Turn Signal Switch Replacement (78 bus)

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DurocShark
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Turn Signal Switch Replacement (78 bus)

Post by DurocShark » Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:27 pm

NOTE: This is also on my website at http://www.donimages.com/guac/turnsignalswitch.html

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.

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

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The levers aren't identical to the original switch, but they're REALLY close:
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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.

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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 if not, 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.

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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:

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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:

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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 textured flat black plastic to match the collar. Make sure that slides into the notch in the collar and you'll be in.

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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!!

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Gypsie
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Post by Gypsie » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:42 pm

Thanks sharky.

I'm sure this will come in handy!
So it all started when I wanted to get better gas mileage....

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Velokid1
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Post by Velokid1 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:38 pm

It didn't take long for it to come in real handy. Thank you, Duroc. =D>

Now, I just need to track down a new turn signal switch.

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Post by Sluggo » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:09 pm

Reviving an old thread. I'll be doing this tonight. Got the same switch you did. This thread will come in real handy.

We need to make a "How To" section where we put stuff like this (that has been approved).
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:34 pm

Sluggo wrote:Reviving an old thread. I'll be doing this tonight. Got the same switch you did. This thread will come in real handy.

We need to make a "How To" section where we put stuff like this (that has been approved).
How about Stickys for the ten Most Common Repairs in each Tech Forum? Once approved and pictures good.
Colin

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Bookwus
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Post by Bookwus » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:56 pm

Hiya All & Duroc (if you're still around),

Just throwing in my 2 cents worth here.............

Old switches which have failed in the manner that Duroc's did are repairable. The plastic dogs and "W" springs are common to many of the turn switch variants that VW used. These parts (and quite a few others)can be scavenged from VW boneyards for next to nothing. I have fixed the turn signal switches in both my Bus and Bug in this manner and have had excellent results. And when one starts to compare the costs of a new turn signal switch versus picking up the repair parts, the course of action becomes clear.
I have cancer.

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DurocShark
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Post by DurocShark » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:11 pm

I agree it could have been repaired. However, my time is more valuable than the cost of the replacement. . . IF the replacement is of sufficient quality! This one apparently is.

My replacement is still working just dandy.

If you guys sticky this, can I ask that you mirror the images? I don't know how long the pics will stay on my server. I'll try to keep them there indefinitely but you never know...

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Bookwus
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Post by Bookwus » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:20 pm

Hiya Don,

Nice to see you back around these parts. I've missed the shark and the avocado. Yeah, I hear you concerning the replacement.
DurocShark wrote:........my time is more valuable than the cost of the replacement. . . .
Hah! But my time isn't! And I'm not sure how much your replacement cost (Wow! Nice looking unit by the way.) but the replacement switches for early Bays can get a bit spendy. In any event, I just like putting broken things back in order so that they can perform as originally designed. My creative outlet, I guess. And I just wanted to let a few folks out there know that they may have other alternatives than buying new when their turn signal switch goes south.
I have cancer.

It does not have me.

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:23 pm

Bookwus wrote:And I just wanted to let a few folks out there know that they may have other alternatives than buying new when their turn signal switch goes south.
Yes, we are into the "home-fix" alternatives.
Colin

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Sluggo
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Post by Sluggo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:03 am

Please post a write up on how to fix the switch.


The one I got is SWF from Germany. Very high quality. Except that it is missing the canceling tab! It went in very easy and seems to work great.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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Bookwus
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Post by Bookwus » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:59 am

Hiya Randy,

Are you referring to the piece below designated by the two yellow arrows?

Editor's note: Image removed due to inactive link

(Hope you don't mind me borrowing/altering your picture Don)

That is the canceling tab in the switch. When the switch is pulled (as in signaling a turn) the tab indicated by the left arrow is extended toward the steering column. That tab is then tripped by the cam attached to the steering wheel.

I can think of five situations in which this set-up won't function.

1. Broken canceling tab
2. Missing canceling tab
3. Missing steering wheel cam
4. Steering wheel installed 180 out which puts the cam on the wrong side of the steering column
5. Steering wheel installed with too large a gap between the wheel and the turn signal switch
I have cancer.

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Sluggo
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Post by Sluggo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:42 pm

That is the piece I'm referring to and mine arrived without one. I did not notice until adjusting the gap didn't work. Then I pulled the wheel again and saw that the tab was MIA. Odd with such a high quality OEM switch.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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DurocShark
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Post by DurocShark » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:47 pm

I wonder if it was a return or something?

Did you get it from VeeDub?

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Bookwus
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Post by Bookwus » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:49 pm

Hiya Randy,
Sluggo wrote:That is the piece I'm referring to and mine arrived without one. I did not notice until adjusting the gap didn't work. Then I pulled the wheel again and saw that the tab was MIA. Odd with such a high quality OEM switch.
Very odd! Matter of fact so odd that I'm inclined to believe that somebody along the way pilfered that canceling tab. It simply won't just fall out.

But all is not lost! You need to make a boneyard run and find a turn signal switch that you can break for parts. I find switches that have been trashed pretty darned easily (Hmmmm....wonder if I have a canceling tab on the shelf) by just looking around a bit. As I mentioned before concerning other parts, the canceling tab should be an easy find inasmuch as it is used in a bunch of other switches.

From that point it's as simple as removing the top plate of the switch (in the picture held by screws at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock). Place your new canceling tab and reassemble.
I have cancer.

It does not have me.

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Sluggo
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Post by Sluggo » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:53 pm

DurocShark wrote:I wonder if it was a return or something?

Did you get it from VeeDub?
AutohausAZ. Never had a single problem with them or their parts. Until now. I just e-mailed them. I'll post the response. It was an SWF switch by the way.

Here's the part:
https://www.autohausaz.com/search/produ ... 211953513K

I think I see the tab in the pic.
:vwgauge420:

1977 Bus with Sunroof - "Lucky '77"
2000cc Type IV w/Dual Weber 36s,
Aircooled.net SVDA w/Compufire,
Redline Weber Fuel Pump,
Holley Regulator,
Half Ass Brush & Roller Rustoleum Paint Job,
Incomplete Custom Interior,
Dual Batteries,
Crunched Slider Door.
------------------------------------------------------

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