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Starter switch, 1954 six-cylinder

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  • Electrical: Starter switch, 1954 six-cylinder

    I have this electrical question, 6 volt 6 cylinder 54, the starter relay is mounted on the starter motor and is actuated by grounding the small terminal and therefore a very light wire is required to ground this terminal. My question is, the ground switch under the clutch pedal is a very substantial switch that is only required to ground the starter relay. Why is the switch so robust when a simple push button will do the same job? It looks like the switch is capable of operating the starter by itself. I have wired a relay mounted on the inner fender to operate my starter and it is actuated with a small wire and small push button.

  • #2
    Originally posted by altair View Post
    Why is the switch so robust when a simple push button will do the same job?
    Easy solution to allow the starter to operate only when the depressed clutch ensures a neutral safety?

    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
    '33 Rockne 10,
    '51 Commander Starlight,
    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
    '56 Sky Hawk

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    • #3
      I understand the concept of the safety neutral clutch, my question is "why is the switch so robust" when a simple push button will do the same job? I know that these relays were wired differently in later years to reduce the frequency of thefts, all you needed was an alligator clip from the battery to the coil and a screwdriver to ground the small post and you were on your way.

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      • #4
        I'm going to guess that it's a remnant from earlier days, perhaps when or if they did run full starter current through the switch (though it doesn't look *quite* beefy enough for that). On a 1954 car with automatic trans, they just used a momentary toggle switch on the dash, which is only suited to solenoid pull-in coil duty.
        Last edited by VIRGILX; 03-12-2021, 07:25 PM. Reason: edited for clarity

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        • #5
          Maybe due the Big metal heavy Clutch Pedal pounding it with a Foot it needed to be able to take some punishment.
          Could a plastic plunger type stop light switch used for starting, TAKE that?

          But I do believe it is a very similar switch to the earlier ones that actually MADE the connection from the Battery Cable to the Starter, and it could be as you say a bit of a carryover, if it ain't broke, don't change it!
          StudeRich
          Second Generation Stude Driver,
          Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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          • #6
            I was looking at an earlier wiring diagram and the starter was wired through that switch. I don't know what model or make I just requested 1930 Studebaker but anything can come up. On this diagram NEG is ground. The switch looks too robust for the purpose intended, however it appears somewhat undersize for a direct starter switch.

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            • #7
              If you can find an NOS switch you will find its probably way more robust than the replacement switch! like stude rich said a carryover more than likely. Luck Doofus

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              • #8
                The 6 volt Stude trucks used that HD under-the-clutch starter switch through 1955. Very robust, work well, and they do also provide a neutral safety switch function. They were dropped when 12v came in and automatic trans became optional in 1956.
                Skip Lackie

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                • #9
                  I could not make the stupid system work, so I bought a replacement switch and that did not work either. So I went to the hardware store, bought an inexpensive momentary switch, mounted it unobtrusively , and now the starter engages. You must admit that this is a really stupid bit of "engineering"

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