Keep your parking lights on with your headlights...
Mod by kookykrispy
HOW TO: make your parking lights stay on with your headlights!
5 minute, super easy mod!

by kookykrispy

reprinted from VCVC with permission by author
Have you ever noticed that when you turn your headlights on, the parking lights go off?

The factory wired your van like this because the factory alternator back in the 60's did not put out much juice... and this was a way to save on the amount of power required to run the lights, heater fan, radio and spark the ignition.

If you have upgraded your alternator, then you can now re-wire your headlight switch to make your parking lights stay on with your headlights... which looks better, and is also safer for night driving. This mod is super simple and easy. It takes about five minutes with only a couple simple tools.

Step one:

Crawl under your dash and find the headlight switch. There is a spring loaded small button, press and hold this button and this will allow the headlight knob to come all the way out of the switch.

Pull the headlight knob to the on position and depress the small button under the dash, pull the headlight on/off knob all the way out.

Now, with a large flat screwdriver, or some needle-nose pliers, unscrew the retaining nut that holds the headlight switch assembly to the dash. Turn it counter-clockwise to loosen it. Use caution not to scratch or marr the washer behind it, which is made of soft aluminum.

They probably make a special tool for this, but I didn't have it, so I just used what I had on hand, which was a screwdriver. Sometimes this nut can be stuck pretty tight and not want to let go, so you may have to use penetrating oil and work at it a little.

OK, now remove the switch assembly from the dash and let it hang down.

You will notice two purple wires going together into one socket on the plug on the back of the headlight switch. These purple wires go to the front parking lights.

Pull the plug off the headlight switch and set the switch aside. Your headlights will go off now so you don't drain your battery.

The plan is to remove the purple wires' spade connector out of the hol that it is currently in and install it in the blank hole in the center bottom of the plug... next to the orange wires.

Turn the plug over and using a very small flat blade screwdriver or a small poker tool, release the little holding tab on the spade connector. This tab holds the connector into the plug. The hole on the plug is shaped kind of like a top hat. you want to work your small screwdriver into the smaller top portion of the hat, this is where the little tang on the spade connector is. You can push in on the purple wires as you work your screwdriver into the hole to try and get the little tang to release. Once it releases, the purple wires and their spade connector should pull easily out of the plug.

Once you have removed the spade connector with the purple wires out of the hole, use your mini screwdriver or poker tool bend the tang out a little bit, so it will lock into the plug when you re-install it in the new hole.

Install the purple wires and spade connector into the new hole in the center lower part of the plug... next to the orange wires. It should just push in and lock into place. Make sure not to put it in upside-down.

Here it is with the purple wires now installed in the new hole, ready to reassemble!

Your plug should now look like this:

Put it all back together and your parking lights will now stay on with your headlights!

the '65 wires are just a little different. Note the locations of the individual wires. The brown wire (tail lights) is in a slightly different location than in my '64... no problem. The two holes are connected to each other on the circuitry of the headlight switch, so they both do the same thing. The process is exactly the same... simply move the purple wire to the available unused hole!


Move the purple wire to the empty hole and your plug should now look like this:

Have fun and keep on truckin!