Chevy Tri Five Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - just a quick question. '57 Bel Air. This has happened to me a handful of times now... I get in and start it no problem....drive somewhere....stop to get gas or a sandwich....get back in the car....go to start it....turn the key....nothing but the dash lights and such...no starter. Try several times...uh oh...I'm going to be stuck here.... Get out, walk around...come back...nothing....wait...try again...and again....etc....eventually it works fine and off I go relieved as heck. First time it happened I was driving in the rain...figured it had to do with that....but then it happened again on a warm sunny day....finally I've figured out that when it happens I just need to sort of jiggle the key around when I'm turning it and it will start.

I'd like to fix it once and for all, though, so I don't actually get stuck somewhere one day. Is the ignition cylinder connected with wires or plugs or ? Could this just be a loose wire? Is it an easy fix? Anyone experience anything similar? Scoured the forums and couldn't find this exact problem...so I gave up and decided to just post the question... Thanks in advance for your help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
It sounds like a bad ignition switch.

You can stick your hand under the dash and make sure that all the wires are pushed in the terminal. If all the wires seem to fit snugly, then I would replace the switch

It's pretty easy fix. I'm pretty sure that the switch is not that expensive either.


E
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Hi all - just a quick question. '57 Bel Air. This has happened to me a handful of times now... I get in and start it no problem....drive somewhere....stop to get gas or a sandwich....get back in the car....go to start it....turn the key....nothing but the dash lights and such...no starter. Try several times...uh oh...I'm going to be stuck here.... Get out, walk around...come back...nothing....wait...try again...and again....etc....eventually it works fine and off I go relieved as heck. First time it happened I was driving in the rain...figured it had to do with that....but then it happened again on a warm sunny day....finally I've figured out that when it happens I just need to sort of jiggle the key around when I'm turning it and it will start.

I'd like to fix it once and for all, though, so I don't actually get stuck somewhere one day. Is the ignition cylinder connected with wires or plugs or ? Could this just be a loose wire? Is it an easy fix? Anyone experience anything similar? Scoured the forums and couldn't find this exact problem...so I gave up and decided to just post the question... Thanks in advance for your help!

Sounds like a switch, my 56 did the same thing, but check the wires in the back first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I get the same thing, only I have a push button start,
starts ok first time, after warm up seems to be the issue,
I thought it might have been starter heat sink from the headers so I had the mini starter checked out and that wasn't it,
not so much wiggle the key but have to keep pushing the button till it catches and starts, I have not found any loose connections yet but that sure seems like the problem to me.
I realize this didn't offer any help what so ever, but hey.... you're not alone......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,487 Posts
The contacts in the switch are not making contact. Just put a new switch in and you'll be alright. Go to the search and pull the switch removal thread. Its very easy to replace, if you know how to do it. The thread will walk you through it.:anim_25:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies, guys!! Very much appreciated. I will go check out that thread on how to do it. One quick question - I assume I can't just go down to my corner auto parts store and get that switch...I'll likely have to order it from one of the classic car specialists / vendors?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,440 Posts
Thanks for all the replies, guys!! Very much appreciated. I will go check out that thread on how to do it. One quick question - I assume I can't just go down to my corner auto parts store and get that switch...I'll likely have to order it from one of the classic car specialists / vendors?
That is correct unless, they are familiar the trifive parts suppliers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Excellent - thanks again - I checked out the ignition switch removal threads (there are lots of them!) and I see how it is done. One follow-up question. This never seems to occur when I jump in the '57 the first time to start it...it always seems to happen enroute after I've been driving it for a bit and stopped, turned off the engine, and then within 5-20 minutes try starting it again. What would cause that to happen?

At first I was thinking vibration...but then I would see it when I get in the car the first time once in a while...unless I've just randomly not had it happen that way. So then I was thinking heat? ...but I can't see how heat would affect the ignition, especially since jiggling it seems to bypass the issue and allow me to start it...but I'm not a mechanic. What is actually happening in there that would cause the ignition switch to need to be replaced?

Oh and I meant to respond to Mickey's comment...I'm with you - when it comes to electrical stuff, I don't like to have to jiggle anything either!!!!!

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
It's really hard to say if there's something else that's causing it. Everything you described points to the ignition switch.

It's possible that your voltage regulator or your starter is going out and that by jiggling the ignition switch, it's sending quick jolts to them, thus causing them to work. However, I doubt it.

This really depends how much trough shooting you want or can do.

If you really want to trouble shoot it and know for sure that it's the switch, you can hot wire it next time it happens. I forget which wires need to be jumped to hot wire it. You can search for it. You just need to be prepared to take the time to do when you're out & about.

You can also jump the wire by touching the wires at the starter. I hate doing it this way, but I have had to do it in a jam. You would put the ignition in the "on" position, then touch the terminals, on the starter, with a large screw driver. Be prepared for a pop when making contact. The first time I did this, it scared the crap out of me.

I hope this helps. It sounds like you have an easy fix.

Maybe someone has a spare switch they can lend you.

E
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top