Hi, to make the coils buzz I turn the key on but then have to wiggle it some. How do I make the key switch reliable for turning the coils on?
Ignacio, take the switch apart and clean and inspect all the contacts. Rub the back on a piece of sand paper until the little dimples are shiny and put it back together if everything is in good shape.
I would add that the contacts are "spring loaded" so if necessary you may need to bend them just "a little more" to increase the spring tension a little ... not much, just a little ... one more thing a good cleaned up and rebuilt original key switch is far superior to the repros. The repros do not have a good "spring grade" of contacts and they lose their tension after just a little use...
If things are real bad when you get it apart you can order one of these
It is a clip type. The masonite(?) material inside is crumbly. Also my #53 key falls out of the switch very easily which is vexing. Is there a fix for the key falling out of the switch?
Ben Martin is a well known "go to" guy for Model T Ford key switch rebuilt. He does very nice work. You can contact Ben's cell phone at 404-789-6350. He is not a computer person.
Post a switch wanted ad in the classified. There are a lot of 24 type switch assemblies around. If you are choosy you might say you want the pin type.
Check ebay also.
This will probably get frowned upon but you can also bypass the Ford switch to a secondary switch wired in parallel with it. I suppose you could also just hot wire the thing easily enough as a temporary solution too.
Tim E, Ignacio V, et al,
The primary reason that wiring a secondary/bypass switch in a model T is frowned upon, is that if a model T has its original type timer/coils ignition? They have a dual source power. The magneto operates on AC current, and the "Bat" should be connected to a Battery which is DC current. If, in any way, the two get cross wired together, that DC current on a running engine will wipe out the magneto (don't go crazy if it happens, it can be repaired/recharged). Even if the engine is not running, if the two (in any way, accidental or otherwise) cross wire together, there is a fair random chance that the phase of the battery will be wrong and may wipe out the magneto's charge.
Bypass switching can be done. But extreme care needs to be taken to not accidentally discharge the magnets.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Go to the Langs website and purchase the ignition switch clip type repair kit that G.C. Cheshire has in his post.
They work just fine and will last as long as you have your T.
I am thinking of bending the tabs back on with a channel lock, is that the way or is there another way?
So one of the contacts was slightly lower than the other, I bent it up and put it back together. I have a large needle nose plier and bent the tabs back on. Seems to work great now! I ordered the replacement anyway though.
You probably fixed it. They are pretty easy to repair. Just carefully bend the tabs back just enough to remove the parts. It doesn't take much.
I've had one of mine rebuilt and it didn't work any better than the replacement kits you can buy.
The guy did a good job using good original parts but I could have saved money if I had bought the replacement kit as I had done in another T.
I need to work on my switch some day. With the car running, if I turn on the headlights, the engine shuts off.
I took the switch out to look at it, turns out I have the pin type. I bought a replacement from one of the vendors, but I haven't installed it because I can't push the back of the old switch assembly in far enough to get the pins to rotate!
Since I don't drive at night or in bad weather, I've just been living with my old switch as is.
I got one apart that had the same issue. Sprayed it with some WD-40 and I rotated it to get it out.