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Replacing switch illumination

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Old 05 Oct 2010, 07:07 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Posts: 1
Default Replacing switch illumination

Replacement bulb for rear window defrost switch #8640
Centre console flood lamp #73

I have a 2001 Limited PT Cruiser I bought off my sister 2 years ago and I am always fiddling with it, I have this thing about everything working in the vehicle. Just after I bought it the lower centre console flood light went out, I looked online and everywhere I looked said it was an LED light and you could not replace it along with some other lights in switches and indicators. Around a year ago the illumination in the Traction Control switch went out and most recently the illumination in the rear window defrost switch went out. I was watching these lights burn out like ducks going down at a carnival shooting game.
With now three lights out something had to be done. So I went to eBay and bought a new instrument cluster with all the switches I needed to replace the switches. When it arrived I was so happy to replace the switches and see them light up again at night. I replaced the whole cluster and remarkable there was no change, what lit up still lit up and what was dark was still dark. I had to investigate further, I tested the orange illumination wire which led to all the switches and it had power. I had to take the switches apart. I decided to try the rear window defrost switch first. Once I removed it from the housing I saw a screw-like device hidden from view on the outside of the switch, I unscrewed it and out came a light bulb with its socket. SUCCESS! I then took the Traction Control switch out but there was no access to light bulb from the outside. I sighed and took a deep breath and decided to go for it and literally take the switch apart. And inside the switch I found the same type of socket and light bulb. I now knew the part I ordered from eBay had the same burnt out bulbs as I had.
I went to my local Chrysler dealership with socket and light bulb in hand and asked for a replacement, after a few moments of dumb looks and fruitless searching on their parts computer I was told I would have to order new switches. The only bulb they could help me with was the centre console flood lamp, which was less than $2. The other bulbs were not listed in their system, with one switch being close to $50 and the other switch being close to $100 I thought I could do better, the search was on.
I visited several electronic suppliers and even hobby shops to find a suitable replacement. And I came across a bulb that was close I thought the voltage would be 12V as cars are based on 12V system, the guy showed me two bulbs and one was bigger then what I had and the other was smaller. I took a chance and bought the bigger one. It was a close match, it was too big for the socket and would barely fit into the switch once mounted and it was dimmer then rear wiper switch which was the only one still working. I remembered replacing the dash lights when I first bought the vehicle and now I had the new bulb for the centre console flood lamp I researched the wattage of the bulbs I knew, they both were 14V 0.08A. After some research on the web I found out the bulb was a #8640, I received it today and installed it in the switches and they are perfect.
Google “8640 bulb” it is a Incandescent, T-1 1/4 Wire Terminal, 14 V; 0.08 A; 0.5 MSCP, 1000 hrs, I made sure it was from Chicago Miniatures because I found a data sheet on their bulbs and they seem to fit what I was looking for and they did. You will get lots of suppliers the bulbs cost me $0.55 each, I bought 4 and replacing the panel I bought on eBay and reselling it. I hope this helps.

Process for changing bulbs in instrument switches (should take 15 minutes)
• Disconnect battery
• Pry off window switch with flat head screwdriver and slide red tab back press down on tab to disconnect wiring harness
• Unscrew Phillips screw behind window switch
• Pull off all 4 ventilation knobs
• Remove centre console (grab centre console where window switch was and tug)
• Remove screws from each end of the lower centre console switch panel
• Pull panel out and gently pull tabs to release switch from panel
• Disconnect switch from wiring harness (can be hard to do and can be done with switch still attached)
• On rear window defrost switch unscrew grey socket Ό turn and remove socket
• Unravel wire from the bottom of the socket and pull lamp out of socket
• Remove blue cap from light but don’t tear or damage it you will need it for the new lamp
• Place blue cap on new lamp and tread wires through the socket
• Wrap the wires around socket in same fashion as you took off the old lamp
• Install lamp and switch in reverse order to reassemble
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07 Oct 2010, 04:36 pm
chris15's Avatar
Senior Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 1,035
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

Nice write-up. Pics would be sweet, though.
2003 GT (6262, the works)
2001 PT MTX-Swapped/Turbo

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Old 20 Oct 2010, 12:20 pm
mash35231's Avatar
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dayton Ohio
Posts: 29
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

MM64, do you think this is the same bulb that illuminates the front power window switch? The bulb is soldered in a small plastic mounting that comes out easily from the back of the switch.
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Old 20 Oct 2010, 09:55 pm
Veteran Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Walking distance to the embassy
Posts: 3,120
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

Can you explain what you mean by "a small plastic mounting that comes out easily from the back of the switch"?

I am trying to fix my front window power switch illumination (which did work).
I can remove the black plastic cover from the back of the switch but am unable to remove the switch unit from the plastic front cover- the dash panel piece.

Originally Posted by mash35231 View Post
MM64, do you think this is the same bulb that illuminates the front power window switch? The bulb is soldered in a small plastic mounting that comes out easily from the back of the switch.
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Old 21 Oct 2010, 09:30 pm
mash35231's Avatar
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Dayton Ohio
Posts: 29
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

It's a black circular piece that has a small slit that a thin blade screw driver will fit in. Turn it counterclockwise and it comes out. The bulb is soldered into this mounting. I went to Radio Shack and found a bulb for $1.99. I put the blue hood over the new bulb and soldered the leads directly to the circuit board. works like brand new.
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Old 11 Dec 2010, 02:43 pm
BladeRunner's Avatar
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Innisfil Ontario Canada
Posts: 372
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

Does anyone know how to get the 4 window switch in the center of the dash apart? I can get the black plastic piece off,but then ..nothing Two of the three bulbs are out, I can see that the one that lights the "window" icon is soldered, but, I can't even see the other two
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Old 15 May 2011, 10:33 am
Young Cruiser
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 55
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

Bladerunner-I was poking around the site trying to figure out how to fix the lights in my switch when I saw your question. If you haven't figured it out need to pop off the 4 switch caps. Go in from the side with a small blade screw driver and get under the cover. Protect the bezel from prying with a cloth.
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Old 15 May 2011, 03:59 pm
Obsessed Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 5,324
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

great write up but agree, really needs photos to help some of us "visual" people better understand it.
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Old 18 Aug 2011, 06:34 am
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Eatonton, Georgia
Posts: 116
Send a message via Yahoo to Jtwheels2007
Default Re: Replacing switch illumination

I have an 05 Touring. Ever since i bought the vehicle, the door lock switches, the power window switches *both front and rear* have never worked. I just assumed that they were not meant to light up *seeing as it appears I do not have any under dash curtesy lights that come on with the door. I saw one person mention 'put blue hood over the bulb'. I was recently planning on doing a Blue LED install both under my dash, under my seats, and in certain places in the center console. I would b using the 3mm bulbs with the wires coming off of it, which from what i can tell is the same bulb used in switches. Is there anyway to make my ENTIRE interior BLUE? What would i need?
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defrost switch, illumination

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