Starter switch

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Re: Starter switch

Postby gitractorman » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:46 am

First off, I agree with what everyone has said here and it's too bad that we can't get quality parts the first time you need them. My curiosity though is why would a switch, regardless of quality, fail or get hot?

I would look closely at your wiring and ground to the battery. Hot means there is undue work being done by a device. In this case the switch is working too hard trying to get current to the starter. If the starter has been rebuilt, and the engine is in good shape (turning freely) then there is a problem getting juice from the battery to the starter. If you haven't already, I'd start off by replacing the battery cables and cleaning up your ground contacts. Also, is this on a tractor that was restored? During restoration, were the parts painted individually then bolted together? Was the paint removed from ALL of the mating flanges when reassembling??? If not, you have a HUGE grounding issue!!! I ran into this on a friends tractor that was completely disassembled, painted then put back together. Remember, these tractors were assembled then paint splashed on them, so all of the bare steel was touching, so that little short ground cable bolted to the battery box had perfect continuity to the engine block and starter!!! It's really easy to overlook this when we are paying so much attention to how nice were making them look.

Also, I've seen battery cables that "look" ok, but water had sat in them and the copper corroded. In one case I had a tractor that the lights would come on but when you went to crank the engine, it wouldn't do anything. I had. 12v at the starter, even replaced the starter switch, but still didn't work. After MUCH cussing and scratching my head, I grabbed a piece of wire and made a new battery cable up. She started the second I touched the starter!!! After I pulled the old cable out from where it ran under the engine, I cut it open and found a 1" section where the wire was just bluish green powder. My guess was years of moisture accumulating in the low spot just let the copper corrode.

Sorry for being long winded but we all learn this stuff the hard way.
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Re: Starter switch

Postby brewzalot » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:23 am

gitractorman wrote: My curiosity though is why would a switch, regardless of quality, fail or get hot?

Eugene wrote:The starter switch case shouldn't get hot. There is suppose to be an insulation piece on each inside of the case to keep the plunger from contacting the case. Thinking the insulation piece is damaged or missing.


Mechanical switches normally make a spark when closed, but only a small one. If you have sparks shooting out something else is definitely wrong. Any contacts that spark excessively also compound the problem, sparks=heat=pitting=poor contact=more sparks ...on and on until its shot.
Although agreed foreign made parts are frustrating they usually do work (yes, not as long). In this case the poorer quality switch may not be "hiding" the real issue.

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Re: Starter switch

Postby Waif » Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:14 am

Gitractorman brings up the oft mentioned grounding of the starter case...
Cleaning the casting hole edges ,( and mating part of starter case if not clean) is worth noting.
Electricity needs a route to flow. And a certain sized conduit at a minimum ,depending on amount of electricity.
A rush of energy colliding with a hard stop has to do something......even if it is only to splatter.

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Re: Starter switch

Postby Mrblanche » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:10 pm

snoman7c wrote: Wish it was 1970 again!

The only way it being 1970 again would help you is that, knowing what you know now, you could refuse to shop at KMart and Walmart and never let them get a toehold through third-world manufacturing.

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Re: Starter switch

Postby Mrblanche » Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:45 pm

Now, I do have to say I just had my starter rebuilt. The contact stud on the case was worn enough that engaging the switch also grounded to the center stud of the contact. This then grounded through the lever, and thence to a dead short. $108 at Rick's Starter and Alternator shop in Hillsboro, TX.

However, the new switch they put on, while appearing to be better quality, forced the lever to have constant pressure on the switch. (The pivot for the lever did not stick out as far beyond the contact button as the old one.) I did some quick modification, and now it starts SOOOOOO nicely.

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Re: Starter switch

Postby Nelson 634 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:52 pm

Hello, long time listener, first time caller. You guys have taught me a lot regarding the cubs and their upkeep over the years. Regarding electrical and starting: Namely BIG cable for the six volt. Clean connections on both ends and at all connections. To that end I have found most battery cable fasteners leave a lot to be desired. I use Fastronix Compression style Battery Cable End and to keep air and corrosion away Copper paste anti seize. both available at my local auto parts. Or at Amazon. If air can't get to it, no corrosion and better starting.

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Re: Starter switch

Postby Mrblanche » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:15 pm

Rick (at Rick's Starter and Alternator, mentioned above) said you need to clean around the mating surface of the starter, where it goes into the hole in engine/bell housing. HOWEVER, he also said that's not a sure-fire solution on anything this old, because there are many places in the tractor where the grounding is probably no longer effective. He suggested essentially what I do on all my hot rods. He said to run a heavy wire (I use a standard battery cable) from one of the mounting bolts on the starter directly to the ground on the battery. That is the place on any vehicle where you desparately need a good ground, and the current there is heavier than anywhere else.

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