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Anti theft switch /55 president

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  • Anti theft switch /55 president

    What wire under the dash would be a good choice to cut and put in a toggle switch? I imagine pick a wire from the ignition switch right ? My stude has only one fuse under the dash. I don't know if that's important or not.

  • #2
    If your '55 is stock wiring, there will be I believe 4 posts on the ign switch. One goes to the ammeter and is the main "hot" coming from the battery. That is the power IN to the switch. Of the other 3 posts, they all go OUT.

    So, putting a additional switch for a theft deterrent depends on your goal:

    1. Switch in line with the wire from ammeter to ignition switch AMM terminal.

    Anything requiring the ign switch for power is dead. Things getting power from the ACC, Coil, and Start terminals. So your heater motor, radio, power to coil, and starter motor solenoid are disabled. Definately will prevent the car starting/running.

    Note if you use this one you need a really beafy switch due to the current it carries if everything is on at the same time. Probably need a 30A rated switch so it has some margin.

    You could get around this with suitable jumpering under the hood though.

    2. Switch in line with the wire(s) from the ignition switch ACC terminal.

    I think this will not prevent the car starting and running but will disable your heater, radio, etc. Probably not what you want.

    3. Switch in line with the wire(s) from the ignition switch COIL terminal.

    Car will crank but not start or run. Could be made to run jumpering the coil wire under the hood though.

    4. Switch in line with the wire(s) from the ignition switch START terminal.

    Car will not crank but would start if you jumped the starter solenoid
    under the hood.

    Probably the most robust solution would be #1 with a hood locking mechanism.

    Jeff in ND

    '53 Champion Hardtop

    Jeff in ND

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    • #3
      The logical wire to break into for this purpose would be the wire going to the "S" terminal on the ignition switch. I do believe that '55s had key-start, and had abandoned the floor starter, right?

      Anyway, if you identify the wire that goes from the starter switch to the small stud on the solenoid, and insert a toggle switch into that, the toggle switch will prevent the engine from being cranked, when turned "off".

      Actually, there is a clever trick you can do, which is probably OK to relate here, as I doubt this Forum is likely to be required reading amongst the joy-riding crowd. Many car thieves, as part of their M.O., look in the ash tray for a hidden key, before attempting to defeat the lock. Apparently, it's a popular hiding place for spare keys. So here's what you do:

      1. Obtain a Brand X brake light switch, the 2-terminal kind that mounts behind the pedal arm. A dollar at Pick and Pull.

      2. Make a sturdy bracket from sheet metal to mount it behind your dash ash tray such that when the ash tray is fully closed, the plunger on the switch is fully depressed. You might have to drill a hole in the ash tray housing on some models.

      3. Wire this switch in the line that goes from the starter switch to the solenoid.

      4. Develop the habit of opening the ash tray slightly whenever you park the car. You simply have to push it fully closed in order to start the car normally with its usual switch. No groping under the dash for a hidden switch. Even passengers traveling with you aren't likely to see the significance of what you are doing.

      Thieves, seeking an easy score for a joy ride, will open the ash tray fully in hopes of finding a spare key, and failing that, will likely move on to another car. The amateur thieves that do this sort of thing tend to only know how to defeat the locks on popular car models, and even though Studebaker locks are pretty primitive, the thieves can't know that.

      If a professional thief wants your car, it's gone. They'll simply winch it up onto a rollback and be off with it. That's what insurance is for.

      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
      Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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      • #4
        Instead of having a switch that OPENS the circuit either to the starter or the ignition, how about one that GROUNDS the ignition?

        Chances are, the thief won't have a key and will hot wire the car with a wire from the battery to the coil and a jumper on the starter solonoid. A hidden switch that GROUNDS the coil would defeat this process.

        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

        Dick Steinkamp
        Bellingham, WA

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        • #5
          Grounds the coil. Yes, it couldn't be defeated without cutting the wire at the coil. Ingenious, Dick.

          [img=left]http://www.alink.com/personal/tbredehoft/Avatar1.jpg[/img=left]
          Tom Bredehoft
          '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
          '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan
          ....On the road, again....
          '05 Legacy Ltd Wagon
          All Indiana built cars

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          • #6
            A ground wire paralleled to the key switch would mean the crook's jumper wire would be shorted to ground when thay tried clipping it onto the coil post... Basically the battery is shorted to ground when they try it. Sparks and hot melted jumper wire I think. Maybe they get crispy fingers for their transgression!

            The flaw here is the owner better darn be sure they unground that coil before they turn the key or fried harness...

            Jeff in ND

            '53 Champion Hardtop

            Jeff in ND

            Comment


            • #7
              And the other downside to a ground is that if the thief happens to be using a nice heavy-gauge jumper wire, guess which wire burns up? The one in your car's wiring harness. So instead of getting your car stolen, it gets burned to the ground. I guess "proof of loss" would be easier.

              Another worthwhile modification would be to install a hidden valve on the fuel line to the tank, or a hidden fuel pump cutoff switch on cars with an electric fuel pump. That way, the thief might get your started, and drive a hundred yards or so, then it will just quit. This calls attention to the car, and attention is what a thief does not want. Chances are he'll just bolt, and leave it there. The car might get impounded, but you will get it back, probably in one piece. And if a savvy cop happens by while the thief is attempting to restart your "stalled" car he might discover the theft while offering help.

              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

              Comment


              • #8
                Gord, that's what I've done with my Avanti. I used a fuel solenoid valve on the fuel supply line at the tank. The valves are typically used in dual tank trucks to switch fuel supply. The valve allows a bypass line with manual valve, hidden under the back end in case the solenoid fails. There are advantages to this arrangement, as it allows you to run the carb dry for storage, or work on the fuel system after the solenoid without any fuel running out - a particular advantage for the Avantis with their high mounted fuel tanks. If you start the car without the hidden toggle turned on, you get about 300 ft before it dies. I've done it a few times!

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