Jump to content

1922 Buick Combination Switch rebuild


Recommended Posts

Since I am off work this week for Christmas I decided to tackle rebuilding my 1922 combination switch.  I thought I would be ahead of the game by buying some new switch levers and new backing case  from Bob's but I soon realized that the 1922 switch was not alike in any way to later switches so these new parts were of no use to me.  I also had purchased 4 additional switches over the past year so that I would have plenty of parts to pick from while trying to build one good switch.

 

Documentation showed that 1921 cars used 1159 switches and 1922 cars used 1222 switches.  I realized that I had purchased one model 1158 switch and it would be of little use since it had only 6 terminals and the others had 9 terminals.  The inside working parts of the 1158 switch would be of no use either.  I can find no difference between the 1159 and 1222 switches so I treated them as interchangeable.

 

My 1922 had an 1159 switch pictured below that was pretty much shot at first look.   As I explored it more, while the exterior face place was trashed, the inside parts were in very good shape, so I used a lot of them in my rebuild.

My original 1159 switch.jpg

!cid_332e7800-cf2e-42d9-9df3-c0eaf717475b@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

!cid_806a1b9e-36fc-4c44-b029-a3d3636ec27d@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark:

 You have now joined the group of folks that have at least 4 switches to make one good one. At least the earlier Kellogg switches are more robust and not have the swelling pot metal problems. Our later Delco units mostly made of the miracle material of the 1920s "DIE CAST" have provided many hours of fun and frustration to the restorer. I believe I have 5 also.

 Reading in the 1931 Master Parts book. When these earlier Kellogg units were to be replaced in service they were to be replaced with the later Delco units. I have seen a few later 1920s Buicks that have the crumbling Delco units replaced with the earlier Kellogg ones.

Part of my collection. The unit on the far right is the repro aluminum case available from BOB'S I used to make a functioning switch including new switch levers. The wooden block was made to support the entire assembly with the hopes of removing the swollen switch lever shafts without destroying the case. Note the 4 holes drilled into the switch shafts, this was to relieve the stress pressure on the case. I still could not press them out. On another unit I drilled 8 holes and then had to still make cuts with a jewelers saw and files to try to save the case. When drilling this material the composition can change from soft to hard on the same piece. One hole drills thru like butter the hole next to it was like drilling glass.

DSCF5701.thumb.JPG.43203cd70cff65de7a2f12f5721bf80c.JPG

How about this jury-rigged set up that was in my Master.

DSCF5768.thumb.JPG.4848098b6a26af63d0ee0435896efc66.JPG

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

The switches for 1921/1922 were Kellogg manufactured switches and seemed pretty robust with a lot of brass and copper used throughout. Below you can see the 9 terminals and the circuit breaker in the center.  The switch case is held together by the two nuts/shafts an each side of the back.  The circuit breaker is held on by the two nuts seen attaching it and the two connections to the terminals.  After removing the circuit breaker, there are two more nuts on these bolts that need to be removed because these are actually the lever shafts.

 

 Levers are removed by backing out the screws on the levers.  The dash light knob is removed by removing the very small screw attaching it to the shaft.  I could not remove all of the attaching screws for the small knobs or levers on all of my units.  Some I removed successfully with heat from my mini torch or by using a hammer and small punch used to free the tight fit by hitting the screwdriver end.  I even tried to freeze them with no luck.  Some levers I drilled out successfully and some I just cut off using my dremel or just broke off.  The case is then separated using a large screwdriver of a plastic hammer.   Be careful not to damage the bakelite backing plate in this process because they are old and brittle, some more than others.

1.jpg

!cid_e9fce2d4-e198-4c4a-8b65-471756baa44b@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

1a.jpg

1b.jpg

4.jpg

7a.jpg

Edited by Mark Kikta (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here you can see the case after it is separated In the second photo I have labeled most of the parts inside the switch.  After removing the rotating lever parts and the stationary lever shafts, you can remove the holder for the indent rollers and the lock sliding plate.  After removing all parts inside the case, you can pull the spring pieces from the bakelite case by pulling them out with pliers. All parts inside the case need cleaned well and lubricated upon assembly.

6.jpg

switch inside labels.jpg

13.jpg

!cid_65c028a3-32ea-406b-8388-6ce40eb2d0ef@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

8.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the first photo you can see one of the rotating lever shafts and the roller plate on the bottom of that shaft.  The brass shaft holds the indent plate and the spacers and brass plates that make contact between the springs as the levers are rotated.  There is a lock that hold these plates in one place and keeps them together.  When this lock is broken off because someone turned the lever and broke it, then the switch turns freely and nothing else works.  You feel no indents and the springs do not connect to carry the power as required.  In the last picture you can see a good shaft on the right and a broken shaft on the left.

