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CrossT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Question Turn Signal/Hi Beam Switch Malfunction

I have a strange problem with the hi beam/flasher function on the switch. It seems to have a mind of its own. The flash function [i.e., hi and lo beams on simultaneously] will engage on its own. The hi beam functions correctly when the switch is pushed forward, but when the hi/low switch is pulled back in normal position it will engage both. I'm sure it is annoying to others on the road as it appears I am flashing them. Also, It's got to be bad on the bulb and wiring as they aren't made to stay put in flash mode. When I see it has engaged all I have to do is wiggle the switch and it goes back to normal [for a while].

Is there anything serviceable in the switch. Seems like something is sliding back and forth and is maybe meant to be sprung ??

I hate to tear it apart only to find that it is an R&R item . . .

thanks for any insight you might here

todd
86 cpe

Old 12-27-2003, 08:49 AM
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Replace it and install relays for the high and low beams. It's the heat from the too-small headlight contacts that cause nearly all of the switch problems. Installing relays extends the switch life.
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Old 12-27-2003, 09:25 AM
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Turn Signal Switch

Had the same problem with my 1988 911 a couple months ago. Pulled the steering wheel off after marking it. (No special tools needed) Took the top and bottom covers off. Then used a standard screw driver and bent the contact switch to the point were high and low beams worked. Took about 10 minutes of tweeking. Ordered a new switch, put haven't installed it yet. Good luck.
Old 12-27-2003, 09:55 AM
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For the relays, Pelican sells relays or you can buy a ready-made kit with relays mounted on a holder and already wired up, with clear wiring instructions, from Marcus Sucro, msucro@rennlist.com - it costs something like $25. I put in the sucro kit, it was easy. Wayne should carry it. For more info, do a search for "sucro".
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Old 12-27-2003, 10:16 AM
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just did it. the high/low beam contacts sorta fuse together on those things. just replace the switch. the hardest part was sticking my fat head under the dash to switch the wires over from the old switch to the new. i have crappy memory, so i pushed the new contacts right next to the old ones on the headlight switch and replaced them one at a time. then i yanked the old assembly out. CAN someone post a sketch of the wireingdiagram relays needed to extend the life of the switches?
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Old 12-27-2003, 10:20 AM
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For $100 plus your (or someone else's) labor, you can replace it.

JGPORSCHE gave one method to fix it, by bending one of the three fingers that hold the contacts. Those thin fingers are tough to bend accurately.

I fixed mine a different way. Remove the steering wheel and the top and bottom shrouds to expose the turn signal. Look at the left side. You will see three thin vertical "fingers" with contacts at the top ends -- these are closely but evenly spaced on the left of the view.

To the right is a much thicker vertical bar (perhaps 1/16" thick), and touching that bar on its right side (towards the driver) is a small square bar (about 1/8" square in the end view you have. Watch this thicker bar as you operate the light switch into the "flash position" -- the square bar pushes the thick vertical bar to the left, flashing the headlights. Now look at the contact patch between the square bar and the thick vertical piece. You will find that it is probably worn -- mine was, and that was causing the "mind of its own" flashing of the headlights when I hit a bump.

If this contact is worn enough, it allows the vertical bar to move slightly to the RIGHT, which will tend to activate the headlights. It does not have to move very far, since the clearances between the thin fingers is so small.

Get some aluminum foil from the kitchen. I used the thicker of two boxes my wife keeps on hand. Cut a piece about 1" by 1/2". Fold this into a rectangle 1/4" by 1/2". Wedge this between the square bar and the thicker vertical bar, thereby moving the vertical bar to the left (away from the driver) by the thickness of your folded aluminum foil.

Works quite well. My worry would be that the foil might slip out, so I l am leaving the shrouds off for a while until I am satisfied that the foil will stay in place. If it moves, I will clean the contact area and glue it in place.

Beats $100 plus the arduous replacement. I am much too big -- and old -- to work upside down under the dash.
Old 12-27-2003, 08:01 PM
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Thanks guys!

Brian; sounds like what I have going on. Now that you mention it, I do think there is a connection between either bumps or road angle and the activation of the flash. I'll give the switch a look to see if it can be 'fixed' in place. I did something similar [in place] with my wiper switch a year or so ago and it is still working fine.

If it doesn't work, I can replace. It appears that replacing this switch is a PITA, though.

todd
86 cpe
Old 12-28-2003, 08:05 AM
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if the sliding plastic block is not melted, the top silver looking thick bar that moves the plastic block can be slightly bent into a curve to fix the problem. we're talking SLIGHTLY bent. support the pivot end when you tweek it, or you'll pop it out.
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Old 12-28-2003, 10:52 AM
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We have success! I pulled the wheel and the covers to the switches. Then I pulled the turn signal switch [without disconnecting]. Afer staring at it for a while, I thought I understood what is supposed to move when you either pull or push on the stalk. It appeared to me that the inner copper 'spring contact' [toward the driver] was over time, thru normal use/flashing, bent REALLY close to its contact and would probably account for the sporadic flashing. I bent it away a bit so that there a definite space there. This has solved the problem.

Sounds like my solution was that suggested by Brian thru JGPORSCHE.

Thanks for the help guys. Another cheap fix thanks to this board.

todd
86 cpe

Old 01-04-2004, 11:46 AM
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