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How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie!

 
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Old 26 Apr 2016, 12:07 am
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Default How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie!

Yup, the fix of the worn thingie with JB Plastic Weld epoxy was successful.

Being a quick dry epoxy dedicated to adhering to plastics where other epoxy's won't, I found it a forgiving product for accurately reproducing the worn place on the thingie. (I've never known the official part name so you'll have to settle for thingie")

I started the photo inserts with all the disassembled MFS components on the table top. You'll see the thingie just at the base of the light control stalk in the innards of the MFS. (I still haven't completely mastered close ups with my camera but I'm gettin' better) The other photos follow the dialog.

Having never used this product before I treated the quick drying epoxy like fast drying thick clear paint. After lightly sanding the part with 600 wet sand paper, I cleaned and dried it. The first coat went on experimentally. It isn't a true "filler" but a thick joining epoxy.

Having used epoxy in this vain as a filler on other materials before, I knew I'd have to fight gravity till the first coat set up. (6 minutes). By slowly rotating the part while it set, I controlled the dribble, so as it hardened the excess was primarily located over the worn area. By doing it this way, I also controlled the thickness of the medium to the area I wanted it to be and let the final "bulged" medium flow to the back of the worn area to be cut off.

When hardened after 6 long minutes I set it to cure for an hour. I then ground and cut it to the base shape to just fill the worn spot using fine stone attachments of a roto grinder at dead slow speed.

The 2nd coat was more of a thick over painting to true the first application. Again that 2nd coat was reworked to a more accurate under shape with a roto grinder stone.

Then the small wire brush attachment was used to remove all excess. The epoxy proved to hold aggressively. This stage of wire brushing is delicate and measured so as not to remove any original plastic. It helps to be an artist with patience. All of this again at dead slow rotation speed. The final result as seen in one of the attached photos was the slight darkened original surface of the contoured area of the part. The wire brushing removed just all vestige of the excess epoxy.

The final coat was applied using a masking tape dam to control the flow of the epoxy as the final coat.

Note; I found this final coat created a finish surface in the 24 hours after it was cured that was harder than the original plastic and rivals even the hard surface of metal. Being a plastic finish it probably won't ever cause any wear to the activation devices at the end of the light control stalk.

This last finish coat only had to be ground true at the over flow edge where the dammed epoxy was retained at it's top edge by the masking tape dam. It needed just a bit of grinding and definition to achieve the now true reshape of the part where it'd been worn. The part ended up with the worn place filled in, but the original concavity still defined. I think this is why lever motion feels just like a new MFS.

I reassembled all the components including the fixed thingie into a complete repaired MFS.

Upon MFS installation, I confidently turned on the parking lights and activated the fog lights. Fershulungoner, they didn't work!

Well I did my best, and if was not to be I'd have to shell out for a new MFS.

OOPS, I'd forgotten to reinstall the fuse. With the fuse in place I turned on the parking lights once more, snicked the fog light control to on, and that neat fog light dash icon began to glow. A quick shuffle to SOOO BIG's front end proved the fog lights were indeed on.

A big thank you to everyone who'se helped me with advise, instructions and suggestions, and to Bubba, a special thanks for those neat blue light fog lights and for the MFS in good enough shape to fix.

A bit of a happy dance, and I can report two days after the fact that the repair of the thingie allows the fog lights to snick on as crisply as would a new MFS.

For me, because of my pre-palsey, it was a lot easier than fabricating a metal wrap for the thingie.

I hope this information will help a fellow PTer salvage a defunct MFS and get it back in service. If you've got a worn thingie and your fog lights are acting up, the cost of the fix is close to minimal. The epoxy lists for $7.99 and with discounts I got it for $5.74 from AutoZone. That was with a 10% military discount and a "the guy behind the counter's a friend of mine discount". The time element and difficulty were reasonable enough even for this old geezer. Whadaya think? Give it a try! Feed back welcome!

In my opinion the PT MFS is a conglomeration of poor design decision choices in material. This leads to prematurely worn critical parts that cause MFS dysfunction, electrical shorts and high replacement costs. It's an accident waiting to happen, but fun to fix.

Happy Ptin, ptprice
Attached Images
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 001.jpg (83.8 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 006.jpg (86.2 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 007.jpg (86.2 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 010.jpg (84.9 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 016.jpg (72.9 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 017.jpg (71.3 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 019.jpg (87.2 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 022.jpg (88.1 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 023.jpg (88.6 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg The final solution MFS 024.jpg (95.2 KB, 30 views)
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SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.

Last edited by ptprice; 26 Apr 2016 at 12:07 pm. Reason: spelling
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Old 26 Apr 2016, 04:34 pm
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Cool Re: How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie!

nice job on the repair!
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Old 02 Jul 2016, 10:28 am
ptprice's Avatar
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Default Re: How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie!

Snert, Seeing your dilemma with your MFS I decided to bring this posting of mine in April on How I fixed my MFS. The final confessions of an MFS junkie" to your attention.

For me, it was the quintessential permanent and easiest fix for repairing the dysfunctioning fog light anomaly on an MFS switch.

When repaired like this, I've found, the Fog Light function of the MFS worked more efficiently than a new one.
As the worn area on the tiny plastic ramp, that was creating the dysfunction, was resurface with a smooth, hard, long lasting, epoxy that won't wear or wear the activator device at the end of the light control stalk it's as permanent a repair you can achieve for the price of the JB PLASTIC WELD EPOXY.

The repair instructions are step by step with photo reference.

If you end up repairing your original MFS there'll be no question as to "if you have the right part!" Good luck.

Happy Ptin', ptprice
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SOOO BIG 2005 PT CRUISER, LIMITED EDITION, SIGNATURE SERIES
Cool Vanilla White, 3 Coats. 2.4 DOHC 16V SMPI Eng. Vanity Cover, 4 Spd. Auto Trans. 2.6 Overall Top Gear, Lock-up Torque Converter. PT Chrome Clad 16" X 6" Wheels, P205/55 R16 Cooper Starfire/Solarus tires, Touring Suspension. Chrome Package; Side Spears, Grills, Fuel Filler Door, Door Locks, Handles, PRND3-1 Bezel, Silver/Chrome Shift Ball/Knob, Bright Spoke Leather Tilt Steering Wheel. Chrome Tail Lights, 3/8" Belt Trim. Cruise Control, Power Mirrors, A/C, Deep Tinted Sun Screen Glass, Power Moon Roof, Fog and Back-Up Lights, Rear Spoiler, Variable Front Wipers W/Washers, Rear Wiper/Washer, Key less Entry, Replacement 2001 Dark Taupe Grey Suede/Leather Trim Seats, Dual Under Seat Storage Drawers, Drivers Side Power Seat Height Adjust. Full Length Console, Locking Glove Box, Overhead Temperature/Compass Console, Rear Shelf Panel, AM/FM CD GPS Navigation Radio, 6 Premium Speakers, Back up Camera/ 7" Monitor.
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