Just wondering, I have my '27 engine and putting it in a '25 speedster body. My engine has no generator or starter, but I found the ignition switch, which has mag and bat... would this be period correct? Did non starters have the same standard switch as the others?
There is more to it than just the switch. It depends on whether you have a working magneto and if you are using timer and coils for the ignition system. If so, you can hook up the magneto connection so that the engine will run on magneto when the switch is turned to magneto. If you also have a battery in the car you can hook up the switch to run on battery or magneto. You should not under any circumstances hook the battery directly to the magneto or you will ruin the magneto. So on the back of the switch you have a different post to connect the magneto than the post for battery.
Even if you don't have a starter or generator, you can still use a battery for the ignition and if you have electric lights you will need a battery. You will be limited in use of the car with the lights on because you will need to charge the battery with a battery charger.
I would be using magneto.
But it IS the correct switch though, right? Your saying instead of battery and generator and starter, I just hook up a battery to use the battery on the switch.
Yes. More then likely it is from the era but with out a photo to go by we are just guessing. Does it have a key or is it just a switch? If you are going to have lights you might think about using a standard T switch. After about 1919 all cars had the standard switch, the non starter cars got a blank off in the place of the meter. The battery lead would go to the battery side of the switch the magneto to the other they should be marked on the back.
Pre '26 dash switch. Block off plate can be found at swaps to fill ammeter hole. Wired to battery side to a small 6 or 12 v battery for coil box fire and wire the mag output for switching to mag after hand crank start. Just be sure to never put D.C. voltage to the mag output terminal on the hogshead!
Here is an example of switch wiring, just ignore the ammeter wiring. I appropriated this picture from the forum years ago. In your case, the solid yellow would go to the Battery terminal on the switch. You wouldn't be using the yellow with black stripe from the generator.
Here's a photo of the one I have... rusty from being in the woods where I found it...
So pretty much the ammeter is useless without the generator? Would a bike speedometer for example be more useful in its spot? Sorry if these are dumb questions... just getting to know this stuff...
That is just a very ruff standard T switch like shown above. Chances are not only is the fiber back on the switch gone but also the pot metal tumbler is gone bad. The key part is what switches between Batt off and magneto. The handle part is for the lights. You could make it work using the handle part but chances are all the guts in the switch are bad if present or missing.
John, this switch will make a good project for a couple of evenings work. The back of the switch assembly will have a fibre disc held on by four tabs, carefully bend those tabs open (minimizing damage to the disc) so the switch can be disassembled. The whole thing should more or less pop apart and you can see how simple the assembly is. You could try block sanding the surface of the disc assuming the fibre isn't too soft from age and the contact mechanism inside can be removed and cleaned up. If the tumbler and the light switch are seized, now would be a good time to free them up too. The rust can be stripped from the steel if you want and a coat of fresh paint applied to the face and light switch. After that you just put the thing back together and fold the tabs back over.
Possible parts needing replacement: I put new terminal screws on mine, I think they were 8-24 or somewhere thereabouts. In any case, Home Depot had them. If the fibre disc or tumbler is shot, the suppliers have replacement parts for you.
Anyways just take your time, try and think a step ahead, and replace any bits that are no good. Use that process on every part of a Model T (or any old thing) one assembly at a time and eventually you run out of little projects and go for a drive.
Oh yeah guys don't worry about the rust or anything, I'm going to fix it :P
I'm just wondering right now about it that was standard on a non starter car?
Right now all the wafer stuff is out of the back. That comes later though...
If anyone can bring that switch back to life it would be Ben Martin. You can call him at 770-938-3376. He doesn't do e-mail, just phone and snail mail.
Then yes, that would be a correct mid-black era Model T switch. Far as I know the starters and non-starters shared as much stuff as they could.
This unit is shown in the parts book as part number 5012-C, used on cars without starter with switch on instrument panel, 1926-7.
Ok guys, thank you! Just what I needed...
In a month or two I'll have another thread for refurbishing it, or I might call Ben. How much are his rates usually?
Phil, you are missing the step down transformer that rivets in the blank space where the amp meter is blocked off. The transformer was used to stabilize the voltage from the mag for using the headlights and not blowing them out if I have my facts straight.
Jeff, thanks for pointing this out. I do have a NOS dimmer unit for this switch plate around here someplace; just haven't installed it yet. It's a bit smaller than the earlier one.
John, I suggest you call Ben to find out. He did my switch years ago so his pricing may have changed based on parts price alone. I can say he is very reasonable for the quality of work performed.
My OP is; I would not waste money by sending that one to him. If you can fix it your self the parts are in the catalog. I think you are trying to build a car with found around you new home stuff and I think that's great. Remember it's going to be parts, labor and 2X postage so you will end up paying about the same price as a much better one to get it done.