Discussion:
Moving dimmer switch to floor
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blowout preventer
2012-02-13 21:15:04 UTC
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Olds Intrigue apparently has defective dimmer switch. It is
column-mounted, and multi-function, running the headlights and turn
signals also.
On low beams, it is okay, -- but push the lever forward to activate
the high-beams and you have no headlights, and the high-beam indicator
light doesn't light either.
The switch is expenive, about $200 give or take, plus the considerable
hassle of changing it (dealing with airbag, taking apart column,
figuring out how to do all that etc).
Meanwhile, the old floor mounted dimmer switches are about 15 bucks.
It is tempting to just hook one of those into the system instead, just
take the cordless drill and use a couple self-tapping hex-head screws to
mount it onto the floor. It would be faster, and way cheaper and
easier.
Per the wiring diagram, it looks pretty straightforward to cut the
wires running to the stalk switch and run them to the new switch (may
have to lengthen them of course).
This is my basic run-around car that nobody else is likely to ever own.
Fifteen bucks versus ten times that much, and a half hour versus ???
(and risk of breaking something else etc).
Anyone see any reason not to do this?
PeterD
2012-02-13 22:02:48 UTC
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Post by blowout preventer
Olds Intrigue apparently has defective dimmer switch. It is
column-mounted, and multi-function, running the headlights and turn
signals also.
On low beams, it is okay, -- but push the lever forward to activate
the high-beams and you have no headlights, and the high-beam indicator
light doesn't light either.
The switch is expenive, about $200 give or take, plus the considerable
hassle of changing it (dealing with airbag, taking apart column,
figuring out how to do all that etc).
Meanwhile, the old floor mounted dimmer switches are about 15 bucks.
It is tempting to just hook one of those into the system instead, just
take the cordless drill and use a couple self-tapping hex-head screws to
mount it onto the floor. It would be faster, and way cheaper and
easier.
Per the wiring diagram, it looks pretty straightforward to cut the
wires running to the stalk switch and run them to the new switch (may
have to lengthen them of course).
This is my basic run-around car that nobody else is likely to ever own.
Fifteen bucks versus ten times that much, and a half hour versus ???
(and risk of breaking something else etc).
Anyone see any reason not to do this?
No reason other than a remote chance it won't pass safety inspection,
but at least around here the driver/owner operates the controls so
they'd never know.
--
I'm never going to grow up.
Ed Pawlowski
2012-02-13 22:26:06 UTC
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Post by blowout preventer
Meanwhile, the old floor mounted dimmer switches are about 15 bucks.
It is tempting to just hook one of those into the system instead, just
take the cordless drill and use a couple self-tapping hex-head screws to
mount it onto the floor. It would be faster, and way cheaper and
easier.
Per the wiring diagram, it looks pretty straightforward to cut the
wires running to the stalk switch and run them to the new switch (may
have to lengthen them of course).
Under the circumstances, I'd go for it. Alternative is some sort of
toggle mounted to the steering column.
James Goforth
2012-02-14 01:55:51 UTC
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I always preferred the old foot-operated dimmer switch anyway. I
don't always drive in the 10-2 position, and I liked the way all you had
to do was basically twitch your big toe to change beams, didn't have to
move your hands. Or even your foot.
Yes, I am THAT lazy.
Plus, look how much cheaper an easier it was to change a worn out
swith.
What was the reason behind all US mfgrs going to the stalk switch (and
pretty much all at the same time IIRC) ??
Ed Pawlowski
2012-02-14 03:52:33 UTC
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Post by James Goforth
I always preferred the old foot-operated dimmer switch anyway. I
don't always drive in the 10-2 position, and I liked the way all you had
to do was basically twitch your big toe to change beams, didn't have to
move your hands. Or even your foot.
Yes, I am THAT lazy.
Plus, look how much cheaper an easier it was to change a worn out
swith.
What was the reason behind all US mfgrs going to the stalk switch (and
pretty much all at the same time IIRC) ??
It is one of those things that became a standard in every car, just
like PRNDL has.

