Smoke from ignition switch Help ! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Hey guys..I have smoke coming from my ignition switch after a few seconds in the on position. The ignition switch seems to work fine and so does everything else but the plastic on the connector that houses the blue with wite stripe wire is melted a tad. It’s the wire that runs down to my mini starter. I took the switch out and I have continuity between the battery terminal and the SOL terminal blade (which is the starter wire) . In the off position I have nothing to it. I don’t think I should get anything to the SOL terminal until the key is in the momentary start position…am I correct? I think my switch is bad…what do you all think? I ordered a new switch but don’t want to fry it so I’m asking if anyone has a switch that they can verify its operation. I put my posative meter lead on the battery terminal the switch in the off position I have nothing to any of the other blades while checking with the negative lead. . In the on position I get continuity from the batt terminal to the SOL terminal, accessory terminal and the ignition 1 terminal.. Heres a pic of what I am blabing about Any help would be appreciated…thanks!
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Gary

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 02:51 PM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

True, no continuity from BAT to SOL with switch in IGN position. If it is an OE switch, it could have a high resistance path between the ign and sol terminal from many years worth of turning the switch to/from the START position.

I have taken my '68 switch apart by prying open the swaged places and cleaning with emery paper the contacts and sliders and reassembling and re-swaging. Takes patience though.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Yes Everett it does show resistance from Batt to the SOL terminal. I have nothing to loose to take it apart. Just wanted to check to see if I'm missing something and fry a new switch...thanks



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Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
True, no continuity from BAT to SOL with switch in IGN position. If it is an OE switch, it could have a high resistance path between the ign and sol terminal from many years worth of turning the switch to/from the START position.

I have taken my '68 switch apart by prying open the swaged places and cleaning with emery paper the contacts and sliders and reassembling and re-swaging. Takes patience though.

Gary

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 03:29 PM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

no power to sol when in on position. switch is bad would be my guess.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 05:05 PM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Everything electrical has smoke in it... and it's not done until you let the smoke out.

Sometimes it's better to let someone think your an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Guess I'm done ?


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Originally Posted by ls427ss View Post
Everything electrical has smoke in it... and it's not done until you let the smoke out.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 09, 06:24 PM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

sorry for being a smart a$$ instead of helping. Have you tried removing the switch from the dash so you can see the connector? If so turn it on and feel the wires to see which one is warm or where the smoke is coming from. Do you have a boost wire to the positive of the coil with your mini starter like old gm starters did from the small outside terminal on the solenoid? If you do, I believe you need a diode in that wire to keep from backfeeding voltage into the crank circuit from the positive on your coil and most mini starters come with instructions to provide that wire if needed without the extra terminal factory gm starters had. Follow the warm wire and tell us where it goes, ignition switches will only smoke if shorted or you have high resistance (which causes heat) inside the switch because it's worn out. And I agree, you should have no voltage to the purple crank wire in the run position, and if you do that's a problem...

Sometimes it's better to let someone think your an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

lol thanks Larry...I'm sure I'lll see smoke again..but hopefully from my rear tires. I have one wire to the mini starter and the starter only has two connections, one from the battery and one to the switch. I already asked about the diode but my starter didnt mention anything in the instructions. I talked to Summit tech and he said it was usually to stop bleed between the distributor and starter somehow if there are more than the one small wirers to my starter. I dont think that is my issue. I get a new switch today and I'll compare the readings when I get my meter and test it. Hopefully thats all it is. I hate electrical issues.

I did look at the connector and the connector is slightly melted around the blue wire which goes down to the starter. The wire is fine and I'll check to see if I can notice any grounding issues. If I need help I'll send up smoke signals.... thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ls427ss View Post
sorry for being a smart a$$ instead of helping. Have you tried removing the switch from the dash so you can see the connector? If so turn it on and feel the wires to see which one is warm or where the smoke is coming from. Do you have a boost wire to the positive of the coil with your mini starter like old gm starters did from the small outside terminal on the solenoid? If you do, I believe you need a diode in that wire to keep from backfeeding voltage into the crank circuit from the positive on your coil and most mini starters come with instructions to provide that wire if needed without the extra terminal factory gm starters had. Follow the warm wire and tell us where it goes, ignition switches will only smoke if shorted or you have high resistance (which causes heat) inside the switch because it's worn out. And I agree, you should have no voltage to the purple crank wire in the run position, and if you do that's a problem...

Gary

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 04:14 AM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Quote:
If I need help I'll send up smoke signals.... thanks!
lol @ TraxUnderground... ya mean again...

Sometimes it's better to let someone think your an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt...

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 05:56 AM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by TraxUnderground View Post
I get a new switch today and I'll compare the readings when I get my meter and test it. thanks!
Do a continuity check between BAT and IGN with the switch in the start position. Any continuity?

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 07:12 AM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by ls427ss View Post
Everything electrical has smoke in it... and it's not done until you let the smoke out.
Not only that but some components even have a little "fire cracker" in them! When installed correctly not only do they smoke but before that they let out a loud POP...that's when you know you've really done it, LOL!!

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Hey Everett...my switch is screwy...I just did a continuity check between BAT and IGN with the key in the on position and got no audible continiuty beep. I cranked the key to the start and let go then checked again...now I have continuity between Bat and IGN. I have continuity to all the blades except ground from the Bat and in the on position. The SOL blade measures 12.0 ohms resistance (fluctuates) and the others give 0.1. The switch smells like roasted electronics. I am waiting for another switch today. Hope I dont cook that one....any thoughts?




Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Do a continuity check between BAT and IGN with the switch in the start position. Any continuity?

Gary

67 RS Resto-Mod 468 5 spd TKO600 3.73 12 bolt (work in progress but finally on the road!)


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

As long as they arent loaded with Block Busters I can take it !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulm View Post
Not only that but some components even have a little "fire cracker" in them! When installed correctly not only do they smoke but before that they let out a loud POP...that's when you know you've really done it, LOL!!

Gary

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 08:18 AM
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Gary, you have an intermittent switch. Inside, there are copper strips on the black bakelite chassis, see the swaged ends of the rivets?

The tumbler turns another chassis holding spring-loaded balls against the contacts strips.
Over time of the balls being dragged over the strips, a path of micro chips is made, and eventually, continuity is made, as in 12 ohms. Any resistance becomes a hot spot.

I asked about continuity on a 67 switch between BAT & IGN during the time the START position is selected. Sixty-eight switches have continuity between BAT & IGN during START(SOL).

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 09, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Smoke from ignition switch Help !

Everett,
I just replaced the switch and everything seems good to go. I checked the switch with my meter at the parts counter and there was no continuity between BAT and SOL when on as on my old switch. I wired up the replacement and let it hang so I can see whats what. I left it in the on position for a while and no smoke and nothing got hot. Starter kicks in the start mode so it looks like I'm good to go. Downside is the switch is not made as well as my original. Maybe I'll sit one day and repair the GM switch. Thanks to everyone for the help and the wise cracks !


Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Gary, you have an intermittent switch. Inside, there are copper strips on the black bakelite chassis, see the swaged ends of the rivets?

The tumbler turns another chassis holding spring-loaded balls against the contacts strips.
Over time of the balls being dragged over the strips, a path of micro chips is made, and eventually, continuity is made, as in 12 ohms. Any resistance becomes a hot spot.

I asked about continuity on a 67 switch between BAT & IGN during the time the START position is selected. Sixty-eight switches have continuity between BAT & IGN during START(SOL).

Gary

67 RS Resto-Mod 468 5 spd TKO600 3.73 12 bolt (work in progress but finally on the road!)


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