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Patrick03
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400 posts
Jul-21-03, 07:41 PM (EST)
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"How to take apart window switches?"
 
   I want to take apart my widow switches in my '91 so I can clean the contacts. Which part of the switch housing needs to be pushed out so the switch will come apart? Is there an easy method to get these things apart?

Thanks,
-Patrick Mills-

Grosse Pointe, Michigan USA
'91 Alfa 164S
'81 Fiat Turbo Spider


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How to take apart window switches?, Patrick03, 07:41 PM, Jul-21-03, (0)  
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Richard King
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361 posts
Jul-23-03, 08:39 AM (EST)
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1. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #0
 
   Hi

Don't try and take the switches apart. My console rear window switches were very intermittant to the point of not working so I decided to investigate. First I swapped the front window switch with the rear ones to prove that the rear window mechs were OK. Then I took the indevidual switches out of the plastic frame - used two small flat screw drivers down one side of the switch and levered it out.

Around the press paddle was a lot of dust and fibre - used a small brush to clean it out and then when it was tipped upside down and shaken, a whole lot of dirt etc fell out. Cleaned all the switches and re-assembled. Window operation is now perfect, front and rear.

I guess over time, dust and dirt works its way onto the switch contacts and prevents them from mating properly.

Richard King UK
90 V6 A/T Lusso Red


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shamrock
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262 posts
Jul-23-03, 01:44 PM (EST)
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2. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #1
 
   Also when the window engine gets weak the buttons burn out. I went through a lot of them until I realized that. Sam "Shamrock"


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Del
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1542 posts
Jul-23-03, 04:30 PM (EST)
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3. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #2
 
   You can pop the rocker out of the top of the switch. Underneath there is a cellophane film sealing the inner part of the switch. Trim this off, and squirt a little wd-40 into the switch, then pop the rocker part back into the switch. Seems to cure it's ills for a long long time. Did it years ago and still am using the same switches.

I think the plastic film keeps in the contaminants from the switch arcing/sparking, they deposit/condense out on the contacts thus causing an eventual lack of proper electrical conduction in the switch. I know of no other switch that use this film in this way, so I think it was a design error that renders the switch inoperative. Planned obsolescence, maybe?

Del

Seattle

89 Milano
91 164S
94 164LS
72 Morgan 27


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Lowejackson
Charter Member
188 posts
Jul-24-03, 05:01 AM (EST)
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4. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #3
 
   Just use contact cleaner, spray and leave for a few minutes, works for me. WD40 always seems to create more problems in the long term. Dust and dirt love WD40.


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Del
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1542 posts
Jul-24-03, 07:03 PM (EST)
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5. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #4
 
   Contact cleaner will work fine, but it doesn't contain any lubricants for the moving parts of the switch. Would you eventually wear out the switch?

Del

Seattle

89 Milano
91 164S
94 164LS
72 Morgan 27


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alfa1277
Charter Member
96 posts
Jul-24-03, 07:59 PM (EST)
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6. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #0
 
   I agree with some of the folks saying to use contact cleaner. It's meant for electrical parts, and will get the switches clean. Also, look for any kind of corrosion or discoloration on the metal prongs that connect the switch to the electrical plug. You can clean them with an emory board. I had problems with my seat switches and had great success cleaning them with an emory board.


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Del
Charter Member
1542 posts
Jul-24-03, 11:51 PM (EST)
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7. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #6
 
   Contact cleaner is meant for cleaning contaminants and oils (including lubricating) off of circuit boards and contacts, but has no attributes for moving/touching parts, esp plastic ones, which wear out quickly against each other. At $25 a pop, I like to make sure those damn switches don't wear out if I can help it.

Del

Seattle

89 Milano
91 164S
94 164LS
72 Morgan 27


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Patrick03
Charter Member
400 posts
Jul-29-03, 12:17 PM (EST)
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8. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #0
 
   Thanks to everyone for the great tips. I disassembled my switches, cleaned them out, and they seem to be working! Lets hope it lasts!

A couple of tips I'd like to add to clarify things:

1) Switches can be removed from the bezel by using two small screwdrivers. Place the screwdrivers in the two small rectaganle slots next to the switch. Pry out the switch using both screwdrivers at the same time.

2) To remove the part of the switch that you press on from the rest of the switch housing, you need to stick a small screwdriver next to the pivot point of the switch and then twist the screwdriver and then pry the switch off. I tried just prying it off and ended up breaking off on of the pivot points.

3) Once inside the switch, removing the plastic cover is no big deal and is easily done.

4) For contact cleaner, I used some stuff from RadioShack that also lubricates. I'm worried the lubrication grease they use will attract dirt, but it was the only contact cleaner I could find.

As for the concern that Del had, I don't know if I would worry about it too much. Contact cleaner is the right stuff to use and the only surface you need to worry about wearing out from non-lubrication is the pivot points for the switch. These came from the factory unlubed so I don't think it is a concern.

-Patrick-

Grosse Pointe, Michigan USA
'91 Alfa 164S
'81 Fiat Turbo Spider


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Del
Charter Member
1542 posts
Jul-29-03, 05:41 PM (EST)
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9. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #8
 
   Yah, you are probably right. Being an engineer, sometimes I get a little anal about making sure things are lubed and treated for long life. Not going to give those suckers any more money than I have to.

Of course, "coming from the factory unlubed" is not exactly a ringing endorsement, as we all know.

Del

Seattle

89 Milano
91 164S
94 164LS
72 Morgan 27


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Del
Charter Member
1542 posts
Jul-29-03, 05:48 PM (EST)
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10. "RE: How to take apart window switches?"
In response to message #9
 
   And I forgot to mention, in the old days, many of the switches used
in Alfas had levers, rollers, balls, springs and many other internal gizmo's to function together as a switch. Even the English cars didn't have such weird Rube Goldberg mechanisms as some of those strange switches. They always needed lubing. Between those and the English cars, you always had to watch everything.

Del

Seattle

89 Milano
91 164S
94 164LS
72 Morgan 27


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