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  • Ignition: Foot Starter question

    I've never operated a vehicle with the foot starter switch. There is one on a truck I'm resurrecting and I'd like it to function. It has been bypassed at some point and a starter button in the dash has been installed, from what I've assumed, the starter switch on the firewall appears to have no wires to it and I plan to test the switch.

    If it's bad, how much do these cost, generally?

    What does it feel like to operate the foot switch? I ask this basic question because the switch looks just like the foot operated dimmer switch to its left and I know what that feels like, yet, it doesn't seem to me the foot starter switch would function the same way. I would assume the switch is just a simple push down spring back up operation when used.

  • #2
    It acts and looks like the dimmer switch. The idea is that you have to depress the clutch farther than full range to engage the starter. That way, if the truck is in gear. it won't jump when the engine starts.

    It is harder to push than the clutch, so you should not engage the starter when depressing the clutch, unless you are stronger than an ox and insensitive to your feet.

    I just hook my foot beside the clutch pedal and push the button with the ball of my foot - after assuring that the transmission is in neutral.
    RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

    17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
    10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
    10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
    4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
    5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
    56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
    60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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    • #3
      You are correct it has to be a spring loaded momentary ON Switch, not a bit hard to use once you get used to pressing the clutch down just enough to touch it not depress it while shifting.

      As Roy said, a fairly hard push will activate the Starter, a 2001 Safety Feature, STANDARD on Studebakers in 1939.

      Floor Switches are NOS or Replacement Type; $29.00
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        I'll double check the switch in the truck, but if it's not functioning, I'll get a replacement. As old as this truck is, there's no telling if the added starting button was added for personal convenience or because the switch was inoperative.

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        • #5
          Personally, I really like the starter buttons under the clutch; my '55 E7 pickup and '54 sedan both have them. People at work used to ask me why I kept the key in the ignition of my truck in the plant parking lot. Would tell them that the stupid thieves would not know how to engage the starter
          Paul
          Winston-Salem, NC
          Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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          • #6
            It's cocky, but I'm with you r1lark. Between the floor starter and the non-synchro transmission and the 45mph top speed...I'm reasonably sure any attempted theft would be worth the effort to film the attempt as it failed. Odds would be that the thief wouldn't have gotten very far while you were in the store.

            I made the point to push on the button tonight when I was working on something else just to get a sense of the button. If this one doesn't work, I'll get another and get it hooked up.

            Now, when someone hooked up the remote starter button in the dash, they also installed a starting solenoid on the firewall. Do I route any wiring from the starter button to the new solenoid or bypass that 'upgrade'? I'm electrically impaired so I'm asking.

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            • #7
              Battery cable goes to the starter relay, which is mounted on the starter. The starter switch under the clutch pedal send the ground to the starter relay to engage it and pass battery current to the starter.

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              • #8
                I was just joking about removing my key from my truck the other day at the Mid Tenn Show, as the SDC members would be the only ones to know how to start the thing.

                key stays in the truck. "Like who's gonna outrun the Kops in that?"

                if it get's stole, it'll be with a rollback.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TWChamp View Post
                  Battery cable goes to the starter relay, which is mounted on the starter. The starter switch under the clutch pedal send the ground to the starter relay to engage it and pass battery current to the starter.
                  Thank you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
                    I was just joking about removing my key from my truck the other day at the Mid Tenn Show, as the SDC members would be the only ones to know how to start the thing.

                    key stays in the truck. "Like who's gonna outrun the Kops in that?"

                    if it get's stole, it'll be with a rollback.
                    Actually, you could set up a GoPro in the corner of the passenger side of the cab roof and film the perp repeatedly pressing the key to start and getting confused that nothing happened. Of course, their thought will be that 'the battery's dead"
                    To be fair, we were just about as clueless recently, when my wife rented our first car with push button ignition.

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                    • #11
                      I really prefer the starter button on the dash operating a solenoid on the inner fender. There is even a Studebaker factory service note about how to install one on an M-series truck, so it still qualifies as "original Studebaker".

                      There are several advantages over the switch under the clutch pedal. If you have ever stalled in traffic and had a hard time re-starting, it's nice to know you can put the car in 1st gear and use the starter button to move the car to the curb. If you use a Ford-type solenoid with a manual operation button built in, it's very handy for bumping the engine over a bit while setting the point gap - you never have to leave the engine compartment.
                      Gary Ash
                      Dartmouth, Mass.

                      '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                      ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                      '48 M5
                      '65 Wagonaire Commander
                      '63 Wagonaire Standard
                      web site at http://www.studegarage.com

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by garyash View Post
                        I really prefer the starter button on the dash operating a solenoid on the inner fender. There is even a Studebaker factory service note about how to install one on an M-series truck, so it still qualifies as "original Studebaker".

                        There are several advantages over the switch under the clutch pedal. If you have ever stalled in traffic and had a hard time re-starting, it's nice to know you can put the car in 1st gear and use the starter button to move the car to the curb. If you use a Ford-type solenoid with a manual operation button built in, it's very handy for bumping the engine over a bit while setting the point gap - you never have to leave the engine compartment.
                        This is an interesting note. I took the starter button out of the dash yesterday and noticed the button in the hole is NOT the button that originally went in this particular hole. It's oriented vertically, but it isn't in line with the choke lever just to its left, it's lower and the mounting hole in the dash has a notch top and bottom for whatever original switch went in the dash there. Does someone know what the M series starter buttons looked like? Maybe someone installed one in the past and wore it out and installed this utility generic one after the original one wore out.

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                        • #13
                          Try vintage Ford part 81A-11500, available in either a chrome button or an ivory button.

                          Here's one at Mac's: http://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_me...rd-deluxe.html
                          Gary Ash
                          Dartmouth, Mass.

                          '32 Indy car replica (in progress)
                          ’41 Commander Land Cruiser
                          '48 M5
                          '65 Wagonaire Commander
                          '63 Wagonaire Standard
                          web site at http://www.studegarage.com

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                          • #14
                            That looks like it would fit into the opening I see in this dash. Definitely not what is in there.

                            I was contemplating putting the button in but painting it red and affixing a label above it stating Panic.

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, and hook it to the Horn!!!!!!

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