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Old 02-25-2020, 11:44 AM   #1
Werner
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Default Lightswitch malfunction

Guten Tag!

I have a problem with the light switch. It does not click into place properly. The parking light only works if I hold the steering wheel lever left against it.

I used the copper spacer at the top. The compression spring below is new. The light switch is not worn out, it was replaced by the previous owner.

Does somebody has any idea?
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Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
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Old 02-25-2020, 01:33 PM   #2
Joe K
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

First - be sure you have a light switch that matches the switch plate.

Much discussion of this on the board in other places. Early switches (such as your 1928) have 4 contact wipers and were associated with the "type H" headlights. Later switches (from about March-May 1929) have three contact wipers and were associated with "twolight" headlights.

If you try to put a 3 contact wiper (what the repop switches have) against the 4 contact switch plate, you get all kinds of unplanned lighting. Ditto the other way with a 4 contact wiper on a 3 contact switch plate.

Many of the repop 3 contact switches have issues with maintaining contact against the plate - this may be your issue. Sometimes the issue is spring, or it can be the "dished" contact on the switch plate or the nub on the switch wiper. I'm thinking this is your problem if all other issues are proven false.

Sorry to say the best resolution is disassembly and "scoping out the problem." You seem to have a head start on this by recognizing the symptoms.

The BIG problem here is that the new switches/contact plates suffer from being provided by different sources - and so far the sources are not talking to each other to get to a resolution.

Maybe the best resolution is to buy a complete assembly as in New-Old or reconditioned?

Joe K
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

doesn't Bratton's catalog have some information about how to file the flat disc circumference to make it fit better within the switch body?


Snyder's told me on the phone that they feel their US-made switch is indeed fine quality but as Joe says, the repro flat disc (switch plate) is not quite sized correctly.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Place a yard stick thru the spokes of the steering wheel, holding the horn button down. Take horseshoe clip off. Push the Spider up and replace horseshoe clip into Next slot. If it's easy to put the horseshoe clip in place,then it's in the wrong grove. You should feel the switch Click when moving it.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Thank you very much for the help so far!

Joe, it's the 3-contact switch. The car used to be converted to a double light bulb (no difference to be seen). No housing markings to be seen.

Eric: Yes, I read this information. If I understand it correctly, is the plate not too thick, but its circumference too big? In any case, the case is very tight.

Wick: The switch spindle has only 1 groove for the horseshoe clip at the bottom. I have the tool to compress the spring. That is tight. But when I switch the lights to the right and left, I don't feel that they really click into place. The steering wheel lever turns tenaciously and unevenly, but no noticeable clicks felt.
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Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
Hercules Wankel Rotary Engine, 1976 (Canadian version)
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

I really really really hate that switch.

i don't think it was one of Henry s finest engineering milestones.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Ford kept improving on it from day 1. I think there are 4 or 5 different changes up to 1937. Most of the problems are now with the reproduction parts that try to copy the final version. Switch block fit is one, depth of the contact detents is another, quality of the spider, and the list goes on. A person is better off with the original parts but that doesn't solve Werner's problem now. The contact ring is making correct contact for headlights but not for park lights. Its either spaced too far to make contact due to warpage or poor parts fit up. The other possibility is that something is preventing it from rotating far enough to properly fit the detents and stay in position. Another possibility would be an incorrectly positioned contact plate in the body due to some defect with body fit.

If the headlights come on in the proper positions then the contact ring is likely not at fault but I wonder about using the late type switch assembly with the early type actuator rod if the car still has the original part. Most of it depends on the type of steering and the associated column.

I don't know if Werner's car may have had one of those real early types or not. This thread has some photos.
https://fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42653

Last edited by rotorwrench; 02-26-2020 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Quote:
Another possibility would be an incorrectly positioned contact plate in the body due to some defect with body fit.
In another thread I go through the assembly of the light switch beginning with the wooden stick of Wick's mention.

It's NOT intuitive how it should go - and one has to look for the landmarks as one passes from disassembly to complete assembly.

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...98#post1822398

Below this entry someone else goes through the component differences between "type H" and "Twolight." Again - its not intuitive and one imagines this was a continuing headache for Ford Service shops "back in the day."

