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Turn Signal Switch Replacement

Next in my do it yourself series, replacing a turn signal switch. Even though they don't go bad that often, in a Jeep that is exposed to the elements, you may eventually go through one. This writeup is done on a YJ.
Start by removing the horn button. Just pull it straight off.
Remove the horn button

At this point you may want to unplug your horn for a moment, or if you have a steady hand, you can leave it plugged in. Remove the three phillips head screws. Also remove the steering wheel nut in the center.
Remove the three phillips head screws

You may get lucky and just be able to pull the steering wheel off, but I doubt it. You'll need a steering wheel puller, which can be rented at most auto parts stores.
Use a steering wheel puller

Once the steering wheel is off, pull the dust cover off. Just stick a small flat head in the three slots and pry up gently. The cover is pretty flimsy so it will come right off.
Remove the dust cover

Time for another special tool, this one can also be rented at most auto parts store. The steering wheel lock plate is spring loaded, so it must be removed with a special tool. This step can be a little frustrating, as the clip can be stubborn. Use the lock plate tool to compress the lock plate, then you will see a small clip in the center.
Using a lock plate removal tool

You can see the clip in this picture:
Remove the clip in this picture

Time to remove all the dash trim. You have to drop the column to actually get the wiring free. Remove the main piece that covers the speedometer and tachometer, and the center piece that covers the information center. There are several phillips head screws along the top, and two at the bottom.
Remove the trim from the dash

Now you should be able to see the column support. This bracket needs to be removed, there are two bolts going into the column, and one holding the bracket up, per side.
Loosen the column support bracket bolts

The bracket removed:
Bracket removed

Once the bracket is removed you will see a flat black plastic guard at the bottom, the wires are inside this. Slide the black plastic piece down, and remove the wires from it.
Plastic wire guard removed

Once you have the wires exposed, unplug the turn signal switch. The harness is on the driver side of the column. The turn signal switch, and ignition switch have slightly different color schemes, make sure you are unplugging the correct one. I compared the wire colors on the new one to what I had on the Jeep to figure out which one was the right one.
Unplug the turn signal switch harness

The switch is finally ready to be removed. Remove the phillips head screw from the turn signal lever arm.
Remove the phillips head screw from the turn signal lever

Now remove the arm, take a look at how it attaches before you remove it.
Remove the arm

Now there are three torx head bolts holding the switch down, remove these. You'll find you have to move the switch up and down to get the ones to the right of the ratchet in this picture.
Three torx bolts hold the turn signal switch in

Remove the phillips head screw in the end of the hazard knob.
Remove the screw that hold the hazzard knob in

The switch should now pull out. Pull gently.
The switch should now pull out

Rather than fight with the wire harness, I just cut it off and pulled the old one right out.
If you are not saving the switch its easier to cut the wires

Now you can install the new one. Carefully feed the harness through, don't force it. It has to go through just so, so it will take some patience.
Gently feed the new harness through the column

Once you have it where it should be, make sure all the wiring is laying flat on the bottom of the column, and make sure you put that black plastic wire guard back in place.
Two tips, careful when tightening the screws on things like the trim, and going into the turn signal switch, everything is plastic, these aren't lug nuts. Next, any real bolt, like the ones that go in steering column support should get anti seize on them before you re-install them. Don't forget to hook the horn back up if you disconnected it. Also make sure it works before you put the horn button back on.
Anti sieze everything

© Copyright 2006 - 2024 Mike Lee