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Rehabbing a 56 Dodge PowerFlite Control Panel and Buttons
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   Forward Look Technical Discussions -> Transmission and Rear AxleMessage format
Posted 2018-12-20 8:04 PM (#575570)
Subject: Rehabbing a 56 Dodge PowerFlite Control Panel and Buttons

Expert 5K+

Posts: 6133
Location: Lower Mainland BC

I am considering the option of going for a TorqueFlite (TF) transmission to replace my 56 Dodge PowerFlite (PF). In doing so, I have acquired a NOS 56 Imperial TF five button shifter mechanism. I was playing with it yesterday and as I learned how it worked (by playing with the shifter stubs), I decided to take the plate of my PF shifter and determine why the lighting of the buttons was so poor (there was light but it was pathetic).

Once I knew that taking the shifter plate off wasn't going to result in springs and whatnot flying off, never to be seen again, it was all pretty easy to improve the button lighting.

I forgot to take photos when I took it apart but I did take photos when I put it back together so I will use those photos as the disassembly photos below, starting with a previously take photo of the poor lighting and ending with the result of cleaning, etc.

1. Initial state of the poor lighting, barely lit.

2. Start of the disassembly, remove the two screws and place them in safe place.

3. Install two small bambo skewer bit in the screw holes to guide the plate (actually, that is only helpful for re-assembly, not needed for disassembly)

3. Pull the plate off and consider whether you should clean and polish it before re-installing. I did both.

4. Observe the felt gasket that must be there as a light shield (doesn't work that well).

5. Pull off the felt gasket and observe the buttons and how they are clustered around the light bulb.

6. Pull the buttons off the metal mechanism fingers. Pull straight out, don't twist.

7. Remove the Type 57 bulb.

8. Clean or replace the bulb (I bought a new Phillips 57CP bulb (2 on a card for $1.95) (The same Type 57 bulb is also used for all the instrument cluster lighting).

9. Clean the plastic part of the buttons. Note that the light shines through the "clear" stem of the button and reflects up to the end of the button. Note also that the black part is intended shut the light to that button "off" when it is pushed in, i.e. only the buttons that are NOT being used are intended to be lit up. To clean, I used Windex, soapy water and an old soft toothbrush.

10. Clean the end of the button off grime, etc. in the engraved/inset N, D, L and R letters. To clean, I used Windex, soapy water and an old soft toothbrush.

11. Polish the metal button covers with your favourite chrome polish.

12. Clean and polish the shifter plate.

13. Reassembly is the reverse of removal (note the bamboo skewer "trick" to keep the felt gasket in place while you reinstall the metal shifter plate and the two screws).

14. Observe the final product and the new and improved level of light coming from the ends of the shifter buttons.

Yes, I know that the control bezel needs paint - as soon as the weather gets warm again (think March).

Edited by 56D500boy 2018-12-20 8:39 PM













Attachments DaveFsPowerFliteShifter_LitSortOfLOL.jpg (131KB - 92 downloads)
Attachments SurrogatePFControlBoxAndButtonsToShowHowDirtyAndLightBlockingTheButtonsCanGet.jpg (234KB - 93 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox3_screwsOutAndDowelsIn.jpg (128KB - 92 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox4_PlateOffFeltGasketExposed.jpg (125KB - 92 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox5_FeltGasketRemovedExposingTheButtonsAndType57Bulb.jpg (116KB - 91 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox6_Type57BulbOnShowingHowLightImpactsTheUnpaintedButtonStem.jpg (125KB - 94 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox7_Type57BulbWithButtonsPulledStraightOutOneAtaTime.jpg (115KB - 90 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox8_Type57SingleContactBulbRemoved.jpg (109KB - 94 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox9_ButtonStemsCleanedOf62YearsOfDust_1.jpg (80KB - 92 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox10_ButtonStemsCleanedOf62YearsOfDust_2.jpg (73KB - 94 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox11_CleanedAndReassembled_NoLightsOn.jpg (117KB - 95 downloads)
Attachments PFControlBox12_CleanedAndReassembled_LightsOn.jpg (114KB - 89 downloads)
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Posted 2019-10-24 9:24 PM (#589218 - in reply to #575570)
Subject: Re: Rehabbing a 56 Dodge PowerFlite Control Panel and Buttons

Elite Veteran

Posts: 769
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
just like new again !
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