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328 Hazard Switch Repair...

Discussion in '308/328' started by Jamtek, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Jamtek

    Jamtek Karting

    Feb 3, 2008
    55
    NH
    Full Name:
    James
    #1 Jamtek, Mar 20, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I recently encountered a problem with the hazard flasher switch in my 1988 328 GTB not wanting to shut off once I turned the flashers on. I know others have had a similar failure so I thought it might help to share my rebuild experience.

    The switch is expensive to replace at about $300 for the part alone, but the fix can be fairly straight-forward so I thought I'd post my adventure with the hope it might help someone else...special thanks to F-chatters GTHill and JohnnyS for sharing their experience with this and helping me out with their advice...

    First, getting the console disassembled wasn't as difficult as I thought--tedious but not difficult. Remember, mine is a GTB so the console is a bit different than a GTS. I had to take the ashtray out and underneath were two screws that loosen the
    front end of the switch panel. The console glove box must then be removed by unlocking it, opening the cover, then removing 4 small trim screws. There is then enough play in the panel to lift up the front end of the panel and fit two
    fingers underneath the rearmost bank of four switches (fog lights, rear defrost, antenna, parking lights), push up on the most lateral switch and pop it out. This makes removal of all the rest of that bank easy. Interestingly, at that point you can access two more trim screws through the empty switch bank holes. Once these screws are removed (very carefully! A magnetic screwdriver will help prevent the small screws from dropping into the bowels of the console and being lost forever). The whole panel lifts up and you can then access any of the switches on the panel. To get to the hazard switch, which is right in the middle of all the other switches making it the least accessible (of course, right?!), you have to remove the driver side
    climate control assembly. This has a pressure fit tab and pops out with pressure from below. Now you can see the hazard switch more clearly and see that it has a plastic nut and compression washer holding it to the panel...[See First Pic below]

    Interestingly, on this switch there is a ring-shaped connector and a single, separate straight connector going through the center of the ring. The switch has 8 contacts! There is a resistor soldered between two of the contacts. Make sure to mark the white connector ring at one location with a Sharpie and mark its corresponding contact as well when you pull the connector off--this will help you align everything more easily when you reconnect later.

    Thankfully the plastic nut was only finger tight because it is extremely awkward to turn and you really can't fit any tools up there. Once the switch was free from the panel, I could open it up to see what was inside...[See Pic Two below]

    Luckily there were plastic tabs all the way around the lower half of the switch. I marked the two halves in one spot so I could reassemble it correctly later. I could not pry them open even with my smallest screwdriver as you have to both pry the tabs and lift the opposing piece at the same time. Luckily, my wife's favorite Henckel steak knife (don't tell her--she'd kill me) proved to be the ideal tool as it was pointy and tapered and allowed me to pry the lower plastic piece and deform it slightly to get it safely beyond the tabs and separate the two halves without damage. There were three pieces to the switch as shown above. You can barely make out the spring in the center of the lower piece with the brass contacts visible. Note the metal "arm" that was the cause of the malfunction, visble on the left of the contact assembly...[See Pic Three below]

    A close up of the arm is below...[again Pic Three]

    This arm reminded me of a phonograph needle--it is slightly blurred in this picture. There was enough play in this arm that I think the "needle" portion just popped out of the groove it is supposed to travel in--that's why it wouldn't "catch." I simply bent it slightly toward the center spring and reassembled. It worked perfectly! I think the problem is not the metal arm itself getting bent but the plastic base it sits in. The metal itself was so strong I could not bend it with a needlenose. I bent the base just slightly because I didn't want to break the plastic pieces surrounding the base--luckily this seemed to get the orientation well enough to keep the needle from popping out of the groove. The switch is reassembled by aligning the previously made "marks" and snapping the upper assembly back into the lower piece.

    The groove the needle travels in is shown in the last pic...

    The switch "catches" properly when the needle seats in the V-notch. Press the button down again and the needle slides out of the notch and back up the top groove. I thought this part was a clever mechanical design.
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  3. GTHill

    GTHill F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Social Subscribed Owner

    Jul 1, 2006
    9,202
    Double Wide
    Full Name:
    GT Hill
    Thanks for the props man... :)

    It sure is a nice feeling to save $300 in less than an hour.

    Gene
     
  4. gsbarr

    gsbarr Karting

    Feb 23, 2005
    66
    Jamtek:

    I don't if you'll get this message, but I owe you. I was recently in an accident with my 328 and turned on my flashers, which I can't remember ever using before then. Anyway I could not get them to turn off and had to remove the fuse to get them to stop. This left me without turn signals. I searched and found your repair and did it today. Perfect. Your instructions, including pictures, were great. I thought I was looking at a $500 part plus labor. Pat yourself on the back.

