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Old 09-17-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
Dirtrack49
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Default Sticking Starter Switch

So today I took the new to me "restored" 30 Town Sedan for a drive. Trying to get some break in miles on the engine. Now up to 320 plus.
After 4 miles, the engine decided it was no longer going to run. That might be fuel related, or on an outside chance ignition. Have not figured it out yet.
When I got the car off of the flatbed, I decided to try and restart it since it did restart after several minutes after dyeing. No such luck. The starter switch decided to stick and the only thing I could do is start kicking things to try and stop the starter from burning up.
My question, what do you do when a starter switch decides to stick? And, what do I look for to fix it?
After looking at it closely, it appears that there is a lot of slop in the rod coming through the firewall. Does this make any difference?
Thanks in advance for all comments.
Tom L.
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Old 09-17-2019, 08:39 PM   #2
Chuck Sea/Tac
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Was the rod stuck down? Then it’s binding. If the rod was loose, then the copper strip it pushes down to contact the round copper button below was “welded” together. Take it apart and file the contact area down. Pay attention to the orientation of the insulating washers ect. There’s one that goes into the hole to keep the copper bolt from grounding out against the case.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

When looking at mine I was surprised there was no return spring. One thing I might add between the foot button and the floor.
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Old 09-17-2019, 09:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Make sure ithe rod is not binding on the grommet.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtrack49 View Post
. . .My question, what do you do when a starter switch decides to stick? . . .Tom L.
I swing my left leg to the right, lift up the corner of the carpet in front of the driver's seat, and snap the electrical cutoff switch, wired into the ground lead, to the OFF position. No need to even get out or open the hood.

You may seriously consider adding one after you fix the starter switch.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtrack49 View Post
So today I took the new to me "restored" 30 Town Sedan for a drive. Trying to get some break in miles on the engine. Now up to 320 plus.
After 4 miles, the engine decided it was no longer going to run. That might be fuel related, or on an outside chance ignition. Have not figured it out yet.
When I got the car off of the flatbed, I decided to try and restart it since it did restart after several minutes after dyeing. No such luck. The starter switch decided to stick and the only thing I could do is start kicking things to try and stop the starter from burning up.
My question, what do you do when a starter switch decides to stick? And, what do I look for to fix it?
After looking at it closely, it appears that there is a lot of slop in the rod coming through the firewall. Does this make any difference?
Thanks in advance for all comments.
Tom L.

tap it with a small hammer

think of putting a cut off switch in the grounding wire to be able to cut all power off

terry
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

A cut off switch is not necessary if everything is up to date and working properly. If things have not been touched in years then it might not be a bad idea. Rebuild the starter switch. I rebuild them all the time and they are pretty simple. They sell the insulators and nuts for them. But the copper strip is not sold separetely and since yours might be welded to the housing, you might have to get a new one.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Okay, went out and tried to get the thing to run again. After several attempts it fired up when I was checking to see if I had spark. Shut it down and restarted. Car ran fine for maybe 5 minutes and died. Does not sound like a car starving for gas when it quits. It quits with no hesitation. Could this be a bad condenser?

To make things worse, attempted to restart the car and the starter switch stuck again. Tried to pull the rod up on the switch but ended up pulling the ground from the battery to stop the starter motor. Very frustrating.

When I push the starter switch rod in, it has very little recoil. I have not taken it apart yet. Does it have some type of spring inside the switch or maybe the tube? Should there be a spring below the starter button which would be against the floorboard/firewall to pull it back up?
Tom L.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

As for the not running issue, you are going to have to go through all the basics. Personally, if you didn't set it up yourself, I would start by checking the timing and the points gap. For me, lousy running and stalling almost always means my points are too close.

For the starter sticking, yes, a cutoff is a good idea, even if only until you resolve your sticky starter. Is it possible the car has a reproduction starter switch? I've heard that those are prone to sticking.

Good luck,
Ken
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Ken, I really don't know if the starter switch is a repro, most likely it is.

The car going dead all of a sudden started yesterday. It has run fine for the first 330 miles of break in, after I sorted a few things out from the get go. When I got it running today, it accelerated well and the idle was fine. The engine runs normal. Five minutes into the run, it died. No stumbling before it quit like a car that was starving for fuel.

After experiencing the stuck starter switch, I will definitely invest in a cut off.
Maybe I need to buy another starter switch? Or, what do I need to rebuild it?

