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Fitting a Toyota Starlet fog light switch to work with GX81 fog lights

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#1 BoristheCat



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 04:30 PM

I wanted an OEM switch that would match the interior and work well with my GX81 fog light swap.  The stock GX81 fog light switch is located on the turn signal stock, and grafting the switch onto my stock multi-function switch would have looked hacked and ugly.  I imported the GX81 signal stocks with my headlights for an extra 20 bucks, but decided to go this route.


Got the switch in the mail and it fits... my 1988 pickup.  The switch is an 80 series switch, and does not drop right into the MX83.



In the truck:





In order to fit it into the cress, I cut out the blank and tried to make it as even as possible using calipers, small files, and sandpaper.  I tried to make a small chamfer on the edges, which was a mistake and made it look like crap.  I can still paint it flat black to clean it up a bit.  I'm trying to get familiar with a CAD program to have two jigs CNC'd out of sheet steel, which will give me templates to router out blanks to look factory.  I have four more of these switches coming from Japan.  I'm not happy with the current blank I cut out by hand, plus there are a few scratches on it from the file which I'm not happy with. 



I will paypal anybody $15 (if you ship USPS in a small flat-rate envelope) who wants to sell their blanks to me.  The blanks are no longer available from Toyota, and as far as I can tell, there is no interchangeable part.  The blanks measure 30mm x 50mm. 


Mounting the Starlet switch into the blank was as easy as cutting off the border and supergluing it to the back. 







Mounted in the car:





Here are the pinouts for the connector going into the switch and for the plug into the rheostat (aka dimmer switch):






And the pinout for the relay:






The easiest method for wiring this is to tap directly into the solid green wire going into the rheostat with the positive wires, and tapping directly into the striped black and white wire going into the rheostat for the grounds. You only need to have a 12v constant for the switch to work.  If you splice into the green and black wire, the power is only around 3 volts or so, because this wire is the rheostat output and the switch will not work (ask me how I know, lol)


I recommend cutting off the stock terminals, taking care to save as much wire as possible and staking multiple wires into the terminals to avoid complicating things with too much extra wire or splices.  Following the pinouts above, stake the 12v positive wires from the switch ALONG WITH the stock solid green rheostat wire into a common terminal.  Then, stake the two ground wires from the switch ALONG WITH the striped black and white stock rheostat wire into a common terminal.  Push them into the correct positions in the socket for the rheostat, then plug your signal wire into the 85 tab on your relay and bam, you have a working switch.  Don't pay attention to the coloring of the wiring I did in the pics below.  Also, don't follow the coloring of the wires from the pigtail on the starlet switch when it comes in the mail.  The power wire to the switch was black and white striped, which I assumed was for a ground, but it wasn't.  Get friendly with your multimeter and continuity light instead of going off wire color.  Follow the pinouts above.



Stock rheostat plug and wires:





In the pic above, there is a red splice going into the green wire which feeds into an aftermarket alarm that came with the car when I bought it.  If anybody is unaware, these are an extremely ghetto way to tap into a power wire.  I do not recommend them whatsoever.  Do it right and use either a moisture-proof solder splice or a dry splice with glue tubing for insulation/protection/moisture-proofing.  As a side note, I do aircraft wiring for a living and can vouch for the quality of Milspec wiring, which I used for this project.  This is the same wiring Mark uses in building his harnesses.  You can get OEM terminals through cycleterminal.com if you need them.


After wiring in the switch:






Now, onto lighting.  The green matches the stock illumination pretty well.  The orange ON indicator bulb was too bright to begin with, and didn't match the amber of the defrost switch or low fuel light in the fuel gauge.  The stock ON bulb in the switch was clear, so I went to the dealer and got one with an amber cover, which matches much better.  Pic for the part number of said bulb is below.







With the illumination off and the On switch lit up:





With the illumination on and the On switch lit up:





All lit up at night.  The defrost switch ON light is lit up to the right of the steering wheel and the amber low fuel light is on as well for comparison.  The fog light symbol is slightly thinner than the stock defrost symbol, so it isn't quite as bright as I would like.  This can be solved by using a bulb without the green rubber condom thing over it, or by pulling the green rubber off the bulb that comes with the switch.  Also, I know I have two cluster lights out.  I'll get around to replacing them when I'm bored.




Again, I'm working on getting some jigs made to router out blanks so there isn't any more plastic hackery.  PM me if you feel like selling me your switch blanks provided they are in reasonable shape and I can try to get something going for us.

#2 Andrew



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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:38 PM

I've got some, pm'ed.

#3 ChriSOL



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Posted 16 March 2017 - 05:33 AM

i also have some and was planning to do something very similar but i didnt know where to start when it came to toyota switches. i had a mkiii supra foglight switch on the first ignition panel i had that replaced the entire blank but those are getting hard to find cheap and theyre brittle now.

ill pm you w more.

My friend that lives in US showed me CraigsList while we search for my Cressida. You find lots of odd things on that site. Lots of fat US girls looking for a free ride from black basketball type American man.

#4 BoristheCat



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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:12 AM

Thanks Chris.  I chose not to use the mkiii switch for several reasons.  One was because there are no rocker switches in the MX83. 


Also, all the buttons in the MX83 make a soft sort of "click" when you push them in.


The mkiii switches make sort of a loud "slap", which I don't care for.  The starlet switch matches pretty well in terms of appearance, which is why I like it so much. 

#5 Gordo


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Posted 16 March 2017 - 12:18 PM


'the switch makes a 'snap' sound.'


With an 80mm exhaust, six 50mm ITBs, solid subframe mounts, and all heim end suspension,

I doubt anyone would never notice in my car.


But nice project none the same. :)

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#6 BoristheCat



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Posted 16 March 2017 - 01:40 PM

^^lol good point Gordo.  Since I'm doing my sleeper build, I intend to have the car at a reasonable volume at idle and have it be louder in the higher end, but I get what you mean haha.
A member sent me a PM for clarification on a few things with this project.
To answer his questions...
At the moment, I'm working on dimensions for jigs so I can accurately cut the blanks. A member is sending me two blanks to work with that I can design my jigs around. One of them has a broken tab, so I will design the jigs around that and use the blank with the broken tab as a test piece. If all goes well, people can start sending in their cores and I will convert them to work with the switch and then sell them back to them. Whatever core you send in will be the core you get back. This ensures that someone who sends in a really good core doesn't get returned a blank from another member that is in worse shape. Once jigs are made and the test run is complete, I will post in the for sale section.
Right now I have 7 fog light switches (used, but in good shape) in the mail. I also have a batch of amber bulbs on order from the dealer.
My biggest hurdle is getting familiar with my CAD program so I can make accurate jigs to router out the blanks. 
If I get lazy, I can give the local place with the CNC machine my measurements and they will cut them out for me, but having them draft it is like $200.  Kind of ridiculous when I just need a few rectangles cut out of some sheet steel.  Once I have that out of the way, the rest of the kit will go together.
I will include the proper terminals, new pigtail wiring with completed crimps to the switch, and will have the correct amber bulb installed into the switch.

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