Combination switch removal - 78z - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Combination switch removal - 78z

I think i have confirmed my tail and side light issue is bad contacts in the combination switch. Power is getting to the switch and although I show continuity through taillight contacts on the switch show 0 volts getting through those contacts. When I jumper the “power in and power out” pins on the chassis harness connector tail/side lights work fine. Assuming switch contacts are the culprit. Although FSM does not say the steering wheel has to come off, I cant seem to get the upper half of the plastic column cover past the back of the steering wheel in order to access combination switch mounting screws. Before I dive in to that, is there some way to remove the combination switch without removing the steering wheel?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-23-2019, 10:33 PM
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loosen the two bolts that secure the steering wheel column to the dash, drop it enough to give you the clearance you need to get the cover off. Be gentle with the cover and the screws that attach it. Its pretty fragile. Once that is out of the way the combo switch is easy to remove, its a clam shell like device, splits down the middle. no reason to remove the steering wheel but even if you do its not hard. Push down on the horn button (battery disconnected) rotate about 5 degrees CCW, and it will come off. then there is a single large nut holding it on. But again I see no need to remove it.

There is a sliding contact that operates the horn, its a thin copper arm that extends out from the side clam shell part that houses the hi low beam and turn signal switches. Just be gentle with it, the plastic part it mounts to breaks easy.

Last edited by Dave M; 10-23-2019 at 10:37 PM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2019, 01:29 PM
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019, 08:06 PM
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I don’t intend to hijack the thread, but I think I have the same or similar issue with my 81zx. The headlamps turn on just fine, but it usually takes 10-20 twists of the combo switch to get the marker lights to come on. Can the switch itself be disassembled and repaired/cleaned with some electrical contact cleaner? Is there another potential culprit I should investigate first, like a relay? Thanks.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-01-2019, 03:04 PM
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4togrfr - It comes apart relatively easy. There are small tabs that are bent over the piece of brown bakelite which holds the contacts. Pry those tabs up carefully-carefully (they can easily break) and the bakelite can be removed. Gently remove the corrosion on the contacts with some very fine sandpaper, followed by a spray of cleaner. Put it back together and carefully-carefully bend the tabs back down.

When I rewired my '71, I added a relay for the headlights. The combination switch activates the relay, and the relay's contacts take power from the fuse block directly to the headlight. Now there's zero strain on the switch and the headlights are bright.

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