69 XR7 Convertible Top Switch

Hi all. I apologize if this is a stupid question, but here goes. My top will not come down. When I put the switch in the “up” position, the pump runs and you can see the top move. When I put the switch in the “down” position, nothing. I think the problem is the switch. I’m basing that partly on the feel of the switch when I try to operate it. I got a new switch from WCCC and my question is this: What is the easiest way to get the switch out and replaced? can I get to it if I pull the radio and bezel, do I have to pull the whole dash, or is there another way? Thanks in advance.


You may be able to replace the switch by removing the radio and reaching above. Otherwise, you will need to remove the dash pad to replace the switch. After you unscrew the nut, the switch lifts up.


I got one of the repro top switches from WCCC too, and we will have to move a few contacts in the factory plug-on connector to make it work. I don’t think it will be possible to do this without pulling the dash. I need to do this anyway for a new heater core, but am not looking forward to it.

1969 and 1970 XR7’s have the convertible top switches in different locations. 1969 Standard and XR7 Convertible and 1970 Standard Cougar convertibles have the convertible top switch mounted above the radio. It kind of hangs down.

Your 1970 XR7 convertible has the top switch mounted into the integrated XR7 convenience switch panel.

Yeah, good point Scott. My bad - the 70 XR7 rocker switch will require dash pad removal and plug rewire. 69 and 70 standard probably not.

Convertible switch which would next to my to my speed control switch if I had a rag top. You need to remove the dash to get at it. Need to use an Allen key to remove the knob. Before you buy a new one. Remove the dash, unplug the switch, take it to the bench and disassemble it. If it is any thing like the speed control switch which it I believe it is? Use a small screwdriver and spread out the toggle part of the switch. One side of the pins for the switch. Clean it and test it. You can test it before you disassemble it to see you final solution? There is nothing that is going to spring out or fall out. Clean it with contact cleaner and contact file or Emory file. Worked for my Speed control and power window switches. Cheaper than a $200? Plus you can test the rest of the circuit. Let me know how it workout for you.


i just had to rewire my top power from starter solenoid to harness connection at passenger door because of a failed switch. It shorted causing the fusible link to overheat…to the point of flames under the hood and serious melting behind the dash.
Anyway, check the switch thoroughly, I got a used switch which I chose not to install- tiny stress cracks in the plastic. At +50 years I thought it best to go with new plastic.

OMG that does not sounds like a fun time. I am glad there was not serious issues as a result of the link. Sounds like the fusible link did not do its job? I have not had any issues like that. The plastic in the switches is great and just dirty contacts in need of some TLC. In fact dirty contacts may have been the issue with your switch. Dirty contacts causes everything to heat up or remain open/fail? The Speedo/ power window switches and all relays are very well made and are just dirty. Cleaning the contacts has worked well for me.

Omg sorry to hear that about your car. Sounds like your fusible link did not do its job? Cleaning my contacts has never been an issue with switches or relays. Not cleaning dirty contacts will cause things to heat up or fail? All the switches and relays I have taken apart are very well made and just have needed some cleaning. I will trust Ford stock vs who knows where any day!

Convertible top power comes directly from the battery side of the starter solenoid, sometimes with a circuit breaker; other times directly. It bypasses the main power fusible link.

Looking at my speed control switch and a picture of the 69 ‘TOP’ switch you need to remove the two clips on each end if I remember correctly to get it apart and clean the contacts. Super easy. With it directly connected to the battery you will see great results after you clean the contact on your switch.

As a complete novice to the hobby, I try hard to use the right terminology so don’t get too confused, never mind making everyone here’s attempts to help even more challenging. LOL. I would have called it an inline fuse…but no, its a fusable link. :slightly_smiling_face:As energy built it glowed orange- by the time i got a wrench to disconnect the power it had gone to flame.

Some more context on the “TOP” switch. Here is the switch with melting on the attached wire (continuation of wire from starter solenoid ), this was behind the dash, thankfully the wire under the hood failed first.

Then the switch melting, it had melted together enough that it would not pry open as intended. The total time power was being pulled with no response/sound from the motor was under 5 seconds. There was nothing binding the top to force the overheating, the switch just failed. Thats why I would buy a new reproduction over a +50 year piece of plastic with no use history.

Thanks all! I installed the repro switch from WCCC this morning, and she’s back to being topless! Thanks to Don Rush and WCCC for the video about pulling the heater core, which showed me exactly how to pull the dash pad and get to the switch! Just in time for convertible weather her in the PNW!

Awesome - nice to hear a success story! Totally agree on new switch. Those switches switch both power and ground in order to reverse the motor, so it’s quite possible for them to short to ground like yours did. I need to get mine replaced soon as well

Yes, It was pretty simple. I had not done anything like this to a car in 35 years or so (on my first Cougar, a '67 289 that I put a '69 351W 4v in), so I kept putting it off for a couple of weeks. but the whole thing took less than an hour, start to finish. Now I want to do a few more little projects like this. Thanks to this forum, where I know I can get good advice, I’m not worried about it any more.

What a great success story!!! We need more of those. Dash removal video is great.