Questions can be directed to Gary, Under (Contact Us) on the home page


1. SDCer Kieth Ogden reported a dead short on a 1964 champ pickup:

When the battery was reconnected after winter storage the battery was drained in just one day. The problem was a short in the brake light switch on the firewall mounted master cylinder. The switch had shorted to ground internally over the winter.

When investigating this always-hot (not-fused, not-switched) circuit, the positive wire to the switch was so hot it could not be touched. The heat from the internal short had slightly melted the insulation from both terminal boots. Keith's experience again underscores our continuing campaign to encourage, at the least, disconnecting batteries from vehicles in storage. Even more to the point would be adding a major fusible link between the wiring harness and the stud on the side of the starter solenoid, the stud from which current is drawn to power all of the vehicle's electrical system except the starter motor itself.

The way to protect your vehicle's wiring harness it to install a 10-gauge feed wire and a 14-gauge fusible link.

2. All cars can short if the key bezel breaks:

As you get ready for the spring and summer tours check the ignition switch bezel and make sure both sides are holding the switch in place. This is because if the bezel breaks the switch will spring back and short on the instrument panel. To make sure this does not happen glue with contact glue 1/8 cork/rubber material behind the switch so that if the switch bezel would break it will not cause a short and a possible fire in the car. (Purchase the cork/rubber material at a Car Quest Auto parts store. Cut the cork/rubber material in the shape of a (T) The (T) should be 3.5 by 3.5 the top of the (T) should be 1 thick and the vertical part of the (T) should be 1.5 thick) The other way to fix this problem is the buy a new improved bezel (p/n 1549685w sold by Studebaker International) and install it to hold the switch in place.