ignition switch

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by whitepointer23, May 13, 2011.

  1. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Works great as a flame thrower too if you hold a lighter to the discharge, but I wouldn't recommend it.

    -Tom
     
  2. DaveJ
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    DaveJ Senior Member

    In my line of work, i can't afford to base my judgement on what someone has told me in the past, oh sure what that person believes beyond all reasonable doubt what they are telling you is true, but so many times in my own reasearch it has been false.

    It took me 10 sec to look up the WD40 company's web sites MSDS web site to find out what WD40 is made of, its flash point (which i find funny that the aerosole verson has a higher flashpoint than the bulk liquid version), but unfortunately it didn't have its conductivity parameters.

    So i dug alittle deeper and found that the US militry has classed WD40 as being manufacture to the MIL-C-23411 standard (could not find this info on the WD40 web site), pulling up this standard, once again i was disapointed to find no conductivity spefication. As i would have like to provide the infomation about the conductivity of WD40, which i'm believ is low (not a good conductor).

    In my past dealing with WD40 i have never had it flashup other than used as a flame thrower as Submarine Tom suggested not to do. I have squirted WD40 into the barrel of a IGN switch as a lubricatant to free up the locking mech. I have used it inside the contacts of motorbike handle bar switches, even had sparied over the ignition system of my dirty old patrol after the car stalled in a underbody car wash. Now if i've been lucky, i don't know, i could go grab some measuring equipment and find out the conductivity of WD40, but to be honest, can't be bothered.

    What i think people need to understand that when cleaning stuff, if its not totally clean properlly the residue left behind can make a non conductive cleaning material turn into conducting residue. The carbon and salt residue left behind in the igntion switch could mix to create a conducting material.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Putting a match to it will give you a fairly good idea of what it does. For the record, most contact arcs are too short in duration to "catch" WD-40 on fire, but this isn't the real issue. The problem (which has been identified long ago) is the now well coated contacts are separated by the lubricant, causing the arc duration to be longer, which in many cases can be enough to set off the lubricant.
     
  4. DaveJ
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    DaveJ Senior Member

    Which is most likely why i haven't had any trouble, because i spary the WD-40 on, wipe off the excess so only the thin film is left, so because there only so little amount of WD-40 left, there is not enough to accuall catch fire.
     
  5. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    Possibly the switch was stuck in the ingnition position and had not returned.
    May have got stuck because the key was not in properly.

    I would spray WD40 into it to lubricate it, but Par might tell me off.
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Reasonable mechanics and experienced repair/restorers, etc. know enough to not leave an area flooded with a penetrating oil. At the very least it makes a mess, but in large enough quantities it will short out terminals and it is flammable. I use WD-40 to start a cantankerous old diesel tractor. Of course it's under many atmospheres, but just set a match to it and watch what happens.

    Inside an ignition switch, several things many be happening. There may not be enough air to support combustion, the arc may not be of sufficient duration, etc. This isn't what I have issue with. My main concern is telling a novice to squirt WD-40 into an environment, where the potential for more issues is increased. We know what we're capable of, but what of the majority of others that come looking for information. We don't know what their common sense level or experience might be, so I tend to error on the side of "this advise can't screw you up" side of things. And for the record, if I have a sticky key cylinder, I use a spray, dry, non-flammable lubricant. It's not going to drip out and stain stuff or foul anything or short anything, plus it can't burn either. If it's an electrical switch, I use a dielectric lube.
     
  7. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    See, told you he'd tell me off!!
     
  8. DaveJ
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    DaveJ Senior Member

    Hmmmm, sorry PAR and anyone else, i think i was missunderstood, i never said it was not flameable and you should use it where every you want, the only thing i wanted to prove was that WD-40 was a poor conductor, which i was NOT able to find the fact sheet to prove it, so left it at that. Like i said, if you go the the WD-40 company web site and look at the MSDS data, you will see all the information you're after (execpt conductivity)
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Poida, I'm not picking on you (or anyone else), I just don't think it's the right choice, particularly given the lack of knowledge of the original poster's experience level. With this in hand, a dielectric lube is the correct choice. Some may get by with other choices, but it's their risk. The dielectric option hasn't any.
     
  10. powerabout
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    powerabout Senior Member

    You have keys top and bottom, not a great solution I would change to keys in one station and stop start buttons in the other.
    When you say Chrysler alternator have you changed one of the originals (email) to an automotive one?
     
  11. Poida
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Poida Senior Member

    Well looky here. MSDS folder right behind my chair.

    Avoid naked lights or ignition sources.
    Physical Properties does not include conductivity.
    Specific gravity 0.817 @ 21C (that's helpfull)
    Flash Point 21C (that's gotta be crap)
    Volatile Component 78%

    Apparently you are not supposed to drink it. (another helpfull piece of information)

    Hey Par, do you sleep?
     
  12. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    yes , it does have keys at both stations, you are right the flybridge is a bit exposed for key switchs, buttons up top is a good idea. it has original email alternators . marine spec.
     
  13. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yep, I sleep, but have a weird schedule this time of the year when it gets hot. I have medium hardener left over from winter use and using it up on a project, which requires cooler temperatures for reasonable working times, so I'm up early and/or late to bed.
     
  14. Mark Cat
    Joined: Jun 2011
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    Mark Cat Senior Member

    Well, Gonzo provided excellent info on WD40.

    For ignition switches, if you have had a smoke event, and all is well now, you will probably have another when current demands go up. For high current contacts, after a sparking high resistance arcing event, usually caused by mechanical loosening holding the contacts, the contacts will exhibit higher contact resistance. So best to replace the switch.

    If you can tighten the housing, and want to try and salvage the switch, for what little life it has left, you can try and clean the contacts with Caig Laboratories Deoxit D5 contact cleaner lubricant.

    Mark
     

  15. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Radio Shack has a "TV tuner cleaner" aerosol that also works well, without the drawbacks of penetrating lubricants.
     
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