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Old 03-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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turn signal switch replacement

Can someone give me some brief instruction on removing the turn signal switch? Do I need to pop the top off of the steering wheel and remove the wheel? I know that the bottom of the harness comes out of the bottom of the steering column, but how do I get to the top part? I don't want to break some other 45 year old piece of plastic in the process of doing it wrong.

Thanks,
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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yes the wheel needs to come off, I replaced the switch, then ended up having to take the whole thing apart again and replace the column harness as the brake lights and turn signals route through it and mine had been spliced in at some time in the past.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're new to this, mark the wheel hub and the steering shaft with a sharpie or a small punch so you can install the wheel in the same position when you're done. Take your time and be careful...the stuff in there doesn't like a heavy hand.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Agreed. I learned this the hard way
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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All pretty good advice above. I have litterally replaced hundreds of these types of swithces over the years. The basic Saginaw steering column lay out stayed the same for GM and Chrysler up to as late as the mid 1990's.
Here are list of simple things you can do to make your life easier and make the job more fool proof.
Step one is always make sure the from wheels are straight then center the steering wheel by eye as best you can. Sound simple but I why not right? Every wheel I have pulled has had a small alignment notch usally at the 12 o'clock position on the inside of the hole on the wheel where it slides over the shaft. It is usally a small section that is smooth with no teeth and it will line up with the similar section on the shaft. Still it would not hurt to mark it.
Step two us like way already pointed out earlier once you get the steering wheel removed with the puller just about everything you will encounter under the wheel will be made of plastic and almost 50 year old plastic. When tightning screw go easy. Snug them down and then check to see of the switch is secure. If you crank down you will only crush the switch or even worse strip the thread in the upper bowl which would be very bad.
Remove the switch lever and the screw for the emergency flasher first. They screw into the switch from the outside and you can not remove the switch while they are still attached. Be carefull and do not lose the spring when you take the screw out of the emergency flasher some cars have a spring behind it and if you just pull the screw and remove the switch you could lose the spring.
A simple trick that I always used to make the removal of the old switch is to cut the plug of the end of the old switch. That way all you have to do is pull the wire up through the small opening instead of tring to drag the large connector up through. Be sure you have the right connector though! Once I unscew the switch I go under the dash then tug the unscrewed switch and look to see witch plug is being pulled up to be sure then I pull the plug back and make sure I am pulling the switch back down.
Getting the new plug down the colomn is a big pain and the most difficult part always. A long thin screwdriver helps but go easy. It might take several attempts before it decides it want to go. Good luck!
There are many different part numbers for the GM cars. Before you start digging in match up the features of the switch then go underneath and make sure the plug is correct.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the info. Do I really need a puller to get the wheel off or can I just give it a tug after I remove the nut? I guess I will find out.

Any risk of breaking the center cap by just prying it off?

Thanks
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What year car? On my 69, the switch, wiring harness, and connector all come out as one piece from the top after you remove the steering wheel. There's a trick to getting the connector to come out without hanging up.

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Old 04-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I tape the plug to the wires to keep it straight with the wires and it makes sliding it down the tube a little easer. Sometimes I've used a single wire through the tube and then tape the plug to the wire and use that to help pull the plug and harness down the tube as well. GLHF.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotyorgoat View Post
Thanks for the info. Do I really need a puller to get the wheel off or can I just give it a tug after I remove the nut? I guess I will find out.

Any risk of breaking the center cap by just prying it off?

Thanks
You'll need a puller, they're cheap......
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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x3 on the puller. You do not want to risk damaging splines etc. Try Harbor Freight, inexpensive, not the best quality but will work.
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