[Healeys] Adding Switches to a BT7

Al Fuller al at bighealey.org
Sun Feb 5 14:31:39 MST 2017

Hi Mike:


I had a similar situation when I bought my now departed BT-7…  The prior owner had replaced the stock steering wheel with a very nice Moto-Lita, but was not able to mount the trafficator, since the hub was different.  The outcome was the car lacked the stock horn and turn signal in their usual places.  


Their solution for both was to use what looked like existing holes in the dash.  One appeared to be a bolt hole in the center of the dash, up high just under the dash pad.  The other was above the package shelf, and appeared to be where a cigarette lighter would have been.  As others have mentioned, you could also fabricate a small bracket for under dash to hold the controls.  While either approach would work, I believe there are additional considerations:


I found driving the car this way distracting, as the reflex is to reach where the controls are usually located.  The result was poor for both:

-          Turn signal operation required me to take my eyes off the road to locate and operate the turn signal indicator.  Not the worst thing, but I was VERY relieved when I was later able to have the hub milled and install the trafficator!  With the controls back where one would expect them to be, I could concentrate on all the things attendant to turning, like traffic coming up behind me [who may or may not have noticed my petite rear lights], oncoming traffic, pedestrians, traffic in the place I would be turning into, etc. …

-          Horn operation also required looking away from the road to home in on the small horn button over on the dash.  This was more of a problem, as there was usually something relatively urgent happening when I found the need to blow the horn at someone.  In fact, the first couple of times I needed the horn, it was because someone had changed lanes and didn’t see my “little” car there!  In those cases, my reflex was to mash down on the button in the middle of the steering wheel – which of course did nothing, as it wasn’t wired up!  After the initial non-response, I was reminded that I needed to look for the horn button on the dash, and operate it there.  I found this a safety issue, and dealt with it right away.


I recognize that most of this doesn’t help you locate your turn signal and horn, but I do hope it gives you something to think about as you do so.  It looks like the DW steering column does represent a safety improvement for the head-on crash, but it also looks like something designed for racing, and not street use.  I looked, but did not find anything on their site that suggests a viable solution – just a note that you will need to relocate the signals.


Maybe the hot-rod crown have something you can use…


Al Fuller

al at bighealey dot org

'65 BJ-8

'85 Rx-7


From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Mike Tobin
Sent: Friday, February 3, 2017 10:07 PM
To: healeys at autox.team.net
Subject: [Healeys] Adding Switches to a BT7


Hey Y'all,

About ready to install and wire the dash on the BT7 and looking for ideas on how to add a couple switches without cutting any holes in the dash.

I'll be installing a DW safety steering column which has no stator tube so I need  homes for the indicators and the horn.  Thinking a two position switch and a momentary switch.

Thanks and Cheers,

Mike Tobin

Townsend, Montana

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