Rebuilt Ignition Switch

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2017: Rebuilt Ignition Switch
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 11:25 am:

I'm finding that when I turn my key to magneto the core is not very tight and it takes some wiggling to be sure there is proper contact. The light switch part is fine ... just the key core seems to be a problem.

I'd like to keep the # 68 keyset since it's original to the car. I see that some have had their switches rebuilt by Ben Martin. Are you satisfied with the work and can he rebuild the core and keep it to work with the same key?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tony Bowker, Ramona, CA on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 11:31 am:

Over the last two years I have had two rebuilt by Ben and am very satisfied.
I highly recommend him.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Spencer Vibert - Granby ,CT on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 11:48 am:

Mark all of the cars I have restored have Ben Martian's products in them


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Strange - Hillsboro, MO on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 11:48 am:

Does Ben sell rebuilt switches with matching keys outright, or does he need a core to start with?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 11:58 am:

If you're mechanically inclined enough to restore the car, rebuilding a switch should be easy. No big surprises inside and repro parts available. If it's the tab version, be careful not to bend the tabs more than necessary to get it apart, the steel may need annealing if it has to be opened many times. The contacts inside may need some cleaning and the bronze tabs bent out to ensure proper contact.

If it's the pin version it's very easy to turn open and fix - I did it in five minutes last time I had an issue with the tail light not always turning on on "dim"


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:35 pm:

Ok, misread the question - it wasn't about the switch part, more about the tumbler. New tumblers are available, but they have needed some attention to be usable in the past - don't know about the current quality?
But with some careful filing and fitting it should work - and the repro tumbler will probably work with your original key - they will work with just about any key..

You need to drill out two rivets and replace them - they're available too, at least from Lang's:
https://www.modeltford.com/item/5012T.aspx
https://www.modeltford.com/item/5012TR.aspx


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 12:39 pm:

Those pot metal key cylinders are often cracked apart in the narrow places.

That part would require replacement and only key number 55 cylinders have been available for the last 60 to 75 years.

Ben would not return a switch with a cracked key cylinder, if he rebuilt it.

I have not been able to prove the rumor that one company that normally does wiring has made new cylinders.

If they did there were still two or three different styles used by various switch manufacturers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 01:35 pm:

I just had a nice conversation with Ben. He suggested the problem was less about the core and more about the internal pressed discs. Gave me the lowdown on expanding them and re-pressing them back to shape. Very interesting. So, I I'll attack this in the dead of winter. Wouldn't mind doing a trial run if anyone has a couple of tab type switches for sale cheap.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By James A. Golden on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 04:45 pm:

Normally, one tab would break off every time I tried to open one of those switches.

You might want to give yourself more lead time on the repair and try to open one now.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 05:16 pm:

It's a fiddley thing to be sure and the kit parts are nothing to praise either. I did 2 of them. The first I sent for the kit and used one or two parts from it the rest being unuseable. On the second I used a piece of sandpaper and re-surfaced the contact block as has been shown here a number of times. That worked out really well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Osterman on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 05:47 pm:

Ben described a method of cleaning the pressed cellulose discs and soaking them in a liquid. Then he presses them between two large steel washers clamped with C-clamps and left until perfectly dry. This reforms them back to flat. Then he applies a sanding sealer to prevent the cellulose from absorbing moisture that could cause them to warp or cup ... afterwhich he varnishes them. He also described some fitting of the pot metal core. Very interesting stuff.

Anyone have a couple of tab style switch guts to sell me for some experiments? I'll keep a photo diary for future reference.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 08:44 pm:

my memory is not to good but I do remember buying a kit and trying to rebuild a switch not to long ago. Turns out the stuff just did not fit right and it wound up the prez of our local club sold me a decent switch at a fair price and i just installed it and gave up on the other 1.Still got the stuff.I can't remember the details of the problems. I know it made me mad it wouldn't fit.:-(
Now on the pickup project the switch on it cuts off on mag if there is alot of vibrating and shaking as the engine runs and it just feels kinda "loosey goosey" I put it back in the shed this evening.I will get to the switch next week.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Stroud on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 09:29 pm:

The tabs won't break if you are careful. Anneal them by heating them red hot and let them cool slowly. I use a 000 welding tip turned WAY down and try to keep as much heat as possible from the cardboard obviously and just heat the tabs to a dull red. Then, after the are cool, just bend them enough to wiggle the disc out. Keep a damp rag handy to cool the discs, don't get any water on the tabs. After you get everything out, the tabs can be heated again before reassembly. Never have broken one yet, works for starter button tabs too. JMHO Dave


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Crosby Webster, NY on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 10:16 pm:

Mark, when I got home with my 26 RPU It would only start If I wiggled the switch just right so I took it apart and with a small plastic hammer I re centered the switch in the metal housing. It is a common problem, Now It works every time. Stop buy and I can show you how and why the switch works and not.

Bill


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith, Lomita, California on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 10:44 am:

I completely rebuilt a pin type switch for my '25 a few years back. I took everything apart, and resized two semi tubular rivets to hold it together. I took it to Chickasha to show to Ben, and he thought it was a great job. I even redid the white lettering. It took me a week to do that.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Longbranch,WA on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 10:51 am:

I happen to have a limited quantity of the exact style & size rivets to re-assemble the ignition switch to the plate - courtesy of Otis Clinton - R.I.P.


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