: Gotta be the dimmerswitch in my 1993 De Ville -- HELP!



Wendy-J
07-15-11, 11:10 PM
I've seen all sorts of odd things happen with Caddy electrical problems, but this one was cute.

Low beams are fine. Switch to high beams and the low beams have no power. Had me giggling. Either I have low beams, or I have high beams without the low beam bulbs.
Flash to pass does not flash.

Gotta be the dimmer switch. Right?

Simple fix, drop the column onto the seat, replace the switch, put the column back up. Right?

Not so easy.

I can swing the two dash pieces down and away to get a look at things, but I can NOT get the dash apart. I went to AutoZone to see if they had any pics. Sure enough, no such critter listed on their site. HOWEVER, if I want to dismantle the dash, I had all sorts of interesting pics. There they show I have -- from top to bottom starting directly under the steering column:

I.P. (One can only assume Instrument Panel) Steering Column Plate Assembly
I.P. Steering Column Reinforcement Plate
I.P. Steering Column Filler
and last but not least, the Left Sound Insulator.

To get the Steering Column Filler piece out there are two screws at the top and at the bottom. I can get the bottom ones, because they're right there. The top ones are hidden under the Column plate assembly. Pretty plastic piece that looks like wood.

How do you get the parts off the dash to drop the column? I really don't want to take the ENTIRE dash apart from the very top down, to replace a twelve dollar switch that mounts on top of the column. There has got to be a better way. Ford had their better ideas that always led to an interesting repair. Please tell me this isn't one of GM's.

Little Help. Please?

Wendy.

P.S.

1993 Sedan de Ville w/4.9L
This is my first Caddy, but I'm far from a novice when it comes to repairs. I've swapped engines, trannies, clutches....
I was a mechanic for almost fifteen years. However, this is MY first Caddy. Ugly as sin with the paint probs, but it's sweet inside. I really don't want to trash a lovely ride by breaking my dash as I try to get it out.
Thanks
W.

Wendy-J
07-16-11, 03:14 PM
I have to drive the Evil One tonight and given where we are, we're going to need those high beams. So, I sat in the car and did my darndest to figure out what holds my dash together.

Slowly and methodically, I started to undo the screws around the instrument cluster to get a better look.

Once I had all the screws out, the trim around my headlamp switch out and the screws around my power window lock-out gone, I was able to remove the two end pieces to have a better look. Grr....

The bottom cover -- plastic, not leather like the rest of my dash -- was still firmly held in place, as was the centre portion of my instrument cluster trim. However, with the two end pieces out, I had a view inside. The wood trim below the column does not have any screws holding it in. It just snaps in place. However, with the steel column reinforcing plate in place, there was no easy way to get behind it to pop it out.

I prised the plastic cover piece down and away from the mounting bolts on the reinforcing plate VERY CAREFULLY.

Then working with a 10 mm socket and 1/4" ratchet, I dropped the plate out of the way. With it gone, I was able to reach behind the pretty wood grain trim plate and pop it free. Again, working VERY CAREFULLY.

Sigh.... I was finally able to get at those last two pesky screws.

The rest of the job is fairly easy. Now if I can get it all back up without triggering the airbag, or SIR. I'm terrified to even do more than move those wires out of the way. With my luck, I'll reconnect them and the blasted thing will blow as soon as I restore power to the system.

Hope you all have a good day.

Wendy.