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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several weeks ago, there was a thread about failure of the rear defrost switch. Several people, including MadBrad, claimed that these switches frequently fail and that Escorts are prone to failures of this switch.

Naturally, I :roll: , since my LX is 450 million years old and has driven several billion miles with no such problem.

Well today, while driving down the road, I noticed that the switch's "ON" light was no longer illuminated even though the defroster was still working.

So, I ripped my dash apart and checked the two bulbs. The "ON" one was toast. Go to the parts store - ha! Try finding those puny little bulbs anywhere but at Ford. Rip my dash apart and head to the boneyard (little things like burnt bulbs bother me, so it needed to be fixed ASAP). Go to one of the Escorts that I had previously pulled the dash off of and remove the two bulbs. Test them (without reassembling the dash) and all is fine. Decide to take the donor switch with me JUST IN CASE BRAD KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT (for a change).

Put the dash back together. Three minutes down the road - the "ON" bulb fries again. Dash apart, replace switch, put the only two good bulbs I have back in - test - all is fine. Drive 15 minutes - no problem. Put dash back together.

Rip apart original switch - couldn't find the short, but there was so much sand and dust in there that I'm not surprised. The vents tend to push all kinds of goodies in behind this panel.

Thanks Brad. It was the switch. Howeever, I don't necessarily support the notion that these switches are crap. Perhaps I should vacuum my car more often than never. I still think you're a donkey anyway, Brad.

LESSON OF THE DAY - bulbs and fuses blow for a reason. Replacing the bulb or fuse hasn't solved the problem. Also - never use a higher rated fuse when one blows - solve the problem instead of creating another one (fire hazard).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PonyExpress:

You'd have to see my town to believe it. The only reliable parts place near me is the junkyard.

In case anybody cares, the two bulbs (one comes on to illuminate with the lights, one is the defrost "ON" light) behind the switch are actually different, with different ratings. Your owners guide doesn't give a bulb number for either. I was forced to use two of the higher rated bulbs because I burnt out the two smaller ones during this exercise. The wiring is the same and I doubt the heat generated is of any consequence, but generally you should not mix and match bulbs or fuses.

The alternate lesson for the day is: sometimes Brad knows something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Josh_LX said:
what happens when your junkyard runs dry?
Yer funny Josh. Junkyards never run out of Escorts :) .

My local yard gets 2-3 Escort organ donors in every year - a blue wagon came in just two weeks ago. It was hardly off the autopsy table before some other vulture and I were picking away at it. He had the engine, tranny and steering rack outta there that day.
 

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The switch has been replaced in my car before I bought it... does seem to be quite a common thing! It just took about an extra 3 days to get there. I didn't have to pay anything, because apparently it was part of the safety!
 

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Somebody thought of me while not on FEOA? Excuse me, there's something in my eye. :cry: :D
I forget what those 2 bulbs look like. I do remember them being different. When my switch fried, it would blow every new fuse in an instant. I know changing the fuse doesn't fix the problem, I am an electrician. I just kept changing the fuse to see what conditions made it blow. Also, bulbs do burn out without an external influence (but I do see your was due to an external problem) so I don't know what you mean when you say you need to find the cause of a burnt out bulb. Anyway, when I took the switch apart, it was all melted and sooty inside. I couldn't see any metal pieces touching each other that shouldn't, but they were probably there under the melted plastic somewhere laughing at me. The plug was a little melted too. Replacing it with a switch from the boneyard fixed the problem. I did notice the design of the internal mechanism in the new one was way different. It was from an older car than mine. I did have to change a bulb in it. I used one from the old melted switch. IIRC it was the kind you get at Radio Shack that is the size of a pinhead and has two long leads to solder into a board except here you poke them through the plastic base and wrap them along a provided path so when you put in this assembly and twist you get contact.
I forget what the other bulb is like. Maybe it was a 74.
Also people have had just the mechanical part fail on them. The switch won't stay down but is fine otherwise and will work if you want to hold the button down during your whole trip.
Pony express, 194 s and 168s are about 50 times the size of what you need here.
And FYI I know what I am talking about more frequently than you imply. Why only yesterday I handily aquitted myself on the subject of undershirts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm.

I don't think it's ever been replaced and I don't recall having to do it when I bought the thing. But when I took my old beater to the graveyard, I did remove the defrost switch to have a spare!
 

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My old archenemy, RAKES!
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The one in my old '95 still works after 150+k miles. It has even survived 2 dash teardowns for heater core replacement. Which is more than I can say for the hazard switch, which was broken when I got the car - from the retards that did the heater replacement for the previous owner.
 
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