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 Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals

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SoCal Riv
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PostSubject: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:43 pm

Here the internal workings and pieces of the driver's door switch assembly. Here's the deal: It is one hundred percent mechanical. You can reuse the existing switch after refurbishing a few parts. The failure occurs from wear of a spring-loaded white tab (there are four) that wears from friction due to lack of grease, and the contact points become burnt due to electrical arcing. The GM part is Made in Japan as is the new GM replacement part; both by the same manufacturer.


^All the sum parts.


^All the sum parts.


^The main board with the switch components: Rocker switches for the windows; micro-switches for the door lock and unlock.


^Bottom-side and base of switch assembly that plugs into the door wiring harness loom.


^Side view of the switch assembly main board.

^Window toggle switches in their respective switch saddles.


^The base of the rocker that houses the metal contacts where the rocker switch white tab toggles back-and-forth to activate the window.


^The window rocker switch comprised of spring-loaded tabs (white) that ride a curved metal contact. It is these white tabs that wear-out and thereby cause the failure to activate. This is a good switch as the half-moon shape at the right-side of the white tab is still as new; when this piece is gone, through wear, then the failure occurs.


^Metal contact that sits in the toggle switch saddle that makes contact with the white tab of the rocker switch.


^Top-side of the micro-switch board assembly that operates the door lock and unlock.


^Bottom-side of the micro-switch board assembly that operates the door lock and unlock. Note: This piece is not only held down by two snap-clips, but it is also soldered in place through three (3) leads. I only desoldered and removed this piece to show that there are no electronics components hidden on the backside of the board. DO NOT remove this piece if you are refurbishing the switch assembly, there is simply no need to do so.

The monetarily rocker switches consist of rocker metal contact straps that make contact in the means as the older ignition points setup of yesteryear. I also noticed that contact wells were black, and upon smelling the black substance noted a burnt smell. Further investigation yields heat discoloration on the rocker contacts which could mean the white plastic half-moon tabs failed from heat melting the tab down as the metal rocker contact strip is moved it looks at through they arced from electrical current. To help save future arching it might be advisable that you operate the switches in a definitive motion, and not a slow motion so as to allow arcing to occur. If you have a nervous tick, and like to play with the switches ever so slightly or you rest your forearm across the switches and wiggle them ever so slightly, you can be adding to the arcing. This all could mean that the as the contact points become burnt that more resistant is building up over time leading to imminent failure. I will learn more when I get the time.

The switches look to be initially intended to be lit, but as a cost saving measure GM decided to light the entire assembly from above with one light in the door handle pull. The switches are clear, and the assembly looks to be one that can accommodate a light bulb/led. Had GM simply gone with a different assembly then the design could have been simpler and less prone to failure. This is pure speculation on my part, but I'd bet I'm not too far off.
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NO 4 EVR
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:43 pm

SoCal, I want to see the pics you have been posting in the forum here but they all seem to be broken!

I really want to see them to, expecially the exhaust one.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Jan 31, 2007 7:02 pm

X
X
X
X
X

frown

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SoCal Riv
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:45 am

I am waiting for a device to arrive this coming Thursday so that I can finish the report. I'll elaborate further when the time comes as I do not know whether it will work (I am buying it used). Then I'll ask Aaron to clean this thread up with the final report.
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Face
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu May 31, 2007 2:55 pm

Still all x's.
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denim
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Mon Sep 12, 2011 7:46 pm

Okay, here's a mystery...
On way to play 9 holes, driver's side window switch fails to respond. On way back, no problem.
Have had this car for a short period of time, maybe 3 weeks. Switch always seemed to work perfectly, as it does now.
Any thoughts?
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:53 pm

denim wrote:
Okay, here's a mystery...
On way to play 9 holes, driver's side window switch fails to respond. On way back, no problem.
Have had this car for a short period of time, maybe 3 weeks. Switch always seemed to work perfectly, as it does now.
Any thoughts?

check by pulling the drivers door panel and carefully checking first the wires that come from the controls, for internal breaks and for shorts from chafing.

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denim
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:08 pm

Albert, you dog. You always have some insight!
I'll get to that when it happens again and ticks me off:)
Thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:26 pm

denim wrote:
Albert, you dog. You always have some insight!
I'll get to that when it happens again and ticks me off:)
Thanks.

Naah, it's memory.

There was a problem (and I think even a TSB for it) for some Rivs concerning chafing of the wires thru the drivers door jamb. If the common line that powers the window switches chafes thru then it shorts and you don't get window action.

You could have an issue with the switch (did you or a prior owner spill coffee or cola in it?!?) but that's actually rare.

