Switch cleaning

I will be removing my headlight switch on my 74 XJ12L soon to clean up the contact area. After not
using the lights at all for a few years I had to work the switch on and off a few times to get them to
come on. I know past poster Alex Cannera used to open up various switches (and paint various
things yellow) and I would like to know how to link to some of his previous posts. Also, should
dielectric grease (or something else) be used after the contacts have been cleaned?


Don, dielectric grease is your friend, use it where ever you have electrical contacts.


Alex Cannara’s posts are in the Jag-Lovers archives. Just search “Alex Cannara” and you will find them. Unfortunately you will find a lot of posts regarding why he was removed from the list.


Thanks Dave and Paul. I was on the receiving end of one of Alex’s snits a few years ago so
I know why he was removed.

This is news to me! I had hundreds of interactions with Alex back in the day, and found arguing against his positions to be great fun, He disappeared, but I was unaware that he was removed. @PeterCrespin was the XJ moderator then but I remember nothing about any problems.

Yes, appart from his somewhat “strong-minded” nature he was a skilled engineer and a great contribuer to this forum with very detailed posts about his modifications. I have implemented a few of his ideas on my car.

The best thing you can do to prolong the life of your switch, and to be sure it will not brake again, is to put relays. It’s getting fried because of too much curent.
It will also greatly improve your lights.

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Alex was certainly one of a kind and did some good photo essays. His many electronic engineer qualifications were of a high order but he did have the occasional blind spot where mechanical issues were in play. Woe betide those who dared suggest the emperor might be in any way lacking in the clothing department :slight_smile: .

To the best of my recollection, I never permanently banned anyone during my years on X300, XJ, E or Pub lists. Alex was one of two people I gave a two-week time out for not following the minimal site rules and both reacted by removing themselves permanently, albeit Alex was the only one who stuck to that decision.

I always read and paid close attention to anything Alex posted. His work was first rate and his
knowledge of things electrical was undeniable. He was however more than a little thin skinned.
When describing how to wire window switches, I thought he was overly complicating the process
by not using the numbers on the underside of the switch to correspond to the colors on the wires.
I responded to the original poster with what I thought was a simpler explanation of the wiring and
got one of Alex’s legendary sh*t storm blasts in reply. That one didn’t make it onto the forum as he
sent it directly to me. Very salty language.

In both my ‘cases’ the off-list verbal abuse I got were the two most offensive exchanges of any kind that I’ve ever had with another human being - or animal come to that. I’ve had worse with some rusty fasteners but that’s a different kind of nut.

The irony was that both would almost certainly be car buddies if they lived around the corner. Alex included me in a ignition coil deal he organized, and I offered to take him out for a drink when I was due in Menlo Park one time, but no dice.

I would speculate about some kind of personality trait but I just remembered that was one of his tactics - suggesting you had a psychiatric disorder in ‘needing’ to be right, LOL! As a lister I didn’t mind so much - it was a useful discipline in making points clearly and focused and unarguable, similar to what I did for a living at the time. But as an Admin I had to respond to complaints and when it got vile off-list I parked him for two weeks. I’d possibly handle it differently now.