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Old 05-28-2021, 08:45 PM   #1
soonersace
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Default 1934 ignition switch quirky

I think I have a faulty ignition switch.

Quick reminder, Im a newbie and a general idiot. Ive been driving this 34 cabriolet all of 2 months-my first flathead.

Went to get gas couple of nights ago stopped the car and filled it up.

When I went to restart it, I moved the switch to the bottom on position and got no spark. Messed with it a fair bit and the battery was dying.

So... I towed it to the mechanic.

Went over the next day and mechanic noticed if the switch is in the on position-it cuts the electricity. The dc gauge drops to the bottom

If the switch is halfway the dc meter stays in the center and I can start the car no problem.


My questions are...

Is this a typical quirk?

Am I best to leave this quirk alone or should I replace the switch?

Is the switch difficult to replace?

Thanks everyone for their input- I really appreciate having the resident geniuses give their input.


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Old 05-28-2021, 08:53 PM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

The switch is fairly easy to take apart, clean and check.
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

Two counter sunk brass screws and two wires ,remove and clean the brass bridge contact ,make sure the movable contacts put pressure on
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:15 PM   #4
JSeery
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

About the best photo I can find at the moment. Should give you the general idea.
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File Type: jpg s-l225 (1).jpg (5.8 KB, 31 views)
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:53 PM   #5
tubman
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

I had the same problem with a '36 I owned. I took the switch apart, cleaned everything and put it back together properly and all my problems were solved.

You're lucky you found it in 2 months; it took me two years because it was VERY intermittent.

Last edited by tubman; 05-28-2021 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:14 PM   #6
cas3
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

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Yeah, just a simple cleaning may be all you need. I know there was some bad repro stuff out there, maybe check with southside obsolete or third gen for an original if yours shows to be badly worn
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

One trick that helps me when I work on switches is to wrap a narrow piece of tape around the switch to hold the pieces all together when removing the two screws. That way I can get it to my work bench and take it apart at will instead of picking up the pieces off of the floor of the vehicle. When re-installing the switch, wrap it again and remove the tape after the two screws are in.
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Old 05-29-2021, 01:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

good trick!!
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Old 05-29-2021, 01:55 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

I am very confused about how you describe the DC meter and its movement. Are you talking about the cars ammeter on the dash panel? If you turn the ignition switch ON (engine not running) then the ammeter will show a slight discharge of 3 amps or so but only providing that the distributor contacts are closed which will enable the ignition coil to draw current. But the engine may stop in a position where the contacts are open and therefore no current draw and no ammeter discharge reading. So this is not a useful indicator really. If the contacts on the bakelite ignition switch plate are worn and with a groove in the bakelite then you could reface it by placing the switch plate on a sheet of fine wet and dry paper on a flat surface and rubbing back and forth to reface the surface. Polish the moving contact and bend up a little to give it some more tension. Get yourself a test light (screwdriver type) for testing for power in different circuits. Even the common 12 volt one will work on 6 volts but be a bit dimmer. Good driving in your great 1934 Ford V8. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 05-29-2021, 06:27 AM   #10
Terry,OH
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

If you decide to DIY don't clean electrical contacts with sandpaper. The grit will get stuck in the contact and cause future problems. A point file or scotch pad are much better then wipe with plain white paper.
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Old 05-29-2021, 07:09 AM   #11
soonersace
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

Quote:
Originally Posted by koates View Post
I am very confused about how you describe the DC meter and its movement. Are you talking about the cars ammeter on the dash panel? If you turn the ignition switch ON (engine not running) then the ammeter will show a slight discharge of 3 amps or so but only providing that the distributor contacts are closed which will enable the ignition coil to draw current. But the engine may stop in a position where the contacts are open and therefore no current draw and no ammeter discharge reading. So this is not a useful indicator really.
Thanks for the great tips everyone- Im going to pull it out tomorrow (taped-and Ill clean it with a scotch pad)

I have to give a bride and groom a ride to their reception today... Im thinking I can get it to work for that!

As for the meter... I am talking about the ammeter on the dash.

If the switch is all the way down in the on position the ammeter drops to the bottom and wont start. If the switch is in the middle somewhere it does the -3 drop- then it fires up no problem.


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Old 05-29-2021, 09:02 AM   #12
Terry,OH
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

It would appear there is a major problem with the switch in the "ON" position. I believe your ammeter is telling you there is a short circuit! The ignition switch and circuit is not fused. The one fuse the car should have is protecting the light circuit.
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Old 05-29-2021, 01:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

Quote:
Originally Posted by MGG View Post
One trick that helps me when I work on switches is to wrap a narrow piece of tape around the switch to hold the pieces all together when removing the two screws. That way I can get it to my work bench and take it apart at will instead of picking up the pieces off of the floor of the vehicle. When re-installing the switch, wrap it again and remove the tape after the two screws are in.
That's good advice. The first time I took our '36's switch apart, going slowly, all the parts still fell out in my hand and I thought 'oh no how does this all go back together?'

Went to the work bench, re-assembled it in what seemed to be a working order, put a thin strip of black electrical tape along the seam to hold it all in place, and voila!

I too am fairly new to Flatheads always fooled with Model A's.
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Old 05-30-2021, 02:08 PM   #14
soonersace
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

So I took the thing apart

There was weird piece of metal in there. Looks like some damage to one of the contacts

Ill clean it up and see if it works- but Im thinking I should replace it for sure


Any thoughts?






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Old 05-30-2021, 02:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

The contact plate is fried. I suggest replace the contact plate and brush.Michael at ThirdGen Auto in TN has them.
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Old 05-30-2021, 08:02 PM   #16
JSeery
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

Tamed the size of the photos down a bit.
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File Type: jpg 921ce8f709243a221195744afa8bece4.jpg (41.3 KB, 28 views)
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Old 05-30-2021, 09:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

Thanks J, the pics were on the wild side. much better now
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Old 05-30-2021, 09:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

That switch has seen some use !!!
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Old 05-31-2021, 05:56 AM   #19
Terry,OH
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

This is the source of your major ignition problem! IMO replace all the pieces. Did you have the flat plate with with the small tab shown in the first photo of posting #4? If not get it also. I believe Third Gen Auto has everything you need to fix.
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:17 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1934 ignition switch quirky

The pics were so large that I gave up looking at the detail.Yea the case is fried also.Replace all the parts like Terry,OH suggests.


Here is the link to what you need.Its ThirdGen Auto's listing.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/40174344925...wAAOSwDBJcpltT
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