Pantera Hazard Switch Replacement
Did you ever walk out to your Pantera in a parking lot and were surprised to find the flashers going? The stock Pantera hazard switch is designed with constant spring pressure holding the switch in the ‘Off’ position – which is where it is supposed to be 99.9% of the time. Unfortunately, the plastic tabs that hold the switch ‘Off’ usually deform over time allowing the button to pop out and cause your flashers to engage. And as the tabs are no longer functioning, short of wedging a toothpick between the button and housing the hazard switch cannot be turned off. So if you don't catch them in time your turn signals will flash until your battery is sucked dry.
After you’ve recovered from the roll-back wrecker delivering your dead-battery Pantera to your house on New Year’s Day, it’ll be time to R&R the switch.
The hazard switch replacement steps are outlined below:
1) Disconnect the battery. Some of the wires on the hazard switch are live all the time. If you don't unhook the battery then you won't need a flashlight because there will be lots of sparks for illumination. Don't ask me how I know this.
2) Slither into the floor-board with your back on the seat and your shoulders on the floor. Slide back out and get the flashlight you left on the garage floor. Re-slither into the floor of the car. Slide in until you hit the top of your head on the pedals. Ouch – but that's exactly the right spot. Reach in behind the dash and squeeze your hand between the metal dash support and the dash itself and with your fingertips loosen the locking ring from the back of the switch. Loosening the ring is the worst part because your hand will get scrapped, scratched, and cramped.
After about five minutes of unsuccessful attempts to remove the plastic ring, crawl out of the car and wipe the blood from your hand scratches, then grab your plastic tipped hammer and hit something you don't care about with it very hard - just to relieve stress. Slither back into the floor-board. Oops - forgot the flashlight again. You may have to repeat the above steps 4 or 5 times. Eventually you'll win.
3) After the ring is fully off the threaded portion of the switch, from the back of the dash carefully slide the ring and washer back over the wire connections without knocking the wire connections off. It's a snug fit but you can jiggle the ring slowly over the connectors.
4) Then push the switch through to the passenger side of the dash so that you can get to the wire connections. Mark the connector covers (clear plastic) for each wire so that you can put them back in the same place. I used the flat spot on the side of the switch as a reference and then numbered the wires clockwise from 1 to 8 (there's also a wire in the center of the switch). Then pull the wires off.
If you've already got the replacement switch you could probably just swap wires one at a time from one switch to the other and reuse the old ring and washer (I didn't have a new switch until a couple of days later). If you want to use the new lock ring that comes with the new switch then you'll have to pull the wires back through the hole in the dash to get the old lock ring off. You can put a rubber-band or bread-wrapper twistie on the wire bundle so that you can feed it back and forth through the hole in the dash.
5) Put the new lock ring on from the backside then feed the wires through to the front of the dash. Plug the wires on the new switch then test it to make sure all the lights are lighting and flashing. Then slide it into place in the dash. Now you have to grow real skinny hands again to thread the lock ring back onto the switch. When it's tight, you're done. The last step is to charge your Pantera's dead battery.
Now you can sterilize your hand wounds (seek emergency medical attention if necessary) and bandage them as required. Last, collapse into the big recliner in the den, tune in any football game that happens to be on, and drink a minimum of two beers to initiate your mental recovery process. You'll feel much better in the morning.
I got my replacement switch from Pantera Performance in Colorado and it came with a wiring diagram that actually matched the wire colors on my car. But I took the old switch out before ordering the new one so I'd already marked the wires by the time I found out. The plugs on the switch itself are also numbered. The replacement was identical to the original.
It took me probably a couple of hours total to swap the switches out but I think I was being overly careful.