Need to fish sliding door light switch wire back up out of B collumn

Zach Woods

Super Moderator
Howdy Folks -

While trying to replace a broken sliding door light switch I found that the wire that switch connected to was so short that it slipped off my switch plug and fell back into the B collumn before I had the chance to grab it.

Has anyone else bumped into this problem? How did you fish that wire back up and out again?

I do not find much in the way of access behind the interior plastic molding that covers the B collumn. Argh!

Any and all suggestions and help welcomed!

Thanks,

Zach Woods
 

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sikwan

06 T1N Can
Zach:

I had to remove the driver/passenger plastic-seatbelt-column-covers to remove the headliner and hit the driver's seatbelt adjustment latch the wrong way. The metal spring fell to the bottom.

It's easier on the passenger side because there's just a foam piece stuck up from the bottom. You'll have to go underneath the van.

If it's the driver's side, you'll only have access to the rubber plugs just forward of the diesel fill tube underneath the van. The diesel fill tube blocks out the large access to the B-pillar. You can stick a wire/magnetic wand/or something to fish it out. Otherwise you'll have to remove the diesel fill tube. This rubber plug is also on the passenger side too.

I would advise to look at the passenger side to figure out your bearings so that you can work better at fishing the item out on the driver's side.

Luckily for me, the spring was magnetic. If it wasn't, I don't know what I would do besides paying an arm and a leg to the dealership.

Good luck. I feel for you. :D

Seek
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
I reread you post and title and I gave you some wrong advice.

Remove the long gray plastic cover from the b-pillar. You will have access to a bolt that attaches the seat belt ratchet system to the b-pillar. Remove bolt and seat belt ratchet and the hole where the ratchet slips out of should be large enough for your hands and arms.

You will need to remove the yellow wire from the ratchet by pressing down on the cable side tab. I should get a picture of it, since I have it all apart.
 

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Zach Woods

Super Moderator
Hello Seek -

Speedy response! Thanks!

I've read both of your responses over and I did go out briefly to look at the access from underneath the van. You are correct that there is a black foam sponge-like plug that I find up through an access hole at the very bottom of the B-pillar. The foam appears to be just pushed in place in a vertical orientation.

When I read your first response I was thinking that access from the bottom was a good thing because I would be able to drop a string (or alternately snake a wire) down thru the hole for the light switch until it came out the bottom of the B-pillar. Then I was planning on reaching up thru the now de-foamed opening in the bottom of the B-pillar and finding the wire for the switch, tieing it to the string I fed down from the switch opening, and then pulling the wire back up the B-pillar and out it's hole.

I am still thinking this makes the most sense because it seems like the switch wire was short enough / had enough tension pulling it down when it ran back down/ thru it's hole that it is likely to be down the B-pillar pretty far. I am also thinking that I don't want to mess with the seat belt mechanism if I don't have to.

Based on your (or others) experience working in the B-pillar does it seem possible to do this all via access from the bottom or is the seat belt mechanism hole the only option?

Thanks,

Zach
 

sikwan

06 T1N Can
Zach:

Here are some pictures for everyone to see.

IMGP0001.JPG
This is the driver's side. You can see the diesel fill tube surrounded by foam and the grommet just forward (right) of it. I had to remove the grommet and use a magnetic wand to fish out the seat belt spring that I dropped down there.

IMGP0002.JPG
This is the passenger side. No fill tube so there's just a large opening. There's some foam you can't see in the picture that fills in the area. There's also the grommet just left of it.

IMGP0003.JPG
You can see the bolt that attaches the seat belt ratchet mechanism to the b-pillar. Remove the bolt, disconnect the yellow connector (connects to airbag box), remove the ratchet mechanism, and you should have room to reach inside to get that wire.

That wire in the picture might even be the wire you're looking for. :D

Seek
 

Zach Woods

Super Moderator
Hello Seek -

Thanks again for your suggestion to go by way of the seat belt ratchet mechanism. That did give me easy access to the sliding door light mechanism.

I was hesitant to mess with the seat belt and it's components but my hesitation was un-warranted.

Once again the lights come on when I open the sliding door!

Zach
 

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