Tom L.
1930 Town Sedan
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Kind of had the same issue car would run for awhile get warm and quit, after a lot of messing around and trying everything i could thing of i went back to the points and opened them up a little and it was good after that
As far as the starter i have the same issue every so often, then i turn my cut off switch off and need to tap the switch with a hammer and its all good for awhile, but i just figure itís because Iím running 12V to a 6V starter
Good luck
U will figure it out and it will be something simple
Terry


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Old 09-18-2019, 08:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

I rebuilt my old switch...just bought a new one and used the internal parts as i wanted to preserve the look of the old switch.

They are pretty simple, but to get all the parts I think you just need a new replacement switch. Install as-is or swap out the parts....

There is a gasket/insulator that goes between the switch and the starter...its probably sold separately
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:19 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Tinkirk, kgbnut, I will check out the points and thanks for the heads up. I am also running 12v to most likely a 6v starter. It spins so fast it makes me a little crazy. Wish it were still a 6 volt system, but I don't think I will take the time to switch it back. A lot of guys I know switched their Model T's to 12 volt and usually did their starters in. I still have my 26 T running 6 volts.

1955cj5, thanks very much for the pictures. That will give me a start on the switch. I most likely will end up getting another switch if I can not get this one to work properly.
The thing that concerns me the most about the switch setup is where the rod goes through the floor has a lot of play up and down. Maybe there is a grommet missing or the old one is worn out there? Seems to me that something should be guiding the foot rod through the floor so that the starter rod actuates smoothly?
Tom L.

Last edited by Dirtrack49; 09-18-2019 at 10:43 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:26 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtrack49 View Post
Tinkirk, I will check out the points and thanks for the heads up. I am also running 12v to most likely a 6v starter. It spins so fast it makes me a little crazy. Wish it were still a 6 volt system, but I don't think I will take the time to switch it back. A lot of guys I know switched their Model T's to 12 volt and usually did their starters in. I still have my 26 T running 6 volts.

1955cj5, thanks very much for the pictures. That will give me a start on the switch. I most likely will end up getting another switch if I can not get this one to work properly.
The thing that concerns me the most about the switch setup is where the rod goes through the floor has a lot of play up and down. Maybe there is a grommet missing or the old one is worn out there? Seems to me that something should be guiding the foot rod through the floor so that the starter rod actuates smoothly?
Tom L.
You are right about the grommet being worn or missing altogether. The switch rod has natural up and down play but that is not noticeable if you have a grommet. When you put a new one, you will have to file it to get the rod to not bind.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

i put a spring under the starter button, just because,
the starter push rod is not the problem, the problem is the starter solenoid and the starter terminal are welding themselves together and won't release the starter from cranking
now that we are talking about i will need to take mine apart to fix it instead of using a hammer everytime.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Your engine dying after 5 minutes. I have seen the problem being in the GAS CAP vent. Try removing the gas cap while running the engine. ��
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Sometimes a radiator cap is inadvertently put on as a gas cap, a radiator cap is not vented.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Thanks for all the good input.

I will check the vent hole in the gas cap. I had just refueled the car before this started happening. The first 330 miles of break in I had no problems with the engine dying and not starting again.

chrs1961815, the grommet looks like it was not replaced during restoration. it appears worn and painted over. However, I am now thinking that tinkirk maybe on to something that I had not considered. When I attempted to pull up on the starter switch rod, I could not get the starter motor to disengage. The PO set this car up with a 12 volt system with an alternator and I believe the starter is still 6 volts. It also has a heavy positive lead with a large flat grounding strap. This is what I would use if it were still a 6 volt system. The starter seems to spin the engine way too fast and engages the bendix gear pretty hard.

I am a little confused here. Does the starter switch act as a manually operated starter solenoid? I didn't think that a Model A had a starter solenoid?

Tom L.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Yes a manual solenoid, no separate one yet. Do not engage the starter anymore than you have to at this point because if it is spinning too fast it could chip a flywheel tooth.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:27 PM   #20
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Default Re: Sticking Starter Switch

Okay, thanks. I will take the switch apart and see what I have. If not repairable where is the best place to get one?
I also found this past thread which really looks like it explains the problem.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...starter+switch
Tom L.

Last edited by Dirtrack49; 09-19-2019 at 01:54 PM. Reason: addition
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