I have successfully taken the switch itself apart and cleaned the internal working mechanism and the contacts as well. You have to pry off the plate that covers the top of the switch assembly, and then all the parts can be removed.
I think you can clean them better this way, using a Scotchbrite pad or similar, than with a shot of contact cleaner into the top. You also can remove all the lint and dust that has fallen down in there over the years. Besides, it's cool to see what a real German made switch looks like inside. I'd never disassembled a switch before, and these are heavy duty.
Just be careful to do the surgery on a well-lit kitchen table type area, because there are several small parts, including a couple springs, that will want to jump out as soon as you get the top plate off the thing. I cleaned the switch on my 1977 300D, and the fix worked until I sold the thing. If you clean yours properly, that switch should be good for another 16 years
My 84 switch is getting intermittent, so maybe they only last 16 years before needing a cleaning.
[Edited by Robert W. Roe on 06-14-2001 at 11:16 PM]
Lehigh Valley PA USA
73 Olds 88, 72 MB 280SE, 78 Datsun 280Z, 71 T-Bird, 72 Olds 88, 83 Nissan Sentra, 85 Sentra, 73 230.6, 91 Integra, 83 300SD, 91 Volvo 940GLE wagon, 84 300SD, 95 Subaru Legacy L wagon, 02 Mountaineer, 91 300TE, 08 Murano, 2007 R320CDI 4Matic 52K, some Hyundai, 2008 BMW 535xi wagon all gone... currently
2007 Honda Odyssey Touring, 2011 Honda Odyssey Touring