Press fit Tailcap Switch replacement, Anyone had any luck?

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CopperTop
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Press fit Tailcap Switch replacement, Anyone had any luck?

I want to change out my tailcap and switch in what appears to be a plastic press fit... (Getting more common it seems)... there are no holes to unscrew... anyone had success...or ideas?

gcbryan
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I've never really had much positive results. You can get them out and press it all back together but in many cases it will continue to pop out eventually on its own.

If it's just to change the color of the tail cap cover I no longer think it's worth it.
Chicago X
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I've drilled out a few press-fit tail caps to upgrade switches. 

Reusing the plastic disk can be problematic, and often requires fabrication of a new piece from scrap plastic.  A cut up Tupperware lid may work. 

Spray paint can tops are another source of scrap plastic that I've used with decent results.  It can be used to make isolator disks for the LEDs as well. 

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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JohnnyMac
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I'd imagine you could always use a little epoxy on reassembly to hold it in tight.  Anyone done this?

Chicago X
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JohnnyMac wrote:

I'd imagine you could always use a little epoxy on reassembly to hold it in tight.  Anyone done this?

Yes.  

I made a horrible mess, getting it on the threads and everywhere else.

The next time adhesive was needed, I used clear silicone.  A bit fugly, but fully functional....

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

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JohnnyMac
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Chicago X wrote:

JohnnyMac wrote:

I'd imagine you could always use a little epoxy on reassembly to hold it in tight.  Anyone done this?

Yes.  

I made a horrible mess, getting it on the threads and everywhere else.

The next time adhesive was needed, I used clear silicone.  A bit fugly, but fully functional....

Oh man! LOL!
CopperTop
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-anyone seen any replacement switches that appear to come with any “additional” parts like the washers, tailcaps, –plastic or otherwise… I have always just seen the switch itself or the switch with the spring attached…

The thing is… the light I want to mod only draws 1.2A and I want to boost this to 2.8 amps…(and add a GITD cap)and I am not sure if the current (no pun intended J)switch can handle this amperage or not… I see that Solarforce upgraded the switches in the 2011 models –and this got me thinking…if the flashlight was made for only 1.2A then there may not have been much motivation for the manufacturer to make a switch that could handle much more than this… at least not over double… I have had switches go bad... but never burn up... or seem to limit the current (at least not yet)... but they must upgrade them for a reason... or maybe this is not as big an issue as it seems?

JohnnyMac
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CopperTop wrote:

-anyone seen any replacement switches that appear to come with any “additional” parts like the washers, tailcaps, –plastic or otherwise… I have always just seen the switch itself or the switch with the spring attached…

I have not and unless its sold for a particular light I doubt you will since the switch and spring are the only universal components.
Thramshank
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Have you tried freezing it?  Not knowing the specifics of your flashlight I have an example below:

The thermal expansion coefficient of aluminum is about 12.3 * 10-6 in/in °F and nylon 6/6 is 44.4 * 10-6 in/in °F.  Assuming 7/8" initial diameter, the nylon would contract diametrically .0019" more than the aluminum would going from 68°F to 0°F.  This might be enough to overcome the press fit.  Obviously colder would yield more difference, although if you get too cold you might hit the brittleness temperature of the specific plastic used at which point you might break it.

CopperTop
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Sure your name is not "Themalshank"... that's a good idea to try... I have for threadlock -but never thought to see if it would loosen the pressfit...

-so I asume if i went the other way and boiled it -the plastic would expand faster or further than the alluminum shell -making it harder to get out... -so boiling would be a no go... or still worth a try too?

Thramshank
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If you go the other way and heat the part, you are correct that the plastic would expand more than the aluminum at steady state and be harder to remove; however, the aluminum would expand faster than the plastic would since it has a much higher thermal conductivity coefficient.  If you got the aluminum hot enough fast enough you might be able to remove it that way too (if you were to time removing the switch shortly after the aluminum had fully expanded and before the plastic expanded), but I would not suggest trying this method as it would be more difficult and you are much more likely to damage the switch.

CopperTop
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Thanks Thramshank..... Everyone else too!

Thramshank
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No problem.  I might suggest leaving it in the freezer overnight to make sure it has been in long enough for both the aluminum and the plastic to equalize temperature.  

Hopefully it works out for you.  On the off chance they used a glass filled polymer material it might not work because the glass fill makes the plastic more stable.