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Old 11-18-2003, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default Help - Dimmer switch went South

Dimmer switch on turn signal stalk had departed this life. I searched TechForum didn't see anything on it. 92SSEi. Anybody have experience with this? Do I have to replace the whole stalk?(Hope not)
Any insight would be appreciated.
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:23 PM   #2
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Dimmer? On the stalk? Do you mean the hi/lo beam selector?
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:25 PM   #3
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Yup - that'* the dog, also has the wipers/cruise control, and occasional turn signal. All that works. Just won't switch to Hi beams, no click nothing.
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:15 PM   #4
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Mine, too.
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:17 PM   #5
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Working on it for you guys. The hi/lo select is not actually part of the stalk. It'* a seperate switch in the column. The little cover just forward of the stalk pops off. I'm hunting for part numbers for you, but they seem to be eluding me!

One of you guys pm me reminder so I don't forget this!
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Old 11-18-2003, 03:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Working on it for you guys. The hi/lo select is not actually part of the stalk. It'* a seperate switch in the column. The little cover just forward of the stalk pops off. I'm hunting for part numbers for you, but they seem to be eluding me!!
Isn't the dimmer switch further down the column, behind the dash? ISTR there'* a little pushrod running down the left side of the column to operate it from the lever. That'* the setup on my '96 Trans Sport minivan and I have an idea that the Bonneville is similar.

I think it would be good to pin down where the problem is here. For example, it'* possible to dismantle and reassemble the shift bowl (the part immediately below the steering wheel) and inadvertently get a little plastic guide out of position on the left side, so that either the turn-signal lever doesn't press on it properly, or its lower end doesn't press on the metal rod that leads down to the dimmer switch.

Or, the stuff up top may be just fine, but the dimmer switch has either broken or slipped out of position on the steering column down below. In that case you won't need to disassemble the steering wheel at all (hope that you don't ) because the repair is needed further down on the column, behind the dash.

I'd find the dimmer switch first, and see if it operates when you press on it with your thumb (push in on the end where the metal rod goes into it). If so, see if the metal rod moves when you pull back on the turn-signal lever. You should know at that point where the problem is.
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:28 PM   #7
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I'd find the dimmer switch first, and see if it operates when you press on it with your thumb (push in on the end where the metal rod goes into it). If so, see if the metal rod moves when you pull back on the turn-signal lever. You should know at that point where the problem is.
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Makes perfect sense, Thanks Andy. I had to think back to make sure it went south prior to my removing the steering wheel in an attempt to fix those lame buttons - sadly procuedure in FAQ didn't help. Now looking for Electrical gremlins.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by showhat9
I had to think back to make sure it went south prior to my removing the steering wheel in an attempt to fix those lame buttons - sadly procedure in FAQ didn't help. Now looking for Electrical gremlins.
It may be that the system voltage isn't where it should be. If I remember right, there'* a circuit that loops in parallel through all the buttons in the steering wheel and back to the radio, so the buttons operate as a set of switched resistors on that circuit, like rungs on a ladder, each one allowing a different voltage when pressed, and the stereo measures that to figure out which button you pressed. If the voltage goes wonky, the stereo can't detect a reading that corresponds to a button, and ignores you.

If all you did was remove the steering wheel, you didn't disturb the dimmer switch. You'd have to remove the turn-signal and dislodge the shift bowl before running the risk of screwing up the linkage to the dimmer switch.
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:56 PM   #9
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dimmer switch actuator....as gm calls it...lol i had mine come out too...little black piece...anyways costs bout 150 to fix...but if you are fine w/ it now you can turn your brights on by pulling the steering wheel postition this and moving the wheel down...it will click and the birghts will go on and off..!
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Old 11-19-2003, 12:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraZyDriVer868
dimmer switch actuator....as gm calls it...lol i had mine come out too...little black piece...
Yup, that'* the piece I'm thinking of.

Funny thing is, the '86 Dodges that I and my mother both had in the past (in fact, Mom still owns hers) have the same part in their steering columns as well. Theirs would fall out the same way when you were disassembling the column, too.

Quote:
anyways costs bout 150 to fix...but if you are fine w/ it now you can turn your brights on by pulling the steering wheel postition this and moving the wheel down...it will click and the brights will go on and off..!
Lovely...

Around Chicago it'll probably get you pulled over, since the cops know that malfunctioning high beams are often due to a broken steering column in a stolen car.
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