Illustrated multi-function switch outer knob disassembly | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Illustrated multi-function switch outer knob disassembly


Elite Explorer
August 7, 2007
Reaction score
City, State
La Mirada, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Mounty 5.0 AWD
There were a few rainy days this past week here in VA so i used my wiper naturally and i soon find out that it developed that stopping in the middle of the windshield problem. I searched the site on what other forum members have done to solve this and thier steps were to clean the inside of the wiper control knob where the contact points are located then if that wasnt the problem they move on to replacing the "gem" module.. i first tried to clean out the contact points and so far my wipers have been seizure free..

here's an illustrated step by step guide on how i cleaned my control knob wiper switch along with the items that i cleaned it with.. i hope this helps other forum members as a step to solving their similar wiper problems..

lets start with the control knob that i'm talking about.. my vehicle is a 2nd gen so if yours differ from this there may be other steps that i might not have covered along the way..


there is a cap on the end of the switch.. i used a hobby knife to gently lift it off starting from the back end so as not to scratch the plastic..


after successfully removing the cap, you will see a screw with a phillips head holding the rotating knob to the main stalk.. un-screw this and gently pull off the rotating part..


this is what it should look like after the part has been removed..


take the big spring out and put it aside on a safe place..

quickly looking at the switch stalk you will see 2 rounded brass (?) ends holding a spring in place.. this keeps the rotating piece in place and provides the "clicks" when choosing a wiper speed setting..

***this will fall out since all the components are covered in grease.. make sure you take the 2 end caps and the small spring out as soon as you remove the rotating piece..


here's what the spring and end caps look like.. set this aside so you dont loose them and end up looking for them for 15 minutes like me.. :eek:


getting back to the inside of the main stalk, theres a white plastic piece that holds the spring and has the contact points at its base.. pull it out and clean it out with earbuds and alcohol.. i used vaseline to re-grease it after sanding the contact points a bit with 2000 grit sandpaper..







set this aside and start working on the inside contact points in the main stalk.. you will see the contact points that the rotating piece goes to.. mine has a dirty dark gease buildup already that it conducts when i prod it up with earbuds..



clean this out with earbuds and alcohol and then re-grese with vaseline..


materials used for cleaning:

Assembly is just reverse of these steps..

The first thing i noticed after is that i dont have to press so damn hard to get it to spray windshield cleaner and activate the auto wipe afterwards that.. So far after cleaning it out, my wiper hasnt stopped in the middle of the windshield yet.. if the problem comes back i'll be looking into the gem module that i've read about in other peoples threads..

hope this helps..

Outstanding! Great job with great pictures. Thanks for the information.

The only suggestion I might make is to stay away from petroleum jelly as a lube in this case. It is fantastic for assembling transmissions, power steering components, etc because it liquefies at the first hint of heat or pressure. Therefore, it just doesn't last. They make specific lubes for electrical devices.

im having this same problems
hope this works