Rickspoondog_lightning.jpg (306075 bytes)
                        Ricks Lightning

 Bob McLane  and What 04 

Put together some great info on modifying your headlight switch to allow you to run the fog lights with the parking lights or in the autolamp position.  Some of this info is from a Lightning and some from a Super crew but the headlamp switch should be the same ...

Through the generosity of Rick and Bob I have assembled all the info here and used Rick's great description with Bobs Excellent photos.  

Here is a Copy of Rick's page from http://home.mindspring.com/~rcarino/lightning_foglamp_mod.htm

(I added Bobs photos for clarity)

Extending Fog/Driving Lamp Functionality
in the 2000 SVT F-150 Lightning

This document is the culmination of data and experience gained in altering the stock functionality of the 2000 Lightning's Fog or Driving Lights. These are the round lights housed in the front lower fairing, and are referred to in this document as Foglights.

This document is written based on my 2000 model year only,
but the information presented here may be useful for other model years.

In the stock mode of operation, you are only able to activate the fog lights when the headlight switch is in the full 'on' (or headlamp position), mainly because it is the only position where you can physically pull out the switch to activate the fog lamps.

Through testing and guessing, I have altered my truck's headlight switch mechanism and wiring in such a way that I am able to:

  1. pull out the headlight switch in the auto lamp, the parking lamp, and the headlamp positions.
  2. activate the fog lights while the headlight switch is in the auto lamp, parking lamp and headlamp positions.

How? There are 2 parts I recommend in this procedure - the physical modification, and the electrical modification.

Preliminary Preparations

  1. Gather your tools. I used a small screwdriver, small hobby file, medium pair of pliers, 3M splice connector, electrical tape, and an air compressor (canned air will suffice).

  2. Take a deep breath. If you are like me, I'm very hesitant to hurt my truck, so any modification is a big one.

  3. Remove the headlight switch console. This console has three metal clips holding it in the dash- one on the bottom-middle where the 'notch' is, one on the left-middle, and one on the top-right. I simply used a small screwdriver to coax these clips into releasing the console from the dash. There are 2 sets of wires plugged into the back of this console.

Results at this point:
You should be ready to start working.

Part 1 - Physical Modification: The Headlight Switch Mechanism

  1. Disconnect the wires. The connectors to the back of the console have a 'lock' or 'latch' that you must press while wiggling/pulling the connector. I also don't recommend pulling on the wires - there is always the possibility of damaging a wire or pulling it from the connector.

  2. Headlight Switch Assembly  ( Disassembly ??)  
    There are 2 ways to approach the next step. One is to cut the heat welds off the back of the Light switch as shown in photos below or as Rick puts it "Bob opened his switch up by cutting the "heat tabs", which is why he was able to get photos of the inside of his switch console.  I never took mine apart simply because I was afraid to; and
    since I was able to get my desired result, I didn't feel I needed to.  And I'm not going to take it apart again! =) ~rick"

  3. Find the collar. If you look into the console from the bottom, you should be able to see the mechanical headlamp switch mechanism. There's a black plastic column that's attached to the headlamp switch that should rotate as you move the switch to its different positions (autolamp, off, park, on). Also attached to that column, inside the console, there's a black plastic 'arm' - this, along with the 'ramped' white plastic collar around the switch, is what prevents the headlamp knob from being pulled out in any position except the 'on' headlamp position.

    The easiest way to find the 'ramped' white plastic collar I am talking about is to turn the switch to the full on headlamp and foglamp position (turn switch full clockwise and pull it out). Now look for the black plastic arm. Now watch that arm as you slowly turn the switch counter-clockwise back to the park position. You should see the arm ride on a white plastic collar surrounding the whole headlamp switch mechanism. There is a 'ramp' in this collar that forces the switch to pop back inward when you turn from the 'on' position to the 'park' position.

    Good luck, this can be a little confusing.

  4. Persuade the collar. Using a small file, I filed down the white plastic collar at the positions I wanted to be able to pull out the headlamp switch to activate the foglamps. I filed down the ramp at the 'park' position, but duplicated the slope on the other side of that position. So now the switch stays pulled-out in the 'on' and 'park' position, but still pops back in when I turn to 'off'. For the autolamp position, I filed a notch and ramp towards the off position. Again, the switch stays pulled-out in the 'auto' position, but still pops back in when I turn to 'off'. Make sure to clean/blow out the plastic filings from the casing.

    IMPORTANT: I do NOT recommend simply cutting the 'arm' from the switch column. This negates the collar's secondary function of being able to provide 'stops' for the switch mechanism. One bit of feedback I have gotten from someone who just cut the arm is: "Without the sweeper arm, the whole switch is kind of wonky. It pulls out too far and will also rotate past the autolamp position. Just don't like the feel."

