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  • Electrical: Ignition Switch.

    I had a challenge last Sat. My Hawk had been setting for a week and was a little hard to start it would start and start and die like it was cold. Started it and backed out of driveway and turned to leave and it died cranked and died cranked and died several times.Hooked up timing light and discovered no fire after the switch was release from the crank position. I hot wired to coil and the car started and ran, the switch was not flowing current in the run position to the coil. I have seen this symptom many times on cars that use a ballast resistor but I am running 12 volts straight from the ignition switch to the HEI dist that I have installed. In all my years I have never had an Iginition switch go bad.I guess 57 years is the life .
    FYI
    Hawkowner

  • #2
    I had the same problem with the switch in my 63 Avanti a few years ago. The engine would start but die as soon as the switch went back into the run position. My initial thought was a bad ballast resistor, but after checking the hot side of the resistor there was no juice. The problem went away after I replaced the switch with another one. The newest of the original ignition switches in Studebakers are now over 50 years old and have been operated many thousands of times over their lives. I'm surprised most of the switches have lasted as long as they have. The switch in my 62 GT is the original and the one I used in the Avanti came out of something I parted out years ago so if they fail, I don't feel bad about the reliability of the switches. Bud

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    • #3
      With these older cars it is wise to carry a couple of lengths of wire with alligator clips for jumping ignition and head lights. I keep two sets wrapped up and handy, if not for me, for the other guy.

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      • #4
        Isn't it nice that they are so easily hot-wired!

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        • #5
          I'm having strange things happening with a friends 57 Hawk. New wiring harness. Drove several times and then went 50 miles and parked in shop overnight. Was going to double check the lights and horn before driving it over to his house and the horn "buzzed" and did not blow. No lights. Checked battery voltage and cables, good voltage at battery and all other places using the body as ground. Traced back all the way to a fairly new ignition switch and had good voltage in, and super low going out. Turned the key back and forth checking ACC/BATT/IGN points on the switch. No voltage out. So am in the process of putting a new switch in now.
          Strange---
          64 Champ long bed V8
          55/53 Studebaker President S/R
          53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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          • #6
            Kerry (Kdancy), Just know that there is more than ONE issue going on with that '57 Hawk!

            The Horn is directly powered (or should be) from the Solenoid.
            The Power at the Ign. switch also is, but through the Ammeter along with the Lights, two separate circuits. You may have poor connections there.

            I suspect the connections at the Ammeter and Solenoid and or the Solenoid failed.
            Last edited by StudeRich; 04-30-2019, 08:29 AM.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
              Kerry (Kdancy), Just know that there is more than ONE issue going on with that '57 Hawk!

              The Horn is directly powered (or should be) from the Solenoid.
              The Power at the Ign. switch also is, but through the Ammeter along with the Lights, two separate circuits. You may have poor connections there.

              I suspect the connections at the Ammeter and Solenoid and or the Solenoid failed.
              Rich, after reading your response, I went back and started re-checking everything. The horn hooks up to the solenoid hot side, which just acts as a bus bar, it doesn't actually go thru the solenoid. Anyway, I double checked all the guage connections. Wound up installing a new switch I had in stock and everthing is seems good now.
              Strange thing is that the ignition switch I pulled out was not very old. When I put the test light on it while installed, I got a strong light on the bat terminal post, but when the key was turned, got a very dim to no light going out to acc or st.
              Testing the new new switch, strong light in and out.
              However, I rechecked the pulled switch on the bench and it checks ok. I wrote suspect on the side of it to alert me when I pull it back off the shelf.
              Maybe an issue internally?
              64 Champ long bed V8
              55/53 Studebaker President S/R
              53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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              • #8
                The New Reproduction Switches have been having issues with the ON or Run Position being sometimes open, and touchy as to the exact spot/position where there is Power, unfortunately.
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                  The New Reproduction Switches have been having issues with the ON or Run Position being sometimes open, and touchy as to the exact spot/position where there is Power, unfortunately.
                  Yesterday after getting it running and lights and horn working properly, I cranked it up at least a dozen times and let run awhile. everything good

                  Well this morning, I tried to start the Hawk and it turned over and hit a few times then shut off. No problem, thinking I just needed to tap the throttle, tried again and no electro juice. Test circut on the switch -- showed 13.7 volts going in, as soon as key is turned to start position, voltage drops to 7-8volts and nothing.
                  No lights, horn back to "Buzz" not honk.
                  Unhooked all leads off the ACC post just to make sure nothing going on there and tried it. Same nothing.
                  as soon as key is turned to on, voltage drops.
                  I noticed on the wiring diagram that the battery lead off the amp meter runs to the voltage regulator. This one has its top riveted on. Maybe the regulator is the culprit? Sticking?
                  I'll unhook the amp meter out of the system and see what happens, can't imagine that meter making that kind of draw.
                  ????
                  64 Champ long bed V8
                  55/53 Studebaker President S/R
                  53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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                  • #10
                    This is Puzzeling.

                    Did you try wiggling/rocking the Ign. Key just a hair before and after the Click/Lock in for "Run"?

                    I think when mine failed "ACC" are hot just BEFORE Run and the engine (Ign. term.) still runs, but locked into "Run", no ACC. Power, Heater, Wipers, Turn Sig. all dead.

                    And since the Horn and Lights do not go through the Ign. Sw. they were OK.
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by StudeRich View Post
                      This is Puzzeling.

                      Did you try wiggling/rocking the Ign. Key just a hair before and after the Click/Lock in for "Run"?

                      I think when mine failed "ACC" are hot just BEFORE Run and the engine (Ign. term.) still runs, but locked into "Run", no ACC. Power, Heater, Wipers, Turn Sig. all dead.

                      And since the Horn and Lights do not go through the Ign. Sw. they were OK.
                      Update,
                      I pulled the switch back out. changed it again.
                      no go
                      I took a remote start switch and could crank and run the car with ignition on. No lights or horn
                      Took the regulator off and sandpapered the points, saw nothing obviously wrong.
                      Talked to George Klutkowski, he advised me to pull the wires off the amp meter and tie them together. bypassed the amp guage
                      Car starts, runs and lights/horn. Lets see what happens in the morning!
                      64 Champ long bed V8
                      55/53 Studebaker President S/R
                      53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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                      • #12
                        My indie says all these type of switches now are low quality. I had trouble with mine on my Cobra replica. It has a new one now. If it fails again I may replace it with one from my garage....from a 51 caddy.
                        Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                        • #13
                          Well, keeping my fingers crossed. Started right up this morning and electrics work (except for the disconnected amp guage)
                          Apparently the amp guage was the problem.
                          Will be changing it out in the future with modern manufactured SW guages including a volt meter instead of amp guage.
                          64 Champ long bed V8
                          55/53 Studebaker President S/R
                          53 Hudson Super Wasp Coupe

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                          • #14
                            Good Luck Kerry!! seems those repop switches aint to swell. My 53 cranks and cranks but wont fire till i release switch. more checking when rain slacks off. may wind up with seperate Ign and start switches! Luck Doofus

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                            • #15
                              Well. that WAS how it was built.
                              StudeRich
                              Second Generation Stude Driver,
                              Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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