‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Farmall Super A, AV, 100, 130, & 140 1939 - 1973
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Lt.Mike
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‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Mon Feb 08, 2021 10:22 pm

My Super A hasn’t had lights since I brought it home. One headlight post was missing and the 2 front lamps and rear lamp were too. The mount for the rear work light is still there.
The tractor has been converted to 12 volt and though it works the wiring is sketchy.
Been a lot of stuff like that they this tractor that I’m picking my way through.
Since bringing it home I’ve been assembling what I need to bring it back to working order.
Well I was out plowing yesterday evening and things got dicey. Running blacked out I had enough light to see but not be seen. I’d wait for the road to be clear, not a car in sight and start to clear the end of the driveway. Sure as heck someone would come flying out of nowhere. You’d think they’d keep it under 70 on a snowy road . :x
Anyway I need to get this thing lit up before I do that again. I went out and picked up two double faced post lights (amber/red) for the rear and 12v bulbs for the repo headlamps I picked up. I have a 12v sealed beam tractor worklight for the rear.
I know I can use the 6v headlight switch (Needs cleaning) but in that the tractor was converted to 12v and negative became ground what does this change with wiring the lamps?
Does anyone have a wiring diagram for this?
It’s the round back switch with the coil.
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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby ajhbike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:37 am

I hooked my flashers up to a toggle switch and I saved myself a lot of headaches by running the ground wires to a small wire strip and then to a body bolt. I am tired of fixing lights that depend on the light mount as a ground. The toggle switch also eliminates the need to using the 3 or 4 position light switches and you can flip them on without the headlights during the day.

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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Gary Dotson » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:17 am

Mike, the only thing that the change to 12v. will effect is that the dim position, on the switch, won't be very dim. The resister coil, on the switch, can be changed, if that's important to you. Dim lights are very seldom used, anyway, so most folks don't worry about it. Your 6v. switch will be fine.

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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:01 pm

I have been told in the past, I think by Jim that the 6v switch does work fine with 12v and is actually built stronger. I figure to run ground wires instead of relying on chassis grounds.
The amber/red lamps will serve as tail lamps being a steady on lamp and I will install a 12v outlet like I have on my Lo-Boy for a magnetic flasher. I have no idea what I’m looking at with this switch if it’s a 3 or 4 position switch, what leads go to what as the PO cut a lot of wires.
Most of the tractors I’ve brought home had butchered wiring. :roll:
There are remnants of a black wire pinched between both the seat supports that powered something at one time.
Both my Lo-Boy and my ‘46 IA had the switches replaced by toggle switches by the PO’s. I’d kinda like to use the factory switch.
Anyone know how I can ID it as a a 3 or 4 position switch and how to wire it?
I’m guessing with the factory 6v positive ground the leads coming off the back of the switch provide the negative side and with a negative 12v ground they’d be the positive side (?).
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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:31 pm

This may seem a little simplistic, but...
Turn the switch all the way to the left. Then turn it to the right, stopping at each click. If it clicks twice, it’s a three position switch. If it clicks three times, it’s a four position.
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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby tst » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:40 pm

should be what you need
Attachments
cutout wiring diagram.jpg

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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby tst » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:41 pm

4 position switch has the resistor on the back, 3 does not

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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:48 pm

Don McCombs wrote:This may seem a little simplistic, but...
Turn the switch all the way to the left. Then turn it to the right, stopping at each click. If it clicks twice, it’s a three position switch. If it clicks three times, it’s a four position.

