'39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

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A.Trout
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:54 pm

'39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

Post by A.Trout » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:56 pm

I'm having an issue with the primary ignition cable getting hot. I suspect the insulation inside the armor is deteriorating and am shorting out. The coil has been replaced so I already have access to inner wire from coil end.

I was reading another post regarding just threading another wire inside the sheath. Sounds like an economical fix but... How do you remove the ignition from the dash? I snaked my head up in there as best I could and appears there are two lugs in pot metal casting of switch housing but they appear to be riveted(?).

I started thinking about cutting the sheath with a cut off disk on a Dremel but that seems ... drastic. Is there an elegant solution?

I apologize if this cabbage has already been chewed. I'm new to the forum and search engine thought "ignition switch removal" was too common to search.

Andy

Dave Czirr
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Re: '39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:19 pm

I apologize if this cabbage has already been chewed. I just love it! What a great expression, and no need to apologize and perhaps this topic is new, though the ultimate failure of the insulation on the coil primary wire inside the armoured cable is a bit of classic and has driven the unknowing crazy at times.

I don't know the specific's of your switch, but usually the armoured cable ends in a "disc" for lack of a better description which is crimped onto the rear of the ignition switch. Surely removing the switch should make it easier to service but perhaps it's not necessary. On most switches I'm familiar with (which doesn't include yours) the outer bezel unscrews from the front - look around it for a small hole for a pin-spanner wrench - if you see one and don't have a suitable spanner, often just inserting a small drift pin or even a drill bit will be enough to unscrew it.

Got a friend with a 38 Eight, I'm going to ask him tonight if he has further information so chime back in later to see if we can provide better information.

PS - if you can't recrimp the end caps on the switch or coil, many folks use epoxy.

Dave Czirr
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Re: '39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:00 pm

Spoke with my friend with the 38 Eight (aka 120) who did this same job some years ago. His recollection is as I described, the ignition switch comes out from the back by unscrewing the bezel on the front. As for the other details if you need them, he suggests you call him. George Lewer, 201-845-8028.

A.Trout
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Re: '39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

Post by A.Trout » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:08 pm

Thanks for the prompt reply, Dave!

I don't have a pin hole in the bezel face - I rather hoped I would.

It does have several crimp points holding the "disk". I'm not exactly relishing the idea of standing on my head with a punch, a hammer, and bifocals but...

Hopefully another forum member can offer some additional insight.

Andy

P.S. Just saw your post from George - I'll give him a call!

A.Trout
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: '39 120 Ignition Switch Removal

Post by A.Trout » Sun Aug 22, 2010 5:15 am

George had an excellent troubleshooting idea: Since the armored sheath is there to prevent hot wiring, I should intentionally run a temporary primary just to see if the issue has been resolved. (I must confess I didn't consider bypassing the cable - I was focusing on why the cable was getting hot).

I surrendered to my inner caveman. I put a cut-off disk on the Dremel an cut the cut the armored sheath about 6 inches from the base of the ignition switch assembly. Then it was easy to pull a new wire through to coil. It did leave about a 2 inch section of cable unsheathed under the dash but I triple heat shrunk so should be well insulated and protected.

Andy

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