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Thread: Sticky key

  1. #1
    President Member
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    Sticky key

    I've noticed my original key is stubborn to even gently put in the ignition of my '66 Cruiser, and it's sticky to get out, too. Time for the old graphite trick, or what do you suggest?

    Also, I faintly remember that George Hamlin had a minor tech article in an old TW about '63 Lark ignition switches moving around in the bezels where when you push the key in, contact is made behind the switch that could result in a fire. I seem to remember that the later cars (switch on right side) weren't like this, per George, but I remember his suggestion was to put electrical tape behind the switch as a buffer from making contact, metal-on-metal, when the key is inserted into the ignition switch. I did do that on my '63 way back when.

    My '66's switch seems to move around a little bit in the bezel, too.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member
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    Wappingers Falls, New York, USA.
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    Check the flatness of your key. It may have received a slight bend at some time. Flatten it if necessary.
    Also check for burrs or sharp edges on the key. Gently file off any rough spots with a fine file.
    A plastic spray can top makes a good encapsulator for behind the ignition switch.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Bill, those were such nice keys with that car that I'm sure it isn't the key's fault...although Gary could not have known that, of course.

    Do give it a light spray of powdered graphite as you push the key slowly in and out.

    The caution about the ignition switch falling backwards, grounding out to the instrument board frame, and causing a fire is just as real for '64-'66 models as for '63s. The switch's location is immaterial.

    The solution is to slit a 4" (or thereabouts) length of fuel line hose lengthwise and use it to cap off the sharp metal edge of the instrument board immediately behind the ignition switch. Without air conditioning, it's easy to look under the dash, right behind the ignition switch, and see where the hose would be placed.

    I didn't notice any particular looseness in the switch when I had the car, but there's nothing premature about buying the reproduction, improved switch retainer from Studebaker International (their part #1549685W; $22.50) and installing same. It's an easy job requiring no tools. (Of course, you are always using your battery cut-off switch when the car is not in use, right? ) BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  4. #4
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Three years ago the key for my 1999 Olds was also getting sticky to install and remove.

    A couple puffs from a tube of powdered graphite fixed it right up, and it's still like new.

  5. #5
    President Member
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    Thanks all for the tips. Bob, you'd better believe every single time I'm out of the car and it's in our garage, the battery disconnect switch is used! With the garage attached to our house, I always use that.

    It's so easy to use, and so cheap to buy, I'd think everybody would want one, but I'm sometimes met with a "meh" when I mention it to some folks.
    Bill Pressler
    Kent, OH
    (formerly Greenville, PA)
    Currently owned: 1966 Cruiser, Timberline Turquoise, 26K miles
    Formerly owned: 1963 Lark Daytona Skytop R1, Ermine White
    1964 Daytona Hardtop, Strato Blue
    1966 Daytona Sports Sedan, Niagara Blue Mist
    All are in Australia now

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