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Detroit Electric Controller Rebuild

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I've recently acquired a 1932 Detroit Electric Model 97. The controller needs to be cleaned up but also, I'd like to replace some of the plates and some of the fingers need help. Are there any resources for controller parts? OR Is there anyone out there who rebuilds these? 

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Posted (edited)

Check out the March 2022 issue of the Antique Electric Vehicles Newsletter. I have an article in that issue on making contact fingers for my '17 Model 68, it may be helpful to you. The March 2018 issue of the newsletter has an excellent (and somewhat humorous) article by Haakon McCallum on recreating controller segments. I believe that back issues of the newsletter can be purchased from Blanche Gordon <blanche@rose.net>.


The Electric Vehicle Museum http://www.electricvehiclemuseum.org/  has scanned blueprints for the controller that are very helpful in recreating the parts for your restoration. Good Luck!


One other little detail that may be useful - the Detroit Electric owner's literature says that the controller segments should be lubricated with whale oil, not something readily available today. I researched and found that Jojoba Oil, made from desert plants and available as an ingredient for cosmetics, is chemically identical to whale oil. It is not actually an oil, but a liquid wax.



Edited by rotus8 (see edit history)
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