I had an intermittent problem with my dome light that I isolated to the headlight switch, so the task was to understand how it works and clean it up.
Here are a few pictures of the switch and its parts, starting with the removal from the dash. It is not necessary to pull the instrument cluster from the dash to change out the switch. I'm just showing this so you can see the button that releases the knob and shaft assembly so that you can remove the switch from the dash.
All you have to do is disconnect the battery, pull the switch to the headlight position, push this little button on the underside of the switch, and pull the knob out. Don't push on the button before pulling to the headlight position. It won't come loose no matter how hard you try.
Actually the problem I had could have been fixed without taking the switch apart, as the dome light and dash light contacts are on the outside of the switch. In the second picture you can see the lever that is actuated when you turn the switch fully counter-clockwise. This contact turns on the dome light. It can easily get bent or corroded.
The next picture shows the way the contacts move along the potentiometer that varies the dash light intensity. Next to it we have a close-up of this external area without the center contacts.
The following picture is the block that does all the work of the headlights and parking lights, as well as the release mechanism for the shaft/knob assembly. There is a spring under each copper contact and a spring under the nylon button that releases the shaft. I gave all of these parts a bath in WD40 and a toothbrush.
Next to it is a picture that contains all of the parts, inside and out. When you pry apart the tabs to open the switch, be careful to note how it is and not lose any parts. The three springs will pop everything out. Since assembly requires you to hold the assembled block in place while you insert the front mechanism and slide the cover into the front and down on the switch, if you do not have a helper a twist tie is a big help. (shown in the last picture).
The operation of the switch it simple:
When the knob is pushed in, the contact block slides back to the far end, just touching the parking light contacts, but not touching the power.
When the switch is pulled to the parking light position, the back contacts move to the parking light contacts and the front contacts to the electrical power in the center.
When it is pulled out all the way the back two contacts move to the hot terminals with power and the front two move to the headlight contacts, passing current to them.
Corvair Headlight Switch
Back side of the dash showing the switch and the button to push for knob removal
Exterior part of switch, showing the lever that is engauged when the shaft is rotated fully counter-clockwise
Exterior part of switch, showing the rheostat that varies the intensity of the dash lights
Closeup of the potentiometer and dome light activator lever disassembled
Assembled block of contacts, springs and release button for knob
All of the parts of the switch
Assembling the switch with the help of a twist tie