69 XR7 electrical issues

New to the group! Hoping someone has some insight to resolve my electrical issues on my 69 XR7. 351W. FMX.

Here’s some history on the car. I bought my car from the original owner in 1999. It had been sitting in his garage for 15yrs, non-running. I completely disassembled it & it sit that way in my garage, for numerous reasons until 2018. After a nut & bolt mechanical restoration, it was back on the road Nov 2019.

  1. The dash lights have never worked. It always blows the 4amp fuse. I pulled the dash pad and instrument cluster & installed LED bulbs, hoping that would help, but it didn’t. The light around the key does work, though. I also installed a new headlight switch.

  2. Another issue was that the brake lights wouldn’t work. I replaced all the taillight bulbs and factory sequential turn signal with an electronic version, to no avail. But, about 2yrs ago, I replaced the turn signal switch in the steering column, and the brake lights began working. It was the repro unit #41730 from WCCC. I’ve driven it approximately 250 miles and used it maybe 20 times. About 2 months ago, the left rear turn signal would only work if I put pressure on the turn signal lever, after it clicked. Also the brake lights will only work while holding it down, turning left. The right turn signal works normally, but no brake lights. And no brake lights with the turn signal off.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I have no experience with electrical issues. Thanks in advance! Tom

Hit the LONG sequential tur. Signal thread. As for the dash lights, do you have an aftermarket radio? Common problem is the installer mistakes the radio backlight power lead for ground in the 2 prong plug, blows the fuse, destroys the headlight switch rheostat.

Mike M.

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Hello tomcat, welcome.

My experience is that the reproduction turn signal switches have issues. I have gone through 3 of then in a short period of time. A lot of the tailight circuitry goes through that switch…

So don’t overlook that switch. I carry s spare on longer trips. You can find troubleshooting tip at cougars unlimited.

Good luck.

Thanks for the info Mike! Ill definitely check it out. It has athe factory AM radio, which still works.

Thanks for the info. I had a feeling it was the turn signal switch. WCCC is currently out of stock on the repro & NOS units. Do you know another source that would have it?

Thanks so much! Ill definitely chexk them out.

Read this thread and I think you will be able to find the problem

I use an alarm siren in place of the fuse. Then wiggle,tug or whatever. When the short happens, you’ll get immediate feedback!

Once again, thanks for the info. That’s a very ingenious method of detecting shorts. I’ll have to get ambitious and give it a try soon.


I had the same issue with my 72. I changed my turning signal switch. I thought all was good until I was driving and a fellow motorist stopped me to tell me I had no brake lights and when I used my turn signals the sequencal light did not flash as they should. They just blinked.
I looked at everything and tried everything. I called a buddy who is mechanic and also has a classic car. He asked me what I had done to my car recently. I told him the turning signal switch. He said go to the connector and squeeze it tight. I did and that solved my problem. Everything worked as should. Don’t know if that will help you but it only takes a minute. Good luck

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Thanks so much for the info. Ill definitely give it a try. Im lending toward the turn switch being bad, though. Due to having to press the trun signal lever harder for it to work on the left one.

This is a common failure mode for the 1969-73 turn signal switches (even OEM Ford). The high current (10-12 Amps) from the brake lights (6 incandescent bulbs) causes the riveted connection to overheat and melt the plastic, releasing the magical smoke.

A similar problem can occur with the turn signal power rivet.
The switch in the picture is a 1970 aftermarket part made in Taiwan.

Three potential solutions:

  1. Replace the switch. Choose a switch with copper rivets - not plated steel. Measure the resistance between the green, green/orange, and orange/blue wires. It should be below .1 ohms. Reject those that have higher resistance.
  2. Use solution 1 and convert to LEDs. Less current produces less heat to melt the switch.
  3. Use solution 1 and install one of my Save-Ur-Switch™ modules. It is a solid state module that bypasses the switch for the rear bulbs. The switch then only has to pass low current to operate the module. Contact me for availability.

Vic Yarberry
Cougars Unlimited LLC

Hello Vic! I appreciate the info. I just installed a new turn signal switch this morning, that has copper rivets. It fixed my left turn signal & brake light issues. I will now buy & install LED bulbs. Do I need to use a different turn signal relay for them to work properly? I’ve already replaced the factory sequential turn signal unit in the truck to the electronic version.

Thanks again!

You will need LED-compatible flashers for both the emergency and turn signal circuits. D0WY-13350-L is the part number.

Thank you sir!

Hi, I don’t know if your fuse problem has been solved yet. If not, a defect clock could be the cause. But it could also be that the radio is connected to the cigarette lighter cable, then the fuse appears to be overloaded. In my case it was like that and to solve it I laid a plus cable directly from the battery via a 15A fuse to the radio and a ground connection under the dashboard. Afterwards my dashboard lighting worked again and the 4A fuse stayed intact!
Sorry for my bad english with Google help, I´m from Austria!

Hello Jonny. I appreciate the info and I will check into that in the near future. My factory radio does work currently.

Also, I replaced the turn signal switch in the steering column and it fixed my left turn signal and brake lights,

Thank you!