    Gary
     
  5. Motob

    Motob Formula 3
    Professional Ferrari Technician

    Nov 11, 2003
    2,174
    Berkeley, CA
    Full Name:
    Brian Brown
    #4 Motob, Mar 14, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
    It's the metal arm that bends, you can even see it in your photo. it should be straight with the pin at a 90 degree angle to the centerline of the switch. I have found that they straighten pretty easy, I think you just need a bigger pair of pliers. I bend the arm until the pin is as deep as it can go in it's track and the switch still moves, you don't want to have to go in there again. Good write up!
     
  6. furmano

    furmano Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jul 22, 2004
    21,449
    Colorado
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    furmano
    Wow, thanks for posting. I have the same problem in a 328 GTB funny enough.

    On a recent drive I had to hold the darn thing while I drove until it temporarily stuck back in place. Yesterday I tested it and sure enough, it wouldn't go down again.

    Thanks again,

    -F
     
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  8. Fiat4Fun

    Fiat4Fun Formula Junior

    Jul 1, 2008
    303
    Sunriver OR
    Full Name:
    Bob
    Just a quick THANK YOU!
    This write up is great. I had my flashers pop on during a drive last year, and it has been in the back of mind. As I was doing some testing on my AC system, I figured I would address this issue too. I pulled the switch out, and followed the post, and I put the switch back together and it seems much better now.

    Thanks to all that share their expertise with us. It makes owning this car easier to appreciate, as I can fix the little stuff myself, and leave the big stuff to those factory trained
    folks when needed.......

    Bob
     
  9. silvergts1998

    silvergts1998 Formula 3

    Apr 10, 2005
    2,397
    ky
    Full Name:
    Adam
    Thanks from the 512TR crowd too. It appears this is the same issue as the 512TR goes through too.
     
  10. Jamtek

    Jamtek Karting

    Feb 3, 2008
    55
    NH
    Full Name:
    James
    Awesome! I didn't realize this switch was also used in the 512TR. Happy this helped.

    Replacement switches are becoming harder and harder to find--so thankfully the old switch can usually be "reconditioned."
     
  11. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    I NEED A JOB
    Bump for JFrazar.
     
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  13. greg328

    greg328 F1 Rookie

    Nov 17, 2003
    4,131
    Austin, TX USA
    Full Name:
    Greg
    This thread was helpful to me in removing my 328 console top. I'm running a radio antenna wire to the antenna connector, wasn't sure how to pry the top off, but the two hidden screws beneath the rear switches were the culprits.

    As usual, F-Chat comes through!

    Greg

    1987 328 GTB
     
  14. mark5scuba

    mark5scuba Formula Junior

    Nov 27, 2012
    252
    Vero Beach
    Full Name:
    Mark Ross
    I followed these directions and repaired my hazard switch. I tried to use the technique of the knife to open up the switch to no avail and did something else that was so much easier. I cut some thin strips of brass shim stock and slid one in each of the clips around the switch. Then I just pulled the switch apart with no problem at all, it was actually quite easy.
     
  15. gsbarr

    gsbarr Karting

    Feb 23, 2005
    66
    If you want to just replace the switch, rather than repair (which I did once), buy a 2002 BMW 2002 hazard switch for $60-70. Same EXACT switch.
     
  16. JohnnyTS

    JohnnyTS Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2012
    798
    just outside JHB, RSA
    Full Name:
    John
    which 2002 BMW are you refering to ?

    Johnny
     
  17. gsbarr

    gsbarr Karting

    Feb 23, 2005
    66
    Sorry Johnny: I just saw your note. It's a 1974 BMW 2002 hazard switch, but you probably have it figured out by now. Same exact switch except for the red button that says"Hazard" instead of a white triangle like the Ferrari original. However the red button screws out and you can use whichever one you want. Easy fix for little money. I saw the BMW switch selling for $45-65.
     
  18. JohnnyTS

    JohnnyTS Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2012
    798
    just outside JHB, RSA
    Full Name:
    John
    oh ok !

    thanks for the info Gary.

    Johnny
     
  19. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,337
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Resurrecting an old post. $600 for a new switch, 1 hour of free repair. Thanks for the tip on this excellent repair.
     
  20. Steve

    Steve Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    901
    Seattle, WA
    Full Name:
    Steve Jenkins
    Great write-up, Jamtek... wish I'd found it before I dove in to this project myself. :)

    I agree with most of Jamtek's suggestions, though it's not necessary to mark the wiring harness, as it only connects one way.

    I fixed my own hazard switch on my 1989 328 GTS today, and it's a handy trick to know since my F40 and 512 TR both use the same part.

    I documented the process on the 328 LOTS of photos -- including console and switch removal, and hi-def close-ups of all the switch parts. Hope it helps someone!

    How to Fix a Broken Ferrari 328 Hazard Switch
     

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