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Old 08-28-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

Hey Guys!
I was looking for a thread that addressed the issue of the dimmer-switch not working in my '94Z. I didn't know if the switch was bad, or if it was just needing adjusted, so I took a logic-tree approach to it. Here's what I figured out:

1) Since my dimmer stopped working slowly, (I found that I could tilt the wheel all the way up & make it function, for awhile), I didn't think that the switch went bad. That, combined with the fact that it didn't 'click' anymore made me think that it was out of adjustment. If it clicked but didn't work, then I would have replaced the switch.
2) I didn't want to dis-assemble my dash & drop the column, if I didn't have to. My job as a machine-repairer has taught me that there are often easier ways to do things, if you are patient-enough & have the right tools... I crawled under the dash (ugh! I'm getting too old for this stuff!) & examined the situation. By removing the lower dash-cover & the kick-panel, I could see the column & figured I could do this without dropping the column!

So, I did it!
Here's how:

Tools required: One 7mm socket with push-driver &/or ratchet handle, one each open-end & box-end 8mm wrench(es), one small phillips screwdriver, one flat screwdriver (&/or small set of side cutters)

1) Remove the two phillips screws in lower dash-cover, then remove the two 7mm screws along the bottom, while you hold up the cover. Lay it in a safe place. (Note: If you have the rear-defog switch, like mine, then you will need to pry it out of the slot, pull the blue pin out of the plug, then remove the plug from the back of it- you can do this before or after you drop the cover)
2) Using a flat screwdriver (or side-cutters) gently pry the two plugs out of the front edge of the kick-panel, pull it towards the seat, & it will drop out of it's slots. Lay it aside, too.
3) The next step is to locate the dimmer-switch on the lower part of the column, just below the brackets that hold it up to the dash, maybe a foot below the turn-signal arm. Then, you will need to feel around (or use an inspection-mirror & flashlight) to find the two (8mm head) screws that attach the dimmer-switch AND the ignition-switch to the column. The screws will be at the top & bottom of the bracket, & at about a ten oclock position (if you were looking at the column from the driver's seat)- above center on the driver's side. At this time, I recommend that you use one of your screw drivers to mark the current location of the bracket, relative to the column, as you may not have the best view of it, & would need to know where it started at to adjust it, &/or in case it slipped downwards when you loosened the screws.
4) I used two different Craftsman ignition-wrenches to get a boxed-end AND an open-end 8mm wrench (there really isn't enough room to use a ratchet- not even a 1/4", but a ratcheting 8mm wrench would be great, if you have one!). I also found it much easier to fit my 'size large' hands into the hole, IF I removed the small bracket with the relays attached to it, on the LH side of the column (two 7mm screws). Then you just have to stand on your head & hold your mouth right for a few moments, until you get the screws loosened. I used the flat screwdriver to push the bracket upwards about 1/8" (towards the steering wheel), then tightened the screws.
5) At this point, I crawled out from under the dash & checked the dimmer-switch AND the ignition-switch (since they are both held on by the same screws). If they both work well, (& mine did) then you're clear to re-assemble everything! If not, then further adjustments or a replacement is required.

You should be able to do this in 30 minutes, give or take!
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Last edited by capncrunch; 07-20-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #2
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I had the same issue. Thanks for the instructions! It's working like new.
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Old 06-04-2010, 08:40 PM   #3
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No problem!
I like to help!
Got any good threads on header installation for the LT1 cars?
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capncrunch View Post
No problem!
I like to help!
Got any good threads on header installation for the LT1 cars?
Hijacking your own almost year old thread to change the subject from dimmer switch to header install? Probably better to start another thread, don't you think?
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Touchy touchy touchy!
Guess I don't think of things that way!
Sorry!

BTW- Is it even POSSIBLE to
hijack your own thread?
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:23 PM   #6
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I don't think he's being "touchy"..... he's trying to help.

You just limited the ability to get responses to the header question, since very few people are even going to read a thread with the "dimmer-switch" as a topic, unless they have a problem with a dimmer switch.

Logically, you would start a new thread, in the Exhaust forum.
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Old 06-05-2010, 03:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capncrunch View Post
Touchy touchy touchy!
Guess I don't think of things that way!
Sorry!

BTW- Is it even POSSIBLE to
hijack your own thread?
Yeah, I think you just proved you can. Changing the subject to something totally unrelated is a hijack in my book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Injuneer View Post
I don't think he's being "touchy"..... he's trying to help.

You just limited the ability to get responses to the header question, since very few people are even going to read a thread with the "dimmer-switch" as a topic, unless they have a problem with a dimmer switch.

Logically, you would start a new thread, in the Exhaust forum.
LOL yeah, just trying to help. People aren't going to be lined up to give header install advice in a dimmer switch thread.

