18 August 2012

Fixing Window Switch - Part III

This is not the first time, nor the second time...this is the third and hopefully, final time repairing the window switches.  Well, it not really a repair, more of a modification to the car to allow the switched to sit properly. 

As I have concluded, the problem is not with the switch...well, it kinda is.  Functionally, as a switch, it is fine.  They work pretty much flawlessly.  The problem is with the design.  The new window switched from DMC are too long.

Older switch (left) and new switch (right)
Note in the photo that the switch on the right is a little longer. The one on the left is also a reproduction switch.  I do not have an original switch to compare to.  I am guessing that it would be closer in length to the one on the left.

As I mentioned before, this extra length causes the connector to hit the base of the center console.  This pushes the switch out of its place and can cause shorting of the wires...as it happened with my first switch.  This problem has been bugging my since I got these new switches.  Today, this all changes.

Wear marks show excessive amount of rubbing from the connector
Picture shows where the connector is rubbing the center console, part of the fiberglass body.  In order to gain access to this area, I will need to disassemble the center console...again.

DeLorean center console
It is a lot of work just to get to that area.  Luckily, I have done this before when I swapped out all the lights for LED's.

Cutting into the fiberglass body
I used a rotary tool to cut into the fiberglass body.  According to the manuals, there is nothing directly under this area.  So, cut away.

The fiberglass is thicker than I thought
Cutting the holes was fairly easy.  I did everything free hand.  I have a pretty steady hand, and this will not be seen by anyone.

Tape to prevent loose piece from falling through

I put a piece of tape so the loose piece would not fall into the abyss.  The issue is only on the driver's side, I went ahead an did both sides.  After each cut, I vacuumed out the dust.  Cutting fiberglass creates a lot of dust.  Pretty sure I inhaled some DeLorean dust.  Once done with rough cutting the holes with the rotary tool, I used a file to round off the edges.

Now, the fun part of reassembling the center console, and seeing if this solution will work.

Connector is free of obstruction
Success!  There is no more rubbing of the connector.  You can see where the connector would have pushed against the console base.  The switch now sits flush with no binding.  I should have done this years ago when I first got my new switches. 

So much better
It makes me wonder why others have not had this rubbing and binding problem with the newer switches.  Since the newer switches have a built in light, I would assume that many have upgraded to this feature.   There is a plate that goes in the switch to 'activate' the light up feature.  I did not install this plate, since it added an extra 2mm to the length of the connection.  Now that I have enough clearance, I will install the plates...first, I have to find them

There must be a reason that DMC designed the new switches to be longer, other than to put in a light.  Surely a specific part like this should have gone through a lot of debugging before production.  Or, maybe my car is just that goofy.  I have the rare textured pontoons, which is part of the fiberglass body.  Perhaps those with textured pontoons have a higher console base that interferes with the new window switches.

This problem is solved...for now.

For those wondering how thick the fiberglass body is, it is 0.225" (at least in the center).


Martini said...

I don't want to replace my switches (they work), but the painted arrows are worn and ugly. I'm not sure what I want to do.

awildermode said...

Have you tried creating a mask with tape, then spraying it with white? Or, you could cut vinyl in shape of arrows and apply in the little recess.

Anonymous said...

There are decals out there for little money that stick very good.
Mine have lasted for at least 8 years now and still are OK.
Available for example from www.deloman.de

I don't want LEDs in the switches when this means cutting the fibre glass.
But a good and detailed writeup.
Elvis & 6548