...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

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Cigarboxrob
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...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Cigarboxrob » Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:29 pm

....Ahhhh....Nothing like a break in the weather to work on my old ‘Tin Lizzie,’ right?

So, I have a few forum members coming to have a look at my ‘26 Touring on Sunday to lend a helping hand-Something I greatly appreciate the camaraderie of the members of this club! Before they do head down, however, I have a question:

My starter switch had a bad habit of failing to do anything-I bought a replacement switch and installed it. Now, every time my heel depresses the switch, the sparks fly like sparklers and nothing happens. Naturally, it’s shorting out when the circuit is completed.

I’ve checked my connections. On tight. Is it possible that when I replaced the switch, I may have lost some form of insulating rubber/fiber washers to the frame that may have served as an “insulator?” As of now, everything is simply bolted metal-to-metal. Meaning the switch plate is simply bolted to the frame. Did Ford use any such thing? I’d like to help the fellers out a bit in advance-As well as possibly save them some diagnostic time! Thanks, gang!

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by DanTreace » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:13 pm

So, sparks at the newly mounted starter foot switch? Indeed you have a wiring problem.

The foot switch only interrupts the positive cables from the battery to the starter motor.
The battery cable goes to one terminal on the foot switch, the starter cable goes to the other terminal on the foot switch.

So, there must be a ground somewhere when you hit the button with your heel. The switch internals are insulated from ground, mounting the switch plate to frame won't make a difference. Guessing a dead short in the starter motor may be a cause.
The best way is always the simplest. The attics of the world are cluttered up with complicated failures. Henry Ford
Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain. Henry Ford


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Cigarboxrob
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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Cigarboxrob » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:30 pm

....I was afraid someone would say that!

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Oldav8tor » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:51 pm

Purists would roll their eyes at me but I didn't use a foot switch, preferring to use a starter solenoid instead. One reason was comments I read where people climbing in a car inadvertently stepped on the switch, activating the starter with damage or injury resulting. I considered putting a dummy switch for looks (like I did in my army jeep) but elected to forego it altogether.

The above will do nothing to solve your problem but to be throwing sparks like that you have to be pulling a lot of current (dead short) somewhere. Sorry.... Hey, welcome to Model T's!
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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by tdump » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:31 pm

May just be the cable heading to the starter is to close to the frame or something. I put a soliniod on the T pickup and it seems to work good. The foot switch will probably outlast me due to that.
If you can't help em, don't hinder em'

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Ruxstel24 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:41 pm

Try unhooking the starter wire at the starter and then try the switch, if the sparks are gone...probably inside the starter. If not, the wire is grounded somewhere.

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by TRDxB2 » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:53 pm

You could have a short inside the switch or in the wiring from the switch to the starter motor. Discount the wire to the starter motor and then see if there is continuity from the starter post that it was connected to to ground. If so bad switch. Any other wires connected to that post? Should have insulators around posts inside and out. I'm using a solenoid too ever since I saw the inside of the FORD starter switch - afraid that I may shock myself stepping on that thing. When you step on the plunger a bar on it completes the connection across the two posts. Everything is surrounded by metal - think about it
IMG_0634[1].jpg
Accident waiting to happen
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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by RajoRacer » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:12 pm

Rob - there are 2 switches currently available - one is imported, the other is a good ol' made in USA switch - I have installed dozens for folks & all were good ! I believe you have greater problems that just the switch !

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RajoRacer
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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by RajoRacer » Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:15 pm

Frank - think about it - Ford would not have produced millions of Model T's with a faulty electrical system ! I've been stepping on one of those original switches for over 40 years - haven't got shocked yet. I do use the early style switch that unscrews from the base so cleaning up the buss bar is easy.

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:03 am

Steve, I am trying to build a period, 1919-1930, speedster with minimal innovations outside that era. It isn't going to be a racer, just a fun project. The switch I have is the one in the picture above. It wasn't designed to clean the bus bar and that is why I don't use it. The Model T was designed with the technology of the time (which was excellent "at that time"). Whenever improvements were realized (less expensive, safer, less maintenance, long lasting, etc) Ford and other manufacturers incorporated those innovations in their products. We all do that to so degree - hardened (tie rod, etc) bolts, voltage regulator, paint, tools we use, etc.. I do share the Keep It Original attitude too (alternators :evil: ) Having said all this, occasionally some reproduction parts aren't up to par and the only alternative is to either find a good original part or choose an alternative method. I chose the latter.


