Lotus Elan

Headlamp Switch Knob Removal S4

PostPost by: gearbox » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:54 am

I have been trying to remove a very stubborn knob from my headlamp switch for some time now and thought I may doing something wrong. I found the springed plunger on the metal shaft that indexes into a hole on the plastic knob. Working it with WD40, it now can be depressed and it springs back freely. But no matter how much I try, I can't seem to pull the knob off at this point. It doesn't budge from the shaft. Needless to say it is a challenge to depress the plunger and pull at the same time, but I know I have it down enough to clear the knob. I have tried soaking it with WD40, penetrant, and everything else I could find with no joy. I thought of using a heat gun, but didn't want to melt the knob. Has anyone else come across this with their knobs and foiund a solution, or am I doing something wrong? Thanks Allan

$(KGrHqV,!qMFESV3N4+CBRM42lFHrw~~60_58.jpg and
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PostPost by: EPA » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:33 am

Mine looks the same as this and removes fairly easily by pushing the tab . It sounds as though yours is just stuck for some reason.
Good luck
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:05 pm

Allan, I have to ask - how did you get the switch out of the dash with the knob attached ?

The little plunger is the only thing that keeps the knob on the shaft, if that is free and you can push it in fully the knob should just pull off. Mine is a fairly tight fit on the shaft but pulls off relatively easily. Try holding the switch in a vice so you can get a good pull on the knob with one hand while you push the plunger in with the other - use something with a rounded end so if you push it too far it won't follow the plunger into the hole in the shaft and itself prevent the knob coming off - if you see what I mean !
Good luck....
Roger
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PostPost by: gearbox » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:39 pm

Thanks Ed and Roger, at least I know I am not doing anything wrong. Car was pretty much abandoned since 1973 and the wood dash literally peeled off in layers. It was actually easier to remove that way as all the phillips screws were frozen in place. So most of the switches just fell out of the dash once I crumbled it away. I didn't see any rust, but there must be some kind of grime causing the knob to seize on to the shaft. Surprisingly, it still holds vacuum and electrical contacts still works, so I dare not to strong arm it too much. Compounding issues is the cup, which is still between the switch and knob. Again in restorable condition, so I do not want to dent that up either. I was thinking two screw drivers on either side, pushing up on the bottom of the knob, but it will most likely just crush or dent the cups. Maybe boiling water for a few minutes or a hair drier to loosen up the mechanical bond, but still trying to think how I can jarr or shock it loose. But how to do this without damage is the question. Thanks again, Allan
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:08 pm

gearbox wrote:Surprisingly, it still holds vacuum and electrical contacts still works, so I dare not to strong arm it too much. Compounding issues is the cup, which is still between the switch and knob.

Are we talking about the same switch - is it not the one shown in your photo ?
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PostPost by: gearbox » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:55 pm

No, that one was just a picture of the same type of switch I have. But since I am 7,500 miles from home and not due back until May, it was the best I could do. I find pictures helps with these posts lol. But as I mentioned, my switch would be completely assembly as if it was in the dash. Luckly my dash was so deteriorated, all I had to do was crumble the wood away to remove the switch. Any ideas? Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:05 pm

I do not see the cups you mention in your post Allan, so the switch pictured is what? Ah, I see you have clarified that now.

Secondly, do not use boiling water on the knob, or the light tampo may go milky. I could go on about boiling water on knobs, but, I will leave that one for another time.

And lastly, be very careful if you are going to lever anything, as the thin end of the knob can split or crack very easily.

Leslie
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:59 am

Rooting about in my picture archives I came up with these which may help. It is the purely electrical switch, but the principle is the same. The knob is not usually a tight fit, but you must depress the brass springy bit enough for it to slide off, but not too much or else your depressing tool stops it sliding off as well! Finesse and patience. A piece of coathanger wire (getting hard to find) is good for this.

Jeremy
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:43 am

Is it possible someone has installed it 180 degrees out?
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PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:22 am

robertverhey wrote:Is it possible someone has installed it 180 degrees out?


No, nothing that simple. I can see the plunger button through the hole. I didn't realize that they were so many things going on inside the knob as Jeremy's pictures show. BTW Thank you Jeremy, pictures shed so much light on the subject. The spring clip and that "T" thing on the end of the shaft is probably what is locking the knob in place. The car was sitting for 40 years and there was evedence that water had filled the car at one time, so I'm assuming rust, grime, and age is the culprit. I'm soaking it in WD40 in a plastic bag now, and when I get back in May, I'll take another attempt at it. But if I can fabricate something like a spreader to go under the knob and brace against the switch housing, I could apply equal and increasing pressure to the knob and tap it until the mechanical bond breaks. Well, at least it's a thought. But at least I know now that there isn't anything else that I overlooked. Thanks guys. Allan
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:57 am

Really, it shouldn't need much pulling! The brass hex bar is quite a loose fit in the knob. Can you feel the resistance of the steel (sorry not brass) spring when poking into the hole? With your poking tool (!) feel the spring flexing & also try and feel when the bit is level with the brass hex shaft. Closing your eyes helps visualise what is going on when poking about.. Fitting 180 degrees out will mean the knob slips off (I know..). The way it works is the bendy bit of the steel spring braces against the inside of the knob, pushing the round steel peg into the locating hole in the knob. When disassembled, the steel bit can drop out and get lost if you are not careful. The spring sits in a cut out section of the brass hex shaft - there is no 'T' bit, this is just the full section of the hex shaft after the cut out for the spring thingy.

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PostPost by: gearbox » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:55 am

Hi Jeremy, Yes, the button definetly plunges up and down with spring tension. And yes, I see it now, the hex shaft is sectioned out for the spring, so in theory, there is less shaft to sieze onto the knob. I used lots of WD40 before the button started to move and it does move freely now. I used a flat tipped punch, about half the size as the hole and pressed down hard until it doesn't go anymore. But the knob doesn't even budge or slide up or down on the shaft. The process is complicated by the 2 steel cups that are still on the shaft. If the knob is seized, by rust or anything else, I should be able to shock it off, just a sharp knock after saturating the knob with oil. Well at least I had hoped to do that. I was wondering how the lens on top of the knob comes off, and if it exposes the top of the shaft. This way I could oil that side as well. Thanks again for the insight and help, Allan
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:51 pm

The lens above the decal is held in place by the black ring of the top bit of the knob - bet you didn't know the knob was in two bits! These rings can split allowing the top to fall off. No, you cannot access the top of the shaft from that way.. Try a thick section, flat bladed screwdriver to brace against the bottom of the knob and the chrome securing ring and push the knob off.

Don't ask me why I know so much about this bit of the car, but I have been down the route you are travelling!

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PostPost by: gearbox » Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:46 am

JJDraper wrote:Don't ask me why I know so much about this bit of the car, but I have been down the route you are travelling!

Jeremy


And that is why you have 4 gears and I only have 2 lol. That's why I love this site so much, there is so much detailed information on this site and people like yourself who have gone down that road before me. If only there was a technical library that had how to's and pictures in one place that was easily navigated. Trying to search the old posts for this stuff is hit and miss as the topics aren't aways that explicit and the twists and turns of the threads often buries gems deep into the abysis lol. But thank you, I have a clear idea on how the switch comes apart. The cups are a bit fragile, I tried two screw drivers on either side and knew if I had applied anymore pressure, it would have dented the bezels. I'm thinking some kind of puller using screws to apply leverage by passing the bezels. If I can get enough pressure against the knob, I'm hoping a sharp knock or shock to the knob would free it from what ever is holding it. Allan
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