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  • Speedster mystery switches

    I love this Speedster. Even after 4-5 months it still wows me every time I look at it. But it amazes me how illogical the switches are; some toggle switches on the dash, something underneath, and a twist switch for the wipers that doesn’t match anything, in the most unlikely place, all the way to the left. And best of all, not one of them is labeled

    Can somebody give me a rundown about what they all do? I can get the lights on by flipping a couple toggle switches, then checking to make sure they’re all on. And one operates the fan. But I still haven’t figured out how to turn on the fog lights. Confusing.

    Before I get stickled about checking the owner’s manual, I did not get one with the car, or I would have checked it.

    i would appreciate the help!
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    Proverbs 28:1

    Illegitimi non carborundum

  • #2
    The fog light switch is located under the dash on a Speedster, to the left of the column, I believe.

    The Owners Guide is the same for as Speedster as it is for the rest of the '55 passenger car line. The only unique 'Speedster' item was a one-page insert showing a diagram of the dashboard with a description of the controls. (I believe reprints are available.)

    Craig

    Comment


    • #3
      Next to the light switch, is a toggle switch for the dash lights. On the other side of the dash, are two toggles, one for the heater motor, the other for the defroster. Confirm that the fog light switch is hidden under the dash to the left of the column. Remember this was a standard C/K dash with a plastic overlay, so switch position is going to be the same as any other 55.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hallabutt View Post
        Next to the light switch, is a toggle switch for the dash lights. On the other side of the dash, are two toggles, one for the heater motor, the other for the defroster. Confirm that the fog light switch is hidden under the dash to the left of the column. Remember this was a standard C/K dash with a plastic overlay, so switch position is going to be the same as any other 55.
        Thank you sir, I appreciate it. I have driven it many times, but not much after dusk. Also, the windows were rolled down in May and have not been up since! If the weather isn't good, she doesn't go out One more question, what are the three positions on the lights/dash lights for?

        Fun side note- the first trip I drove it was 5 miles to the next town. By the time I got there I was absolutely roasting Then I discovered there was a lever under the dash that shuts of the heat, and it was in the full 'on' position LOL. Such a lovable oddball. Just like me
        Proud NON-CASO

        I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

        If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

        GOD BLESS AMERICA

        Ephesians 6:10-17
        Romans 15:13
        Deuteronomy 31:6
        Proverbs 28:1

        Illegitimi non carborundum

        Comment


        • #5
          Service Bulletin #301, March 1955, consists of 5 pages devoted to the Speedster. Here's the instrument and switch cluster. I will try to get someone to host the complete bulletin.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            I think you can buy a quality reprint of that bulletin from Richard Quinn.
            Last edited by ddub; 09-17-2020, 08:14 PM.
            Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

            40 Champion 4 door*
            50 Champion 2 door*
            53 Commander K Auto*
            53 Commander K overdrive*
            55 President Speedster
            62 GT 4Speed*
            63 Avanti R1*
            64 Champ 1/2 ton

            * Formerly owned

            Comment


            • #7
              Don't you just hate it when you purchase a used car, truck, tractor, etc. and it doesn't come with its factory provided owners manual? Why didn't the previous owner(s) just leave it in the glove box where it belongs? When this happens to me, I usually search Ebay or swap meets for missing manual.
              Last year I purchased a John Deere 120C excavator from a used equipment dealer and I told him I wanted an owners manual for it (as it was missing, of course) and he said that he would send me one, but he never did. So, I searched the internet but eventually had to buy it directly from John Deere as I could not find it elsewhere.
              sigpic
              In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Milaca View Post
                Don't you just hate it when you purchase a used car, truck, tractor, etc. and it doesn't come with its factory provided owners manual? Why didn't the previous owner(s) just leave it in the glove box where it belongs?
                Maybe in this case it’s because the Speedster doesn’t have a glove box, just a flimsy little pouch mounted on the kick panel I know what you mean though. Any time I get a car for my own use I read the manual cover to cover. 60% of it is common sense everybody should know. But there are always some vehicle-specific nuggets you can really use.

                Like what do all these inexplicably un-labeled switches do?
                Proud NON-CASO

                I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                GOD BLESS AMERICA

                Ephesians 6:10-17
                Romans 15:13
                Deuteronomy 31:6
                Proverbs 28:1

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dwain G. View Post
                  Service Bulletin #301, March 1955, consists of 5 pages devoted to the Speedster. Here's the instrument and switch cluster. I will try to get someone to host the complete bulletin.
                  That is fabulous, sir, thank you for taking the time! Just what the doctor ordered.

                  A couple interesting observations: one is the separate switch for the instrument lights. You wonder why it’s separate, and why it has three positions. Also the heating system: why one switch for heater, one for defrost, and then an odd handle up under the dash, instead of one simple control like everybody else?

