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Old 03-29-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
51woodie
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Default '46 Ignition Switch Service

How do you open up the ignition switch to check/clean the contacts? Do you lube it with dielectric grease when reassembling, or something else?
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Old 03-29-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

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Originally Posted by 51woodie View Post
How do you open up the ignition switch to check/clean the contacts? Do you lube it with dielectric grease when reassembling, or something else?
Once you've removed the wires from the terminals you'll easily spot two flat head screws. remove them and the switch body, ,terminal plate and brush will be in your hand.
If the terminal plate is worn so much that you can see a groove, I'd suggest you replace it.
Otherwise, rub it over some 400 grit paper laid upon a flat surface.
That's all there is to it. From start to finish, maybe twenty minutes.
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Old 03-29-2019, 02:50 PM   #3
51woodie
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

Kube Thank you for your quick response. I should have attached some pics I guess. There are no screws in the switch. I can pry a bit on the back plate at the corners but I don't want to bend the back plate or damage the switch, as it still works. Could the back plate be soldered on at the lugs where the mounting screw go? This is a late '46 built car, that had about five previous owners. Would this be the original switch, or did someone change it or put a jobber part on?
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File Type: jpg Ignition Switch (2).jpg (43.9 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg Ignition Switch (3).jpg (34.7 KB, 32 views)
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Old 03-29-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

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Originally Posted by 51woodie View Post
Kube Thank you for your quick response. I should have attached some pics I guess. There are no screws in the switch. I can pry a bit on the back plate at the corners but I don't want to bend the back plate or damage the switch, as it still works. Could the back plate be soldered on at the lugs where the mounting screw go? This is a late '46 built car, that had about five previous owners. Would this be the original switch, or did someone change it or put a jobber part on?
I apologize. I had forgot that the design was changed. Sorry for the improper advice.
Although this switch works, you may be surprised at how much resistance it may be producing. I've had Fords stumble after warming up only to trace it back to a worn switch.
I don't believe this type is readily serviceable and am fairly certain you'll need to find a NOS switch should you choose to replace it. They come about very frequently. In fact, you might ask Mike Driskell. I know he's had them in the past.
I'd be leery of a repop...
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Last edited by Kube; 03-29-2019 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 03-29-2019, 06:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

Thanks Kube. We can't remember everything at our age, but it is fun to try. I haven't done any testing on the switch, but I will put a load on it and see what I get for voltage drop. If there is a loss, I'll see if Mike can help me out.


It is interesting that Mac's DC and BD all list switch bodies for a '46 that will not be useable in my case.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

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If Mike doesn't have any, I have some in stock NOS.
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Old 03-30-2019, 01:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

It's probably pretty robust if you can get it apart and clean it up. The attachment lugs seem to be rivetted over, holding the two pieces together. I'd take some of the rivetted material off and carefully pry the backplate off. There are springs in there, remove the back carefully so everything stays in place. It would be good if enough of the rivetted material could be retained to hold it together again afterwards.

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Old 04-12-2019, 07:08 AM   #8
51woodie
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

Thanks to one of our members, I got a NOS ignition switch. Now, my plan is to test for voltage drop in the ignition circuit. The plan is to: disconnect the coil to distributor wire, connect my remote start switch to the distributor terminal on the coil, connect a voltmeter to the ignition terminal on the coil, push the button on the remote switch for the time it takes to get a volt reading. As I understand it, I should get about 3 volts? Depending on the reading, I'll work my way back through the connectors, and resistor, to the ignition switch, each time activating the remote switch to load the circuit. Does all this make sense, or is there an easier/better way?
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:59 AM   #9
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

Does your 46 have the original coil or a later "can" coil? A later model 6v coil would most likely not use a ballast resistor.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:42 PM   #10
51woodie
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Default Re: '46 Ignition Switch Service

JSeery The car was built in the last quarter of '46 and is all stock. It has the original type "Skip" coil, with the resistor on the breaker panel up under the dash. Am I close on what voltage I should have at the coil, and is this a reasonable way to do the voltage check? My logic is to "load" the circuit for the testing.
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