    NOTE: Since this is a single-piece part, I chose NOT to take off the faceplate to make any alterations. I'm sure one can take the thing apart and superglue/epoxy it back together, but I'd rather not break plastic pieces apart if I don't absolutely have to.

Results at this point:

Your foglamps should now activate with your headlamps in autolamp mode. Reassemble everything, turn the headlamp switch to autolamp, pull out on the headlamp switch, and turn the ignition to 'on'. You can now fool the autolamp sensor (underneath the plastic 'grille' in the middle of the dashboard) to activate by covering it and deactivate it by shining a flashlight into it.

NOTE: Canadian owners' trucks will work differently at this point. Instead of the foglight only turning on with the autolamps when the switch is in the appropriate position, the foglamps will light whenever the ignition is on. This is due to the added DRL (Daytime Running Lights) feature, which is apparently mandatory in Canada. This is probably fixable, but requires the electrical splice described below, AND cutting the #2 wire away from the switch connector. Read on...

Part 2 - Electrical Modification: The Headlight Switch Wiring

This is the easiest part. If you look at the wire connector that plugs into the back of the headlamp switch, there should be 9 wires of varying colors. Although the connector has space for 12 wires, only 9 of them are used. Also, on the wire side of the connector (as opposed to the switch side of the connector, which is the side you would insert into the switch), the wire positions are numbered.

Okay, find the #2 wire (white/black) and the #12 wire (brown) that is attached to the connector and splice them together. That's it! No cutting needed! Don't forget to electrical tape/insulate your splice well.

NOTE: For Canadian owners, after performing the electrical splice described above, you should cut the #2 wire away from the switch connector to achieve the results below. Also keep in mind that this addition step is my best guess at a solution, but should be considered untested. If you try this on a Canadian 2000 Lightning, please let me know your results.

Results at this point:
In addition to working with the autolamps, you should now be able to activate your foglamps with just your parking lights. Make sure to test everything BEFORE popping the switch console back into the dash... much easier this way in case something is/goes wrong.


Well, that's it for duplicating my truck's added foglamp features. There are, however, other possible variations to this procedure.

For example: to convert your foglamps to psuedo-DRL's you can splice the #5 wire to the #7 wire to have the fogs turn on whenever you rotate the headlamp switch to the auto position (filing the switch isn't necessary for this one). Or to make the fogs always turn on with the parking lamps, you can splice the #5 wire to the #12 wire (no filing for this one either). If you want to make your own variant, I would study the data I gathered to see how you might go about getting the exact behavior you want.

If there are any questions or feedback, please let me know!

Reference Material

View the Data Collected.

View the original Message Board thread.

My thanks to WHAT04, Struck99, and all my friends on the F150 Online Lightning Message Board.


Data Collected

These drawing show the connections made by the headlamp switch in a number of stock positions.


Bob McLane's Nice description with photos...

Lightning_svt and what04:
Great info and detail. Following photos detail the mod to a 2001 SuperCrew. Works like a charm.

Remove Lighting control panel, It just pulls out                    Disconnect cables from back


Cut off "heat tabs" holding the face plate onto the control box            Lift the rotary part of the switch


Detail of the "arm" and "ramp"


File and/ or cut out another "ramp"


Reinstall control box and splice #2 (white/ black) and #12 (brown) wires together

Operation: Parking lights selected and knob pulled out (note amber fog light illuminated)

Auto selected with knob pulled out


What 04's description 

Got my new switch today and decided to do this job right.

I cut the melted tabs off the back of the switch faceplate and removed the switch knob.

With the faceplate off, it is much easier to cut the ramp on the back of it. Not a long job. Just duplicate the ramp of the normal ON setting.

Now comes the slick part. With the faceplate off, two tabs lift up and the whole rotary part of the switch comes out.
Now you have access to the switch shaft which has grooves cut in it. There is a stationary spring-loaded nipple that pops into these grooves to give the clicking action on the switch when you pull it out for fogs. The grooves do not wrap around the shaft far enough to click when pulling the switch in the autolamp position. Simply file the groove maybe 20 degrees further around and VOILA, the switch clicks up and down in the autolamp position just like the ON position. Feels like factory to me. No more wonky switch that feels broken somehow.

Gluing the faceplate back on is a snap if you have crazy glue or CA glue (ask your hobby store).

Unfortunately, my fogs are always on if the switch is pulled, but hey, us Canadian boys gotta be different, eh?!?