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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Inside my 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Exterior Light Switch:

Before going to the trouble of pulling the steering wheel and removing the combo switch from column (notes on pulling steering wheel at end of tutorial - page 3 of 3), check switch continuity in all positions, check grounds and clean fuse block/relays.

Page 1 of 3...
 

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Nice piece of work! Two comments:

- In step #6 you wrote "attach the 4 screws & nuts" - I assume these are the screws that replace the rivets that were drilled in step #2. You can't put screws & nuts in the two larger holes, as the factory-installed screws that secure the switch to the steering column passed through those rivets. But you can put screws & nuts where the two smaller rivets were and those will hold the case together while you are working on it. Then, once the factory-installed attachment screws are re-installed, they will take the place of the two larger rivets to clamp the case halves together at those locations.

- I like the idea of grinding down a small vise-grip to secure the metal sleeve in front of the woodruff key! That applies to any steering wheel installation; not just when working on the headlight/TS switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Alfajay,
Thanks for your comments. I made some edits so I hope it will be very clear that I'm only referring to the four rivets that have to be drilled out in order to to open the exterior lights switch case once the full combo switch has been removed from the column and moved to a workbench. The holes used to mount the full combo switch to the column must not be altered in any way.
Thanks again,
Jay
 

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The holes used to mount the full combo switch to the column must not be altered in any way.
What year light switch are you working on? After reviewing the photos in your guide and reading your comment above, I get the sense that you may be working on a later switch which differs from the earlier models that I am familiar with. But your procedure would certainly be applicable to the early models as well.

The early switches have four rivets holding their case halves together: two large and two small. All four are hollow and two of the securing screws pass through the larger ones. There are also two, separate mounting holes in the case.

I'll post a photo when I get back after the 4th of July holiday.
 

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thank you

Nice write up and great photos Jay. Thank you so much. I have been putting off trying to repair my old switch due to fears that I would destroy it permanently. You have now given me the courage and inspiration to tackle this job. Again, many thanks!
 

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Really nice write up.

I think you have manual writing in your future. :grin2:

Vin
 

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Outstanding work. I just have to mention though...in my 86 Veloce, I too had a low beam that wouldn't come on. It was the reason I got the car as cheaply as I did, one electrical gremlin too many for the guy's wife.
After reading up on this forum about the situation, I ignored the simple advice about cleaning grounds and bought a good used combo switch from APE. Which didn't solve the light problem. I then pulled out the old fuses and relays, cleaned fuse block with electrical cleaner and cleaned up contacts, put in all new fuses. BOOM- lights worked.

Given the work just to remove a stuck fast steering wheel, much less pulling apart the combo switch, I'd put a disclaimer at the beginning to check grounds and clean fuse block/relays first.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nice write up and great photos Jay. Thank you so much. I have been putting off trying to repair my old switch due to fears that I would destroy it permanently. You have now given me the courage and inspiration to tackle this job. Again, many thanks!
Great! Glad I could help!
Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Vin[/QUOTE]

Ou

Given the work just to remove a stuck fast steering wheel, much less pulling apart the combo switch, I'd put a disclaimer at the beginning to check grounds and clean fuse block/relays first.
Thanks for your suggestion Vin. I added the disclaimer at the beginning of the tutorial.
Jay
 

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The early switches have four rivets holding their case halves together: two large and two small. All four are hollow and two of the securing screws pass through the larger ones. There are also two, separate mounting holes in the case.

I'll post a photo when I get back after the 4th of July holiday.
Here are those photos!

The first photo shows an early-style switch with its four rivets still in place. Notice that the two on the left side of the photo are smaller, while the two on the right are larger. Two of the mounting screws pass through those larger rivets.

The second photo shows another early switch that I have disassembled/ reassembled following a procedure like jayhunt's. #8-32 screws were used to replace the smaller rivets. No screws have been installed where the larger rivets had been.

The third photo has nothing to do with early-late or rivet sizes. It just shows what is inside the two switch halves.
 

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Inside my 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Exterior Light Switch:
Jay,

I've taken the plunge and opened up my non-functional headlight switch. I noticed that the contact points on the 3 wipers (that the arm wheel activates) are very hard to access. When I first opened the switch and tested their continuity with my ohm meter, only one of them had continuity across the mating wiper contacts. I have since concluded that they were either very dirty, or, in one case, coated with a thin film of melted plastic.

Although it was difficult, I managed to cut some very fine sandpaper (2500 grit) into thin strips and patiently work those strips between the contacts. Eventually, I got all 3 contacts to have continuity, but it wasn't easy.

Then I noticed that the segmented wheel unit on the shaft seemed to have a melt/wear/dent on one of the segments. I haven't re-assembled and tested it yet, but I may have to glue a small piece of abs (or add a drop of JB Weld) in that worn/missing section to repair it so that it will push down it's wiper switch in the correct place.

Finally, in the photo you've placed between your Step 3 and Step 4, it looks like the turn signal switch has been removed from the main assembly. Was that difficult to do, and after removing it, were you able to re-assemble and re-install it?

In addition to my headlight switch, my turn signal switch is also non-functional. I'd like to try and fix both at the same time.

So do you have any plans to show how you removed and/or took apart your turn signal switch?

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)

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cup with spring

can you provide me with a little more detail on what the "cup with spring" part does? how does it fit into the armature? I am having issues with my headlights and took this apart but couldn't find anything necessarily wrong but I don't really know what the parts are supposed to look like. The "cup with spring" doesn't seem to be held very firmly in place. I'm wondering if mine is broken.
 
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