View Full Version : Relay for Power Convertible Top? 97-02 switch in 94-96?


mtedenajimenez
03-06-2011, 12:56 AM
can't seem to find the answer for this anywhere. is there a relay for the power convertible top? my car a 1996 camaro.

i seem to be having a problem that others have had with the top going up easily but nothing happening when i press the top switch for "down." in all the threads with this problem on multiple forums, there isn't any clear resolution or many responses.

i know of course i can try to replace the switch, but before i do that, i would like to know if there is a relay for our power tops??? if so, where is it located??

(if anybody reading this has a NOS 94-96 switch, i will pay good $$)

any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

mtedenajimenez
03-08-2011, 02:44 AM
well i think i solved this problem for everyone with a 94-96 camaro. i still don't know if we have a relay associated with the conv top circuit (it'd be nice to find out), but the problem is def gonna be my switch. i took my switch apart, and everything was looking so good, i was doubting it was going to be my switch, until i exposed the contactors enough to see them and bam, there it is.

here is the "up" contactor (which was working for me). the picture, makes it look a little more grayish than it is to the eye. in person, that grayish area still looks pretty shiny (not the best, but enough good metal there to conduct)

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_hrqIFCUcPxc/TXXdPNPmoQI/AAAAAAAAABE/d5YMqLRP40I/s912/Install%20826.jpg

here is the "down" contactor (which wasn't working for me). the damaged area is much larger, very dark gray in person, with burn marks around the gray. mating contactor also looks like this so i get minuscule to no conductivity and no top going down.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_hrqIFCUcPxc/TXXdMs446cI/AAAAAAAAAA8/aL18xTzt4jA/s912/Install%20825.jpg

addition: and the contactors sand very nicely with 800 grit sand paper!! if i could just find the right tool to get the sand paper into the mating contactors (which have very small clearance) this problem might be fixed for free!

JohnnyBs98WS6Rag
03-09-2011, 10:43 AM
I do not belive there is a power relay for the top pump motor. If there was, IT would be taking the electrical abuse rather than your switch.

I have a funny feeling that the reason that typically, the "down" contacts tend to wear-out before the "up" contacts is that during use, the motor grunts harder to get the top all the way up than it has to to get the top all the way down. This probably means there is more residual hydraulic pressure in the system so that the next time it is operated in the opposite direction, there is higher initial current drawn by the motor to get it moving.

Good job disecting the switch, will have to keep this trick in mind for when switches are no longer available for any year.

mtedenajimenez
03-10-2011, 02:37 AM
I do not belive there is a power relay for the top pump motor. If there was, IT would be taking the electrical abuse rather than your switch.

I have a funny feeling that the reason that typically, the "down" contacts tend to wear-out before the "up" contacts is that during use, the motor grunts harder to get the top all the way up than it has to to get the top all the way down. This probably means there is more residual hydraulic pressure in the system so that the next time it is operated in the opposite direction, there is higher initial current drawn by the motor to get it moving.

Good job disecting the switch, will have to keep this trick in mind for when switches are no longer available for any year.

that makes sense about having no relay since the switches get so burned up. i bought another used switch, since i kinda messed up my original trying to learn everything i could about how it works, and the used switch is the exact same. contactors are burning up, with the "down" being worse. there is definitely more current drawn when moving the top down.

on the second used switch i got, restoring it was easy since i knew what to do and had a plan this time. the switch is just made up of like 4 different pieces that snap together. you need to get down to the contactor level, get a very thin file that is skinny enough to get between mating contactors and sand away carefully on all 4 contactors as needed. don't move contactors out of position (like i did to take my original pics) cause you'll never have the same "snap" to the button again. after everything is sanded down, clean residual metal shavings with vacuum or comp air and then snap it back together and it will be good as new.

my top moves up and down like new again!! only thing is, you can prob only restore a switch once (maybe twice, maybe) b/c of the material that is shaved away. but if this lasts another 15 years, i'd be happy with that. and you can gut the insides of any switch, so if you have a nice switch button and housing that was taken care of (like i did), you can transfer that button and housing over.

well, on to the next thing, haha.

JohnnyBs98WS6Rag
03-14-2011, 12:12 PM
I'm sure there's a way to wire a pair of relays between the switch and motor so that the switching abuse is moved from the switch to the relays (which should be easier / cheaper to replace than the switch). I should dig up some diagrams and figure this out. Might be a smart mod to do before the switch goes out.

wrd1972
03-17-2011, 10:09 PM
I am going to do the relay mod on my rag top very soon just like I did on both windows. Top is very slow now and I have determined it is a voltage issue.