A few days back I realized I had no high beams. After perusing my Factory service manual, I zeroed in on the Dimmer switch located on the steering column as the likely culprit.
Funny thing was I bought a new Ignition switch last week, and realized today that both are held to the steering column using the same bolts.
First I removed the Hi/low/ dimmer switch:
It was a little bit.....ummmm, crusty.
I hit it with a nylon bristle detail brush so I could actually see the thing.
Then I drilled out the rivets holding it to the backing plate:
I opened it up slowly so the springs inside would not go flying and be lost within the depths of my van, which might incur the all too common cursing fit.
The contacts inside were not too pretty.
So I busted out the Q tips and rubbing alcohol and cleaned off a lot of the grime. Then I busted out the 320 grit sandpaper and made all the contacts shiny. At this point I went to go put it back together. The spring makes this not an easy task, and frustrated, I took a break.
When I looked closer at the contacts, I noticed all the scratches, and figured that was no good for longevity.
So I got some 600 grit sandpaper and removed most of the scratches. Impressed with how shiny copper and brass can get, I busted out the dremel with a little felt polishing tip and took it to an obscene level of shiny.
I managed to get it back together, and found some machine screws in my random machine screw bin to replace the rivets to hold it together and to the baseplate.
Since both dimmer switch and ignition switch are held to the steering column by the same bolts, I installed them and adjusted them up and down the column until the ignition switch engaged and the high beam lever clicked correctly.
I Reconnected my batteries, Fired up the Van, turned on the lights, and flashed the High beams.
Blue light on the dash, and bright Hi beams were blasting my neighbor's house.
Then I danced a Jig, screamed "I AM A MASTER MECHANIC" at the top of my lungs and ran to my computer to share my success with you all.(exaggerated for effect, I do not think I am a master mechanic)
The new ignition switch really gives the key turn a nice feel.
Soon I will not be running the headlight current through this switch, but use this switch to activate 30 amp relays and insure charging voltages make it to my headlamps and increase the Lumen output significantly.
A new switch is anywhere from 43 to 67 dollars. That buys a lot of beer or gas, or safety break supplies.
Fixing it myself and forming a better understanding of the system....priceless.