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Old 08-10-2010, 10:02 AM   #1
Dan Ewing
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Default Light switch contact plate identification

What are the distinguishing attributes of an original light switch contact plate and what are the visible differences between an original and the reproductions on the market? (This may be one and the same question)

I have an old contact plate that was soldered to a (poor quality) reproduction wiring harness and I would like to know if the contact plate might be an original. I have my doubts, but thought I would ask and erase all concerns.

The application, for what it's worth, is a 31 with cowl lights.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
pat in Santa Cruz
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Default Re: Light switch contact plate identification

the problems I have encountered with repros vs originals have been with the switching mechanism in the top part, not the plate. The 3 bumps on the brass selector are not large enough to seat well into the detents in the plate. The repro plates seem to work OK if using an original top piece. As far as telling the plates apart, new repros are black plastic. I think the originals are bakelite, as they have a less shiny surface..
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
chet
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Default Re: Light switch contact plate identification

From what I have seen and believe that I know; the originals had flat contacts that the wire flags were soldered to. Reproductions have a hole in the flat contact and the wires go thru the holes, are wrapped around and then soldered. Try and find an original metal shell as opposed to the repros as the repros are terrible as far as fit goes.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:40 PM   #4
pat in Santa Cruz
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Default Re: Light switch contact plate identification

I just installed a harness and new plate from Harnesses Unlimited. It has crimped flag contacts that slip over the flag type post on the plate. I solder the crimps because they will fail in due time from corrosion unless they are soldered. It works ok in an original switch body. Bratton's sells a harness that is soldered to the plate like the original Ford blueprint and has the flat ended bullets like the Ford design. Now if only someone would make a good repro switch body and headlight bucket socket and wire set. The repro bucket sockets have flimsy springs and with the rounded bullet ends they fail to work properly even with a good harness.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:39 AM   #5
Dan Ewing
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Default Re: Light switch contact plate identification

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Pat and Chet, thanks for the feedback. It was very helpful.
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