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The 3000 Forum

Master Battery Switch -- How hard is it to repair?

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rgf Randy Freeman
Winter Park, 1FL, USA   USA
The battery switch in my 1965 3000 is behaving badly. . . How big a deal is it to remove, rehabilitate, and reinstall it?

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bluecatmodels Avatar
bluecatmodels Silver Member Dave W
Three Rivers, CA, USA   USA
Just take the wires off and take it apart. There's not much to it, but it's probably not worth the effort unless originality is important . I replaced mine with a new one from Harbor Freight for $6.00.
Dave

San Jose, CA, USA   USA
My dad and I did it for our BN2. The contacters are a couple of sliding copper plates. If nothing's broken it's a half-day job if you take your time. In hindsight, I think I would have packed the switch with dielectric grease to prevent future corrosion (the plates make contact with enough force to push the grease out of the way and make a good circuit). Make sure you understand the 'theory of operation' of the switch; when you complete the circuit to ground for the battery the switch opens the circuit to the white/black wire that grounds the coil, making it inoperative (it's a rudimentary anti-theft device).

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RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Randy,

I go along with Bob and suggest your fix rather then replace the component if possible. It is not a stressful task and I did fill my switch with a rather generous amount of dielectric grease … as mentioned by Bob.

Keep in mind that the switch is a 3 point unit with the main connections to the battery ground and body ground and a 3 to the coil. Although I am a proponent of maintaining the coil connection, make sure the white/black wire is securely fixed to t he switch stud as, if it gets loose and, bouncing around, comes in contact with a grounded body component, it can randomly stop your engine from starting/running.

Enjoy the challenge and only replace when absolutely necessary,
Ray(64BJ8P1)

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Randy,
It's a good rainy day project and only takes a couple of hours.
Pete

layaj2 Andy Lay
Bisley, Surrey, UK   GBR
Mine wasn't working so I took it apart and cleaned it. Be sure to take photos (I did but I can't find them right now) when you disassemble it and be ready for parts springing out. It didn't take very long and it worked again when I put it back but the copper threads were poor so I eventually bought a new one anyway!

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Hello all,
Having been a high voltage electrician for over 17 years I thought I'd pass on a little bit of knowledge to fellow Healey owners since we are all familiar with the Lucas electrical system in our cars.
There is a misnomer out there concerning "Dielectric" grease. It is really good to use as a "heat sink" grease or as an insulating grease on electrical connections that aren't routinely opened and closed. Dielectric grease is an "Insulating grease" that is used to keep moisture out of electrical connections. It is usually made up of a silicone base that "does not" have good electrical conductive properties. The correct grease for use on an electrical circuit where the contacts are opened and closed frequently is "Contact Grease". It promotes electrical conductivity and is designed for the purpose of lubricating moving electrical connections such as those found in switches.
Pete

RAC68 Avatar
RAC68 Raymond Carbone
NJ, Jersey Shore, USA   USA
Hi Pete,

Although I do agree with your statements, my use of Dielectric grease is as an insulator. However, since Dielectric grease easily exits/evacuates contacts under a small amount of pressure, I have used in in my pluggable bullet connectors and other wiring connections as well as the master switch internals and other electrical connections (i.e. battery, starter, etc.) with great lasting satisfaction. Keep in mind that my objective is to have good electrical contact and protection. The Dielectric grease provides environmental and electrical protections (non-conduction with lubrication), eliminates possible switch cross-sparking while allowing good consistent operation.

As I understand a conductive grease would be good to use in a closed environment. If used in the master switch, I would expect good contact but also the potential for migration as with any grease. As a result, there is a possible potential to create an unexpected and unwanted contact through a displaced-grease link. So, although the conductive grease can provide good switch contact, it can also provide unexpected and unwanted electrical paths. We are talking automotive power and our components are modestly designed to suit.

My thoughts/Your thoughts?
Ray(64BJ8P1)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-15 10:31 AM by RAC68.

PatrickBJ8 Patrick Yoas
Holly Lake Ranch, TX, USA   USA
British Car Specialist sells rebuild kit.

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