105 Column (Light) Switch - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 10-06-2008, 09:05 PM
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105 Column (Light) Switch

I bought a new column switch for my '69 GT Junior over a year ago after my old one starting starting to act up. (After a big, ground-up restoration) Everthing was perfect until about 4 months ago when, after a long drive with the lights on, the headlights didn't go off after I turned the switch. (Only the headlights- everything else turned off.) With a little fiddling with the switch, they did finally turn off. I used this technique for about a month until my present condition- the headlights NEVER go off! I tore the old switch apart looking for answers. It seems like an unusual but basically sound design. This is not my first Alfa or my first 105. I've never had problems of this sort. I asked for help from the supplier (I will not say who, but- no answer, no help). I did get a fair amount of plastic media dust in the interior at first after the restoration, but saw none in the old switch. Thanks for any help!
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:01 PM
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The new switches that suppliers have for sale are reproductions of the originals and are not well made. I've bought two and both had problems after a short while.
One lost a detent ball after about 2 weeks and the other started smoking after the headlights were on for a few hours. All of the riveted contacts were loose.
I've had better luck using good originals from europe where the chrome handles don't rust so much.
Randy
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:23 PM
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105 Column Switch

Thanks, Randy;
I purchased the switch in the UK from an otherwise reputable source. I had a choice rebuilt or new; I chose new (Jaeger- nice chrome handles- very expensive!). Sounds like I may be in for a new switch (from a different supplier!) I'll have a conversation about my previous experience before I buy.
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Old 10-07-2008, 12:42 PM
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I would not shoot the messenger here. If the new switch was made by Jaeger, how could it be the suppliers fault that it failed?

The original headlight switches fitted to 105s are designed such that their maximum continuous current flow is just above the current requirements of stock headlights. Normally, this does not present any problems. However, putting in aftermarket headlights or higher wattage bulbs can, eventually, cook the switch. This is why many owners choose to install headlight relays.
Are you running stock headlights?
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Old 10-07-2008, 01:45 PM
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105 Column Switch

Thanks, Papajam- Yes, stock 65W lamps as I recall. But you might be on to something. As I recall the voltage regulator (off an alternator) runs a little hot. I going to guess 14.5V. I remember reading about Junior owners complaining about their dim euro-headlights- I never understood what they were talking about.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:24 PM
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My comments were not meant to blame the suppliers. Just that all of the suppliers get them from one source and the quality of the "new" reproductions are not up to the originals. Loose rivets on the contacts are just poor quality.
The originals on the cars that I have owned for 30 + years worked fine (with stock lights etc.), just the stalks were rusted.
Randy
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