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Old 11-17-2014, 08:59 PM   #204 (permalink)
Ecky
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Vermont
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
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Decided to tackle my driver window switch today. It wasn't returning to middle position when I took my finger off, which was problematic because if I didn't remember to move it back manually, the motor would continue to run and eventually overheat (and stop working until it cooled back down). I imagine that would eventually burn the motor out, and since I'm not the only driver it was a high priority fix.

Over at InsightCentral there is a thread on 3d-printed parts in which there are parts for the window switch, so I downloaded the models (you can find them in my InsightTech folder on Google Drive) and had them printed at Scupteo.com. Those arrived too small, and judging by the scale (about 2.5x off) it's because the models were designed in imperial units and Sculpteo printed them in metric. I ordered a second set from Shapeways which allowed me to specify imperial units, and these arrived the correct size, but with a very rough finish despite my selecting "polished". This was a problem, because there are frictional surfaces, and I had to hit the inside with some high grit. The outsides had poor tolerances too, which caused the switch to have a lot of play. I decided to only replace the lightpipe as my other bit (spring detent body) was not broken.

Here are the parts, sharpe'd black where they are visible:




I followed this guide to get the dash apart, and for the switch disassembly. Pushing the lightpipe out of the switch nearly broke it to pieces. There was a hairlight crack down the middle, but some precision epoxying put it back together so well that you can only tell it was ever broken if you knew what you were looking for.




Here it is installed:




The switch doesn't feel remotely like a stock switch, but it works as it should and will save the power window motor. The $10 for two attempts at 3d printed parts is certainly a lot more palatable than the Honda-sourced $160 replacement for the entire unit. However, I am rather upset about this:




Pulling the dash apart was quick and painless, taking less than 5 minutes total time. However, when I pushed it back into place, something caught and it cracked in the middle. It's almost unnoticeable, but there is now a flaw in my otherwise pristine dash. I suppose I'll keep a lookout for anyone parting one of these cars out, to see if I can snag a dash piece for cheap.
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