Intermittent ignition switch failure

Electrical & Ignition

  1. Rustyrodknocker

    Rustyrodknocker Active Member

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    This is a question that is really more about the curiosity of this issue. I both wonder what it is but also if others have seen it.
    When the ambient temp and humidity are just right there is a 50/50 chance that my car will not turn over.
    I can just about call it, when it's going to happen. Unfortunatly it is the worst type of electrical problem in that it is not consistent. It has done it for a few years now. I first wrongly suspected the relay and replaced it. Then I decided it must be the neutral safety switch and replaced that. No change and I can't get it to fail when I have the time to chase down the short.
    I always jump out and start it on the relay. Once this is done it is good for the day. I can start it on the relay and immediately shut it off and start it with the key. I suspect it is the switch or the firewall plug. The accessory power seems to function just no starter engagement.
    The car is a mess under the dash. Tweekers destroyed it. I will probably swap in the entire dash and steering column from a 73 Newport since I have one and intend on going to a keyed column anyway.
    Has anybody else experienced this type of failure?
     
  2. cbarge

    cbarge World Famous Barge in a Budget FCBO Gold Member

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    What year is your car??
     
  3. Rustyrodknocker

    Rustyrodknocker Active Member

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    69
     
  4. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Check the ignition switch for resistance on the start circuit. If that checks ok pull the firewall plug and check that for corrosion. Another note, a lot of the after market starter relays are now made in China and do not last very long. Check the terminals on the starter to be sure that they are all tight and check the terminals on the starter relay to be sure the wire ends are tight and not corroded. If "tweekers" messed with the wiring under the dash, there could be a splice on the start circuit that is not making good contact.

    Dave
     
  5. cbarge

    cbarge World Famous Barge in a Budget FCBO Gold Member

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    1969 ignition switches are one year only and are famous for acting up.
    They are out there.
    With a multimeter,remove the switch from the dash--but keep it connected--check continuity going out to the start position.
    Check it when it does not act up and again when it does to either confirm or rule out the switch.
    As you mentioned,check the bulkhead connector at the firewall and check connections at the starter itself.
    69 has a fusible link from the battery going to the bulkhead along left inner fender well. check and clean its connections.
    If you had not done so already do the under hood ammeter bypass..That ensures your car will start even after the ammeter gauge takes a dump.
    Underhood Ammeter Bypass
    I do not recommend going with the 73 column.Too many changes in the wiring to make it work in the 69 But that is my opinion.
    Hope this helps.
     
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