View Full Version : Help! Headlight problems on Scottish 1983 Olds 98

May 28th, 2006, 05:52 PM
:mad: Hello! I'm new here! I have a 1983 98 Regency based in the North of Scotland. I have just started having problems with the headlight dip (dimmer?) switch. I cant get the headlights off main beam. As the stalk is pulled rearwards it no longer clicks the main beam off. I have the dealer chassis service manual which suggest the dimmer switch is located towards the bottom of the steering column. It looks like a lot of work to replace it! Can it be changed without pulling the column apart? I've not had a chance to have a good look yet. There are no mechanics with Olds experience here, worse still its due its annual roadworthiness inspection next week! The multifunction stalk itself used to click as it switched dipped to main beam- it no longer does so. Would the problem perhaps lie here? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers folks!

May 28th, 2006, 08:55 PM
Hi to the Scot!

The turn signal stalk is connected to the dimmer switch at the bottom of the steering column by a metal rod. Look under the column above the brake pedal and you'll see it. You might need a light to see.

If the rod is connected and can be moved by hand the problem is in the stalk/turn signal. In which case it is a lot of work to fix. Maybe you could switch the brights off at the dimmer switch and leave it. It's a lot easier than taking the steering wheel apart.

May 29th, 2006, 11:42 AM
:) Cheers Dave Ill have a wee look to see if the rod moves, hopefully not as I dont really want to start pullng the steering column apart. Our MOT (annual inspection) requires that all lights are fully functional so I cant even disable the brights.

June 29th, 2006, 03:41 PM
Finally got round to sussing out that light problem. Seems to be the dimmer switch on the steering column above the brake pedal. Got a new one for 20 including air mail from, 4 days to Scotland from order placement-not too shabby! :) I had a crack at it last night with my head under the dash, what a sod of a job! Am planning on grinding down and bending a nice Snap On wrench to make it fit in there:mad: . Anyone else done this before that has a better idea before the wrench gets it?! I took the instrument panel out a wee bit but it doesnt seem to afford much more access. One of the screws was alright to get at but the second is in a tight spot.
Cheers again.

June 29th, 2006, 09:00 PM
It is tight. You can take off 2 nuts holding the steering column onto the dash. They come off from under the column and are large. The column should drop about 6 inches or about 20 cm. This should help get your hands in there.

June 30th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Cheers again Dave! You are a veritable font of information! Is it okay to drop the column this much? I was having a wee look at them earlier and wondering if I should loosen them off a wee bit as I only need another mm or 2 to get a spanner in. I wasnt sure if I would damage anything by doing this as the column isnt stripped down at all. Cheers again dude.

July 2nd, 2006, 02:46 AM
Be careful. You can drop the column until it rests on the front seat. It's best to support the steering wheel, however, to avoid any problems. Be sure to disconnect the clip and wire that leads from the shift tube to the transmission gear range indicator in the cluster! If you don't, the strain could cause it to snap.

July 2nd, 2006, 05:58 PM
Well, just don't put any pressure down on it. I have never had any trouble with this procedure.

July 9th, 2006, 04:25 PM
:D Cheers fellas! Had a bit of time today and got those lights fixed at last. Took the bottom of the instrument panel off, dropped the column, removed the column bracket and changed the switch- all over and cleaned up in less than an hour-delighted!! Good work lads, cheers for the advice!!:) :) Dave and 80s- legends in their own lunchtime!

July 11th, 2006, 12:46 PM
Happy you fixed it!