Please read before going any further
While i have tried with every effort to make this as easy to follow as i can there is a fair bit of work involved in this modification, but from my point of view it is well worth the time & effort required, It also makes the original dash a lot more updated, the only down side is you will have to install an alternate interior light switch (covered in here) as the way this mod works makes the old setup incompatible! Also the reason Why i have not used just the VT switch by itself is for some reason it was not working with my cars dimmer properly! hence why i have used the vs switch internals! With that said imo i think its well worth the trade off, so please enjoy and best of luck with all your future modding
1 VT/VX headlight switch (please read all of post before buying one as there is 2 types you can get)
original vs headlight switch
flat blade screwdriver
air saw(also known as hole saw)
hack saw(can use air saw but don't reccomend it)
one 12volt switch(for interior light)
permanent marking pen
2 strips of wire approx 90cm long
pair of pliers
ozito engraver with sandstone tip(see pic supplied)
selleys super glue
black silicone(optional for if ya stuff up)
possible 3 new bulbs from dick smith (if the ones in you switch are blown)
A fair bit of patience!!
OK STEP1 When purchasing your switch from the wreckers make sure it has the dimmer feature built into it, as i have come across a few switches that only have up down setting to turn on interior light, but the switch you want is the one that you can hold up or down and it springs back into the center again(note pic num 1)
STEP2 after getting the VT switch remove negative terminal off car battery (optional for safety) then remove the VS instrument cluster surround by taking out the 2 screws just in front of the cluster, drop steering wheel column with adjustable column lever(if available on your model) then pull gently @ the bottom of the cluster surround , the surround is held on by metal clips so it will pull away (CAUTION BE GENTLE AS IF YOU PULL TO HARD YOU WILL SNAP THE PLASTIC TABS THAT HOLD THE METAL CONECTORS ON SO REMOVE WITH CARE!!)
STEP3Once surround is removed remove various accessories e.g trip computer hazard switches, AC vent ect, and remove the vs headlight switch by pulling the switch handle and dimmer tab out (see pic1) then turn the outter vs headlight surround (see pic1)to the right or left (not sure here as mine was broken) and headlight switch should come free from the dash surround facia!!
STEP4Once you have your cluster facia free of all accesories ect you will want to make the original headlight hole bigger to fit the VT switch! So taking hold of your air saw start cutting several small cuts into the headlight switch hole
(see pic2&3)Then break away cut pieces with pliers, you should be left with a rough looking hole!(pic4) Now you will still need to make the hole bigger and smoother. So useing your ozito sander,(pic5) or round file if you dont have this sander ream the hole out until it just touches the round lip shape on the facia,(pic6) Now the hole should be big enough for you to trial fit the VT switch!! If switch fits well and your satisfied its time to make a hole for your interior light switch! where you put the switch is up to you but i have put mine just above the fog lamp switch spot just under the head light switch! once you have fitted the interior light switch, if theres any unsightly small gaps heres where the black silicone comes in handy!
STEP5Now its time to get the switches sorted!
Take the VT & VS switch and remove both switch handle and dimmer tab from both switches, you will also need to remove the VT illumination facia cover(see pic1 for reference) now you should be looking at something like this: (see pic7 I dont have a shot of the vs sorry my camera was playing up) Now the black facia on the VT switch has to be removed as does the white cover on the VS switch.(NOTE/WARNING TAKE CARE WHEN PULLING COVERS OFF BOTH SWITCHES THAT YOU DONT PULL THE CENTER STALK OUT OTHER WISE YOU WILL LOOSE THE BALL BEARINGS/SPRINGS IN THE BASE OF THE SWITCH, YOU CAN PUT THEM BACK IN IF YOU CAN FIND THEM, BUT IS NOT FUN!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED ALSO ON THE VT BLACK SWITCH FACIA THERE IS ANOTHER BALL BEARING ASSEMBLY ON THE UNDERSIDE WITCH OPERATES THE DIMMER MOTION BE CAREFUL NOT TO DISLODGE THIS ASSEMBLY ASWELL!!!) After covers have been removed, you can then carefully remove both circut boards from both switches(hold some downward pressure on the stalk to prevent dislodgement while pulling circut boards out of switch) You should have something like this when finished(see pic8)Now @ this stage it is wise to check that the bulbs in your VT switch are not blown you can do this by removing the green covers and checking the bulbs ect! Now if they are blown you will have to get your soldering iron and remove them and replace them with some bulbs from dick smith(I DO NOT RECCOMEND THE USE OF LED LIGHTS AS LEDLIGHTS SEND A FOCUSED POINT OF LIGHT AS OPPOSED TO NORMAL GLOBES WITCH EMIT RADIUS LIGHT AND WHAT YOU WILL END UP WITH IF YOU USE LEDS IS BRIGHT AND DARK PATCHES THAT WILL LOOK LOUSY! YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE ONE OF YOUR BLOWN GLOBES DOWN TO DS AND MATCH IT UP AS I DID!! BE PREPARED TO DO YOUR OWN SORTING THROUGH BULBS AS MOST OF THE STAFF AT DS AND JAYCAR DIDNT HAVE A CLUE WHAT THEY WHERE LOOKING FOR!) Now that has been covered what you want to do is remove the little tab that is used to support the green VT circut board (see pic9)now drill 2 small holes in the VT switch big enough for you to get your 90cm of wire through(see pic10)Now once all that is done you will have to put the VS circut board into the VT switch holder dont worry they are a direct swap!!
