1958 SQUAREBIRDS TAIL LIGHT WIRING CONFIGURATION
BY: Richard Johnson (FUZ)
Over the past couple years, there have been many questions about the wiring configurations used on the '58 bird's tail light lenses. There appears to be two different configurations used resulting in entirely different configurations used on the early and later production cars. I have attempted to document the actual wiring setup used by reviewing the '58 birds I own. The information provided below applies to both the hardtop and convertible. The only difference is the convertible has a large light blue wire running to the solenoids on the trunk lid. The current wiring diagrams available from several sources, do not agree with the cars out there leading to much confusion while doing repairs or restorations.
During the review of the '58 birds I own I have found two different configurations both early and later styles. There appears to be a running change made by Ford sometime after (03D) April 3rd, S/N H8YH108542 and May 27th (27E), S/N H8YH116972. Unfortunately with the small sampling of cars, I cannot narrow it down any closer than this two month period. As of this writing I have only documented the rear of the car. In the future I will do an article on the front wiring harness.
The early cars had six wires running to the trunk area, whereas the later version had five wires. The early harness contained two green, two black, one yellow and one orange wire. The difference between early and later models was the function of the inboard and outboard tail lights.
The early configuration had the turn signal lights and brake lights operate independently of each other. One of the green wires with a green end, goes to the driver's inboard, light green wire with a green end, and continues to the passenger's side inboard light green wire. This is the brake light circuit. The other green wire with an orange end goes to the driver's side outboard light green wire. This is the left turn signal light. The orange wire with green end goes to the passenger's side outboard light green wire. This is the right turn signal.
Common Wires To Both Configurations:
The yellow wire goes to the fuel sending unit accessed through a plate in the trunk. Grounding for the tail lights excluding the backup light is through the tail light bezel. The black wire with the black ends goes to the inboard and outboard lights on both sides connecting to the black wire coming from the center of the tail light bezel. These connect through a series of connectors on both sides and activate the tail lights when turning on the headlight switch.
The other black wire with a red end connects to the black wire with a red end coming from the bottom of the tail light bezel. This light goes in the center of one of the lenses. The earlier configuration puts the backup light on the inboard lenses on both sides. The later configuration puts it on the outboard lenses on both sides. The backup light socket has two wires coming out of it. One black with red end and one red with the red wire being the ground that attaches to a bolt from the lower tail light bezels. The backup light snaps into the center of the tail light lens thus illuminating the white part of the lens. The lens that is not used as the backup, the center of that lens is covered with a piece of black duct tape.
The green wire with green end goes to the driver's side outboard light green wire. This functions as both the left turn signal and brake lights. The green wire on the inboard light is left unconnected. The orange wire with the green end goes to the passenger's side outboard light and connects to the green wire. This functions as both the right side turn signal and brake lights. The inboard light green wire is left disconnected.
Created: 17 Feb, 2014
Last Edited: 17 Feb, 2014
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