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Headlight/wiper switch assembly — 1986 720

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Really tuff to find this replacement part. Visited my local dealer with no luck, they say it’s “ obsolete “ no longer available thru them. Scoured the local yards but I find just shells of what once, was a whole truck.

    But ! I see similarities in the offerings on EBAY and STANDARD brand components for this model year. The lever arms are the same style, flat for the wiper and round for the headlights, but my switch cluster has a pigtail of wires with a plug coming from the turn signal mechanism which those do not have on the back side where everything else plugs in. My quandary is weather to buy new and retro fit the pigtail onto it, if that’s even possible OR buy the used one and see how long it lasts, the used offerings look pretty crusty. So I disconnect the battery, disassembled my original piece, where the pigtail is ( 3 screws) and found small springs and sliding carriers with copper contact plates that ride against the pigtail casing with its contacts. Just wanted to see how it worked. Gave the whole switch cluster a little brush down with electrical cleaning solvent and lubed it up with silicone grease, where required. Put it all back together just like it came apart, pretty straight forward, and I’ve got zip now...nothin’, not even an interior light. All fuses are good. I’m stumped. Must have popped something somewhere else. Disconnected the battery before disassembly  and reconnected afterward. 
   I purchased a new switch cluster and will investigate its turn signal internals with intense light to see if my pigtail will adapt. Fingers crossed. Any input from my “go to” info source will be greatly appreciated. And Mike, it is a robust piece it’s just deteriorating due to its age and years in use. The plastic is crumbling into chips and it’s super duper brittle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, after trying to locate an assembly with no luck, I decided to disassemble the “whole enchilada “. After a complete tear down, I find that the true culprit was the corroded contacts on the ends of the “arms” that are activated by turning the headlight switch forward, which also contact these really small pins, also no help in the situation, that slide in and out of equally small openings, that are of matching shapes to the pins, so you can’t mix them up, that contact and control these arms. Frozen in place after years of use, dirt and heat cycling and only capable of being jostled loose by repeated switch movement. The flaking plastic was mostly located on the male plug housings. Getting this whole affair apart and cleaned up with paint thinner then re- constituted with fresh lithium grease and dielectric grease was not so much a challenge mechanically just time consuming. The use of small model making tools greatly helped in re assembly, as these pieces are 1/4” or less in size with tight and I really mean tight clearances. Not so easy to handle with numb and calloused hot dog fingers. The lube has to applied sparingly so as not to slop all over, I used a hobby detail paint brush for the lube. After all the tedious finger work and sometimes looking away to let my eyes refocus, it’s back together and working like new ! Nice bright lights and blinkers with movements and smoothness.. Just like Mike said, it’s a robust piece, and with a little patience, cleaning, lube and good lighting at your workbench , it’s repairable.

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