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When I got my 51 the OP's hack mechanic removed the lighter and put in a push button to start the engine.  Key had to be in run though.  Seems turning the key to start did nothing.

 

I pulled the ignition switch and found that the part that crimps to switch together was somewhat loose, tightened the crimp up and it now works as designed.

 

Wouldn't hurt to check, disconnect the battery first.

 

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This sounds strange, I am no electrical guru. If you have to turn the switch to the on position for it to start .... I assume it will not start with the key  in off position ?

Myself I agree time for a new switch, this may fix it ... I am thinking the wiring is also messed with, somehow back feeding once it is started?

I suspect new switch and then switching the wire mess now back to original.

 

I am at this very moment adding a start button to my riding mower because the switch is bad. All I need to do is run power from the battery to one side, then the other side to the starter solenoid.

Other then removing the original wire from the solenoid, I am not touching any factory wiring.

Same principle if you use a remote starter switch to work on the car.

The solenoid only needs a 12 or 6 volt signal to spin the starter, the key in the on position sends the signal to the coil.

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12 hours ago, Chachos 49 said:

Ignition switch turns car on but when switch to off position it stays on 

Need more info.  key start switch, push button start, foot start?  Or make and model?

We're all just guessing without more detail.  Does start work normally and return to 'ON'? 

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20 minutes ago, Chachos 49 said:

1949 Plymouth special deluxe. Key turns on at start and returns to on. But when I turn the key to off it will not turn off

Sure sounds like the switch is defective.  Contact loose, spring weak etc.  If you turn from on/run all the way to accessory , and back to off does it stop? 

:

 

 

Just thought of something else:  has the car been converted to 12v with an alternator?

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41 minutes ago, Chachos 49 said:

Kencombs no it doesn’t. Yes it’s been converted to 12v

With alternator?  Recently?  Reason I ask is that this is a  common symptom of a conversion with no means to prevent the alternator from back feeding the ignition.

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Kencombs yes with alternator. I just recently purchased the vehicle and it came this way. Not sure if it has a diode. But just seen on videos that I should have one?

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I converted my 51 to 12V, with an alternator.  Zero issues with it staying running, BUT I used a stock Mopar alternator and the stock style charging system for that alternator.  Not a 1 wire GM setup, which is where the feedback issue can occur.

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I was in the military years ago, we had a word for that mess.

 

Your wiring looks like mine did when I bought my 51.  I just took it all out and put in a new electrical system.  Sometimes starting from scratch is easier than finding and fixing all the PO hacks.  I think the only electrical parts I reused was the horns and the starter.

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All I really need is the alternator  right? I can get rid of the ignition coil? I didn’t see the coil in other set ups

Edited by Chachos 49
Misspelling

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Not sure what you are asking here.  But it looks like you have a white wire going from the battery to the coil? 

 

If so I think that's your culprit.

 

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first thing you need to have in your hand is a repair manual with the schematic, a basic understanding of the charging system and the means to take it from generator to alternator with wiring changes....AMPLE gauge wires as the one on the alternator looks a bit light in the loafers and the most important tool the VOM and a understanding of how it works so that testing can be done and proper repairs made.

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What Plymouthy said is the best route to go.

 

Your coil should have a total of three wires hooked to it, stock.  No more, no less.

 

Now assuming we are talking about your 49 listed in your project and it's a 12v negative ground conversion they are as follows.

 

On the small terminal labeled -, you should have one wire that goes to the points. (if you have a tach installed there should be a second wire there for the tach signal)

 

On the small terminal labeled +, you should have one wire that goes to switched 12V that has power with the key in start or run.  Did they use a ballast resistor when they converted to 12v?

 

On the tower in the center of the coil you should have the coil wire that goes to the coil.

 

That's it.  Looks like someone wired that white wire in as a jumper because they had a problem with the stock wiring, may have wired it in the wrong place.

 

My service manual shows that the wire going to the + terminal of the coil should connect to the I terminal of the horn relay.

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11 hours ago, Sniper said:

Not sure what you are asking here.  But it looks like you have a white wire going from the battery to the coil? 

 

If so I think that's your culprit.

 

Yes this does make sense. In other words, the white wire is basically bypassing the ignition switch. You also don't want to leave that wire connected for long if the engine is turned off because the points and coil could be damaged. I would undo that and see what happens (will the ignition switch then work as it should). A wiring diagram is needed here too. Best of luck to you.

John R

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One other thing. it's all fine and dandy to say "get a service manual".  But it's useful to actually tell them where they can get one. 

 

One place you can get it is Rockauto.

 

You can get the manual in paper form there, or you can get it on CD with or without the parts manual too.

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