Floor switches were subject to corrosion from wet shoes and salt
residue in the rust belt. With a stick shift, it is difficult to
change the light while depressing the clutch.
PeterD
2012-02-14 12:09:35 UTC
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Post by Ed Pawlowski
It is one of those things that became a standard in every car, just
like PRNDL has.
PRNDL was mandated by the Federal government. I'm not sure that the
location of the dimmer switch was.
Post by Ed Pawlowski
Floor switches were subject to corrosion from wet shoes and salt
residue in the rust belt. With a stick shift, it is difficult to
change the light while depressing the clutch.
Yes, but column mounted switches also suffered problems too. It is easy
to have one's hands busy and not be able to dim the lights just like
with the floor switch. I think they caught on mostly because of
Europeans, and their being able to flash the headlights instead of
sounding the horn... A trick that is very difficult to do with a floor
mounted dimmer switch!
--
I'm never going to grow up.
n***@home.com
2012-10-16 10:17:34 UTC
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Post by James Goforth
I always preferred the old foot-operated dimmer switch anyway. I
don't always drive in the 10-2 position, and I liked the way all you had
to do was basically twitch your big toe to change beams, didn't have to
move your hands. Or even your foot.
Yes, I am THAT lazy.
Plus, look how much cheaper an easier it was to change a worn out
swith.
What was the reason behind all US mfgrs going to the stalk switch (and
pretty much all at the same time IIRC) ??
I always prefered the foot switch too. Even if they go bad every few
years from corrosion, it's still 100 times easier and 10 times cheaper
to change them. I get really tired of moving my hands everytime someone
comes toward me at nite. With the foot switch, I could just keep my
foot right at the edge of it. Worse yet, is if I'm doing something like
snacking while I drive, and have one hand full of food and have to try
to move the other hand to hit the dimmer. There is a sharp turn in the
road near me, and at least 5 times a week, I have to dim my lights while
steering that sharp turn, because the other car can not be seen till
they are on th curve, due to the hill alongside the road. I'll take the
old foot switch anyday, and still have one in my old beater farm truck.
s***@gmail.com
2017-01-20 15:43:13 UTC
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I was doing some digging around on the floor mounted switch and doing a retrofit. I came across these guys...

http://presair.com/foot-pedal-dimmer-switch/

Seems pretty simple.

Bill
2012-02-15 16:06:25 UTC
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Post by blowout preventer
Olds Intrigue apparently has defective dimmer switch. It is
column-mounted, and multi-function, running the headlights and turn
signals also.
On low beams, it is okay, -- but push the lever forward to activate
the high-beams and you have no headlights, and the high-beam
indicator
light doesn't light either.
How do you know the problem is with the switch?

Did you use a voltmeter to test for voltage at the light connectors?
Maybe the high beams are burned out on both lights?

And did you use a voltmeter to check for voltage at the steering
column wires? Perhaps the switch is working, but there is a problem
after between there and the headlights? Relay? Wiring? Connectors?
blowout preventer
2012-02-15 20:24:54 UTC
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Bill wrote: "How do you know the problem is with the switch?
Did you use a voltmeter to test for voltage at the light connectors?
Maybe the high beams are burned out on both lights?

And did you use a voltmeter to check for voltage at the steering column
wires? Perhaps the switch is working, but there is a problem after
between there and the headlights? Relay? Wiring? Connectors?"
**************************************
Thanks Bill, I tested for voltage at the bulb sockets and I think
there is voltage there -- IIRC there is voltage to them all the time,
and either the switch grounds it, or it routes to the BCM which grounds
it, it's been awhile since I first looked at.
I have been driving it like this for some time, as it's not a huge
deal, driving in town, etc.
I messed with it when I first got it, to diagnose what it needed,
which is when I discovered the switch is pretty expensive -- and hence a
floor switch would be so much cheaper, easier etc.
The headlight bulbs are good -- plus the high beam indicator doesn't
light up either, indicating that whole circuit isn't getting energized.
I had also posted it on the internet and the consensus was that the
switch is bad. Maybe it's a somewhat common thing.
If I was going to put in a floor switch, I would, at the beginning of
that process, do some further testing when I dug out the wires involved
in the operation.
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