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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Gonenorth » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:29 am

Easy way to determine if the starter has a dead short is to remove the positive cable connected to the starter and insulating it so its not grounded, then hitting the switch briefly. If nothing happens, then the starter probably has a dead short someplace. If the problem persists, check switch or wiring for grounds and look on the positive side: your battery is good.

I use the 6v solenoid as well. I have an original floor starter switch in my 26 Touring that I disassembled, cleaned the burned contacts, and reassembled. Using it as originaly intended would likely burn the contacts beyond salvaging, so now it only switches the solenoid. The low amperage required to do that ensures that it will last as the solenoid does all the high amperage work, and it can be easily replaced.

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:21 am

Kevin, Good explanation on setting up the solenoid to preserve the appearance, functionality and components of the original design while preserving safety!


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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Gonenorth » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:30 am

The other advantage of using a solenoid is that you can connect connect an in-line fuse in a weather proof holder under the car bewteen the battery and the footswitch (from there connected to the ignition switch) and have an easy method to disable electrical system of the car. No more worries about some errant kid or curious spectator stepping on the starter button or fooling with the lights/horn at car shows or events.


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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by Scott_Conger » Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:55 pm

Running the "better" foot switch in my cars. Many thousands of miles over 10 years. Correct sized cables, efficient starter and never a failure. Solenoids are not on my list of "must haves".

Gather a group of 150 cars on a National Tour. Figure that some small percentage will have a solenoid. At the end of the tour there will have been more solenoid malfunctions than starter switches. Statistically speaking, with a car which is truely prepared to tour and in good shape, the solenoid will have a far higher percentage of failure than a foot switch.

If you have a car with deficient electrical components and are trying to run the total output of the Hoover Dam throught the starter switch, your results will likely be just the opposite.
Scott Conger

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by 2nighthawks » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:16 pm

Scott - I think you and Kevin both raise some very good points. I certainly agree with you that the solenoid is indeed, one more electrical component that could fail. On the other hand, as Kevin said, the solenoid handling the heavy current to energize the starter pretty much ensures that the Model T starter switch will be very dependable and will last much, MUCH longer! In fact, the very light electrical load the Model T starter switch handles just to energize the solenoid pretty much guarantees that it will never "burn out" for a lifetime as it is so much more "switch" that what is needed to energize the solenoid. And if you're really concerned about a solenoid failure, actually, a good quality solenoid is quite inexpensive, and they're cheap enough that a guy could buy two, and just carry the second one for a spare. And I actually believe that I could change out the solenoid on my Model T's, much quicker and easier that I could change out the Model T starter switch! I have 4 Model T's,....2 with solenoid and 2 without! Again, I guess it just depends on personal preference,....FWIW,.....harold


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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by 2nighthawks » Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:30 pm

.......well, as usual, I get too "wordy", but there is one other advantage to the solenoid besides the features Kevin mentioned:

Depending upon where one might choose to mount the solenoid, it could/would be a very convenient means of utilizing a remote starter button like so many "modern iron" mechanics use. Would be pretty handy for things like running a compression test for example. O.K......I'll "shut up" now,......harold :D


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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by samuel pine » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:03 am

Another amazing threat; why some want to take the T out of a model T. All solenoids do the same thing as the foot switch only activated by a coil that sucks the washer to two
contacts. As someone said take cable off starter >got sparks< take that cable off the
switch >got sparks now? yes switch made across the pond in a grass shack. Next cable to
starter frayed somewhere yes /no, if no; starter brush plate or wires to brushes are touching to ground. These step on starter switches are common today on industrial
engines, rollers, wood chippers, dozers, etc. Even Ford tractors. I say starter, and whatever you do is to remove bendex starter drive, before removing starter or you wipe
out magneto coil winding's. Switch, Napa, Cole Hersey Boston Mass. Oh I forgot, did
you jump the starter with jumper cables to a battery to starter terminal..Big spark No
turn over === starter problem.

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by TRDxB2 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:24 am

Already had multiple treads on your problem.
Riding the short buss... https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 416#p69416
The Battle Continues... https://mtfca.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php? ... 415#p68415

So BOB have you replaced the starter or just tried a new switch ? :?

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Re: ...Holy switch, Batman!!!!!

Post by TRDxB2 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:25 am

Excuse me I meant ROB

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