Starter Switch Rebuild?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Starter Switch Rebuild?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 02:44 pm:

Anyone one sell kits to rebuild the starter switch? Thanks, PK.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 02:54 pm:

Not that I'm aware of. There isn't really much to them. Once you get the case apart, which usually breaks off the 4 bend-over tabs, you have the two contact points and the cross bar to dress & clean. Assuming they're not too burned up to reuse. You'll also need to examine the insulating washers on each terminal, replacing as needed, (read as make new ones as needed). You'll then need to tack weld the housing together again.

If this is a cheap reproduction switch you're talking about, throw it away. The more expensive, but less authentic looking, replacement switch seems to be of good quality.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard, Fredericksburg Va on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 03:11 pm:

I took mine apart a few months ago and did as Jerry described. Fortunately the tabs didn't break off. Works better now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 03:39 pm:

Heat the tabs and they should bend without breaking.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 04:40 pm:

Good suggestion Dan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 04:58 pm:

Even when in perfect condition, an original-style starter switch is the source of some resistance and heat in the system.

I always recommend you install a starter solenoid, and let the old switch operate it.

If you need help, like where to get them and how to hook it up, let us know.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX. on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 05:13 pm:

PK.....I went through several starter switch rebuilds....and rebuilds. So, I finally left the floor switch for cosmetics only and converted to a solenoid set up. It's really the way to go. You can hide the remote switch is some inconspicuous spot and to the casual looker, all looks original. Heat is what kills the original style and the repos are OK but don't last. Jerry


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gail Lanning on Wednesday, March 04, 2015 - 11:42 pm:

I too found out the tabs break off easily so I drilled and tapped one housing and a hole through the other for a long machine screw. There is plenty of room to stay far enough away from the electrical contacts. It's hardly noticeable and easy to take apart to clean the contacts. This has been working fine for me. As I recall I used a fine thread on the 2 screws.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By keith g barrier on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 05:18 am:

If you have connection problems any where between the battery and starter or problems in the starter its self you will have resistance issues. You must have a starting point to diagnose the problem, any where you have excessive heat something is wrong. I have found the original switches to be more than adequate if in good shape. As said above, they are easy to repair. IMHO a solenoid is a band aid fix that adds more headache to a simple system. KGB


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Killecut on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 07:28 am:

I have also found the original switches to be very dependable. I have never had to to take apart and clean one a second time. The earlier ones are held together with screws which makes cleaning them up easier. They are easy to find at flea markets.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 09:16 am:

The problem with this switch is the insulation on one terminal had disintegrated. The switch came apart easy, no broken tabs. I like the idea of using the original switch to activate a modern solenoid. One terminal is damaged and needs to be replaced. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 10:06 am:

I like the original switches with two screws, and rebuilt one for my '25 only to find out after I put the body on, that the plunger was too short to go through the seat riser extension enough to use it, even with the extension on the plunger. So luckily I had a good used tab type that I was able to put on.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Tillstrom on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 10:24 am:

Larry

In that situation one of the members of our chapter came up with the perfect fix. His floorboard has a correctly located and drilled hole above the switch. It is sized for an old tappet or lifter. He placed it into his floorboard and installed a light spring washer and pin (washer and pin on back side). The way it is installed your heel presses down on the portion of the tappet that would normally ride on the camshaft.

When his floorboard is removed the extension comes with it. It's a pretty slick idea.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Saturday, March 07, 2015 - 08:46 pm:

This thread caught my interest as it has been many years since I have dealt with a starter switch. I scrounged one out of my junk box and decided to check it out. I used a small tip oxy-acetylene torch to carefully heat the tabs and peel them up to clear the holes. Pulled it apart and cleaned up…took about an hour. The plunger/button was frozen/rusted onto the sleeve…required heat to release.
All looked good…can’t see any way it can’t work reliably. Contacts clean easily, cross bar is laminated, springy with wiping motion.
Not much to go wrong…easy renovation (not restoration).

tabs
Bending tabs, disassembly
contacts
Clean up, contacts
assembly
Assembly


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Pat Kelly Montana on Saturday, March 07, 2015 - 09:58 pm:

Nice work John. I plan on doing the same thing as soon as I find a terminal or a good substitute copper bolt to work over. PK


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 05:17 am:

It is possible to make the contact bolt from a 3/8-16 steel or brass bolt by silver soldering a copper pad on the head. Probably need to grind most of the head off first.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John McGinnis in San Jose area, CA. on Sunday, March 08, 2015 - 05:38 am:

An additional source of a copper contact bolt is from a junk starter solenoid...the one I have in mind is an old GM style. The copper stud is 3/8-16 with lots of copper contact area. Perhaps these bolts are available separately as solenoid rebuild kits.


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