 

In the center photo, the springs have all been removed from the bakelite back plate.

!cid_ff7c417f-76ad-4b9c-a958-d054468fce94@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

14.jpg

9b.jpg

Edited by Mark Kikta (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

The cleaning process begins.  First you can see 4 of the rotating lever shafts before cleaning and then after cleaning.  Each shaft has an indent plate on the bottom, brass plate to conduct current between springs and fiber washers as spacers.

 

In the third photo you can see the bakelite backing plate after cleaning in the ultrasonic cleaner and all springs and other internal parts also cleaned in the ultrasonic cleaner.  The fourth photo shows how clean the backing plate came out of the ultrasonic cleaner. 

!cid_3db02e93-0708-4e44-bb2f-271a7caadb0b@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

!cid_926c78dc-9459-4c0e-b313-a57b29ede760@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

15.jpg

!cid_7cf75d6d-be3f-4bd5-8ccb-69e4e7dbb0c2@namprd10_prod_outlook.jpg

Edited by Mark Kikta (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The first photo here shows a switch unrestored on the left and restored on the right.  I used a think layer of white grease for sliding and rolling pieces as well as the indent plate on the rotating shafts.  I wanted to use my best face plate  for my case but of course it had the most rusty inside of all cases.  I wire brushed the inside, treated is with Ospho, then primed and painted the inside. I took the lock to my locksmith and had the lock cleaned and two new keys made for it.

27.jpg

28a.jpg

29b.jpg

29.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I assemble the case halves and bolted them together.  I attached the circuit breaker to the back side.  Now I have cleaned the remaining pieces and I need to plate the parts to attach the wiring to the back of the combination switch and attach the front knobs as well.  I intend to get the two levers replated also.

30c.jpg

30e.jpg

30d.jpg

30g.jpg

30f.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

AussieBuick,

 

Yes I used a 30% Purple Power and water solution in my ultrasonic.  I also used some fine steel wool on a couple tough spots on the rotating shafts after cleaning them.  The purple power did a nice job on the bakelite and copper pieces.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Norm, 

I took the best looking of my 4 switch circuit breakers.  I sanded the points and cleaned all parts of the CB the best I could with wire brushes and sandpaper.  I tested it to be sure it conducted electricity ( no breaks in the wire) with my ohm meter.   Hopefully it works as advertised if needed.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job!  Great info!!

 

when I rebuilt my 1927 Combo Switch I had to do so laying on my back and rebuilt it with the switch assembly still FIRMLY stuck in the dash!!  I did everything short of a jack hammer to get the switch housing out of the dash and no luck!

 

So, the car wants to continue to fight me then so be it, I again rebuilt it inside the car!

 

Everything works as it should EXCEPT the knob that turns the dash light on does not work for some reason!  I replaced the bulb and still no go, is there something I should be looking for that’s a common fault of the dash light knob?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know how you did that in the car and on your back.  You must have a better back then I do!  


On my style switch there is not much that can go wrong with the small light switch except that one of the contacts could be bent and not making contact when you turn it.  I don’t know about the later style like you have in your 1927 unfortunately. I did notice that my small light switch for the dash light does not work unless the headlight switch is turned on first.  That makes sense but I did not see that written in any documentation I have.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Crazyfamily said:

Nice job!  Great info!!

 

when I rebuilt my 1927 Combo Switch I had to do so laying on my back and rebuilt it with the switch assembly still FIRMLY stuck in the dash!!  I did everything short of a jack hammer to get the switch housing out of the dash and no luck!

 

So, the car wants to continue to fight me then so be it, I again rebuilt it inside the car!

 

Everything works as it should EXCEPT the knob that turns the dash light on does not work for some reason!  I replaced the bulb and still no go, is there something I should be looking for that’s a common fault of the dash light knob?

Even after rebuilding each Delco switch (One for the Master and one for the Standard) the dash light switch is still a bit touchy to work.

127789803_DSCF1517(1024x933).thumb.jpg.6a547f4214bc9f48056c5604624d6e4f.jpg Dash light switch button at the top of the casting.

1889110656_DSCF1523(1024x768).thumb.jpg.5c644ab6014a2d80cf2151cd42e6cdee.jpg  Switch contact (long tab) Needs to be well cleaned for good contact.657077996_DSCF1528(1024x768).thumb.jpg.4432c74f7fa06bfaad0bf106768d874d.jpg Burnt ignition switch contacts.

