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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I'm sure a lot of you know the Alfa heated seat switches are a) rubbish and b) stupidly expensive to replace every other year.
Anyway after a 3rd one went in 18months I decided to look at a permanent fix/modification. Ive always owned Jap cars prior to the Alfa GT and know there generally very good at making quality switches/electronics. So I started looking for various switches of a similar size to the GT's. Eventually I found some Mazda RX8 switches that were cheap (around £15 pair off Ebay) and relatively small. The illumination and symbols are also the same as Alfa and the switches are rated at 20amp
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610769&thumb=1
I managed to get the looms as well to help with wiring.
Next task was to bell out the wiring for the Alfa and the RX8 switch. The RX8 switch has 5 wires as opposed to the Alfas 4. This is due to an extra earth which needs to be joined together. This is as follows:

RX8 ------ Alfa
Grey/Red ------ Red 1
Blue/White ------ Red 2
black & Red/Yellow (joined) ----- Grey
Red ------ Brown

So I unplugged the seat switch connector and pulled it out behind the seat.
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610777&thumb=1
Next cut off the connector and solder the RX8 loom to the Alfa wiring as described above. I used shrink sleeve and loom wrap to make a professional job
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610785&thumb=1
So with the straight forward job done, it was time to enlarge the holes in the seat plastic as the RX8 switches are larger
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610793&thumb=1
I achieved this with a coarse file, taking very small amounts off at a time. obviously there are other ways but this worked for me. Just remember if you do this, little at a time. You cant put it back on!!
Eventually it will drop in very snuggly and look like this:
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610809&thumb=1
http://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=610817&thumb=1
Everything works perfectly as Alfa intended.
Only slight issue I have is that Mazda used bulbs in the switch and Alfa used Leds in theirs. This means that when the switch is feeding the heater elements in the seat (ie on) the yellow indicator light is a bit dull then brightens up when not. You could get round this by wiring in a diode or soldering leds to the bulb holders in the switch but it really doesn't bother me that much. They look standard, heat the seats and illuminate. All for a tenner and an hours time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I did consider that but another issue is with the standard switch. It gets hot and has a copper contact which bends and renders them useless. Plus adding a relay would still cost £80 as I would still need 2 new switches!
 

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Jwq, I appreciate this might not be your taste but would you care to explain why it won't work for any more than 6 months? Any technical input on switch design or load or just assumptions and smileys?
simple, the problem on the old alfa switches was probably the (high and/or surge) current going through..... It's still to be proven over time that these alternative switches will hold up better..... Nothing to do with taste...
 

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A quick update. I just installed these and I'm pretty happy. I had a help of a friend who is a car electrician (gave him €10 for his help). He did the wiring and the only difference that I noticed from the original post is that he grounded the black wire from the switch by connecting it directly to the metal on the seat. All lights work as they should. Images attached. I still need to clean these switches a bit though.

Kudos to the thread starter for giving me the idea and pointing me in the right direction!
 

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I bought a set of switches from an R50 Mini, theyre round, so much more in keeping with the 147/GT interior and I was going to relocate them as I dont think on the seat is the best location.
 

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I agree typos, really poor location in the seat plastic. The GT dash is quite flat so not many suitable places to mount. I'd be interested to see where you place them.
I originally wanted to put them in the HVAC panel, but had to shelve that idea cos there was either circuit board or LCD screen in the way - the 3 ovals are actually one long LCD.

Then I thought above them - move the fog light switches elsewhere, but the Mini ones are too big (first gen Smarts have round heated seat buttons, they may be small enough).
 

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I originally wanted to put them in the HVAC panel, but had to shelve that idea cos there was either circuit board or LCD screen in the way - the 3 ovals are actually one long LCD.

Then I thought above them - move the fog light switches elsewhere, but the Mini ones are too big (first gen Smarts have round heated seat buttons, they may be small enough).
If you don't smoke, perhaps you can use a panel below the console switches ? :
 

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Finally got around to this mod.

Getting ready for the winter and decided to do this mod as my driver's side has packed up.....again, no amount of fettling would bring it back to life.

I also went for the black wire to an earth point on the seat and they light up a treat.

Vehicle Car Family car
Vehicle Car Family car


£20 delivered from an eBay seller breaking an RX8.

All the best

Pub - with a toasty backside. ;)
 
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