Updated: Dec 29, 2021
When preparing for an MOT, a problem arose with an Evo2 headlight sequence, sidelights and dipped beam worked well, as did the spotlights and winkers. However, when high beam was selected the outer dip lights went out. With this being an ex-Japan car I wasn't sure if that was how the lights worked on Integrales in that country, but it certainly wouldn't do for the UK and our MOT requirements.
I checked the bulbs, fuses and inspected the wiring and connections, but I could find no obvious faults. I suspected the headlamp switch, and I thought the easiest thing to do would be to change the steering column light switch for a new one, so that’s what I did.
Steering Wheel needed to come off
This is quite simple, remove the steering wheel and column shroud, 2 screws hold the switch unit in place, so let's get started. I ordered a new switch unit from AECar, it soon arrived and
I set about fitting it. This car is an Evo2, so the Momo steering wheel is held in place by 6 screws through the silver horn ring, which also holds the horn button in place. First, make sure the steering wheel is in the straight ahead position, then with some chalk, or masking tape mark all the components in line, then jump out and disconnect the battery.
Unscrew the centre 6 Allen screws, remove the silver ring, then disconnect the horn and remove it. Take a 24mm socket, short extension and ratchet, the centre nut might be loose enough to undo, but that’s unlikely, so remove the ignition key, and with the wrench turn the steering wheel to the right until it locks, then you can undo the centre nut, which might be quite tight. Slip the outer rubber cover off the steering boss and put it aside, you'll notice a flat cut-out in this, it marks the top of the cover, it only fits on the boss frame one way, so if you lose the centre marks, that will help line it up. The steering boss is a light fabrication, so it can't be belted off with a hammer, you'll really need a hub puller. First remove the plastic column shroud and set it aside, then fit the puller to the boss and crack it off its taper, then remove it. You'll see 2 screws holding the switch unit on to the column, undo these. and unclip the 4 wiring connectors, then pull the unit off. Fitting the new switch is just reverse, remove the horn contact protective cover, and make sure the winker cancelling pin is in the steering column groove. Reconnect the wires, make sure they sit comfortably, then refit the plastic column shroud. Put the boss back, it'll be out of line from the straight ahead because it's still on the lock, tighten the centre nut up, then put the key in and release the lock tension, it should spring back to the centre position. Now check the column switches are free to operate.
Hold the steering wheel in place and reconnect the horn button, put it in place then refit the silver ring, insert the top screw then fit the bottom screw and don't tighten them. Take a piece of masking tape and stick it on the horn button to turn it straight, when it's in line tighten the screws, then fit the remaining 4 screws and tighten them up. Reconnect the battery and check all the switch functions. In our case this new switch did the trick, and the headlights now operate in the correct sequence. The new stalk switches have a nice positive, new, feel to them, and they are clean and bright. So all in all, a good job! I'll pull the old switch apart and see why it failed, I fixed a window switch by cleaning the contacts recently, perhaps I can do the same with this light switch unit.
Never Throw anything away
A few weeks later I had a faulty winker stalk which wouldn’t cancel after a left turn, I used a little plastic nugget from the old light switch unit to repair the winker non cancelling, it worked! Never throw anything away!
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