These switches are certainly cool, but not incredibly durable and easy to take apart. Upon first inspection the units don't have an obvious way to be taken apart, but there is a relatively doable method. They are fastened by a metal insert that was riveted in, preventing easy user removal, and two metal pins locking the other side together. We will be removing this insert, pushing the pins out of the way, and prying out the now free(ish) switch plate.
After they are apart, we will be cleaning, repairing, and re-greasing. Tools required:
- General Purpose Grease (I like Lucas Red "N" Tacky!)
- 3M Acryll-Green Spot Putty (optional, CA glue and baking soda would work too)
- Contact Cleaner/Rubbing alcohol (I like to use deoxit!)
- Paper Towels
- Scotchbrite Pad
- Soldering Iron
- 2 Part Epoxy (if needed)
- Small flathead & phillips head screwdriver
- Needle Nose Pliers
The above are what I used, just follow along and you'll get a good idea of what you need and what you don't.
Take your soldering iron and with the switch positioned flat on a table (button/switch facing you) push the soldering iron into the metal insert. It should rest in there without sliding through the metal. Wait and apply slow pressure until the insert backs out of the plate of plastic on the table (where the metal contacts are) but remains embedded in the back of the switch.
Next, you'll want to use your small screwdriver, and punch in the two metal pins on the opposite end of your switch.
The picture above has the two pins circled. Punch the pins further inwards, in the direction of the two arrows. Push them as far as they'll go, but don't try and force them all the way through.
Now, with the threaded insert pushed out and the pins pushed in, use a screwdriver or other small flat pry-tool to carefully pry the switchbase from the top of the switch. Work your way around all sides, but try and angle it out opposite the direction of where you pushed the insert, so that you are pulling it AWAY from the two pins we punched in. They should stay with the switchbase.
Now push the pins back out, until you can grab them with pliers. Pull them out.
Now, you should have the switch base and top (pictured above), along with a little plastic carriage, metal piece, 3 springs, and 2 pins. The above image can be used as a reference for reassembly.
Here you can see the full internals of the switch, with the carrier, metal piece, and springs.
To remove the actual moving portion of the switch, take a flathead screwdriver and gently push the white tube (almost looks like an old Swiss army knife toothpick!) out of its slot. It should be fairly loose, could probably get it out with a fingernail.
Go ahead and soak all your pieces in some soapy water, brush em off, give them a skincare regimen, whatever floats your boat. I just used a toothbrush to scrub everything down. Note that a lot of the pieces have a lot of nooks and crannies, so after drying with a paper towel, you may need to use some compressed air to fully remove the water from all the crevices. For the metal parts, hit em with some contact cleaner or alcohol and dry off.
If your switches have any major cracks, or cause one while disassembling, just mix up some two part epoxy and fix them up. It's easier to get into the cracks with them taken apart, and you can always clean up after so you don't get any glue where things need to move. If your switches have cosmetic damage, such as scratches, worn spots, gouges, I used this spot/filling putty and some scotchbrite.
When you're done cleaning/fixing everything, put it back together largely in the same way you took it apart. There are some things to grease though!
- White Switch Pivot Tube
- Switch Pivot Hole
- Back of Plastic Contact Carrier (side without metal/springs!)
- Inside of Carrier Rail/Ridge.
Make sure all metal surfaces are clean! I hit the metal piece with some 220 grit sandpaper, and all the metal with some contact cleaner!
To assemble, place the switch rocker into the housing, and slide the white tube in to keep them together. Make sure the pin is aligned properly, as the housing has a notch to accommodate the little lip/key at the end. To prepare the switch carrier, insert each of the 3 springs into their holes, and place the carrier into its track, with the switch arm in the slot of the carrier. Now you can line up the metal contact and place it on top of the springs. It's not symmetrical! Make sure you place it on correctly. Also, if you have the left hand/horn/lights switch laid out, bottom up, with the screw hole on the right, the two spring side of the carrier will face up.
Now press the switch/contact plate back into the switch housing while not disturbing the metal contact slider. While sandwiching the part together in your fingers, use your soldering iron to push the insert back in its original direction. The insert should make it all the through and have a rim hanging over both of its edges. If you remove the iron and let it cool, the insert should hold those ends together. Next use your pliers to push the 2 pins back in on the other side to clamp that together. If you did everything right your switch should feel nice and smooth, look great, and pass the multimeter check. For wiring help check that part of the wiki. Enjoy!