Last edited by shoebox; 06-05-2010 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 06-05-2010, 04:20 PM   #8
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Okay! Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:27 AM   #9
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Re: 1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

In step 4 you mention "ignigtion wrench". Is this a must or are two regular 8mm wrenches sufficient for the job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capncrunch View Post
Hey Guys!
I was looking for a thread that addressed the issue of the dimmer-switch not working in my '94Z. I didn't know if the switch was bad, or if it was just needing adjusted, so I took a logic-tree approach to it. Here's what I figured out:

1) Since my dimmer stopped working slowly, (I found that I could tilt the wheel all the way up & make it function, for awhile), I didn't think that the switch went bad. That, combined with the fact that it didn't 'click' anymore made me think that it was out of adjustment. If it clicked but didn't work, then I would have replaced the switch.
2) I didn't want to dis-assemble my dash & drop the column, if I didn't have to. My job as a machine-repairer has taught me that there are often easier ways to do things, if you are patient-enough & have the right tools... I crawled under the dash (ugh! I'm getting too old for this stuff!) & examined the situation. By removing the lower dash-cover & the kick-panel, I could see the column & figured I could do this without dropping the column!

So, I did it!
Here's how:

Tools required: One 7mm socket with push-driver &/or ratchet handle, one each open-end & box-end 8mm wrench(es), one small phillips screwdriver, one flat screwdriver (&/or small set of side cutters)

1) Remove the two phillips screws in lower dash-cover, then remove the two 7mm screws along the bottom, while you hold up the cover. Lay it in a safe place. (Note: If you have the rear-defog switch, like mine, then you will need to pry it out of the slot, pull the blue pin out of the plug, then remove the plug from the back of it- you can do this before or after you drop the cover)
2) Using a flat screwdriver (or side-cutters) gently pry the two plugs out of the front edge of the kick-panel, pull it towards the seat, & it will drop out of it's slots. Lay it aside, too.
3) The next step is to locate the dimmer-switch on the lower part of the column, just below the brackets that hold it up to the dash. Then, you will need to feel around (or use an inspection-mirror & flashlight) to find the two (8mm head) screws that attach the dimmer-switch AND the ignition-switch to the column. The screws will be at the top & bottom of the bracket, & at about a ten oclock position (if you were looking at the column from the driver's seat)- above center on the driver's side. At this time, I recommend that you use one of your screw drivers to mark the current location of the bracket, relative to the column, as you may not have the best view of it, & would need to know where it started at to adjust it, &/or in case it slipped downwards when you loosened the screws.
4) I used two different Craftsman ignition-wrenches to get a boxed-end AND an open-end 8mm wrench (there really isn't enough room to use a ratchet- not even a 1/4", but a ratcheting 8mm wrench would be great, if you have one!). I also found it much easier to fit my 'size large' hands into the hole, IF I removed the small bracket with the relays attached to it, on the LH side of the column (two 7mm screws). Then you just have to stand on your head & hold your mouth right for a few moments, until you get the screws loosened. I used the flat screwdriver to push the bracket upwards about 1/8", then tightened the screws.
5) At this point, I crawled out from under the dash & checked the dimmer-switch AND the ignition-switch (since they are both held on by the same screws). If they both work well, (& mine did) then you're clear to re-assemble everything! If not, then further adjustments or a replacement is required.

You should be able to do this in 30 minutes, give or take!
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Old 04-17-2011, 01:40 PM   #10
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Re: 1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

ANY 8mm wrenches should work!
I used the ignition-wrenches because they were small enough AND the way they are made, you get an open-end and a boxed-end 8mm in two separate wrenches (where most combination-wrenches are 8mm boxed/open on the same wrench).
IF you have two 8mm wrenches & can use the box-end on one & the open-end on the other, then it should work fine!
Don't forget that if you move the ignition switch, too, it may not function afterwards, & you'll need to move it back, if that happens!
Peace!
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:23 AM   #11
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Re: 1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

Hey, just wanted to say thanks for the great guide! I was having the exact same problem in my Camaro (high beam switch not clicking), and you provided an excellent description on how to fix it, which I did.

There's just two tiny things I might add that weren't completely obvious to me (for anyone attempting this in the future). The first was that I had the impression that the dimmer switch was up by where you were pushing the lever, and it took me a bit to realize that you're actually pushing a metal linkage to actuate a switch further under the dash (almost a foot away from the lever).

Also, you said push the switch "upwards," but I think "away from the engine" or "toward the back of the car" might be a little more clear (as I actually tried to push it straight up at first, which wasn't working).

Again, awesome guide, sorry to nitpick. I can't believe the "right" way to do it involves taking off the steering wheel - that just makes no sense!
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:31 AM   #12
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Re: 1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

You're welcome. I will add your edits to the sticky, too!
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:36 AM   #13
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Re: 1993-02 F-body dimmer-switch adjustments

Sounds cool!
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:36 AM
 
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