Bought a starter switch on eBay a few days ago.
It is black bumpy/pitted type dull paint. The top of the switch has one river, also bumpy looking. The switch stem has a line where it was rolled and attached together. The round switch base has a curved top edge. Held together with the four tabs. Terminal bolts APPEAR to be solid copper or something similar, dinged in a few places and I do not see steel or anything underneath.
I'd post photos but don't have the time right this second to upload, resize, all that.
Does this sound like a reproduction switch or original? I do not see ford anywhere. Not sure if they were marked or not...
The best way to find out is to install it on your "T" and try it. If it doesn't work, its probably an original!
I would take it apart and clean it up. They are fairly easy to repair. Use a scredriver or small chisel to pry up the tabs that hold the switch together. Some versions used screws to hold it together. Once apart you can see how it works and consider it a learning experience.
It sounds like an original by your description. There should be copper contacts in it. Just try not to twist on the terminals without using a backup wrench to keep it from turning and stripping out the case insulators. Good luck!
Thanks John for the tip about the screw driver! Almost veryone has said to heat it up but I'll try with a screwdriver first carefully of course.
Managed to bend all the tabs without breaking any.
Took it apart, cleaned the contacts and metal, sealed it back up. Got a perfect 0 for continuity. Should be good to go
Looks original on the inside to me...
Looks original on the outside too!
Dale W. I thought you were going to say, "Try it. If it doesn't work, it is probably a reproduction." LOL! Jim Patrick
John, you should have annealed the tabs after you took it apart. That would have made them much less likely to break when bent down again or if you have to take it apart again in the future. ANY steel tab such as these should always be annealed each time they are bent. I always try to anneal them as much as possible before I even bend them the first time. Dave
Ah well. Next time if I need to take it apart ever.
John- clean it up, paint it and use it. The original switches work perfectly.
Looks like you got a good switch! Originally, they were zinc plated.
Thanks guys! That photo is before cleaning.
The paint is in excellent condition so I don't want to paint over or remove it.
Gonna try it with my starter tomorrow probably.
The starter switches (or buttons, if you prefer) as produced overseas in modern times do leave something to be desired, and the original Ford equipment is either difficult to come by, or worn to a corroded frazzle, or rebuilt with modern components of the aforementioned inferior quality. -Reliability of this part over the long haul is something of a question mark and there's some bad potential associated with its eventual failure, depending on which way it fails.
So, what's the solution? -Well, I use a modern starter switch and replace it every five years. -I do the same with my battery cut-off switch for the same reason. -I'm guessing they're good for about as long as a set of tires.
I use a solenoid and use the original starter switch for the "push button".