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  • Ignition: Bad ignition switch or??

    For those familiar with my other threads I decided to start a new one. Okay I went out to see if I could get the '57 Scotsman running. Nope. I turn the key to start and nothing no click from the solenoid. But, if I jump the solenoid it turns over but that is all (key is in the ON position). No spark when I attach a sparkplug to the coil and jump the solenoid. Now before I forget when I turn the key the Idiot lights don't always come on but if I jiggle it a bit they light up. So, that is why I think it could be the switch. Now my neighbor said something about checking for power from one of the lugs on the coil. So, where/what should I try to see if I have electricity anywhere for the ignition system? The solenoid has just 1 stud. I do have a solenoid with 2 small studs (unsure if it is any good). This appears to be an Auto-Lite system. Coil, starter and generator are all Auto-Lite.

    Later. Pepse.
    Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

  • #2
    With the key in the run position there should be 12+ volts on the + terminal on the coil. There should also be 12+ on the + terminal of the coil and the small terminal on the solenoid when the key is turned to the start position. You can check for the voltage with either a meter or a test light.
    If neither is present; I would next check to see if there is 12+ volts on the power terminal on the ignition switch.
    Ron

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    • #3
      Check the main power supply to your key switch that is a heavy wire directly from the ammeter. Make sure it is clean and tight (it is a hot wire so be carefull touching it) On my 54 sedan that wire was loose from the factory and it was completely rusted from oxidation. The previous owner had the car in the shop numerous times and finally got fed up with it and sold it to me (about 25 years ago) One time it would perfect with full power and then suddenly it would only have 1/2 power everything dim, wipers and heater ran at half speed. The last thing I had touched was the key switch so that led me to that switch. The hot terminal was completely rusted indicating the nut was loose. However over time the nut was also rusted to the stud. The condition it was in was indicative that it was in that condition for an extended time. While it was clean it operated satisfactorily and as time progressed and the oxidation increased the trouble started.

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      • #4
        also check the 2 wire ends on the amp meter,if one is loose it will cause the same thing.

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        • #5
          Okay, now I know where to start. I have a Multimeter so I will go with that. I'll post back when I get to working on it.

          Thanks. Pepse.
          Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

          Comment


          • #6
            Unless modified Scotsmen have no Ammeter, so that power feed from the Batt. Terminal of the Solenoid goes directly to the "Batt." Terminal of the Ignition Switch.

            This is a very common symptom of a worn and defective Ignition Switch or loose connections on it.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

            Comment


            • #7
              Okay folks, I discovered that the ignition switch is bad, gotta jiggle the key just to get the idiot lights to come on and of course does not engage the solenoid. So, tried to unscrew the ignition switch and no luck; thought maybe it was rusted to the dash. But I remembered reading somewhere that the switch requires pushing on the back and twisting it and it came out. The wires are tight so I decided to hot wire it (this is a switch with 3 studs around the outside and 1 in the center) and I jumped the center (start) to the IG stud and it turns over real good but no spark from the coil to a ground (I got a longer coil wire and put a spark plug on the end and grounded it to the throttle rod) and didn't see any spark. Not really sure if I am missing something; been years since I have had to do this kinda thing so it is re-learning things. I do have 12 volts to the positive side of the coil. Hey I am having fun with this.

              Anyway It is obvious I need a new ignition switch. I have the CD with the 55-58 Shop manual and the body manual and the chassis manual. Darned if I understand it. I need to try to figure out the part number for the ignition switch so I can make sure I am looking for the right one. The stamping on the ignition switch is: Aetna-Pollak Boston USA LS-101, if that helps. I know that by having the part number I can get the right type from a vendor and price check between them.

              Thanx. Pepse.
              Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

              Comment


              • #8
                All 1955 to 1966 Studebakers use the same Ignition Switch, Studebaker Part Number 1549705 comes with a New Lock Cylinder and Keys but can be removed easily to keep your matching Door/Ign. Lock Set.

                The Mfg.'s Numbers on purchased parts like this mean nothing.

                Studebaker Parts prices are basically all the same at these Vendors, and this IS a Dealer Only item never made in aftermarket:
                http://studebakervendors.com
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, I did research the switch and the vendors have the same price but Steve Allen's mystudebaker.com uses a different part number. With your info I see I can use the Lark switch and my mother-in-law has 2 Larks with the switches and I will see about getting one.

                  Later. Pepse.
                  Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Okay, I got a switch from a '63 Lark and it works, engine turns over. Now I still don't have spark from the coil to the distributor. I have a sparkplug attached to the coil wire and grounded to the fuel line and I have also tried it grounded to the generator bracket and I have put the coil wire back in the distributor and pulled the No.1 plug and no spark there either. I think I am missing something in what I am doing in trying to get spark.

                    Later. Pepse.
                    Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Over the years I've had two ignition switches go bad. Both were grossly inconsistent and difficult to diagnose. If in doubt just put in a new one and perhaps surprise yourself with the results. Both I replaced were originals and had been functioning perfectly. All the best.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So do you have 12 Volts at the (+) small Terminal of the Coil when the Ign. Sw. is in "Run" position, or ANY Voltage for that matter?
                        StudeRich
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am not sure. In fact I put a different coil in it and I might have it backwards. Does the wire from the distributor go to positive side of the coil or negative? Right now the wire from the distributor is connected to the negative post on the coil. Later. Pepse.
                          Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Pepse
                            The wire from the distributor goes on the - (negative) post of the coil. With the points closed there sold be 12 volts to ground on the + terminal of the coil and 0 Volts on the negative terminal. With the points open there should be 12 volts on both the negative and positive terminals of the coil to ground. If there is still no voltage on the negative terminal of the coil there is a ground between the wire from the negative terminal of the coil and the points.
                            Ron.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Okay, then at least I had that right. I will check the voltage again later, as I decided to change the points and condensor. Not looking good. It is definitely not like Ford or GM. As near as I can tell "Do I remove the distributor to be able to change the points?" I had a heck of a time just getting the bolt loose to be able to remove the condensor wire from the points. I did a Google search for this specific car/engine and had no luck.

                              Later. Pepse.
                              Remember. ALWAYS fasten your seat belts as it makes it harder for the Aliens to suck you out of your car.

                              Comment

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