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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy,

The overdrive in my 2000 Tundra just started acting whacky. When I press the O/D button on the end of the shift lever, the truck shifts quickly and independently in-and-out of O/D, with the indicator light on the dash following suit.

I believe the problem is with the O/D button, itself - mainly because if I hold the switch just right with my thumb, the O/D will stay on. If I jiggle the switch or leave it to its own devices, the truck oscillates randomly in-and-out of O/D.

Furthermore, I've read a lot of posts about the O/D switch wires in the steering column being worn and shorting. I'm 99% sure that my problem is with the switch, not the wires. Firstly, the aforementioned button-holding behavior suggests this. Secondly I've removed the steering column housing to inspect the wires, and have even removed the shift lever (with O/D button, wire, and molex connector). All of the visible wires and insulators seem to be intact.

I'd like to remove the switch, itself, to clean or replace it, but I can't figure out how to remove the switch from the shift lever. I've tried unscrewing the big plastic grip from the metal lever, to no avail. I've also tried gently turning the button, itself, as well as its housing using a pair of pliers. The switch and housing both rotate, but do not seem to unscrew.

My question is:

Q: How do I remove the overdrive switch from the end of the shift lever?

I'm hoping that the bloody grip isn't glued onto the metal and that I need a whole new lever assembly. Thanks, in advance, for your help.

-Michael
 

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You have to get the entire shift lever assembly. The shifter assembly in my steering column broke and I ended up pulling the O/D wires out in a fit of rage thinking I could just get a new button/wire harness. It only cost about $30 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Johnny_5 - Thanks for the first-hand information. I reassembled the shifter and plastic housings so I could drive the truck while I shopped for a new shift lever. The temptation to try the O/D button again was great, in hopes that something magical happened during my fiddling around. Fortunately, in this case it did. The O/D button works quite reliably now - at least for the moment.

I'm going to cross the line from educated guess to speculation, but I wonder if the contacts inside the button are just tarnished after 10 years. Maybe my twisting the button around a few times scraped a new bare spot in the copper/brass/etc. I have a 1995 motorcycle whose starter that had intermittent starting problems a few years back. It turned out that the contacts inside the starter switch on the handlebars were tarnished. After disassembling the switch and polishing the contacts with Brasso, it's been fine.

The same was true of my 1988 guitar. I put it down years ago because I was busy and it would buzz, hum, and otherwise make intolerable noises when I'd... well, when I'd move or touch anything on it. After resolving to tear it down and replace the old parts, I realized that simply polishing the contacts in the jacks, switches, etc. might resurrect the existing components. It did, and the guitar works great now.

I suspect that the O/D switch in the truck will probably stop working again at some point. When it does, I'll know what to do - turn the button around a few times with a pair of pliers to scratch the suspected tarnish, or follow your advice and buy a new shift lever. Thanks, again, for your prompt reply.
 

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.......... The same was true of my 1988 guitar. I put it down years ago because I was busy and it would buzz, hum, and otherwise make intolerable noises when I'd... well, when I'd move or touch anything on it. ..............
Same thing happens to me even on brand new guitars ! :D
 

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Johnny_5 - Thanks for the first-hand information. I reassembled the shifter and plastic housings so I could drive the truck while I shopped for a new shift lever. The temptation to try the O/D button again was great, in hopes that something magical happened during my fiddling around. Fortunately, in this case it did. The O/D button works quite reliably now - at least for the moment.
I think you're right. I'd also speculate that the tarnishing (or corrosion) is being compounded by the location of the air vent. Condensation always builds up on my shifter knob when I have the AC on. Fortunately, I haven't had my OD button go bad yet.

Another common place I've seen rapid corrosion occur is on the contacts inside the power window buttons. The master control on my 94 Camry went out once, so I took it apart and found that the contacts were filthy. I cleaned them up with some rubbing alcohol and it worked good as new again. Again, I think moisture could have accelerated the corrosion. How many people forget to roll up the windows during a rain storm at least once?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How many people forget to roll up the windows during a rain storm at least once?
Amen, brother. After 110K miles, the only persistent problem I've had with this vehicle is the unbearable stench.

About 5 years ago, I was loading some yard waste into the truck on a hot day. An afternoon thunderstorm sparked up, and I dashed inside to keep dry. When I returned, I realized that all of the windows were open, and that the seats and cushions were completely saturated with rainwater.

Naturally, I left the windows open for the rest of the day and night to air out. By the next day, the interior was still rather damp, so I left the windows open to continue drying while I worked elsewhere in the yard. Fool me twice, shame on me - another thunderstorm passed and drenched the truck again. Because I wasn't working on/with the truck that day, I didn't even think about the windows.

Now, the truck stinks - literally. In the winter (which is pretty long here in Maine) it's not noticeable at all. In the summer, though... let's just say that I'm glad I'm married already, because I wouldn't be attracting any potential mates with that smell.
 
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