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Old 11-17-2003, 11:50 AM   #1
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Default Turn-signal lever question for GM Parts gurus

Some time back I was freaking out over the price of a replacement turn-signal lever for our '96 Trans Sport and somebody here steered me to GMPartsDirect. I got what I believe is the correct part there for about half what the dealer wanted, it arrived sealed in an original GM parts bag, etc.

So this weekend I finally installed it. The lever itself just sticks into an open hole in the left side of the steering column, but you have to disassemble the column to reach the socket to plug in the little pigtail lead for the cruise control wiring harness. Joy.

So out comes the airbag, steering wheel, sensor coil, lock plate, turn-signal switch, ignition switch, various screws, etc., pull the shift bowl, try not to lose the dimmer-switch slider, fiddle with the wiring connector, get the new lever plugged in, get all the parts inside the shift bowl realigned, screw it all together again, and an hour or two later, it'* all done. Whew.

Okay, so there was one teensy problem with the cruise control switch... um, how can I describe this... oh, let'* just say...

IT DOESN'T [very naughty word here] WORK.

It'* like I never plugged in the connector, only I did, and it seemed to fit perfectly, but neither the Set/Resume/Accel slider nor the pushbutton on the end are doing anything. (The cruise system had been working fine with the old broken lever; we'd managed to break it off near the base but it was still dangling by its wire so I could still use the cruise system.)

The only difference between the old one and the new one was that the old one has a blue plug on the end; the new one has a black plug (same plug, different color). I didn't think too much about that at the time because (1) it plugged in perfectly anyway, and (2) the socket that it plugs into in the minivan is also black. I didn't compare wiring colors at the time to make sure the same wires go to the same pins; I guess I'll have to.

But am I missing something else here? I got what the listings said was the correct part number, and on-line there was no footnote about needing to check whether the plug color was blue or black; that'* the only noticeable difference between the two. They're otherwise absolutely identical and genuine GM parts. Other than having to take the whole blasted thing apart again and start testing wires (I'm sure I'll find the problem eventually; I just have better things to do with my time), I figured I'd see if anyone at a GM dealership can find a footnote or something that I'm missing here.
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:01 PM   #2
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mines broken too...so i take it by your post that i should not try to do it myself huh? I couldnt get my dimmer switch in paid 150 for dealer to do it...
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Old 11-17-2003, 12:23 PM   #3
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What'* the part number on the bag?
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CraZyDriVer868
mines broken too...so i take it by your post that i should not try to do it myself huh? I couldnt get my dimmer switch in paid 150 for dealer to do it...
Well, first you need a steering-wheel puller and a lock-plate compressor or else you _can't_ do the job; once you have those it'* a matter of whether you should do it yourself or pay somebody else to do it. It boils down to whether you have the time and the patience, or whether it'* more efficient to have somebody you trust do it for you. (This _is_ a tricky installation; there are places along the way where you have to kind of jiggle three different assemblies into alignment at the same time, etc.)

I think paying the dealer $150 to do it right wasn't too bad.
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Old 11-17-2003, 01:35 PM   #5
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What'* the part number on the bag?
Sorry, it'* at home right now, where I am not, so I'll have to get back to you on that.

I'm pretty sure it matched the number I'd ordered, FWIW. Like I said, I saw no reason to think I'd gotten the wrong part; I'm just afraid I got a defective one, and will have to explain to GMPartsDirect why the hell I waited this long to tell them about it.

Maybe if that turns out to be the case, I can somehow swap the innards of the old switch on the broken lever with the defective switch on the good lever... although it seems kind of weird that both the pushbutton _and_ the slide switch would be dead...
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Old 11-17-2003, 05:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by willwren
What'* the part number on the bag?
Okay, my wife is on the phone now with the number:

25140640
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:11 PM   #7
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OKay first of all you are going about the replacement all wrong here!
The BEST way to do it is to attach "mechanic'* Wire" to the plug end on the switch first, then as you pull the old wire out, the mechanic'* wire will feed through too. Now you attach the new wire end to the Mechanic'* wire & pull the mechanic'* wire out! Low & behold you're done.

As the the lever itself, there are several "close" matches that look the same except for where it plugs into the connector under the dash (Cruise Control).
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Old 11-18-2003, 12:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by DeathRat
OKay first of all you are going about the replacement all wrong here!
The BEST way to do it is to attach "mechanic'* Wire" to the plug end on the switch first, then as you pull the old wire out, the mechanic'* wire will feed through too. Now you attach the new wire end to the Mechanic'* wire & pull the mechanic'* wire out! Low & behold you're done.
Lo and behold, we're _not_ done. Couple of problems with your scenario there:

1) We're replacing the turn-signal lever and cruise pigtail, not the turn-signal switch; consequently we're not needing to re-thread any wires down the column. We're only replacing the lever and pigtail up to the point where it plugs into an in-line connector immediately behind the base of the lever, inside the squarish plastic housing that sticks out the left side of the steering column. It'* a separate piece of wiring harness that goes from the base of the turn-signal lever down the column to behind the dash.

2) We couldn't pull the whole length of wire for the cruise pigtail out of the column without disassembling it anyway, because the in-line connector above is actually clipped to the inside of the plastic housing to keep it out of the way of the mechanism. You can see that connector with a drop-light if you look in the hole at the base of the turn-signal lever and follow the cruise pigtail wire to see where it goes. You have to disassemble the shift bowl to reach the connector before you can unplug it or detach it or whatever.

Quote:
As the the lever itself, there are several "close" matches that look the same except for where it plugs into the connector under the dash (Cruise Control).
I was able to compare the pin assignments on the pigtail where it goes into the in-line connector, and the old and new levers are identical: red/green/yellow/blue go to the same pins in both cases.

I'm thinking I may have pulled something apart under the dash when I was trying to work the turn-signal switch up and out of the shift bowl, so I'm going to look under there first before I go pulling the wheel again; see if the cruise wiring is getting any power down there, etc.

Thanks for all your help so far; will keep you informed.
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Old 11-18-2003, 08:44 PM   #9
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Well that'* how my 92 was done..... I did it myself. Leave it to GM to change things yet again!
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Old 11-19-2003, 01:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathRat
Well that'* how my 92 was done..... I did it myself. Leave it to GM to change things yet again!
No doubt. See that other thread about the new member needing advice: GM'* been changing their mind about where to put the low-coolant sensor as well.

But just so we don't lose track of what the original situation was, it was the turn-signal _lever_ and the cruise-control wiring that was the problem, not the turn-signal _switch_ needing to be replaced, and it was on the tilt column of a Trans Sport minivan, not a Bonneville.

I'm thinking it'* going to turn out to be yours truly snagging a wire somewhere under the dash as the cause of the problem here. Going to go over everything all over again this weekend and see where I went wrong.
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