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Old 05-10-2013, 05:41 PM   #1
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"Dome Light" add a switch

Like others on the Forum, I really dislike the dome light coming on and staying on when I don't want it on. I have thought about it a lot for a long time. I knew there had to be a way to install a switch. So today I went out and took things apart and checked out the wiring.





I cut the black wire that is attached to the two double black wires.



Then I spliced in a new wire on each cut, (red wires), and added a switch. Checked things out to make sure it worked the way I wanted.



Things worked great. So I buttoned things up.







It was an easy fix, I just wish I would have done it a long time ago.

Woody
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

OK, that's weird. Not a problem I have.

If the switches on the lights are off, they don't come on when I open the door.
If they are on, then they do come on when I open the door.

If I need to turn them on manually, I rotate the headlamp switch.

I go to star parties (telescope nerd camping) and the FIRST thing you want to do is figure out how to disable your dome light, but all I have to do is press both light buttons and I am done.

My dome light looks identical to yours, 2002 build.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

ANZAC,

Same thing for my 2004 SMB. Unless my dash lights are full bright, the dome lights don't come on when a door is opened. I had to call SMB to find out how to make the dome lights work because I never have my dash lights full bright.

Mike
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

Plus, can't you just push the button switches on the dome light that are next to each light element to choose whether they go on or off automatically with the doors open? That's what I've done in mine. I generally leave them turned off.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:38 PM   #5
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

I did the same thing for my dome light. It seems that around 2008 or so, Ford decided to really button up things that used to be easily modified by various forms of reprogramming. These things include parking lights and the interior light that come on every time you open a door. The buttons next to the light turn them on if you want them on with the door closed, but do nothing with the door open. Instructions for turning the ignition key and pushing the door lock to enter the "programming mode" that used to work for models prior to 2008 no longer work. At least, I know they don't work on my 2010. Since Woody's was built just before mine, I imagine he is in the same boat as me.

Steve in L.A.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

Interesting. In my 1998 the button switches can turn off the center lights even when the doors are open. They work in reverse of what you are talking about. The only way to turn the center light on when the door is closed (assuming the light on/off buttons are turned on) is by turning the dashboard headlight switch. The two side lights over the front seats can be turned on with the button switches.

As an aside, I recently redid my cab headliner and got a good look at how SMB wired the three overhead lights in the cab. The center is wired to the van (starting) battery, while the left and right ones are wired to the house battery. Mine also had an extra power take off lead from the wires to the house battery that was just taped off and stuffed up there. Ground wires are run with a short bit of wire to the ceiling crossmembers and attached with self-tapping screws. I added an extra length of ground wire and put both the extra power lead and the negative leads near the center light cutout in case I wanted to use them later (might add a drop-down video monitor).
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #7
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

On my 2001 the headlight switch (pull knob) can activate the dome light circuit if twisted CCW past a bit of a bump. Like a bunch of cars I've owned. Or, if you open the doors the light would come on.

The SMB dome lights have their own switch. So if the doors are NOT open, and the headlight switch isn't on, then pushing the dome light button does nothing. If doors are closed, and you turn on the headlight switch, then the dome light button turns them on and off.

So I'm like BrianW; the situation where you can't turn them on with the dome light button with the doors open is odd; it's usually a PITA to kill the feature that automatically turns on the domes when opening the door (I do it on lots of my vehicles; I hate that).

Rob
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

Woodbee's switch installation looks very professional. Well done!
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Old 05-11-2013, 01:50 PM   #9
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob_gendreau
On my 2001 the headlight switch (pull knob) can activate the dome light circuit if twisted CCW past a bit of a bump. Like a bunch of cars I've owned. Or, if you open the doors the light would come on.

The SMB dome lights have their own switch. So if the doors are NOT open, and the headlight switch isn't on, then pushing the dome light button does nothing. If doors are closed, and you turn on the headlight switch, then the dome light button turns them on and off.

So I'm like BrianW; the situation where you can't turn them on with the dome light button with the doors open is odd; it's usually a PITA to kill the feature that automatically turns on the domes when opening the door (I do it on lots of my vehicles; I hate that).

Rob
Everyone's post after and including mine says this must be either some running change from SMB or Ford. But glad you fixed your problem!
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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Re: "Dome Light" add a switch

Nice mod Woody
I've heard many with the newer vans complain about that... glad my 06 isn't set up that way cause it would be driving me nuts as well.
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