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Last edited by Joe K; 02-26-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Werner, I can't find the reference but I know I have seen somewhere that the repro harness flat discs were very slightly larger in diameter than original. I had to slightly file mine to get a slip fit into the light switch upper body. Before I filed it, it was sitting cocked into the housing.


If I were you I would look into buying the US-made repro light switch that the vendors say is a quality piece. I know if becomes a pain to reinsert the entire wiring harness through the new light switch bottom body.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Many thanks at all!
I will translate now the reference from Joe more precisely and print out the pin sketches. Tomorrow I will remove the switch (4th time) again and check it step by step.


Quote:
... would look into buying the US-made repro light switch that the vendors say is a quality piece ...
Erich, dazu bin ich zu ehrgeizig. Ich möchte das selbst reparieren können.
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Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
Hercules Wankel Rotary Engine, 1976 (Canadian version)

Last edited by Werner; 02-26-2020 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 04:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner View Post
Many thanks at all!
I will translate now the reference from Joe more precisely and print out the pin sketches. Tomorrow I will remove the switch (4th time) again and check it step by step.


Erich, dazu bin ich zu ehrgeizig. Ich möchte das selbst reparieren können.


Nun, viel Gluck!


Joe is really giving you great advice, clearer than mine, honestly. You have to start with the headlight knob stabilized on the steering wheel at "off" position, then try to seat the upper switch body in its correct position at the bottom of the column, putting the locating bump in the slot of the collar it slides into. I always have to gently fiddle on the last step to make sure the slots within the switch body fall correctly into the ears of the operating spider.


As Joe has said, studying the inner design of the upper switch body mechanism is confusing.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

It is possible to put the spider on the horn rod shaft 90 degrees off, not real sure what is happening but maybe this?

John
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Quote:
Originally Posted by aermotor View Post
It is possible to put the spider on the horn rod shaft 90 degrees off, not real sure what is happening but maybe this?

John
YES! ^^^^

I just opened up a headlight switch assembly today on a Model A and the 2-prong spider on the end of the horn rod was 90 degrees off (wrong). Easy to do because the end of the shaft is square, so it can go on 2 different ways.

The 2 tabs of the spider need to be at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock (up and down), not side to side when the headlight switch lever inside the car is at 6 o'clock (off).

The black disk inside the light switch housing (with all the brass buttons in a circle and the "off" detents in the face) is usually too THICK, not too big in diameter. The back side needs to have 0.8mm (1/32") taken off of it, or else everything jams up inside when it is installed. The back side is the side opposite the contact buttons. The holes that are the OFF position also need to have the edges ramped a bit, to make it easier for the contacts to come up out of the holes when the headlight switch lever is moved.

When assembled to be installed, the light switch needs to be in the OFF position to line up with the 2 tabs on the spider being at 6 and 12 o'clock. I jiggle the light switch knob up on the steering wheel as I slide the headlight switch up onto the spider until it drops in.

I hope this helps.
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Old 02-27-2020, 02:55 PM   #14
Werner
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Guten Abend.

I disassembled the entire switch several times today and tried to adapt it.
Slightly pegged the square below, the steering wheel lever lashed more firmly above.

The O-"pockets" somewhat leveled, the edge of the case ground down about 1 mm.

No, the switch is not working properly. It is very "wobbly" with barely noticeable clicks. And >1/4 inch radial lost motion.

The parking light flickers and the lights on the 2nd step to the right.
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Beste Gruesse aus Deutschland,
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Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
Hercules Wankel Rotary Engine, 1976 (Canadian version)
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:33 PM   #15
Werner
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Default Re: Lightswitch malfunction

Guten Abend!

I got an original ancient light switch top from Eric these days. Assembled today. The light switch lever is now tight and crisp. Now all different light phases work correctly!

The new reproduction part is not worth a penny!

Dankeschön an Erich and the other members,
Werner
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Ford Model A Roadster, 1928
Citroen 11 CV, 1947
Honda CB 450 K 1, 1968
Hercules Wankel Rotary Engine, 1976 (Canadian version)
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