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Ignition switch acting up, starter not activating

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holymolyitsclay Clay B.
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
You all helped me figure out the no start issue I was having on my 1975 Spitfire due to the lack of spark & fuel - since then I have been driving the car a ton, probably about 200 miles in less than 2 weeks! Great little cars.

Three days ago I went to start the car and noticed that the key felt a little funny in the ignition. I turn the key but had to apply a slight amount of pressure to get the car to activate the starter. Drove the car to dinner and parked it, when I returned and tried to start the car it was slightly more difficult to do this time around. Got the car home and tried to take it out yesterday, but I could not get the car to start, starter was not activating at all. I felt around the ignition switch to see if any wires were loose and was able to push on the ignition switch wires in order to get the car to start up. Turn the car off and back on again, and the second time I tried to start it up there was no pressure at all, And the key did not return back to the run position but instead was causing the starter motor to continuously activate... manually bringing the key slightly counterclockwise caused the starter motor to stop spinning while allowing the car to continue to run.

Kept feeling around the wire area and eventually the back of the ignition switch popped off! Tons of little pieces came out but I collected them all and tried to put the switch back together. I believe it is assembled correctly, as it is springing back without any pressure to the run position.

Connected the switch back to the wire loom - the issue now is that the ignition is always on, despite whether the key is in the ignition or not. Brake lights lighting up when stepping on the brakes, foot well lights on, etc. If I turn it to second position the ignition light turns off, and if I go to position three it turns back on, but I cannot get the starter to activate at any position so the car will not start.

Had to chase the wires to see if anything was damaged during the re-install or was not connecting properly and I noticed there was previous work done to the starter solenoid white and red wire. It has been connected to a blue wire which then connects at Two points at the ignition switch. I have attached a picture of this as I’m not even sure where to being explaining how this is put together.

What would be your all‘s first step in diagnosing and fixing this issue? Thank you!

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Yellowhawk Valley Avatar
walla walla, WA, USA   USA
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Walla Walla"
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Portland"
1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV "Spokane"
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Dayton"    & more
If that brass contact piece shown in your second photo came out with all the other pieces, it sounds like you may have put it in backwards, 180 degrees out.
That is the only way I found to get the system hot with the key off.,. or, inside there are a lot of little balls and contacts, did you get all those back in the right places? I have some photos and diagram for a 79 switch and for a 72 but not sure either matches a 76 as far as internal contacts.
I would check that little brass piece and see if the double contact end is not making connection with a brown wire connection and the white/red wire connector with the key off.
da



Dan Aycock
Walla Walla, Wa.
Yellowhawk Valley Spitfires
69, 69, 72, 75, 78, 79 Spitfires

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holymolyitsclay Clay B.
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
Hey Dan, thanks for your response. I thought about that brass piece being out of line as well and took it back apart once I saw the ignition wouldn't switch off... there is only one way the brass piece, the plastic piece, and the springs under the brass piece fit in the ignition switch. There seems to be no way to alter the positioning of these at all as it just simply will not go together unless it is all put together in a specific way. I did notice I seem to only have one ball bearing, but I'm not sure how many there were to begin with. I'd like to avoid buying a new ignition switch at this time because I'm not 100% sure that would fix the issue. Would you mind sending or attaching those ignition switch diagrams to me? I've been looking everywhere for one, you'd think it'd be somewhere in the repair manual.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-03-15 08:42 AM by holymolyitsclay.

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carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"
Even though you took it apart, you're not really supposed to.

https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-218959



'S all for now
Vic

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holymolyitsclay Clay B.
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
I figured as much, seems like this thing is meant to be permanently sealed up. I was going to buy that part before making this post, but the ignition switch on my car currently has 5 wires, not 4. Looks like the new one is missing the brown wire - is this required for the car to operate properly? Trying to avoid having to modify the wire loom/connectors to avoid issues in the future.

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carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"

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carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"
Sorry Clay, I used one of these on my 73, 1500. https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-158459

That's all you need if your loam is good.



'S all for now
Vic

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holymolyitsclay Clay B.
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
Hey Vic, thanks for your reply. I was looking at that part as well, but I don’t see how my current wire loom would attach to those connection points. Not sure if the car has been modified by a previous owner or what, but it almost looks like the wire loom for the ignition switch is soldered to the connection points. Check out my picture.


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holymolyitsclay Clay B.
Louisville, KY, USA   USA
https://rimmerbros.com/Item--i-218959

I figure this is the part I ultimately need, but I can’t figure out why mine has that extra brown wire at the end terminal and this one doesn’t. Can’t quite figure out what that wire’s purpose is according to the wiring diagram...


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carChips Avatar
carChips Victor Harnish
Kelowna, BC, Canada   CAN
1933 MG Magnette
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Chip"
1989 GMC Sierra 1500 "Bush Truck"
Are you talking about the one with the blue wire attached? That's not factory, and was probably added for an accessory.

You can crimp new spade ends on your wires.



'S all for now
Vic

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Yellowhawk Valley Avatar
walla walla, WA, USA   USA
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Walla Walla"
1969 Triumph Spitfire "Portland"
1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV "Spokane"
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Dayton"    & more
These diagrams may assist in answering the question about wires in that plug and to the switch. The early cars had just the single brown wire running to the switch and then jumping over to the second terminal. Later on they added the second smaller brown wire but it just comes from the connector on in to the switch, still just one brown on the other side that leads back to the starter solenoid/battery post..

If you need some good wiring diagrams to use, check them out at triumphspitfire.com There are many there.

I was going to send some photos of the some comparison igniti0on units but when I looked at them again I became concerned that as I don't have them fully labeled they may just be more confusing that helpful. Will see if I can get them completed.
da



Dan Aycock
Walla Walla, Wa.
Yellowhawk Valley Spitfires
69, 69, 72, 75, 78, 79 Spitfires


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