STEP6Now take the VT circut board and mark it out (see pic11)Once marked out You will have to cut along the lines with a hacksaw(BE GENTLE OTHERWISE YOU WILL BREAK THE BOARD!! SEE PIC12) After you have cut the circut in half take hold of the (A) piece and what you want to do here is ream out the center of this circut with the ozito grinder so its not going to interfere with the dimmer part of you switch! After that is all done take your soldering iron and solder your 2 lenghts of 90cm wire one to each terminal leg on the end lightbulb(see pic13 & 14 for reamed center)Now you have soldered your wires to the VT light circut you need to feed the other end of the wires through the 2 holes in the switch that you drilled earlier you should have something that looks like this: (see pic 14)
STEP7Now that things are begining to take shape you have to modify the black VT switch facia, so that when you put the switch back together its not all jammed up due to the extra circut board height from them sitting on top of one another!! So what you do is useing the ozito sander you have to grind away some of the back of the VT switch you are looking to take off roughly what extra room the VT light circut switch is useing if you don't do this your switch will jam up and not work properly!! i have added a pic(see pic15) to give you an idea of what has to be done!!
After that the next step is to secure the VT circut board to the switch so it can be held into place while you put the switch back together! Heres where your super glue comes in handy! you need to turn the circut on its side apply some glue then put the circut back down into its proper original position so it will not foul the VT black switch facia! Once glue is dried you can put the VT black switch facia back together again check to see all switches turn on and off easily and dimmer operates smoothly!if it does not you will have to remove facia and see where it fouls!(see pic 16,17&18)
STEP8YOUR GETTING THERE lol now grab your modded instrument cluster surround facia, and with it still out of the car put the VT switch in!! you can also throw your trip computer back in aswell and your hazard light, security light demister and AC vents!! once done, sit the whole lot off to one side, its time to wire up your interior light! grab the wire loom that connects to the headlight switch and cut the purple Wire, splice the wires and add a an extra of shoot of wire(see pic19) once that is done solder the wires together and tape them up with electrical tape! Now connect the offshoot of wire to one of the terminals onto your new interior light switch and solder it on!(if you have installed your interior light as i have already in the surround facia then you will have to sit the facia on you lap and connect the wire and solder it in its position ect)now you will need to run an earth wire from the other terminal on your interior light switch so you might as well solder it on while you are at it lol! now connect the earth up to a good location,(i didn't use the earth provided on the headlight loom as i had already covered all the loom in electrical tape but i dont see why you couldnt use it if you wanted, you would just have to splice into it ect ect!
STEP9Once you have soldered up your interior light switch and earthed it off it should now work!. Now what you need to do with the 90cm long wires that are running from the back of your headlight switch is plug them into the dash light loom(see pic20)once that is done wrap some tape around the back of that loom so your wires dont fall out! Now tuck any excess wire in around your instrument cluster so its out of the way and dosent foul with anything! Now plug in your headlight switch and all other plugs and test, All features of your VT lamp should be working! install your dash instrument surround (refitment is the same as removal and dont forget the 2 screws in the top) now clip the VT light switch illumination and turn switch back on and enjoy!!
some of the rest of the pics
some more pics!
Last of the pics
Awesome mate! very well done, plenty of info! AND GREAT PICS!
Definately doing this.. might start tonight hehe Im just scared about wrecking the vs caprice dash!
In my world I'm the one an only king, if your searching for the truth then you've got to look within.
Originally Posted by garth
so glad you did this and not me, I got started on this and then got distracted, by the looks of it, I wouldnt have finished it anyway.
Maybe now i'll be able to give it another crack so Thank you.
Cheers fellas! Im not finished with this thread yet! hopefully sometime in the future Im going to see if its possible to mod just the VT switch by itself without useing the VS switch! would make it so much more easier! i just have to get around the dimmer problem and it would be sweet!!
i wonder if just the VS switch could be modded, most of the plastic in holdens is clear plastic that has then been painted.
a 3mm led would fit for sure especially if carefully mounted to the PCB, now could the VT clear selector for the light switch simply be fitted to the VS switch housing, i'll have to make a trip out to the shed one of these days and digg around for my half assed attempt at this, so I can do a half assed version of this mod.
mega bump, any pics of it on at night?
Here's a picture of mine at night. Not a very good photo, but you get the idea.
nicely done man
i take it this can be done on a vr aswell also as i dont/cant(due to leds in my dash) use the dimmer switch will it mater what vt switch i get?
can you just use a normal vt swict? not the spring back on as i got one of those,
After some mucking around I've found that you can modify the spring back version by removing the spring. It then becomes the same as the non sping back version. This is what you will need if putting into a VS.
You will need a ball bearing on both sides with a little spring. I mined mine from my old VS light switch and trimmed back the spring so it just fits.
I got inspiration from the original thread and have come up with my own version that works with Blue LED lights.
1) I routed out the hole on the VS dash surround using a jigsaw with a small blade and then used a stone attached to a drill to shave out the exact size of the hole needed.
2) I didn't shave any of the internal of the VX/VT switch as suggested by the original author of this thread and instead opted to get a piece of breadboard purchased from Jaycar and shaped it so that it fits into the VX/VT housing. I used a jigsaw and a file and a bit of patience is needed to get this to fit snuggly. Refer pics.
3) I purchased some blue LEDs and a 180ohm resistor and wired them up in a series circuit and put them approximately into place as per the original VX/VT lights. To get a better even spread of light you should grind the top of the LEDs so that they are flat. The wires protuding from the case needs to be connected as per the original thread.
4) The original thread installed an extra switch so that the interior light could work. I've found that in my situation that I could make the interior light to work without installing the switch. You will need to swap the Green/White wire with the 2 Gray wires on the wiring harness. The intermediate dimmer function will not work on the VX/VT case. In my case I have Blue LEDs installed on my dash and they can not be dimmed, so the intermediate dimmer function is not needed.
5) Here is a picture of the final product.