Thanks for replies thus far.
I always search the sportsmobileforum.com site before asking anything, but often don't find what I'm looking for even when it's there.
With that in mind, when I read carringb's post above re a TSB: "A while back I ran across a TSB from Ford which said a dome-light override switch can be added to the B-pillar, by simply splicing a switch into one of the wires." I did a web search for "Ford dome-light override switch B-pillar" (without the quotes) and came up with a thread here:
in which carringb provides a link to the TSB:
I will check this out further when it's light out. Or maybe I will wait until the heat wave here in Las Vegas is over. (Some here refer to the heat wave as "summer".) As it is, I can hardly stand to go outside even now at at 11pm.
Ultrasport12: let me know what you find when you have a chance to check your parts out. But when you said "The side ones shut off too after that circuit times out." I'm wondering if I'm understanding correctly. The switched lights on the sides of the one I have can be turned on and off at will without any timer involved. Also, carringb's link to the TSB confirms your memory about the wires and their colors, etc. If anybody needs the details, see pages 2 and 3 of the TSB.
larrie: removing the center bulb = excellent idea. I'm trying to think whether I _ever_ want the
courtesy light. If not, that will be perfect. And so obvious in hindsight... ":^)
daveb: you're saying the older style overhead light is worthless as a map light?
Okay, I just braved the out-of-doors. It wasn't really that bad. Currently about 89 degrees. The timer on the dome light keeps it on for about 20 seconds after a door is opened then closed, FWIW. The Battery Saver option is apparently about how long the light stays on if a door is left open.
I spent a few minutes checking out how bright the overhead courtesy light is vs the overhead map lights. The courtesy bulb is relatively dim compared to the map light bulbs, so it doesn't really contribute much if you want it to be extra-bright in the cockpit. So the always-on option is mostly irrelevant.
I'm pretty sure that larrie's idea about removing the bulb will be the ticket for my particular situation. The bulb gets yanked and stored in a labelled envelope tomorrow morning. I'll worry about wiring a switch if I find I sometimes wish the courtesy light was automatically available. For the last few nights I was in some mountainous jungle in the middle of western Montana and it was a royal hassle to deal with the loss of night vision every time that courtesy light went on. It seems very bright when you're dark-adapted. One night, earlier, I stayed in a campground and the loss of privacy when the light went on was disturbing. (Of course the campground bit was pretty disturbing in itself. Too crowded for me, even if it was a very nice facility as such places go.)
Speaking of Montana and the Las Vegas heat: As great as it was being up in Montana, being back in Las Vegas -- hot though it may be -- has the unbeatable advantage that there are no mosquitoes. It had been so long since experiencing mosquitoes that I had almost forgotten how horrible they are.
Next up: pulling the fuse for the daytime running lights.