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Bugeye Ignition problem

longbranch

Freshman Member
Offline
Hello All:

I turned on my Bugeye ignition switch today and i don't get any power to the lights or to the coil. The ignition light doesn't light up either. Is it the combo switch? I checked the fuses and they are good, no power to the fuses, the coil but the starter turns over.

I had the same problem last year and it self corrected but it looks like its the combo switch?

Any similiar problems out there??

email me

longbranchno4@yahoo.com
 

Bugeye58

Yoda
Offline
Brock, pull the switch and start metering the contacts. It sounds as though you've been bitten by the dreaded Lucas bug again.
Jeff
 

spritenut

Luke Skywalker
Offline
That switch is repairable. I have taken mine apart a few times and made it "good as new" by just cleaning the contacts inside. Don't ask how to take it apart, it's one of those you have to do it as you go type deals /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
It comes apart with a few screws and some hidden push pins.
There is a copper plate that rotates on the contacts inside.
 

dklawson

Yoda
Offline
Before going after the ignition switch, take a look at your fuse box. You said the "lights" don't come on. I believe the headlights should not go through the ignition switch but directly off the fuse box so your problem may be in the fuse box or the power supplied to it.

I believe on most Lucas wiring schemes of the period, the white wire that feeds the coil also feeds the "hot" side of the ignition warning lamp... so it makes sense that you don't have power to either... but is there power going TO the ignition switch from the fuse box?

I'm trying to remember... does the Bugeye have the floor mounted starter switch which is separate from the ignition switch?
 

piman

Darth Vader
Offline
Hello Doug,
neither the ignition switch nor the lights are fed from the fuse box in the majority of British cars. If the starter operates and is switched by the ignition switch then there is power to the ignition switch, so it seems likely that the switch is faulty. If the starter is operated by a seperate switch then its possibly a bad connection from the solenoid or battery to the switch or the switch itself.

Alec
 

dklawson

Yoda
Offline
Hi Alec,
You made me go back and look at the wiring diagrams for the Mini and the GT6. You're right, the ignition switch isn't fed from the fuse box, it supplies the fuse box. Specifically, the white wire leaving the ignition switch goes to the fuse box where it branches off to supply: coil, charge lamp, and electric fuel pump (when applicable). The "lamp" I was referring to was the ignition warning light, not the headlamps or running lights.

However, my second point was what I was really curious about. I thought the Bugeye and other BMC cars prior to about 1962 had the floor mounted, push button starter switch. This wasn't a solenoid. It was a manual switch to power the starter. If that's what this Bugeye has, the fact that the starter operates doesn't confirm that there's power to the ignition switch, control box, or fuse box.

Since Longbranch says so much of his electrics are not working and specifically mentioned the headlamps... I'd still focus the investigation on the fuse box and the heavy gauge brown wires going to the fuse box and/or control box.

Sorry I wasn't clear in my earlier post.
 

Bugeye58

Yoda
Offline
Doug, the Bugeye, and Spridgets through 1963 had the cable operated switch, with a "pull to start" knob on the dash. I've got a sneaky suspicion I'll be taking a look at Longbranches car after work tonight.
Jeff
 

dklawson

Yoda
Offline
Thanks Jeff... I wasn't sure of when that switch was used but Minis used a version of it through 1962. My point is/was that with that switch, the starter working doesn't confirm there's power to the control box or ignition switch. I'm very curious to know what you guys find out. Good luck!
 

piman

Darth Vader
Offline
Hello Doug,

in the case where there is no solenoid but a pull or push starter switch, main power is normally picked up (as solenoid switched starters are) from the battery terminal of that switch. It is possible that the problem is there but more likely at the ignition switch end. Just a thought, if there is an ammeter the ignition switch is often fed through it so a failure of that meter will prevent power reaching the ignition switch.

Alec
 

dklawson

Yoda
Offline
Hi again Alec,
Thanks for confirming that.

Regardless, all I'm suggesting is to make sure power is actually getting TO the ignition switch before anyone talks about replacing it. The fact that the starter works (on this car) is not related to the ignition switch.

Again, I'm sorry if my posts have been confusing. I should have limited my comments to saying, "use a volt meter to look for power starting at the ignition switch and working back to the battery to see where the power is being lost".
 

Bugeye58

Yoda
Offline
Just a brief note. I'll let Longbranch expound about it if he wants to.
The ignition switch is very erratic, and extremely loose inside. We did disassemble it, and the contacts were OK, but very little spring tension on the fiber disc. I think the main problem is corrosion at the regulator and the fuse/junction block. Lots of green, fuzzy stuff. Checking continuity between these points and the switch end of the wires was spotty, at best. I think a good terminal cleaning, and replacement of the switch should fix everything. Tonight, we just ran out of time and energy.
Jeff
 

bugimike

Yoda
Offline
On the bug-eye, the starter is run through a remote solenoid switch operated by a pull knob on the dash. Should be found above the passenger's side footwell. This will work independently of the multiple(ign. & lights)switch as it gains power directly from the battery. From your symptoms I would definitly suspect the switch,and as was noted, this can be taken apart and restored to operating condition. Just a temp. fix though as after a couple of times you will probably want to just get a new one. Incidentally, the solenoid for the starter can also be opened up and reconditioned. Copper washers can do wonders!
 

Bugeye58

Yoda
Offline
Mike, I don't mean to be picky, but, the remote start switch on a Bugeye is just a switch, not a solenoid. Pull on the cable, and it pulls the contacts together.
And, as I said, the internals on the ignition / light switch were very loose. Just waiting for the new switch now.
I know the car is nearly fifty years old, but it has only got 30,000 miles on it! Reliability just ain't what it used to be. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
Jeff
 
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