Cleaning starter button internal contacts

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Daryl Bertram
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Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#1 Post by Daryl Bertram » Wed Sep 21, 2022 6:25 pm

The starter button on our Pre-A (60441) works correctly if one pushes just so on the left edge. I would like to clean the internal contacts but can't find an article explaining how to take it apart if that's possible. I found a link to an article here in the Registry but it's NLA. Thank you for any advice.
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John Brooks
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#2 Post by John Brooks » Wed Sep 21, 2022 9:59 pm

Daryl

I have never done that switch, but I would bet inside there is a spring, two fixed contact post and a washer or solid round conductor on the plastic push portion. I would remove it or at last disconnect the wires. The see if the push portion will twist, try clockwise first see if it will turn without the resistance increasing. Friction my try to wind the spring, so it it starts to get tight, stop and rotate in the other direction.

If it will twist a little or all the way around in a full circle, push it in, lightly making the internal contacts and twist for a few rotations. This may scrape off the corrosion and clean it up for a while. Put push it in until it stops then wiggle it or twist it back and forth with the button against the internal post.

Be gentle it’s old, but it may clean up.
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Rick Albro
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#3 Post by Rick Albro » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:35 pm

There are at least two kinds... those with the rivets like the one you show and those with kind of a crimp from the side. John is right there is a little spring inside and a contact that bridges the two terminals. Before you take it apart I would try soaking it in a good soapy solution first probably a couple of hours but keep a close eye on it. After a good soapy bath then soak it in vinegar for about the same time... watch the solution and the button. Often the plastic is dried out so be very careful with the soak times. I do have one apart right now so if you need images let me know... try cleaning it first though.... I guess the one I have apart has two tangs on either side... they are missing in my image.
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Greg Bryan
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#4 Post by Greg Bryan » Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:08 pm

Great detail Rick. Do those rivets go all the way through? If so, one could probably fabricate replacements.
I think Karmann Konnection in the UK has reproduced the button ...
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Rick Albro
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#5 Post by Rick Albro » Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:03 am

No the rivets do not go all the way through which is why I suggest to try cleaning first. Making the repair is not trivial...I have made a special tool to crimp the hollow rivets just like the original. The rivets are a special alloy of brass... so the trick is to drill out the original rivets carefully then disassemble the button. To reassemble one has to silver solder a new rivet onto the original stub. Regular solder can be to soft and sometimes does not hold up to the riveting process. The housing for the button is thin brass so to much heat is not a good thing. Also to get the reassembled button to be functional one also has to get the length of the rivet correct... if the final product is too long the button does not fully go back together and further damage can result if any of the parts kink during operation... If the rivet is too short then riveting the assembly back together may not be possible. Also the diameter of the hollow rivet must fit through the end piece hole. So the repair must be done below where the end piece begins on the inside... I have seen a few repairs where the hollow rivet was drilled and tap maybe an #80 or other very small diameter screw. I don't really like this type of repair...

There are several reproductions on the market with various degrees of quality. If your repair varies from an original look, then one has to balance the convenience of one of the reproductions that may not be quite right... Throw in your time and make your decision... If an original part is available I always like to use or repair an original over convenience but each project is an individual case... How well can someone balance pedanticism vs common sense? On second thought don't answer that ...
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Daryl Bertram
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#6 Post by Daryl Bertram » Thu Sep 22, 2022 7:27 pm

Thank you Rick and John; the pics and advice were quite helpful! I decided to try the Brooks method first and do the dip and clean a bit down the road if doing the button twist and jiggle with the button depressed was successful. It worked! I couldn't twist the button when depressed but was able to jiggle the button around carefully for a minute and felt the contacts rubbing against each other. I hooked the battery up, turned the ignition on, pushed the button and the engine fires every time. Thank you both for your input; it's so helpful to get advice from members who have been there and done that. :-)

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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#7 Post by John Brooks » Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:39 pm

Now go put a starter bypass relay on it, and a spare push button somewhere in the engine compartment so you can crank it from the rear also.
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Rick Albro
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#8 Post by Rick Albro » Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:26 pm

You are definitely better off if you do not take the button apart.... John's suggestion of adding an additional or spare starter button is a very good suggestion... one less item to carry around for emergencies if the button is already installed. The redundancy guarantees you will not need it and it is good for trouble shooting and other efforts as John mentioned.

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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#9 Post by John Brooks » Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:10 pm

Secondary starter button, on the right of the voltage regulator. Crank the engine from the rear. Turn the key on and start it from the rear. Bat B+ to momentary switch to starter solenoid or relay coil. Push the button with one hand work the carbs with the other.
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Bat B+ to switch to starter solenoid wire or relay coil. Stupid simple
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Daryl Bertram
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#10 Post by Daryl Bertram » Fri Sep 23, 2022 10:49 am

Yes have the starter relay but not the engine wall starter button; I'm in! What starter button do you recommend? Thank you

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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#11 Post by Martin Benade » Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:19 pm

We must all be assumed to be pretty smart. The posts about a firewall starter button never mention verifying that the car is in neutral. I’m not positive I’d trust myself on that.
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Daryl Bertram
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#12 Post by Daryl Bertram » Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:18 pm

but the excitement of chasing after your own car! :-)

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Martin Benade
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#13 Post by Martin Benade » Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:36 pm

+1!
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James Rowe
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Re: Cleaning starter button internal contacts

#14 Post by James Rowe » Sat Sep 24, 2022 4:00 am

Daryl Bertram wrote:
Fri Sep 23, 2022 8:18 pm
but the excitement of chasing after your own car!
As long as it isn’t in reverse,,,or you may be run over! :D

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