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1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion #1314576 Mon Jun 17 2019 02:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
R
Rangerdude91 Offline OP
New Guy
Hello everyone. I am in the process of getting my 53 back on the road. I'm having some issues with the new ignition switch I ordered. The truck had no keys when I got it and someone had added a push button start. Now I've switched it back to the foot start and "hot wired" it to run but now I'm trying to add in the key back into the mix. Truck is also 12v

So what I've got is what I think is the correct ignition switch. It was not labeled but looking at the old one and from other info I've read the battery post is the one in the middle and will be pointing towards the floor. Hooked that up and took my volt meter to the other post and with the key straight up and down I've got 12v to both the coil and accessory position. With the key turned counter clockwise (11 o'clock) I've got 0v at the coil and accessory position, and with the key turned clock wise (1 o'clock) I've also got 0v again at the coil and accessory position. Is this correct? I thought 11 o'clock was power to accessories, 12 o'clock was off, and 1 o'clock was power to coil and accessories.The way it is now it's OFF ON OFF.

So it's a 1953 12v with foot stomp start and has a 270 motor if that makes a difference. Here's the link to the switch I bought
http://www.classicpartsusa.com/prod...Ulrfv4gIVDVYMCh2PagX3EAQYAiABEgLcqfD_BwE

Thanks for the help

Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314586 Mon Jun 17 2019 04:08 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 670
G
Gord&Fran Offline
Shop Shark
I have an original 1954 switch. It has only 2 positions: on/off. There are three terminals on the switch, but only 2 were used. So, I expect that since you have a reproduction with 3 positions on the switch, the terminals are different from the original. IOW, don't be surprised if the "middle" terminal is not BAT.

I would sit down with your new switch and your VOM set to ohms and try all the combinations of connections until you find the one that works.


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314612 Mon Jun 17 2019 01:37 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
R
Rangerdude91 Offline OP
New Guy
Well I took the switch out and ohm'd it and I'm seeing the the exact same thing I was seeing when I checked it hooker up with power. Now I have a machinist background, not an electrical one. Maybe there is a check im doing wrong or maybe one of you guys has a better way to check.

Thanks

Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314657 Mon Jun 17 2019 08:20 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 1,435
K
klhansen Offline
Shop Shark
Try again.

Put the switch in the middle position (normally off) and check for continuity between all pairs of terminals (1 - 2, 2 - 3, and 1 - 3). If that's truly off, you should have no continuity at all. (maybe between coil and accessory).

Then try the 11 o'clock (assuming that's the "standard" accessory position), and do the same. In that your should have continuity between only one pair of terminals. One of those will be battery and the other accessory.

Then in the 1 o'clock ("standard" run position) check again. You should have continuity between all three contacts, battery, coil and accessory.

You might want to hook it up on the bench and try every combination of wiring. You should be able to determine where they go.

Or do the tests above and make a table of which are connected in each key position and post it up here. Someone should be able to figure it out for you.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos
Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314701 Tue Jun 18 2019 01:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,025
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Does that switch have a small handle that hangs down below the key slot? If so, the 12:00 position is the "ignition on" position. Turn the cylinder to the left and remove the key, and you've got "off and locked". Re-insert the key, turn the cylinder fully clockwise and remove the key. That's "off and unlocked". You can use the tab to turn the cylinder to the middle position and start the vehicle without a key. Some commercial trucks, school buses, and such had that optional switch setup so the vehicle could be operated without the need for a key. The 1958 Chevy school bus that I rode for 3 years in middle Tennessee back in the early 1960's had exactly the same switch.
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
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Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314703 Tue Jun 18 2019 01:16 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
R
Rangerdude91 Offline OP
New Guy
I'll try again tomorrow. I already installed the switch early this afternoon noon. Before I installed it I did a continuity check on the new switch in the same pairs as described and I got the same as before. It has to just be the way this switch is. I did a continuity check on the old switch and everything work how it was supposed to, 11 o'clock has continuity between battery and accessory, 12 o'clock had no continuity between any of the terminals, and 1 o'clock had continuity between all the terminals.

Guess I'll be looking into another switch down the road. This one will work and serve its purpose for now.

Thanks everyone

Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314741 Tue Jun 18 2019 12:44 PM
Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 6,589
W
WE b OLD Offline
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Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1314752 Tue Jun 18 2019 02:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 263
G
glenns towing Offline
Shop Shark
My 51 Chevy 2dr sdn operates exactly as described by Hotrod Lincoln

Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: glenns towing] #1314830 Wed Jun 19 2019 02:43 AM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,248
J
jorb Offline
Shop Shark
There is no accessory switch position in any of these switches.
Check attached photos

Factory Set-up for 49-53 ignition switch, Two position ON - OFF
11:00 o'clock position OFF
.1:00 o'clock position ON

There are three terminals.
A. One terminal feeds voltage to the switch.
B, C. terminals receive voltage when the key is switched ON
B and C are internally tied together..

That said, if you feed voltage to the switch by connecting to B. C will also receive voltage and vice versa.
But the key ON position will become OFF and OFF will become ON . The ignition will be reversed..
And you will only have one switched terminal with voltage instead of two.

GM film strip,Three Position ignition Switch

Ignition Switch Changes Jim Carter tech article.
The Jim Carter article differs from the film strip. Third paragraph. Reason why may be on how the switch is wired.

Three position switch The one Hotrod Lincoln was talking about. 1950 GMC . 1:00 o'clock position OFF UNLOCKED

Two position switch 11:00 o'clock position OFF

There is a possibility that you may have a three position switch housing with a non-teardrop lever key cylinder.

The thing is, both type of switches work essentially the same ON - OFF, The only difference is, the teardrop lever switch has a OFF LOCKED position
11:00 o'clock position OFF LOCKED
12:00 o'clock position ON IGNITION
.1:00 o'clock position OFF UNLOCKED

47-48 Ignition switches THREAD for more info.

xxx

Attached Files
1949-1953 Ignition Switch.jpg (114.71 KB, 79 downloads)
1949-1953 Ignition Switch 1.jpg (65.26 KB, 78 downloads)
1949-1953 Ignition Switch 2.jpg (56.93 KB, 79 downloads)
1949-1953 Ignition Switch 3.jpg (67.58 KB, 79 downloads)
Re: 1953 GMC 1/2 ton ignition switch confusion [Re: Rangerdude91] #1315070 Thu Jun 20 2019 11:14 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
R
Rangerdude91 Offline OP
New Guy
Thank y'all all for the responses. I've checked the switch again I am still getting the same results. My switch does not have the little lever at the bottom. It is a 3 position and works as OFF ON OFF. Right now I'm just going to leave the switch as it will work just fine for now. I still have a long ways to go to get this old girl road worthy.

Thanks again


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