Electrical System ???


Knuckle Buster
May 1, 2018
New Philadelphia
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Pickup
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
I am new to this whole restoration process and am looking for troubleshooting assistance.
I have a 59 Willys Truck that I am in the process of restoring, it starts and runs, but none of the lights or blinkers work. I did tinker with the wiring and got them to work for about 5 minutes until I tapped on the high beam switch to turn them off and now nothing.

I have plans to re-wire the whole truck, but that is later, and I would like to get it street legal. Should I start with the voltage regulator? or if you have had similar experiences, please share what you did to resolve it.

Thank You for your time

I would change the dimmer switch first, that sounds like a likely culprit. The voltage regulator only adjusts the charging voltage, not the resultant functionality of the vehicles add-ons. Invest in a trouble light and schematic diagram, they will save you lots of time and aggravation.
Welcome to OWF Chris!
There is a maintinence manual posted in the forum library section.

See: http://www.oldwillysforum.com/forum/showthread.php?2030-1954-1960-Maintence-Manual-in-PDF-format

Have a look at page 113, the section on the light switch.

These trucks didn't have a fuse box. The only protection is a self-resetting circuit breaker tagged on the back of that switch.

Judging from what that breaker protects, I believe the truck will run with the breaker in the fault position.

Start out by checking the circuits connected to that switch for shorts. You could disconnect them one at a time and see if the breaker resets.
Thank you for the reply, I will have to work on my schematic reading skills for sure. I'll start with the switch and see where that gets me.

Thank You Again
Yeah. What Lance said^^ (I type way too slow!)

Those old-style schematics are tough to snake through. Don't get too caught up in the schematic just yet, though. Concentrate your first efforts on that dimmer/light switch. Check the circuits connected to it for shorts first, but if you isolate the problem to the switch...

OWF member David/Mathman has posted a fantastic rebuild guide for these switches on his Web site. Have a look at:

That entire site is loaded with great info!

Seems like the most common source of lighting problems on the pickups is the wiring towards the back. It's exposed to the elements, and takes a beating from the stuff tossed up by the rear wheels.
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