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'90 Headlight Switch Shell Explosion Issue


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Hey all! So, first call for help and suggestions here. Relatively minor. I turned off the headlights Saturday night and the backside of the headlight switch blew out. I got all the parts out and the thing completely reassembled thanks in no small part to SCOTT's 90's switch teardown tutorial (Thank you Scott!) and it works smooth like butter again. The only real problem is the retainers on the front half busted off (hence the 'splosion).

 

Anyone have any suggestions to remedy this? I'm thinking of wrapping the thing in electrical tape at each end to make sure it stays tight, if only because I'd really rather not epoxy the shell together in the event I need to open it up in the future.
 

kaboom.jpeg

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6 hours ago, Barney Eaton said:

Pushing too hard.

You could heat bond the two haves together but it might be difficult to get them apart if you need to do a repair

 

I may have been. For the last few weeks though, it had been making a loud click before the headlight button would finally depress (needing a little more force than normal), so I think the retainers were getting weak. Either way, no doubt I was pushing too hard for whatever state it was in. Should have popped it out to check it over before this happened. Rearview's 20/20 :) On the upside, it gave me a good reason to crack the dash open to see how to access the cluster and non-functioning tape deck that needs replacing.

 

For the time being, I used some strips of T-Rex tape to hold 'er together. Solid as a rock. I will probably see if I can snag a non-working switch for the housing at some point in the near future.

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Hi Josh, Yeah I had a similar issue with the "hard Pushing" of the button before mine blew up too. As far as keeping it all together you may have to get a used switch, or see if someone here has a bad one that they would sell you.

One important thing about these switches is if there are any loose or non-operable parts inside the switch it will cause arcing which would completely melt the switch or even worse cause a fire which you do not want. The reason for this is there is power available to the switch even without the ignition on - so be careful.

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Jim Finn and others have some experience with these switches.

1990 was a new design and the Reatta was different than the Riviera because the Reatta had the fog light sw at the bottom.

The good news is most of the internal parts are the same and can be used to rebuilt the unique 1990 headlight switch.

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I have available 90 headlight switches. They have been disassembled, all contacts cleaned or replaced, small bulbs replaced and reassembled with nice looking buttons and the correct button on the slider. I then test them in my personal Reatta.

 

I can be reach at   reattas60@gmail.com

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