Key/tumbler/ignition/switch query HELP! One last hurdle for a newbie

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2008: Key/tumbler/ignition/switch query HELP! One last hurdle for a newbie
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Brown on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 08:05 pm:

We have our 100th Year of Model T rally in a weeks time! I Have one last little hiccup I would like to sort.

I have taken the unit apart twice and bent verious contacts and tightened up the back and it is working alot better and the main light swtich is alow more firm and certain in its position...but I still find when I switch from bat to mag the key is not always 100% definite in its position and can sometimes cause the car to semi cut out/stumble and not run properly when swtiched to magneto.

Has this happened to anyone before? Can any offer advice as to what maybe wrong? Is it a worn key? Damaged tumbler?

Thanks as always


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 08:23 pm:

Maybe if time is tight, install a 3 way toggle switch so you can have a good switch for the show. Then when time is not so pressing, check the switch for bad contacts and loose wires. Yes I have had the same problem when I was trying out the magneto. If I did not turn the key just right it would hangup and kill the motor. Have fun.
MarkG and Nellybell


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Alex Brown on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 08:43 pm:

Thanks Mark-

just to clarify above the mag is strong and reads well. When the swtich is in position the car runs fine...but one really has to get the key sitting just right...its not a simple flick over to mag and it'll be fine. You have to make sure the key is settled in a happy position


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Gregush on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 02:56 am:

Might be time for a new tumbler. I had a muffler blow up because the key jamed just long enough for the muffler to load up as the car was still moving, when it did go to mag...BOOM!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brendan Hoban on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 04:59 am:

I had a similar problem with a new coil box switch. It turned out that the spindle was slipping on the knife part of the switch. A bit of superglue fixed the problem permanently.

But, on last weekend's rally the car stopped dead! The key had vibrated the switch to the neutral (off) position while going uphill, Z head, low revs and lots of shaking under load.

So, I reversed the key to the upwards position and had no further problem.

The coil box, now that is another question. I fitted a new (plastic) wood box set and I have had nothing but trouble since. I never needed wedges behind the tremblers before but I really need them now. I spent part of the rally with my foot on the coils to maintain contact!!

But, I must add my voice of approval to Duna Beads. My wheels are horribly out of true/balance/line/round (they are 30 inch artillery with demountable rims.)

Our Australian version of Dyna Beads worked their magic, the mudgards no longer vibrate, the car is smoother and, dare I say it, a little faster.

O, the joys of T-eeing!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Mortensen on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 07:32 am:

As Mark Gregush suggested, if time is tight use a 3-way toggle switch (I believe the proper electrical term is 3-pole, double throw but I'm getting to old to remember). At any rate it will have an OFF position in the middle and two ON position on either side. The wire to the coil box will go on the middle terminal, the mag wire on one side and the battery wire on the opposite. Depending on which ON position you switch to you'll be running on BAT or MAG.

The switch is also a great little tool to have handy for troubleshooting when trying to narrow down an ignition problem to a switch such as you have right now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grady Puryear on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 09:52 am:

A very long time ago, I got some very good advice from my Granddaddy, always look for the little, simple things first, and this is a good case of that. I have known of people who pulled engines and done all kinds of things to their magnetos, and one individual even went to a distributor, when it was nothing more than the switch. I had a similar problem last year, and trial and error showed it to be the switch. Mr. Ben Martin in Tucker Georgia (770-938-3376) rebuilt my switch to new, and solved several problems. I would think that would be your best bet, he did a great job for me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 11:54 am:

Ben is the way to go, but I've rebuilt several switches myself, and don't have problems. I think your problem could be a warped switch back. Some of these can warp pretty bad, especially the pin type. I usually sand them smooth with a piece of 220, or whatever. I also use Crazy Glue to fix any problems in the laminations, especially around the pins. Just be careful not to clamp them any tighter than the original thickness. Make sure when sanding, that you do it on a surface plate, or drill press table or even a piece of window glass.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By H.Ford on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 12:01 pm:

Wasn't it Mr. Martin who was having some eye trouble and wasn't taking on anymore work, at least for a while?


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