Door Pin Switch for interior lights, etc. Repair w/pics
passenger door pin switch on the '84 had stopped working some time ago. I open
the passenger side door and no interior lights come on and I can't operate the
hatch release either. After jiggling the pin, the lights come on only part of
the time and the lights were really dim. I'd touch the head of the bolt that
secured the pin to the body and it was too hot to touch!
So this afternoon I decided to take a look at it and snap a few pics since I'd never done this repair before. I used the following:
10mm socket, 3/8" ratchet and 3" extension
Sandpaper, small mechanics pic, wire brush for cleaning
Spray electronics cleaner
First, disconnect the negative battery terminal. Then locate the wire feed to the door pin switch. On the '84 passenger side, it exits the body cavity above and behind the L-Jet. It should be brown with a white stripe and after it comes out of the body cavity, it goes into a large harness connector located above the L-Jet. The brown with white stripe means it's a switched ground (just learned that fact here on Rennlist today!). Locate the wire and ensure it has plenty of slack and is not in a bind. You will need to pull the slack in the wire through the opening at the door pin switch when you remove the switch.
Next, you will need the 10mm socket to loosen and remove the door pin switch from the body. After the bolt comes out, carefully pull the switch with ground wire attached through the hole. If it resists, locate the other end as above and help push/guide it through....
...Once you have the switch out from the body enough to grab the ground wire, you can pull on the wire and take up the slack so you can work with the switch. Here's a pic of the switch. I could see that the threads were corroded (clean threads are required for a good ground connection with the body) and the contact point at the end of the spring was also dirty.
I cleaned the threads by using 150 sandpaper folded over and running through the thread slots. If this doesn't work, you can use a wire brush or small mechanics pick
Next, I tried to clean the threads at the body with sandpaper. This met with marginal success but did get the threads cleaner.
I also used a small mechanics pick to scrape out corrosion between the threads. This helped a little too (but not a lot).
Then I cleaned the threads on the switch and the contact point at the end of the spring with electronics spray cleaner....
....and the threads at the body. The cleaner worked pretty good.
Now the switch is ready to go back in. Feed the wire back through the hole and pull from the wire's exit point at the L-Jet to take out the slack.
Use the 10mm socket to snug down the switch to the body. Then reconnect the battery and check it out!
Unfortunately, the threads at the body on mine were pretty much stripped. I was able to get a semi-snug fit but not like it should. It will probably come loose when I don't want it to. So, I'll probably look for an aftermarket switch with SAE dimensions (about 3/8" ought to do it) and tap out the hole to the next size up and fix it permanently.
As for the results of this job, it works perfectly now. The interior lights come on when the door is opened on the passenger side, the lights are bright and the switch no longer burns when touched. And I can use the hatch release from the passenger side now!