                  One swanky observation - #15 denotes a ‘cigar’ lighter. I guess that that means if you’re fancy enough to drive a Speedster, cigarettes would be gauche, it’s cigars only!
                  Proud NON-CASO

                  I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                  If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                  GOD BLESS AMERICA

                  Ephesians 6:10-17
                  Romans 15:13
                  Deuteronomy 31:6
                  Proverbs 28:1

                  Illegitimi non carborundum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Instrument lights will be off/dim/bright on that switch. If wired correctly, they can only come on with the headlight though. Sort of a earlier setup from later cars (brand X) where there is a way to adj the brightness but its worked into the headlight switch itself and not separate. But, my 2003 F150 has a separate control again.

                    Jeff in ND

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
                      /Cut/A couple interesting observations: one is the separate switch for the instrument lights. You wonder why it’s separate, and why it has three positions. Also the heating system: why one switch for heater, one for defrost, and then an odd handle up under the dash, instead of one simple control like everybody else?
                      Obviously a Complex System with a separate Defrost Heater Core, with it's own Fan, an Outside Fresh Air Inlet System for the under Seat Heater Core and it's own Fan, could not be controlled by one switch. You normally only need to use the Three, no BIG Deal.

                      If you happen to be in Antarctica, Alaska or Siberia, the outside Air temp. would be too Cold to receive Heat, so that would be the Only time you would CLOSE the outside Fender Door, using the Lever on the Right Side of the Dash, Opening the Inside Door and turning the Heat to Full, for the "Recirculate" Air function.

                      If it is raining or damp or too many Bodies breathing and you want Defrost, you have the option of turning on the Defrost fan.

                      If it is Hot, you have the Option of turning the "Heat" Off, opening the Right Fender Door AND the Inside Door, Plus the left Air Vent, AND you also have the Vent Windows... Refrigeration Air Conditioning? Who needs it!

                      The Climate Control "Ranco Valve", Water Flow Control has a "maintain feature" to keep the Cabin Temp where you set it, or Fully ON or Fully OFF.

                      If I remember correctly a 1990's Chev. Truck has a: Temp. Control, Fan Speed, Outlet Level Control, Recirculate or Fresh Switch PLUS A/C On/Off, not much simpler.

                      All of this is covered well in the Owner's Guides in all Stude Gloveboxes, OPPS, I guess I have to add this for you: OR "Map Pockets" when new.

                      As far as Switches are concerned, all Switches need "HIGH" (Up), "OFF" (Center), and "LOW" (Down), not hard to understand.
                      How else could a Toggle Switch work for Headlight, Off and Parking, Lights?
                      Last edited by StudeRich; 09-18-2020, 03:11 PM.
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The first time I drove a Speedster, I just turned on each switch to learn what was what. Wasn’t really all that difficult.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mbstude View Post
                          The first time I drove a Speedster, I just turned on each switch to learn what was what. Wasn’t really all that difficult.
                          Turn them on. Now, why didn't I think of that? And not even all that difficult for you. You are a real Smarty Marty!
                          Proud NON-CASO

                          I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                          If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                          GOD BLESS AMERICA

                          Ephesians 6:10-17
                          Romans 15:13
                          Deuteronomy 31:6
                          Proverbs 28:1

                          Illegitimi non carborundum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by StudeRich View Post

                            Obviously a Complex System with a separate Defrost Heater Core, with it's own Fan, an Outside Fresh Air Inlet System for the under Seat Heater Core and it's own Fan, could not be controlled by one switch. You normally only need to use the Three, no BIG Deal.

                            If you happen to be in Antarctica, Alaska or Siberia, the outside Air temp. would be too Cold to receive Heat, so that would be the Only time you would CLOSE the outside Fender Door, using the Lever on the Right Side of the Dash, Opening the Inside Door and turning the Heat to Full, for the "Recirculate" Air function.

                            If it is raining or damp or too many Bodies breathing and you want Defrost, you have the option of turning on the Defrost fan.

                            If it is Hot, you have the Option of turning the "Heat" Off, opening the Right Fender Door AND the Inside Door, Plus the left Air Vent, AND you also have the Vent Windows... Refrigeration Air Conditioning? Who needs it!

                            The Climate Control "Ranco Valve", Water Flow Control has a "maintain feature" to keep the Cabin Temp where you set it, or Fully ON or Fully OFF.

                            If I remember correctly a 1990's Chev. Truck has a: Temp. Control, Fan Speed, Outlet Level Control, Recirculate or Fresh Switch PLUS A/C On/Off, not much simpler.

                            All of this is covered well in the Owner's Guides in all Stude Gloveboxes, OPPS, I guess I have to add this for you: OR "Map Pockets" when new.

                            As far as Switches are concerned, all Switches need "HIGH" (Up), "OFF" (Center), and "LOW" (Down), not hard to understand.
                            How else could a Toggle Switch work for Headlight, Off and Parking, Lights?
                            Excellent explanation my friend, I appreciate the effort. You are an EXTRA Smarty Marty!
                            Proud NON-CASO

                            I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

                            If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

                            GOD BLESS AMERICA

                            Ephesians 6:10-17
                            Romans 15:13
                            Deuteronomy 31:6
                            Proverbs 28:1

                            Illegitimi non carborundum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you should ever happen to find yourself driving the Batmobile, it is imperative that you read the Batmobile owner's manual before flipping any switches.
                              sigpic
                              In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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