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Old 01-26-2004, 04:10 AM   #21
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Old 08-22-2004, 06:41 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
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Yes, the bezel is spring loaded, but I recall the edge light FIXTURE is also independently spring loaded. It stays in place when the console is removed.
Mine is (dimly) lit as well. I should probably take it apart, fix it where necessary, then write a long, droning, six-page article about it...
Go for it Andy!
I'm on it this afternoon, at last. Details to follow.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by acg_ssei
I'm on it this afternoon, at last. Details to follow.
The Story So Far:

Popped the console apart thusly (this is an early draft for a proper TechInfo article when I get through it all):

1) Lift out the ashtray and locate two screws under it. Remove them using either a 7mm nutdriver or a T15 Torx screwdriver.

2) Turn ignition key to Off (i.e. one click forward from Lock position), set parking brake, and pull shift lever back to Low to gain access to the release clip for the shift ****.

3) Using a small flat-blade screwdriver, carefully pry out the U-clip from the front side of the base of the shift ****, and pull the **** straight off.

4) The power-seat switch panel is held into the lower console by two plastic spring teeth on each side. Ideally using only your fingers, pry upwards on either side of the power-seat switch panel until the spring teeth let go. Lift the panel straight up and out of the way. (You don't need to disconnect the wiring harnesses.)

5) Leaving the shift lever in Neutral or Drive, lift the front of the console straight up and back. It is hinged under the console storage compartment. Use a piece of wood or a shop cloth to hold it up out of the way.

6) The bulb illuminating the ashtray and shift quadrant is in the gray-white housing at the front end of the shift quadrant. Turn its base 1/8th turn counterclockwise (from the bottom) and the bulb socket should drop out the bottom. It appears to take a #194 wedge-base bulb, judging from what I found, which seems to be factory-undisturbed.

The bulb that illuminates the gear position (the little red light-up dots that look like, but are not, LEDs is mounted further down and I have not dug that out yet.

The backlighting for the Regular/Sport Shift and Traction Off buttons is done by the smallest little incandescent bulbs I've ever seen. To service those:

7) Pry the switch assembly out of the console by finding two plastic clips on the inboard side of the switch panel, accessible through the opening where the shift quadrant fits. Press the clips inwards and work the switch assembly up and out.

8) On the back side of each switch is a little, flush-mounted, removable bulb and socket assembly. (If the switch panel has two blank filler plates for the fourth and fifth pushbuttons, the backlighting socket for the fillers will be open and empty in back.) Using a small flat-blade screwdriver, turn the socket assembly 1/8th-turn counterclockwise, then ease it straight out. (A little prying and wiggling will be needed.)

9) The contacts for the bulb are two flat wires on the top surface of the socket, one on each side of the bulb. Before tossing the bulb as burned-out, try scraping the contacts clean with the screwdriver and reinstalling first. These bulbs suffer from the same flaky connections as the Driver Information Center, so a cleaning of the contacts may be all that'* needed.

When reassembling, be careful to get the leather cover that goes over the shift lever lined up properly before lowering the console cover back down. It'* real easy to tear the leather cover if it'* not lined up right.

I haven't solved the lighting problem in the shift quadrant yet, but I've rigged up something to try out. I'm heading off for a road test now that it'* dark out, and we'll see if it works. More details later.
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Old 08-23-2004, 02:19 PM   #24
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Okay, the attempted fix didn't really work; the shift quadrant kind of glows dimly, but I don't think it'* really any better than what I started with.

Once I got the console cover out of the way, I could see the problem as described, where the plastic "wick" that'* supposed to curve down to line up with the opening over the bulb housing actually misses it by 1/8"-3/16" or so.

The quadrant is mounted on top of the shifter assembly with two screws, front and back, spring-loaded at both ends so that it presses upward against the underside of the console opening. Its retainer screws install upwards from underneath. The bulb housing is held on to the underside of the forward mounting by the forward retainer screw, and moves up and down with the lens assembly that it'* supposed to illuminate.

Okay, this gets kind of complicated below, and isn't important to understand anyway, but for the record, here'* what I think happened.