That’s simple enough, thanks.
Tim it’s the round back one. The resistor being the coiled wire?
Wouldn’t know what terminal goes to what on the round switch would you?
Oh and I don’t know if this makes a difference but this tractor has a distributor and external coil, no mag.
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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:07 pm

Switches are generally rated (electrically) by two things. A voltage rating is limited by things like how much insulation there is and how the contacts function. That rating is typically way above the operating voltage of the system. A lot of generic switches are labeled for that. The other rating is for current and is typically limited by how heavy the conductors and contacts are inside the switch. Since a 12 volt light requires half the current of a 6 volt light to produce the same wattage, typically life is going to easier for a tractor light switch if it is in a 12-volt system. I am of the opinion that the similar looking 6-volt and 12-volt tractor switches have the same pieces inside. The only differences are the dimmer coil (doe to the reduced 12-volt current) and some beside the point differences in terminal connectors. (Some switches have screw terminals and others spade lugs.)

Lt.Mike wrote:. . . Anyone know how I can ID it as a a 3 or 4 position switch . . .

Try turning the knob and count how many positions it clicks into?

As far as I know, all the early (L H D B) 4 position switches were more or less rectangular shaped with 2 external resistors. The later (O D B R) 4 position switches were round.

By the way, if you look at the tractors from the Farmall A through the 140 as a one group, they used the same switches, voltages, etc. as the Cubs. So anything written on the Cubs applies pretty directly to your Super A.

Some of the wiring diagrams that get posted here show the rectangular style switches with the wiring clearly going to the correct lugs on the switch. For the round switches, with close inspection of the back side, you should be able to find markings next to each terminal: B for battery, HL for headlight, TL for tail light, RL for rear light. I usually get TL and RL mixed up, just hook them up one way and try it to see if they work the way I want. If you have this type switch, you can use one of the TL/RL lugs for your flashers. For practical simplicity, a separate switch for the flashers is a good option.

Forget about the positive ground or negative ground difference. It only matters for the charging system. For lights you have "hot" and "ground".

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Don McCombs
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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Don McCombs » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:19 pm

Mike,
If by "round back", you mean a switch that looks like this, it is not likely original to a 53 tractor.

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Photo courtesy TM Tractor Parts
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MD, Deep Creek Lake

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Lt.Mike
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Tractors Owned: 1 -'58 International Cub Lo-Boy
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1 - '53 Farmall Super A
1 - ‘41 Ford 9N with a ‘49 8N Engine
1 - ‘48 (5641) Allis Chalmers G
Location: Farmingdale NJ

Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:14 pm

Jim Becker wrote:Switches are generally rated (electrically) by two things. A voltage rating is limited by things like how much insulation there is and how the contacts function. That rating is typically way above the operating voltage of the system. A lot of generic switches are labeled for that. The other rating is for current and is typically limited by how heavy the conductors and contacts are inside the switch. Since a 12 volt light requires half the current of a 6 volt light to produce the same wattage, typically life is going to easier for a tractor light switch if it is in a 12-volt system. I am of the opinion that the similar looking 6-volt and 12-volt tractor switches have the same pieces inside. The only differences are the dimmer coil (doe to the reduced 12-volt current) and some beside the point differences in terminal connectors. (Some switches have screw terminals and others spade lugs.)

Lt.Mike wrote:. . . Anyone know how I can ID it as a a 3 or 4 position switch . . .

Try turning the knob and count how many positions it clicks into?

As far as I know, all the early (L H D B) 4 position switches were more or less rectangular shaped with 2 external resistors. The later (O D B R) 4 position switches were round.

By the way, if you look at the tractors from the Farmall A through the 140 as a one group, they used the same switches, voltages, etc. as the Cubs. So anything written on the Cubs applies pretty directly to your Super A.

Some of the wiring diagrams that get posted here show the rectangular style switches with the wiring clearly going to the correct lugs on the switch. For the round switches, with close inspection of the back side, you should be able to find markings next to each terminal: B for battery, HL for headlight, TL for tail light, RL for rear light. I usually get TL and RL mixed up, just hook them up one way and try it to see if they work the way I want. If you have this type switch, you can use one of the TL/RL lugs for your flashers. For practical simplicity, a separate switch for the flashers is a good option.

Forget about the positive ground or negative ground difference. It only matters for the charging system. For lights you have "hot" and "ground".

