Project: Multi-function switch replacement


In May of 2001, my truck had an injector die while I was driving it on on sunny Sunday morning. I had the hazard lights on as I sat on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck. About every other car that passed me honked, as if they were yelling, " HEY! Get off the road, ya bum!" Curious, I walked around the truck noticing that only one of the 4 signal indicators was flashing. Made mental note to self: Fix Hazard lights.

The fix was delayed due to my not liking to do electrical repairs and/or dash work, and it bugged me for over a year, till I read a post online how easy it was to change this switch.


Overview of Project


The turn signals, 4-way hazard lights, high beams, and windshield wipers are all controlled from a "multi-function switch" located in the steering column, attached to the turn signal stalk.  Strange things can occur when this switch goes bad, like loss of one turn signal, loss of several but not all 4-way hazard lights, etc.  I obtained a new multi-function switch from Fordpartsnetwork.com for $58.99 shipped to my door in about 3-4 days. Part # is F8TZ13K359AB and is shown below.  It was almost too easy to replace, only needing to remove the steering wheel, 4 screws holding the covers around the steering column, unplug two connections, and the 2 screws that hold on the switch.

I have been told that the steering wheel does NOT need to be removed to replace the switch. I have not tried this with the wheel still on, but since I had the puller and it was an easy step to just get the wheel out of the way, I removed it. If you do not have a steering wheel puller you should be able to replace the mf switch with the steering wheel in place.


Tools needed

  • 15mm socket on a 3/8" drive ratchet.

  • 7mm socket on a 1/4" drive ratchet.

  • T-20 Torx screwdriver.

  • Medium sized Phillips screwdriver.

  • 2 small flat blade screwdrivers.

  • Steering wheel puller (Though I've heard a rubber mallet may work, too!)

Removal of the old switch


  First, you need to remove the cover from the center of the steering wheel. This is done by simply working your fingers into the front edge of the top of the cover, and gently pull back toward you.  
  With the cover removed, you need to unclip the plug holding on the wires for the cruise control, if your truck is so equipped. The arrow indicates the location of the clip on the plug.  
  Now you'll need a 15mm socket on a ratchet to loosen the bolt in the center of the steering wheel. I'd loosen it about 1/2 way, so the bolt acts as a foot for the steering wheel puller.  
  Mark the location of the steering wheel on the steering column so you'll know where it was when you took it off.  This can be done with a piece of masking tape on each part, or draw a line in the dust on the column like I did!  The grooves on the wheel are widely spaced so it's pretty easy to get it back on exactly where it was, otherwise the wheel will be WAY off.  Apply the steering wheel puller, and with a few gentle turns the wheel pops off.  
  With the wheel off, you need to loosen/remove the top and bottom covers around the steering column.  There is one screw that necessitates removal of the lower kick panel.  The arrows show the location of the two 7mm screws that hold it on.  
  This is a photo of the underside of the steering column, showing the locations of the 4 Phillips head screws.  
  With the covers loose, you can now move and shift them around to expose the two T-20 Torx head screws that hold the multi-function switch to the column.  
  Once the switch is loose, use 2 small screw drivers to unclip the two plugs on the back side of the switch.  Some jockeying around of the switch may be necessary to access both plugs.  
  This pic shows the location of the clips on the 2 plugs.  


  This is the new multi-function switch.  The only noticeable difference between the new and old switches is the old push-pull switch to activate the Hazard lights was red, whereas the new one is black. Reverse the removal instructions to install the new switch  




I plugged the new switch into the 2 plugs and tested it to make sure I didn't bugger anything else up while working in there and all checked out.  With everything back in it's place and all the parts screwed back together, Hazard lights function as good as new!

Happy wrenching.

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