379648579_DSCF1546(1024x768).thumb.jpg.1d225d50a19eab9ae2e90987af7b2a52.jpg  493004173_DSCF1547(1024x768).thumb.jpg.c5ed827a0aaffb3bc89fb9f3095f9dbd.jpg

 Replaced contacts and then I had to make some epoxy to fill the charred recessed sections of the Bakelite plate.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

excellent work Mark.   I knew I had a gauge that looked like that in my stash of parts so found it today.   It is a Kellog 1133   Is that also for a 1922 model.?  It appears to be in working order as the switches are not seized and at sometime the back side was painted black, possibly to preserve it.  I have owned it for over thirty years.  I have no need for it.  Leon

IMG_1852.jpg

IMG_1851.jpg

IMG_1850.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This 1133 switch is not listed as one for the 1921 or 1922 models On my documentation.  Since it has fewer than 9 terminals it may Be for an earlier year??  I’m not sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Mark,  that eliminates the 1921 and 1922 years.  It will go back in the stash of parts , maybe someone in the future will be reading your thread while doing an old buick and it will be needed and put to its intended use.  I would certainly donate it to a worthy project although I wouldn't turn down trading it for a something I still need for my 25-45 McLaughlin Buick.  Leon

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 11:59 AM, dibarlaw said:

Even after rebuilding each Delco switch (One for the Master and one for the Standard) the dash light switch is still a bit touchy to work.

127789803_DSCF1517(1024x933).thumb.jpg.6a547f4214bc9f48056c5604624d6e4f.jpg Dash light switch button at the top of the casting.

1889110656_DSCF1523(1024x768).thumb.jpg.5c644ab6014a2d80cf2151cd42e6cdee.jpg  Switch contact (long tab) Needs to be well cleaned for good contact.657077996_DSCF1528(1024x768).thumb.jpg.4432c74f7fa06bfaad0bf106768d874d.jpg Burnt ignition switch contacts.

379648579_DSCF1546(1024x768).thumb.jpg.1d225d50a19eab9ae2e90987af7b2a52.jpg  493004173_DSCF1547(1024x768).thumb.jpg.c5ed827a0aaffb3bc89fb9f3095f9dbd.jpg

 Replaced contacts and then I had to make some epoxy to fill the charred recessed sections of the Bakelite plate.


I guess I will take the switch a part again and try to figure out the dash light and why it’s not working.  Larry where can I get my hands on some new contacts for the switch?  When I had it a part I did see mine were heavily worn as was the wafer they were embedded in as it had a groove worn in it.

 

 

Edited by Crazyfamily (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2019 at 7:34 AM, Mark Kikta said:

I don’t know how you did that in the car and on your back.  You must have a better back then I do!  


On my style switch there is not much that can go wrong with the small light switch except that one of the contacts could be bent and not making contact when you turn it.  I don’t know about the later style like you have in your 1927 unfortunately. I did notice that my small light switch for the dash light does not work unless the headlight switch is turned on first.  That makes sense but I did not see that written in any documentation I have.


Mark I don’t know how I got it done, I have degenerative disc disease in my L3/L4, L4/L5, and L5/S1 levels along with arthritis in my facet joints!  So honestly, I don’t know how I did it but let me add, I did cuss A LOT! And I mean A LOT!  
 

I am thinking about removing the dash and window trim to paint it, that would be the ideal time to work on the switch again.  My problem is I am OCD and Adult ADD so I get an idea in my head and I won’t let it rest until I tackle it, be it a blessing or a curse!😂

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the contacts myself on my lathe.

 The photos below are from when I made up a good switch from the 5 bad switches I got with my MasterDSCF5774.thumb.JPG.caccd5c48fc91a87d0b8fae8a9549d67.JPG

2 different style contact plate. The one on the right is for the earlier cars with a Starter/generator and dimmer on the dash. The right one has a new aluminum case from BOB'S. The hole at the bottom is because my switch also had the key tumbler and it now works with the key also.

DSCF5775.thumb.JPG.36bc2b79d5a5694d524f0e45af322d93.JPG

Better condition contact plate after clean up and leveling. It was warped and had to be heated and clamped to a flat plate to straighten. 

DSCF5784.thumb.JPG.eba14a7eedd04a44a8582173f9b1e0a3.JPG

Rebuilt switch with the dust boot in place.  I made that from some of the vinyl material left over from my top boot.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...