets go, it will come off, but be careful, the lens is very brittle! Once the bezel is off it is simply a matter of removing the two Phillips screws to get at the bulb. When reinstalling the bezel, note that that it only goes on one way because the prongs are not equally spaced.

From Dick:

Speaking of damage to the headliner (which changing these bulbs often leads to), has anyone found a source for this material? At least on the 1967 Crown 4 DR, this appears to be really unique stuff!

I've gone so far as to take the whole "C" pillar trim pad off, so I can see what I am doing, to avoid damage to the cloth.

Question from Ken (1967):

I have a question about the interior light on the door panel in '67s which illuminates the power window switches.  There is a "little cylindrical thing" which seems to be an illusive installation on '67s. I have seen a number of '67 parts cars and have found that some have the lamp installed, some don't. In my particular car, the wiring harness was present but the lamp was not (I added one from another '67). I haven't found the serial number or option state that predicts whether or not a car will have one. Have others found this curious cylinder also?


From Dick:

if it was phased in to production, it looks like about mid-year.

From Dave:

I'm not sure of the description and location of this thing. I'm assuming if I was to lift the door handle and look underneath, I would see this doo-dad (pardon the technical term :)) and it should shine forward across the lighter and switches at the front of the arm rest? If that is the case, my 178026 (VIN) doesn't have it. Part of a package maybe? This is a pretty baseline Imp we have.

From Mark:

No, you don't have to lift the handle to see it. It is way back, up under the "flap," or angled part of the armrest just behind the handle. It is almost to the edge of the little glove compartment that's located in the armrest, and I believe it's on the side nearest your hip (in other words, not on the door panel side). If you see a screw right behind the bronze plate that surrounds the switches, it's just behind that. Mine is covered by a thin plastic which diffuses the light and also reduces the bulb's output. It's main purpose, I believe, was to allow you see the door handle as you're groping around in the darkness, trying to open the door.

Question from Arrlander (1974):

Just the other day my interior lights came on and  will not go out. If you know of a quick fix, please reply.


From Dick:

Usually, this is what we in the trade call "smoke in the cockpit". In other words, either someone has fiddled with your dash light switch and left it in the courtesy light "on" position, or someone has turned on the map light switch. Check both, and if you don't find the trouble, disconnect your battery when you park until you track it down. Start with the door jamb switches (take them out of the panel and pull the wires off to see if the lights go out.)

From John:

Also, check for any blown fuses. I've had this problem in the past. The light would probably be dimmer then normal in this case though. I don't know what year Imperial you have, but I also had a 69 Imperial that had a problem that on occasion, when you pressed the power lock button, the interior lights came on & wouldn't go off without disconnecting the battery for a while. I got rid of the car before I solved that problem, so don't know the cure on that one.

Question from Liam (1981):

Where is the fuse to the interior lighting? (Door lights, dome lights, etc.) I have checked the fuse "box" and all the fuses are fine. Is it a different fuse elsewhere? Or is it wiring gone wrong?


From Bob:

It is fuse No. 6 or No. 13 in the panel diagram. If this is okay, (test it), then there is a disconnect somewhere to or from the fuse box to the circuit(s) feed. ..Page 1 and 33 in the Service Manual.

From Mark:

Also, make sure you have brake lights. They are on the same fuse as the interior lights on some Chryslers from the 81 era. You don't want to drive around with out brake lights.

From Dick:

If you don't have one, you need to get busy and buy your self the two manuals you need to maintain this car. You are going to need the manuals for any questions involving electrical problems, and also for instructions on disassembly and the like. These manuals may still be available through the dealer, and they are certainly available through the literature dealers.

The manual will answer your questions about the fuses, but it will take a while to understand how the information is arranged, and then more time to plow through the 50 pages or so of electrical diagrams specific to this model ("Y carline").

As I recall, there are multiple fuses involved with the entry lighting system, which is astonishingly complicated on this car.

From Rolland:

If you have the 1981 Chassis, Body, Electrical Service Manual, look under the wiring diagram section. Page 8-380 (Y 1 & 2) for the fuse application chart. It lists all the fuses and what they protect. In that same manual look at page 8-446 (Y67) for the fuse block diagram.

Question from Leo (1983):

Does anyone know the correct adjustment location for the interior illumination door switch on my 83? The FSM conveniently does not even mention them. Mine is causing the Int. Ill. relay to buzz again. I had to replace it several years ago for the same reason and now the new one is doing the same thing.

Reply from William:

If you remove your door panel you can easily access the switch that controls the entry illumination. With the window glass up, you can make adjustments by loosening the mounting screw on the switch. The switch mount is a long slot, so you can adjust it as needed. It is directly below the exterior door handle.

This page last updated June 15, 2004.  Send us your feedback, and come join the Imperial Mailing List - Online Car Club.