Turn Signal Switch Replacement

Turn Signal Switch Replacement

Or: Viagra for the Guacamole Bus

One night in December, while coming home from a Christmas Party, the Guac`s turn signal stalk went limp. Just flopping around there instead of the proud, erect lever it always had been.

I pulled the steering wheel off and found the switch`s internal parts had grenaded.

Thanks to the Type 2 list, I got my hands on a German made switch. It appears to be VERY nice.

The levers aren`t identical to the original switch, but they`re REALLY close:

Replacement was pretty straightforward.

  • Carefully remove the horn button:
    I use a plastic knife that will (hopefully) give or break before the plastic of the horn button does. Wedge it in and pry gently. Then do the opposite side of the button. Keep doing this until it pops off.
  • Unplug the horn wire:
    Otherwise it gets in the way of the next step.

  • Remove the steering wheel nut:
    It was easy on the Guac. But if it doesn`t just come loose, tapping with a hammer on the wrench may help. Also, PB Blaster can help loosen it.
  • Pull the steering wheel off:
    Mark with chalk or marker a line on the shaft and on the steering wheel so you can put it back on the same way. Again, it came up easily on the Guac. But using the heel of your hand, bang the underside of the steering wheel, alternating spokes, until it comes up. Pull out the spring around the steering shaft as well.

  • Unplug the switches:
    There are 3 plugs under the plastic collar (below the ignition switch). One is sort of octagonal, that`s the ignition switch. Two are curved. They go to the turn signal and the wiper control. You really need to get under there to see what I`m talking about. Here`s a crappy pic of how they`re set up:

  • Remove the switches:
    At this point the two switches should just lift right out. Of course after 30 years of use, it may not want to come out easily. Be careful, wiggle it, and lift. When they`re out they should look like this:

    Pay CAREFUL attention to how those white wire holders are attached. They attach to each other as well as to the bottom of the wiper switch. If you don`t put them back together in the exact same way you won`t be able to attach the plugs under the collar.
  • Separate the switches:
    Separate the white wire holders from each other and from the bottom of the wiper switch. Unscrew the four screws on top, then pull the two switches apart. Gently. There are steel tubes attached to the wiper switch that the turn signal slides off of.
  • Put the new switch on:
    Now it starts getting good! Just put the new switch on the wiper switch in the same orientation as the old one. Screw them together. Attach the white wire holders. This is where paying attention above will pay off. They snap together easily if you paid attention to how it came apart. If you didn`t, it`ll take some fiddling. Just know that they attach to each other side-by-side, and then attach to the underside of the switch. You`ll hear a *SNAP* when it`s assembled.
  • Install the switches:
    Just drop them into the steering collar. you`ll notice that above the wiper switch lever a part is flat textured black plastic to match the collar. Make sure that slides into the notch in the collar and you`ll be in.

  • Plug `em in:
    Plug in the two switch plugs under the collar. Check the octagonal plug for the ignition to make sure it didn`t come loose.
  • Test:
    Before putting the rest of the rig back together, turn on the ignition and make sure both the wipers and the turn signals work.
  • Install steering wheel:
    Drop it on, lining up your marks. Put on the nut. There may be a torque value, but I have a shorty ratchet I use for guesstimating on these. I probably got it around 25 ft lbs. Maybe I`ll see what it`s supposed to be someday...
  • Install horn button:
    Grease up the steel spring on the sides of the horn button so it comes off easier the next time you need to get in there. Less chance of breaking it!

I`ve gotta say it was much easier than it sounds here. But I wanted to note some gotchas that might get you. I managed to avoid all but one (the ignition plug came out), but some were obviously something that would have bitten me in the ass if I hadn`t been paying attention.

It`s nice to have turn signals again!!

1 comment:

  1. I got a problem with my car's wiper switch, i think the switch itself went crazy because every time i turn it on it will not work but when i turn the the button on that's the time it will work. i tried to fixed it myself but i can't figure out what to do next after removing it. I don't know about it's wiring thing. I'll just try the above procedures you shared. hope it will work for me. thanks!