Ignition switch issue?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Ignition switch issue?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 08:37 pm:

I have a 23 touring and I'm having a few issues with the key switch. With the key in the off position, and the headlight in the off position, one of the headlights is on? I have no idea how this could be. I have double checked the wiring and it appears that everything is correct. Could it be that the ignition/headlight switch is faulty? Is there any way to take it apart and clean it up?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Jensen on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 09:29 pm:

The switches do come apart. There is a pin type and a little metal tab type. I would think that the switch would be okay for the problem that you are describing. The contacts in the switch do get dirty and don't work. If it was the switch both lights would come on as there is one terminal for the low beam and one terminal for the high beam. Sounds like something shorted in the wiring harness. New harnesses are reasonably priced.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ted Dumas on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 09:57 pm:

Your headlight bulbs may not be making a good connection in the socket. You might want to add a bit of solder to each contact on the base of the bulb.

A voltmeter will tell you if you have voltage at the socket contacts.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell, Huntsville, AL on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 10:50 pm:

Michael, my guess is that the wiring isn't correct. Have you wired IAW Ron Patterson't schematic? I'll wager that when you turn the lights on, you still only have one headlight. My SWAG is that the headlight wire is in the wrong position on one of the following locations, the switch itself, the switch to terminal block wire is in the wrong position, or the headlight to terminal block wire is in the wrong position. I'd also say the Ted is correct in that one headlight has poor internal connections as the single wire on the terminal block splits in the harness to go to both lights.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Jensen on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 11:32 pm:

The 23 has 3 harnesses, one from the switch to the terminal block, one for the left side and one for the right side. The headlights do not split in the harness like a 26-27. Like John said check the headlight wires at the terminal block, one may be on the battery terminal. Less than a hundred bucks will get you all three harness and a terminal block and that will solve a lot of wiring issues that the car seems to have. Liked the video that you posted in your other thread.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 11:48 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 11:05 am:

The pin switch backs come apart easily. The tab type are more difficult. Many times they have gotten moisture in them, and they start warping. I've repaired an number of them. I prefer the pin types, cause they are easier to replace. I've found that Crazy Glue solves the problem, and after putting the glue in, I clamp it back to the original thickness. It takes three clampings, because there are three pins. I don't know if that is your problem or not, but it may be.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 12:48 am:

Steve:

Most of us assume that the BATTERY HORN was first used at the same time the starter, battery, and generator showed up in 1919 but the above diagram is a diagram of a typical 1922-1927 car since the battery horn did not show up until early in calendar 1922. The magneto horn shows up in 1915 and was used to the end of production although it changed slightly in its wiring after the first few years. Not being picky but just wanting things posted to be factually correct for the sake of those new to model T's.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 05:38 am:

Thanks guys for the replies. I may purchase new wiring harnesses to be safe but I have checked them and they are all correct. The correct colors are in the correct spot on the block on the firewall. Neither of the headlight wires are connected to the battery terminal on the block. I have used the above diagram along with a few other diagrams I have found online and have made sure everything looks the way it's supposed to. It's not the headlights themselves that is the issue, it's somewhere else, which I think could only be the switch. If the switch is in the off position, and the wiring is all correctly installed, a faulty switch is the only explanation for why one headlight would be on. I decided to take today off (It's been a LONG week already at work) so I'll tackle this issue as well as a bunch of other "to do's" today and see if I can figure it out. Thanks - Mike


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Jensen on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 08:47 am:

Can't hurt to take the switch off and clean up the contacts. Still does not seem to me that is your problem. If it was the switch both headlights would be on, not just one. Dirty contacts in the switch would make the lights not work at all. I would trace out the wiring with a continuity tester to make sure the colors are correct on both ends.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John F. Regan on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 09:23 am:

Might both headlights be on but one of them has a burned out bulb or improperly inserted bulb in socket? If both bulbs are good then both should always light up together. Start at terminals 5 and 6 and see which one is HOT when the switch is off. then trace that one to find out why BOTH lights are not lit up. Then when you clear that up - move to the switch if you still feel it is at fault because the lights are wired in parallel for both Brite and Dim so if wired correctly and everything making good contact then they both have to react the same to the single contact on the light switch. One switch feeds 2 bulbs or should be functioning that way but only one wire connects from the switch to terminals 5 and/or 6 so switch cannot make one light work and not the other one at the same time.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Sims--Reed City,Mich. on Friday, April 14, 2017 - 09:52 am:

Are you sure the light switch is in the straight up off position?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Warren- Huntington, VT on Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 09:54 pm:

Mystery solved...
John Regan was right with part of it. Both lights were on with the switch in the off position. I fixed the wiring on one of the lights and discovered that both of them were on...
I decided to take apart my ignition switch to see if there was something going on inside...The little tabs appeared as if someone had taken the switch apart in the past. I took it apart, cleaned everything up, and after looking at how the switch worked, realized that whoever had taken it apart last time put the pieces back in wrong. When the switch was in the off position, internally it was in the on position...
I cleaned it all up while I was in there, sanded the contacts and cleaned them all up, works good as new now. At least something that I worked on today actually was fixed when I was done...


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