Loss of electrical power, need help


Bigger Hammer
Jan 29, 2010
Eagle, Idaho
First Name
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
I have lost power to my lights and ignition and the whole vehicle. I can trace power from the battery to the regulator and then lose it somewhere as it goes back to the cab. Is there a fusable link or inline fuse that controls power into the vehicle?? I can't find the info in the service manual. Any help would be appreciated.
Mine have one fuse that is for the lighting mainly. Should be an inline fuse under the dash on the drivers side. There may be two fuses if you have a factory heater as it will have a fuse also.
Willys never used fuse boxes/panels for these wagons and trucks. All they used was a bus bar that mounted on the driver side inner fender well. Even the light switch was a contact breaker type. No fuse. If you have fuses anywhere, it's because somebody else put them there. I currently use inline fuses with the bus bar. This isn't much help I know, but I'm thinkin' alternator problems or a short (as in a bare wire grounding on something). Sorry I don't have more for you. It's hunt and peck time.
My 2 cents.

If you have it coming out of the regulator then keep tracing back thru the harness till you hit the fault. I would start at any major bends in the harness, or any points that the harness contacts metal (even if covered by lume) also check your grounds as you go. An open ground can also cause a loss of power.

Good luck and get the wire probe dusted off.
Just remembered...I was working a similar problem on a mustang once. Turned out that the lead off of the alternator was broken internally. Found it by accident and was a hero for the day. Point is, move and bend wires as applicable. You might get lucky.
I unhooked the power lead to the light switch and reconnected the wires and had power?? Did I reset the breaker at he light switch or did I just move something around? How does the contact breaker at the light switch work?? How are these old vehicles protected without fuses or fusable links?? Thanks for everyone's input. I think I might still have a problem to work out.
Gary, I don't have the schematic here, but as I remember it the power goes into the relay that is connected to the light switch, then from that relay to the other instruments. Sounds like what was already stated. It either stuck, or fried. R2 it and you should be good to go.

Oh, to answer the rest of that...they weren't protected much. They had the relay at the light switch, a contact breaker ON the light switch and a voltage regualtor for the gauges. That's it. Kinda Cool huh. :lol: