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How I modified my headlamp/fog switch

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by nickel1, March 31, 2013.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. nickel1

    nickel1 New Member

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    I'm sure most of you early 02 explorer owners have noticed that if you have fog lamps, you can't turn them on in the auto position (if you have auto lamps too). I'm going to tell you how to cut a small piece of a plastic bracket inside the switch so you can turn it on in the auto position. If someone tells me how, I can post some pictures as well. (A little blurry but better than nothing)

    Here is what you need to know before doing this as there is a disadvantage.

    - The headlamps/auto headlamps work independently of the fog lamps; and what I mean by that is regardless of the position the headlamp switch is in (auto, half lights, full lights) the fog lamps will be on as long as the switch is pulled out (on position) and the car is on of course.
    I noticed this the day after I modified the switch. I had my lights set to auto but it was during the day so my lights were actually off. The fogs were on as the switch was pulled out. So to sum this part up, the auto lamps do not control the fog lamps.
    - I believe that changing the switch for the newer ones that do have the auto/fog position will not make a difference. It is to my understanding that it is the way the circuit was designed for early 02 models.
    - I am not responsible for anything you do. You are modifying this switch at your own risk!

    I do have pictures of this procedure, but do not know how to post them on here. If someone can provide me instructions, I will do it. The pictures are a little blurry.

    If you still want to modify the switch here is how to do it.

    The tools you will need:
    - Flat head screwdriver (big and small)
    - Small pair of needle nose pliers
    - Small pair of side cutters
    - Small soldering iron (preferred) or hot glue gun
    - Small file (optional)

    Step 1: Start by removing the headlamp/dimmer switch assembly from the dash. Directly in the center of the underneath of the switch is a small indent. You must fit the larger flat head screwdriver into it and twist which will pry out the bottom of the switch. Then gently wiggle it out and pull to reveal the back of the switch.

    Step 2: Disconnect the 2 connectors on the rear of the switch (headlamp switch and dimmer switch). Once you disconnect the dimmer connector, the dome lights will shut off if the door is open. This is normal.

    Step 3: Now that you have the switch out from the dash and fully disconnected, you can open the switch. Start by breaking off all the small plastic tabs spaced around the perimeter of the rear of the switch. I did this by squeezing them with the needle nose pliers. All of mine shattered with little effort.

    Step 4: On the top of the switch you will notice two clips holding the switch together. Insert a flat head screwdriver in each of these to keep them pried up. After doing so, grab the front of the switch by the edge and pull it out from the enclosure it is in.

    Step 5: Now that you have opened up the switch, you can cut a piece of a clear plastic bracket which guides the switch. You must be sure to cut the switch in the correct position. If you cut it in the wrong spot, you will be able to turn your fogs on in with the main switch in the off position. Not sure about you guys but I didn't want that. This clear plastic bracket can be best described as a ramp. If you turn the switch back and forth from on to auto, you will notice a small black cylindrical tab being guided by the clear plastic ramp. Turn the switch to the auto position and mark with a black marker or pen on the ramp where the cylindrical tab rests.

    Step 6: Get the side cutters. Cut where you made your markings. The cuts should be just over a quarter inch deep. After you have cut the plastic, use your file to make the plastic smooth on the edges you just cut. It is not necessary to do this but doing so will provide smoother movement of the fog switch when you re install it.

    Step 7: Now that you have cut the plastic bracket, ensure the fog switch slides on and off while the main switch is in the auto position. If it does not, make some adjustments to the cut you made by filing down the edges of the cut to make it larger.

    Step 8: Now that your fog switch moves on and off in the auto position, you can close up the switch. Start by putting the switch back into the black enclosure you pulled it out of at the beginning. Ensure that the two plastic clips on the top clip back in. Hold the switch firmly in its enclosure and at the same time, try the fog switch again to ensure it slides in and out in the auto position.

    Step 9: Heat up the soldering iron. You will use this to lightly melt the edge of the switch enclosure at all the points where you squeezed the plastic clips. Carefully press the hot soldering iron against each of the small holes for about two seconds. This is something you may need to predict yourself as your soldering iron may be stronger or weaker than mine. After you have done this, the switch should be rigidly closed together. If it is not, ensure all the holes have been melted enough and that the two clips on the top of the enclosure are locked in. If you do not have a soldering iron, or chose not to use it, you may hot glue the enclosure back to the switch. I do not recommend this way as it does not hold it together as well as the soldering method.

    Step 10: You are now ready to put the switch back into the dash. Reconnect the dimmer harness to the rear of the switch (dome lights will turn on if a door is open). Then connect the headlamp harness to the rear of the switch.

    Step 11: Push the switch assembly back into the dash until it locks in.

    Step 12: Turn the ignition to the on position and try the switch out. Fogs will only come on with the key on.

    If there is anything you don't understand, don't hesitate to ask. Hopefully I can get the pictures up soon.

    Personally, I would not have done this modification to my switch as it risks the fog lights being kept on all the time if I forget to push the switch back in. If I had known the circuit was designed this way before, I would not have modified the switch. I created this write-up to help people whose opinions are different than mine and still would like to modify their switch. I hope this write-up helps anyone who needs it.
     
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  3. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    I can turn my foglights on in the "auto" position.
     
  4. BigRondo

    BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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  5. BigRondo

    BigRondo USMC 1371 Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    Bump for the pics! :dunno:
     
  6. jsotomar

    jsotomar Member

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    sent a pm. was unsure of how to add pics to the forum.
     

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