Thinking about it, when you check those wires if you don't find a problem go after the window motor. The magnets in the OE motors are glued into place. The glue **will** let go after some number of years and when it does the motor will not run reliably, the magnets collapse against the armature. If the temp is just right and they are bumped just right they'll run and if not they won't.

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:29 am

My drivers side switch wouldn't work occasionally when it was very hot. (closed car in sun all day etc). It would work after things cooled down. Then one day it stopped working altogether. I pulled the door panel, removed and completely disassembled the switch, cleaned up the contacts inside the switch with emery cloth, reversed the switches so the contacts were new, and reassembled. Haven't had a problem with it since! In general, the switch is unobtanium, but I did pick up a used one once, and never needed it. Not sure how well it works, but it could be reworked and then you don't have to deal with that part while the door is apart, just swap them out.

Heck maybe I could clean it up and then exchange it with someone who needs it.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Tue Sep 13, 2011 9:57 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
My drivers side switch wouldn't work occasionally when it was very hot. (closed car in sun all day etc). It would work after things cooled down. Then one day it stopped working altogether. I pulled the door panel, removed and completely disassembled the switch, cleaned up the contacts inside the switch with emery cloth, reversed the switches so the contacts were new, and reassembled. Haven't had a problem with it since! In general, the switch is unobtanium, but I did pick up a used one once, and never needed it. Not sure how well it works, but it could be reworked and then you don't have to deal with that part while the door is apart, just swap them out.

Heck maybe I could clean it up and then exchange it with someone who needs it.



Autozone sells 'em via SPO. They're like $180 Just FYI.



My contacts burnt out and melted beyond repair. I even got another switch from a junkyard, and it had the same problem lol. I currently use a pocket screwdriver to operate my driver window
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71gsx455-4spd
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:12 pm

Old thread, but wondering how to get the rocker switches off. The pictures above are busted so if there was one that showed this, it's gone. I have the switch out but have been trying to gently get the switches pried off unsuccessfully. The drivers side window was intermittent and now is non functional. Even if it ends up being a motor, I still would like to R&R the switch.

Here's a pic that might help:



Guidance, especially with a picture, would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Ken
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:49 pm

Bumpity Bump Bump....
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:54 pm

Ken, I need to deal with this soon as well. Did you ever resolve the problem? Now that my daughter is driving the Riv, I get to listen to her complain about the intermittent operation, instead of swearing at it myself.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:03 pm

They pry off. VERY carefully. They clip on to two little pegs on either side. The rockers have 2 little holes with very thin plastic around them. I broke one of mine when I tried to repair it. I eventually made 1 complete working switch, but it inevitably failed within 2 weeks. I ended up getting a brand new one.....

EDIT: I got 2 switches from a junkyard and took all 3 of them apart. The contacts underneath the rockers turn black from dirt and the constant micro spark from initial contact. I took the passenger spring contact from one of the junkyard switches (neither one worked on the driver switch) and installed it on my driver switch. It would've probably worked forever had the main contacts in the switch itself not melted.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:43 pm

I never did get them off, Dave. I get to hear about the whole door panel being off since I posted my question here, lol.

Scott, where did you get a new switch? Aftermarket? If I know that's an option, I may be a bit braver with the switch I have in trying to pry it apart!
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:17 am

71gsx455-4spd wrote:
Scott, where did you get a new switch? Aftermarket? If I know that's an option, I may be a bit braver with the switch I have in trying to pry it apart!

Autozone sells them
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/parts/1998-Buick-Riviera/Power-Window-Switch/_/N-ja115Z9cilb?filterByKeyWord=window+switch&fromString=search

I happened to get lucky and locate a new GM part here at work.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:21 am

RockAuto also lists Airtex switches for L & R for my 98. A bit over $100. I'm going to work on mine first though.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:23 am

It almost seems that it's not worth the time investment to "refurbish" the original switch. I may just order new instead and get it over with.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:49 am

Does this look right? I hardly see my Riv's interior anymore...

http://www.rockauto.com/getimage/getimage.php?imageurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rockauto.com%2Finfo%2FAirtex%2F1S10805.jpg&imagekey=2065160-0&width=500


Hmmm, it's only $78 at GMPD. But the $19 to ship it is crazy! Still less than RockAuto though.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:16 am

There's tons of them on eBay for a lot cheaper.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:12 pm

Used... is what I saw on Ebay.


Found that my local dealer has it for $98, no shipping cost.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:20 pm

Dave, that picture looks right to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:21 pm

Yep, dealer confirmed I had the right p/n. smile
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PostSubject: Re: Write-Up: Driver's Side Door Window/Lock Switch Internals   Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:30 pm

Spent about an hour swapping driver's door window switch, not too much trouble. Have to say I really dislike the sound, again, of little broken plastic pieces falling on the floor every time I lift the door panel off... rolleyes
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