I think the design screwup is that somebody measured the design height of the bulb housing from the bottom surface of its mounting flange instead of the top surface. Since it attaches to the underside of the forward screw mounting, not the top of something below it, its design height is reduced by the thickness of its mounting flange -- at least, the gap where it misses the wick up top looks to be about the same distance as the thickness of its mounting flange at the bottom, so there you are. If the mounting flange was even thicker, the bulb would be even further down than where it'* supposed to be, etc.

(For the record, I also didn't see an "X" molded on the socket or the housing anywhere, in case that was supposed to indicate either the original design or the revised one; I forget which.)

First, I removed the bulb from the housing, and then used a pencil-point soldering iron to melt a slightly-larger hole in the housing right below the wick, thinking that maybe I just needed to get more light hitting the wick. This didn't seem to make much difference at all.

So I said, "Self, all we need to do here is to fill in the gap with something clear that will carry the light up to the wick above it." (This is where things started to get seriously goofy.) So then I figured, I'll just find a piece of glass big enough to jam into the gap between the bulb housing and the underside of the plastic wick, and that'll carry the light upward to the wick. After some rummaging around in the recycling bin, I found an empty glass bottle of Newman'* Own Salad Dressing (Creamy Italian, for those of you taking notes) with relatively flat sides and a thick bottom. I washed it clean inside and out, wrapped it in several layers of newspaper, and dropped a sledgehammer on it.

SPOILER ALERT: Do NOT do this! This was a BAD idea! Keep reading!

After carefully unwrapping the newspaper just enough to see inside, I poked around in the debris and found a nice chunk of flat, clear glass from the base of the bottle which was just the right thickness to wedge in between the top of the lamp housing and the underside of the wick. (Another warning: The cheap glass bottle breaks into millions of teeny tiny shards, not just big pieces. Don't handle anything like this without gloves and/or making darn sure that stuff doesn't fall out of the newspaper. Wrap up the newspaper again as soon as you've got the piece you want.)

So I put it all back together, parked the car and went in to read other BC stuff until it was dark out.

Unfortunately after all that, it'* really no better than when I started. So when I have more time, this is what I'm going to do:

I'm going to take the console apart far enough to actually remove the whole shift quadrant assembly, and shorten the forward mounting tube (the part that goes through the forward spring, with the screw in the bottom that holds the bulb housing). If I trim it by 1/8", this will lift up the bulb housing in relation to the wick that it'* trying to illuminate. From eyeballing the console cover as I lower it down, I can see that the springs compress more than 1/8" when the cover is installed, so I can get away with it. I'll add 1/8" worth of washer(*) under the head of the mounting screw so that it doesn't bottom out in the shortened mounting tube.

Yeah, yeah, this is probably engineering overkill, but sometimes it'* fun to improvise a solution.
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:30 PM   #25
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well then.. umm.. sounds like it'll work.


-justin
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
well then.. umm.. sounds like it'll work.
Coming next week: How to replace a cylinder head gasket using popsicle sticks, Elmer'* glue and a hamster!
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Old 08-23-2004, 04:48 PM   #27
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I'll be here next week, I am curious now


-justin
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Old 08-23-2004, 05:20 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by opensourceguy
well then.. umm.. sounds like it'll work.
Coming next week: How to replace a cylinder head gasket using popsicle sticks, Elmer'* glue and a hamster!

Hrmmm, I know what the hampster and the glue are for, but I wondering what the popsicle stick is for?!?

Got any pics of this bulb your are talking about? I took mine apart about 2 years ago to fix it... have never put it back together all the way, and it still isn't light up at all.
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Old 08-23-2004, 05:29 PM   #29
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Im an engnieer, and at this point I would have bought the replacement part that GM already engnieered, but thats just me... :P
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Old 08-24-2004, 12:26 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karfreek
Im an engnieer, and at this point I would have bought the replacement part that GM already engineered, but thats just me... :P
Right, so am I; the thing is:

1) I don't have the replacement part at the moment (but if you have the number, and especially if it'* available via http://www.gmpartsdirect.com, let us know what it is).

2) Replacing the offending part requires more disassembly than I had time for that day.

3) I know which part would get replaced, so I had nothing to lose by experimenting on the current one to see if I could get it working better.

But yeah, it'll take the same amount of disassembly, more or less, to do my improvised repair (shortening the front support) as it will to install the new part, so if you can dig out the specifics on what needs to be ordered, that would be useful; thanks...
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