Thorens TD-185NR noise

There is a sudden increase in background noise when the tonearm reaches (roughly) 1/4" above the turntable surface. It sounds like a muting circuit is being turned off, allowing electrical noise from the motor speed controller to invade the audio channels...but that's strictly a guess.

Anybody run into this before? And, outside of tossing the turntable, is there a solution?
I opened up the turntable this afternoon and discovered why the noise increases..when the tonearm lifer is in the raised position, it closes a microswitch that shorts the cartridge. The noise increase is when the switch opens and the wires are free to pick up whatever they can...which is way, way too much.

Any suggestions outside of drowning it in the pool?