Thank you Jim. The switch looked to me to be a factory switch in the way it’s made and patina (crud). I guess a lot can happen in 68 years.
It does look like the one in Don’s photo.
I’ll remove it from the panel, clean it up and look for the markings then put a meter to it to check conductivity.
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"

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Lt.Mike
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Posts: 2499
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:38 am
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Tractors Owned: 1 -'58 International Cub Lo-Boy
2 - '46 International A's
2 - '52 Farmall Cubs
1 - '53 Farmall Super A
1 - ‘41 Ford 9N with a ‘49 8N Engine
1 - ‘48 (5641) Allis Chalmers G
Location: Farmingdale NJ

Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:33 pm

Update: I went out and moved the battery out of the way and got a better look at the switch, my apologies, it is rectangular. It’s a Delco Remy and is a 3 position switch.
It came right out as all wires had been long disconnected. The screws were badly rusted but came right out too. The inside looks clean and perfect. I have the back plate soaking in vinegar and I’ll replace the screws with new.
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"

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Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Jim Becker » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:36 pm

Here is a picture I took 2 years ago. It was for reference between some vendor numbers and what they would send. Sorry the instructions at the top aren't very well in focus. I think you can make it all out if you click on it.
lightSwitchesS.jpg

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Lt.Mike
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Location: Farmingdale NJ

Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:45 pm

Thanks Jim. The numbers are clear enough.
I did some looking and it doesn’t look like the square Delco Remy or anything square is available anymore. I’ll try to make this one work and I’ll have to clean up the other connections to the amp gauge and ignition switch as well. The dash mount fuse is missing so I’ll replace that as well.
I’m assuming that buss fuse holder was for the lamps.
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"

User avatar
Lt.Mike
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Posts: 2499
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:38 am
Zip Code: 07727
Tractors Owned: 1 -'58 International Cub Lo-Boy
2 - '46 International A's
2 - '52 Farmall Cubs
1 - '53 Farmall Super A
1 - ‘41 Ford 9N with a ‘49 8N Engine
1 - ‘48 (5641) Allis Chalmers G
Location: Farmingdale NJ

Re: ‘53 Super A Headlight switch

Postby Lt.Mike » Wed Feb 10, 2021 8:51 pm

OK here's some shots of the SA's light switch which is a 3 position.

This is the switch in place, only one wire is attached, it's an original with the braided cloth and its been cut.

Image

The amp gauge and ignition switch aren't much better. I'm not sure how they are making a connection.

Image

On the bench and apart. There's really not much to them. Metal and Bakelite plastic.
As bad as it looked outside the switch looked new inside.

Image

Image

I soaked the plate in vinegar overnight which cleaned it up a little, enough and I bought new stainless screws for reassembly.
Going thru a box of tractor parts I found a wiring guide for a switch I bought for a Cub and it included this type of switch.
That was lucky. 3 Of the screw heads had to be reduced as they were a little too large in diameter for the recessed spots areas that attach the plate to the metal body. So I put them in a drill chuck and held a small file against each one to reduce its diameter. That way it would fit into the bakelite plate without splitting it. Stainless steel is a soft metal and easy to work with. Also washer size had to be small to avoid them from overlapping and touching each other on the plate. Standard size washers are too wide but if you use a metric sized washer they have a smaller sized outer diameter for a given sized inner diameter hole. Standard sized lock washers are very tiny for 8-32 screws so they worked well.
It all all went back together pretty easy.
I bench tested it with an ohm meter and then a battery and it works perfectly.
The plate has an extra screw that provides continuous 12v which I will used for the 12v accessory outlet (for my magnetic mount amber flasher) and two screws to draw power for the tail lamps and work light when the switch is turned on. I will mount a separate switch on the work light that is aimed rearward. I have a brand new lamp and installing a waterproof toggle switch is easy and certainly cheaper that buying a new one for say $70 (?).

Image

Image

Image
Quote by Gary Pickeral I like
"If it can cast a shadow, it can be restored"


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