On the dashboard of a Willys Jeep, you have several switches that control everything from the lights, the engine choke, engine throttle (think of it as an ‘early cruise control’), the panel lights, etc. The Jeep was missing most of the switches including what’s known as the ‘push/pull’ switch that could controls all sorts of the lights based on how you pull the main knob. I removed all the switches that were incorrect and purchased new ones including a vintage push/pull switch. I then removed all the switches on the dash and did a test fitting of them all (not hooked up).
Here’s how the dashboard looked when I got the Jeep. The headlights/taillights/panel lights were hooked up to that one black pull switch that was very finicky. The choke/throttle were in the wrong spots, and the blackout light switch was totally gone. Plus a post-war starter switch button was added (left).
After consulting an online forum devoted to restoring Jeeps, this was the configuration we all agreed on that is correct for my 1944 Ford Jeep. In June of 1944, they changed the Jeeps from the Push/Pull to a Rotary switch… which made it a bit difficult to figure out which one mine needed since my Jeep is June 26, 1944. But after investigating the holes in the dash, this was correct.
Here’s the NOS (New Old Stock) Push/Pull switch I got from Greece (the country). It may look complicated, but it’s actually not. The knob on it is incorrect (it should have LIGHTS recessed into it) and it needs to be painted OD Green. How this works… you pull the knob once, it turns on the blackout lights (very minimal light in case you were in enemy territory). Push the button on the left and you can pull it again. That activates the Headlights and the taillights. Pull it one more time and that activates just the taillights.
After undoing the ignition key switch (right) and the incorrect light switch that controlled all the working lights.
Starting to get all the new switches in place…
Here’s a shot of the push/pull switch (from above). There shouldn’t be a gap between the knob and the switch, but I realized the correct knob (coming soon) will remove that gap.
Close up look at the hole where the throttle was (now moved left to the correct spot). The hole is where the dedicated Panel Lights goes.
Finally, a look at the correct alignment of all the different switches! Nothing is hooked up, just screwed into the dash. I will eventually repaint all the knobs and paint the white in the recessed lettering so they all match. I’ll be moving the starter switch button (left under the B-O Drive knob) to elsewhere on the Jeep. Originally this switch button was on the floor and you’d step on it with your foot along with turning the key to start the Jeep.