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Repair/rebuild your heater switch! It's simple.
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:41 pm    Post subject: Repair/rebuild your heater switch! It's simple. Reply with quote

So while I'm waiting on some parts to arrive I decided to figure out why my heater fans weren't working. I pulled the switches from the dash and tested with my ohm meter. Just as I suspected there was no continuity through either switch.

Being the curious person I am I saw the switch could be opened up. Looking at the sides you can see two lock tabs. So I decided to pry the back off and take a look inside. What I found was actually a very robust switch, but age had taken its toll and the contacts were corroded. All I did was clean the contacts with some fine steel wool, added some dielectric grease and put it all back together. Re-tested with the ohm meter and there was now continuity through the switch at all speeds.

I've added a picture to show what it looks like inside. The green arrow notates the flat edge on the casing, the red dots approximate the alignment of the front part of the switch (where the control dial plugs in). Just make sure to notate the alignment before you pop it of the casing. Also, the casing holds two strips of metal at the bottom which provides the detent action for the switch. If you turn the casing over these will fall out, so be careful. The back side of the switch only goes in one way. It's a little like playing operation, but once I did one the other one went quickly.

Hope this helps someone save a few bucks. Cheers!

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1986 Westfalia Weekender Wolfsburg, RJE 2.3
1985 Tin Top, Subie 2.2 + 5MT
Floppy Mirrors no more: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653018&highlight=
Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

-Nec Spe, Nec Metu


Last edited by 61Scout on Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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jimeg
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post!
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Here: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=578490
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regis101
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yepper. Nice tip
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DrakeM
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:45 am    Post subject: How to pull the heater switch Reply with quote

Great fix! I'm looking to test my switch as it's stopped working recently. What i haven't been able to tell from all the posts on the subject is whether I have to pull the entire dash to check the switch or if i can pull the switch without tearing the entire dash apart.

Is there a thread out there that i'm missing or can you bullet point the process if you don't have to pull the entire dash?

Thanks so much,

DM
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The switch has to be removed from the dash for repair, but not for testing. However, it's just as easy to pull for testing also. The switch in the photo for the rear fan just pops out, I recall metal spring clips top and bottom. The other switch, for front fan operation is retained by the control panel face plate. You're suppose to pull the levers out then pop the face plate off, the problem being is that the levers rarely come out without tearing the rubber head off of them. I was able to avoid this by sliding the levers first in the middle, loosening the face plate, then slide the levers over to the far left side, from there one can manipulate the plate and remove the switch for the front fan. I can't remember if the pegs that hold the face plate were upper left and lower right or upper right and lower left. Either way, this piece is extremely delicate and it's super easy to break one or both of the pegs off, or the face itself, so proceed with great caution. You may want to try and look under the dash with a mirror and/or remove the ashtray and look down at the controls to get an idea of what you're up against before starting.

Kevin
_________________
1986 Westfalia Weekender Wolfsburg, RJE 2.3
1985 Tin Top, Subie 2.2 + 5MT
Floppy Mirrors no more: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653018&highlight=
Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

-Nec Spe, Nec Metu
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wasserbox
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for this!

It's one of those things that has bothered me, but not quite enough to do anything about Smile
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DrakeM
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Testing switch Reply with quote

Kevin - that was super helpful - thank you. Now I need to find my ohmmeter and test it. Can I assume that I just need to find current on the front of the switch to determine if it's the switch or the resistor or the heater itself?
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61Scout
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad I can help. DrakeM, you might want to consider introducing yourself to the forum and making your own post with your fan issue so others can help, and so it's not buried under this subject heading. Not that I care that you're on this thread, but just so more people can see it and respond. That said, I'll see if I can help you out...

With any diagnosis, start from one end and work towards the other. First thing I always do study the schematic so I know what I'm up against. After that I'd suggest looking at the tree grounds. Those will be tucked up under the dash on the drivers side. Where your left foot would be, look straight up and to the left a bit... see the multiple ground connector with all the brown wires on it? Take that off, clean/install new if needed, and reattach, use dielectric grease. Once that's done check your fuses. Then check for power at the fan switch, remember to turn the key on. If you've got power at the switch, then check the switch itself. If the switch is good then take your power probe (or 12v power supply) and test to see if you can activate the fan (make sure this is fused/protected when you do this). In my case, not only was the switch bad, but when I powered on the fan it would only run for about 30 seconds before it popped the circuit breaker on my power probe, so I knew the fan and/or resistor was toast. When that happens, you will indeed need to remove the dash to gain access for repair. Hope this helps.

Kevin
_________________
1986 Westfalia Weekender Wolfsburg, RJE 2.3
1985 Tin Top, Subie 2.2 + 5MT
Floppy Mirrors no more: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653018&highlight=
Remove the front spindle nut with ease: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679567&highlight=
Remove the rear wheel bearing housing without messing with the big 46mm nut: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=679507&highlight=

-Nec Spe, Nec Metu
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:53 am    Post subject: Re: Repair/rebuild your heater switch! It's simple. Reply with quote

Awesome post! Thank you for sharing.

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Switch positions.

Was able to clean up and re-grease two switches, good as new!
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eug_camper
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Repair/rebuild your heater switch! It's simple. Reply with quote

This thread is exactly what I was looking for, happens a lot on thesamba Smile

What hints can y'all give to remove the switch from the dash plate? I'm able to move the switch housing around, but cannot figure out how to detach it from the plate. The rest of switch came out in pieces, so I'm thinking I need to just replace the whole thing.

Westy is a 1985 with a single dash plate for blower fan switch and the four air-directing sliders, unlike the first picture in this thread, which shows a separate plate for the blower switch.

Hints for removing the slider knobs without destroying them would also be appreciated.
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Repair/rebuild your heater switch! It's simple. Reply with quote

eug_camper wrote:

What hints can y'all give to remove the switch from the dash plate? I'
Hints for removing the slider knobs without destroying them would also be appreciated.


On my climate control plate, I pulled the slider knobs off (gingerly) as not to break them. The switch you have to pull the knob out and then pry the plate off. There are two pins holding it on, lower left corner and upper right just too the left of the first setting on the switch. Be careful as these pins break off.....brittle plastic.
_________________
'15 Audi A3 Quattro
'09 VW Tiguan (dead)
'87 VW Westy
'91 Tin Top
'90 Cabby
What the Westy wants the Westy GETS


http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_search.php?search_author=Timwhy&show_results=summary

http://www.youtube.com/user/TIMWHY2?feature=mhee
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