Nav light/panel dimmer switch

Archer’s annual was going along quite nicely yesterday, I assisted by opening every thing up, air filter, etc. Sadly, when we went to check Nav lights, nothing. We checked all the bulbs, connections, all the obvious stuff, and were able to get the lights to work by jumping power to the bus under the left rear seat. There is power coming from the switch, but when the load from the lights is applied, nothing again. The conclusion is the combination switch/rheostat has a bad contact. This could be one of those deals where we placard “no night operations” until it is repaired, except for the Uavionics Tail Beacon, which of course is our ADS-B transmitter. Alas, no flight at all until we find a solution. There was a thread on the forum a few years ago about buying a used switch, nothing new seems to be available, or hacking a new toggle switch for the Nav lights since the rheostat for the radio stack seems to work. My question: is it strictly legal to just put a toggle switch, say where the old A/C switches were located? Does anyone have one of those switches they would part with? The Piper part number is 67436-4, and there are a few used ones listed through the Controller website, but it’s Sunday and I’ll have to wait til tomorrow to call and check if they’re the real McCoy and putting an old one in is not ideal, especially since it’s major panel surgery to swap.



  • edited June 2023

    I couldn’t stand the dimmer/nav switch. Always wondering if nav lights were on or off... Since all my new radios are no longer on a dimmer circuit, I added Nulites to all my 4 remaining analog gauges and put those on the original panel dimmer. The panel dimmer was then moved to the left so I could replace navlt/radio dimmer with an OEM Piper Nav Switch 99377-15 (~$75) and keep it near the other light switches.

    I had to modify the right dimmer hole to accommodate the switch. I filled in the aluminum, then refiled it out and added the countersunk holes.

    I provided this modified panel to my avionics shop who then did all the wiring and Nulites install.

    Here are pics for inspiration. This wasn’t cheap to simply replace a dimmer with a switch, but I’m happy.

    Greg Arserio | PP-ASEL-Instrument | N8390C 1976 Archer II | Rochester, NY (Based at KSDC)

  • That's a really nice setup, and is the way it should've been done at the factory. The original switch still dims, so we are just going to add a toggle switch that will remain on all the time for Nav lights and tail beacon since there really isn't any reason to turn the ADS-B off.

  • My navlights have gone out three times and every time, the problem has been a bad ground at the wing tip. Have you checked for voltage at the navlights? Tested ground?

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