I recently installed an Isuzu tranny in my '84. It was only after it was installed that I figured out my switch was bad. I called Gordo and Big Red and Gordon told me that they were near impossible to find and if you were lucky enough to find one, they were usually expensive.
At hearing this, I decided to attempt a repair. Afterall, the worst I could do was break a broken part.
I completely disassembled it and after some solder, emery cloth, a burnt fingertip, and a couple of hours, I have an operable reverse light switch in perfect condition. The contacts inside it were scarred and burnt and the upper spring was pretty rusty. I did the best I could with a soft brass wire brush and then shot it with a little primer to ward off further corrosion. I cleaned the terminals and laid a thin coat of solder on the bad spots to bring the tolerances a little closer to original. I lightly siliconed and reassembled the two halves and performed a continuity test. It passed with flying colors. The brass contacts on top of the switch were cracked and near falling off so I soldered new wire in their place. I sealed the exterior portion of the switch with Permatex rubber sealant and succeeded in making it look very similar to the OEM part.
My wife had our camera in Washington D.C. this weekend so no pictures yet. As soon as she unpacks it though, I'll snap a pic or two and show you the finished product.
If you have an Isuzu reverse light switch that no longer works, let me know as I'd be more than happy to rebuild it.
Posts: 1104 From: Vancouver, WA USA Registered: Feb 2009
Good idea... I think the getrag uses the same switch. I have a Getrag switch I can send you. I do not need it for my car but this is a badly needed service as they are very hard to find. I ended up ordering one for an 88 beretta 5 speed. Works great.
If you guys want to send me your old switches, my address is:
John Jaromack P.O. Box 196 Franklin, NY 13775
FedEx/UPS 196 Center Street Franklin, NY 13775
Of course we all know that the switch you send me may or may not be salvageable for any number of reasons but if there's anything I love, it's a challenge. But the one thing I'm most aware of is the people in the past that have entered into ventures such as this and wound up getting burned by accepting cash up front/not returning parts/promises unfulfilled/etc.
Send me no cash up front. My reputation on this forum is worth more to me than any amount of money I could make by repairing a few switches. Besides, we're probably talking about less than $10-15 a switch. (Mine really was that easy to fix.)
I have discovered that most of the switches in the Fiero can also be disassembled and repaired. So if you have any other switches that you would otherwise throw away, donate them instead and maybe I can come up with an alternative to trashing them. Many switches fail because of carbon build-up and arc-scarring on the contacts and in most cases, I can remedy that easily.
Posts: 617 From: Franklin, NY, USA Registered: Mar 2006
I'm gonna save this thread, I have three Isuzu's, and no extra backup switches.
I applaud your efforts to repair your switch.
The previous owner(s) of my 88 thought it necessary to cut the wires up close to the actual switch on the tranny. After many attempts to try to locate a new one, found that I couldn't find one also. Sooo... the alternative was surgery, then re-constructive surgery... and after some re-hibitation... I have a working switch as well.... Can't understand why someone would cut the leads so short when, just 5" down was harness plug???
Apr 20th, 2010
Posts: 332 From: Atlanta, GA, USA Registered: Nov 2001
Oh ok, you guys are onto something I wasn't aware of. The HMMWV also uses a switch similar to our reverse light switch but it is much too short. I found a switch that would work at Advance Auto, but they wanted over $50 for it. Needless to say, I opted for the surgery.
Fierosmith, I also cut my wires very short knowing that I would be dissecting the switch and soldering in new wire. The internal contacts on my switch were so marred and worn from arcing that a simple clean-up would not have sufficed - I actually had to lay a coat of solder over the contacts so that they would have sufficient clearance to engage the metal disk that completes the circuit. That metal disk was also pitted badly and got the same treatment. I wish I had taken pictures while I had it apart - it could have been an additional "how-to" to accompany my fuel pump and LED headliner "how-to's".
The offer is still open for anyone wishing to salvage their old switch versus buy a new one. Or, if you're just going to chuck it in the trash or recycling bin, send it to me instead. Aside from the buck or two it would take to ship it, what have you got to lose?
[This message has been edited by Brocephus (edited 04-21-2010).]