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Thread: Ignition switch

  1. #1

    Default Ignition switch

    I bought an ignition switch for my 44 Chief (about 20 years ago)and it doesn't seem to work, there was no continuity between any of the terminals. Now the problem, I drilled out the hollow rivets to check inside and when it came apart everything went everywhere. Does anyone know what goes where and which terminals should be joined in all the switch positions. My switch has 4 connections on the top and 4 on the bottom. I have been using a Harley switch up until now, I just thought I would have a go at getting the original working.

  2. #2

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    I have re-built quite a few of these. It helps if you are a person with 3 hands, but it can be done with 2. Is your switch an original or a re-production? I usually do not drill out the rivets. I like to work the bakelite ring off of to get to the internals. Let me know which switch you have and a list of the all the internal parts. Feel free to PM me if you would like.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    741

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    Rowdy, these might help if you don't already have them. The hand drawn one is for the Universal switch, I captured it from this site I think and I don't know who to credit for the drawing, sorry!


    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for that, my switch looks like the drawing, except that my number 5 is a screw terminal just like the other ones. My bigger problem is that when I was putting it all back together the whole thing exploded and I lost one of the arrow shaped brass bits that goes on the end of the spring. Does anyone have one of those? Or better still a complete base. My switch is an original Indian one, complete with key, although I'm not sure if its right for a 1944 civilian Chief

  5. #5

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    Starklite sells a perfect re-production switch. They also sell most of the internal parts individually. They work fine in original switches.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for all the help. The switch is all back together now and working as it should, I managed to make the brass arrow shaped part that I lost.

  7. #7

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    Hi guys. Thought maybe this would be a good post to ask this question. My ignition switch is at least 29 years old. 1947 Indian was worked on many times by my dad. He passed away in 1989. My wife and I rode it in 1992 to Sturgis when the bottom end gave way. After 26 years, I have completely gone through it and am about ready to start it up. The ignition switch works and is wired and ready to go, but turns so hard, I'm afraid it will break when I force it. Would it be appropriate to spray graphite in the opening to lubricate it or is there another procedure for this type of switch?
    Thank You.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    741

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    Quote Originally Posted by larrymgibson View Post
    Would it be appropriate to spray graphite in the opening to lubricate it or is there another procedure for this type of switch?
    Thank You.
    Larry, it shouldn't hurt anything, if that tumbler has been idle for 26 years then it could probably use some lubrication! They're not that complex, so if you venture to take it apart just beware of the spring loaded brass contacts....they fly pretty far!
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,160

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    I've heard good advice that those switches should be disassembled in a clear plastic baggie.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pisten-bully View Post
    Larry, it shouldn't hurt anything, if that tumbler has been idle for 26 years then it could probably use some lubrication! They're not that complex, so if you venture to take it apart just beware of the spring loaded brass contacts....they fly pretty far!
    Thanks. I will try it.

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