1919 sedan w/electric starter. was working okay, fresh battery 6 volt, no buzz, slowly cranked by hand, turn battery switch on, press starter- nothing, wiggle key and light switch, buzz is back, no power to starter, ignition switch on dash quickly got so hot burned my finger....shut it all down. was starting okay, wires are old and brittle. i'm no mechanic, what could be wrong. p.s. car has no horn or lights on car so can't use them as reference for electric power. ideas ?
"wires are old and brittle", that is a big part of your problem right there. You have shorts and are looking to burn your house or shop down. New wiring is very cheap compared to loss of house or life.
You ignition switch has poor internal contacts. This creates a resistance in the line which creates heat because of the resistance. Clean the contacts and bend them outward toward the mating contacts so they have a good connection.
Maybe the best, safest bet is all new parts for the switch and new wires all around. Too bad to not give the car what it needs.
I think I'd be replacing the switch as well as the wiring. Like Mark said, no sense risking life or property. The switch on my '20 was putting out a "funny hot electrical smell" two years ago, so I replaced all of it. No more smells, seems to even start better and headlights work better too. Sometimes ya just gotta give up the nice old original stuff and replace it with good re-pops.
For what its worth I bought a nice rebuilt original switch as sometime advertised on the forum. It was OK but not any better than the switch on another T I have that I replaced with the repo switch parts.
The best thing to do is to replace the old switch and ALL the wiring in the car. That includes the battery cables, all the ignition wiring on the dash and spark plug wires.
It could be your coil box needs a rebuild also. Anything that's original on your T probably needs replacing as far as the electrical is concerned.
After nearly 90 years things do wear out and deteriorate.
Thank you one and all !! I feel its best if I replace the switch, as well as ALL wires, this will be quite a learning experience for me, but then, that's why I brought this unfinished project home. had not thought about the coils, something new to study up on. thanks again, the people in this forum give me a daily boost of new knowledge , and the strength not to get discouraged when I'm stumped !!
Check the ammeter closely!
If the terminals loosen and drop down, you have a dead short to ground, as the wires are always hot.
That situation has started several T fires that I know about or that I have been closely involved with the event.
The Model A has the same ammeter as the 1926 - 27 and years ago, my ammeter had the same problem, in my Model A that was a daily driver then.
Until you find the problem disconnect the battery when you are not around the car, Bob
Get new wires and follow Glen Chaffins advice on the switch. Its not rocket science.
Bob Bergstadt advice is right on also!
Sometimes the switch's backing plate is warped by age. You can flatten it with sandpaper.
forgot to mention - I disconnected battery as soon as I discovered the hot spot. thank you everyone for the ongoing advice ... this club is the best !! after doing more homework, I've decided to send out the coils for rebuild as well...I want the best for this car (Elmer) as I plan to drive it around our little town on a regular bases, as well as tour. thank you all again