Ignition/lock/unit
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Thread: Ignition/lock/unit

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! deesse's Avatar
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    Default Ignition/lock/unit

    My SM is getting harder and harder to start. I turn the key to the starting position OK but the final twist to engage the starter is very tight and sometimes I cannot even get it to turn.
    I believe it is the same ignition unit as on the DS which I have heard are starting to split and give trouble.
    Does anyone, having encountered this issue, have a solution. I imagine sourcing a new ignition unit and key could be the answer or alternatively bypassing it with a starter button installed by an auto electrician.
    Can anyone recommend an auto sparky in Melbourne? preferably on the north side.
    Or can anyone tell me where I might source a new/ repro unit?
    thanks in advance for your advice
    cheers Tony

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  2. #2
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    I would try lubricating it with Inox.
    I know people say don't use a wet lube, only use powdered graphite, but our local locksmith uses inox and I have used it in a couple of locks and it has been magic.

    Only use Inox brand, other spray lubes evaporate over time and gum up the works but inox lasts in my experience.
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  3. #3
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    It sounds like the first tumbler has just about worn through its bore. Not too uncommon a failure after 40+ years. I would start looking for a replacement switch to have on hand when it finally goes.

    The SM ignition switch is not the same as DS. It is, however, very similar to series I CX. You can modify the CX lock to work in the SM by sawing off most of the steering interlock block and adding bullet connectors to the SM wiring harness so it plugs into the pins on the back of the CX switch. NOS CX switches still show up on eBay every so often for 100 euros or so. I saw an NOS switch for SM go on eBay for over 400 euros.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts gerrypro's Avatar
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    I repaired a DS switch unit for a friend a while ago. It would not turn the contact block at the rear of the switch barrel. There is a small roll pin in the shaft that engages into a slot of the rotating section of the switch contact block. It had sheared off. I merely pressed this out of the shaft and cut a suitable length of 1mm drill shank. This pressed into the hole in the shaft and was secured with a drop of Cyanoacrylate ( Super Glue). It has functioned perfectly ever since!
    Last edited by gerrypro; 23rd February 2017 at 08:13 AM.
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    Cheers Gerry

  5. #5
    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by simca1100 View Post
    I would try lubricating it with Inox.
    I know people say don't use a wet lube, only use powdered graphite, but our local locksmith uses inox and I have used it in a couple of locks and it has been magic.

    Only use Inox brand, other spray lubes evaporate over time and gum up the works but inox lasts in my experience.
    I have used silicone spray in door locks with success, at around $10 a can from your local auto/hardware store has many uses.

    The propellant evaporates away and leaves a coating of silicone.

    Graphite powders do work but are messy, I find silicone sprays are better and with the straw attached to the nozzle you can get the spray exactly where you want it.
    Regards Col

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  6. #6
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    Its very easy and low cost to fit a starter button, if you need a quick solution. Several years ago I fitted one where the cigarette lighter usually resides, which avoids messing anything up and is reversible.

    The only downside is I'll have to buy matches if I decide to take up smoking

    Cheers

    Marc
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    Cheers, Marc.

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    Thanks for your advice men,

    I will try the silicone spray ( I have been meaning to get some for a while) and then fit a starter button as I have always liked the starter button. Great idea to use the ciggy lighter spot Marc.

    Still though can anyone recommend a sparky on the north side of Melbourne? My local looks like a nightmare with lots of bomby looking cars parked everywhere so I don't want to take my baby there.

    cheers Tony
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  8. #8
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    I will admit to installing a starter button in my D while waiting for a new unit to arrive. I was sent a LHD item which annoyed me slightly. It was meant to be a temporary fix so was a little bodged up. Essentially I made a small box (black) with 3 rocker switches and connected the wires that went into the back of the barrel (and to ground) to simulate the turns of the key and velcroed that to the underside of the binnacle, way down deep and hidden. Then I installed installed a push button in the ignition barrel hole for the starter and I was away! I kidded myself that it was a nod to an anti-theft system - proto-immobiliser - and it worked very well. I'm sold on the button start idea.
    DS23 Pallas BVM Vert Argente - in ground up restoration, soon to be BVH.
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  9. #9
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    You can fit a starter switch... But whatever you do ... don't cut holes in that lovely SM dash to fit it ... I'd just cable tie it to the steering column until you can source a replacement ignition!
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  10. #10
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    Whatever you do I think it is wise to fit a Relay between the Ign sw (Button) and the starter solenoid.The heavy inductive current drawn by the Solenoid is damaging to switch contacts.
    Woody

  11. #11
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    My Light 15 has been operating on a push button starter for all of its now venerable life. It activates the secondary coils ( low amps) of the solenoid which then draws down the armature to make the high current connection to the starter motor! How is that going to burn out the starter push button switch? Why do you need a relay? BTW my 65 DS19 Pallas had a push button starter -----no relay!
    Cheers Gerry

  12. #12
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    Hi Tony,

    My best solution is to try Jerry Hathaway at SM world in the US for a new or good used unit. Jerry is an extremely knowledgeable guy when it comes to SM's, and if he doesn't have the parts, he'll have a good solution.

    With regards the DS LHD ignition lock (Vinczo)......... The LHD ignition lock fits all our BVH & Automatic DS's. As it wasn't feasible to fit the gear change for a manual car on the R/H side of the steering wheel as in a a LHD car, a special steering lock was made for all BVM RHD cars, as the gear change is on the left. This is why the blinker / headlamp & wiper switch are in the opposite location to a BVH / Auto gearbox car.

    Best regards,

    Greg
    We Have:
    C5 HDI Exclusive 2.7 '09, Pluriel '09, Berlingo 1.6 HDI '10, C4 VTS coupe. C4 Picasso '08, 2CV Charleston '84 Grey, 2CV, '55 Australian delivered. 15/6 H '55, SM '74 BVM, DS21 EFI BVH, DS21 '67 BVH.
    We Had:
    1930C6F, '73 GS1220 wagon X 2, '75 G special, '75 GS panel van, '74 GS Birotor, '82 GSA panel van with factory AC, '85 CX25GTI BVM, 2002 C5 V6, 2006, C5 S2 HDI, '86 BX19GT, '72 DS21 BVM, '55 15/6H, '54 Lt 15,'73 Dyane, '82 Visa Super X, with Chrono Mecs & factory AC, 1972 SM.

  13. #13
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    Hi Gerry, My opinion stands.The resistance of the pull in coil on a DS starter Mtr is aprox .3ohms giving a current of aprox 36 amps.
    While that may be low compared to the motor current it is not inconsiderable for an Ignition Switch. Coupled with the inductance of the coil it could be quite damaging in the medium term.I have had to fit push buttons on both my D,s for that reason.
    Woody

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by brian woodcock View Post
    Hi Gerry, My opinion stands.The resistance of the pull in coil on a DS starter Mtr is aprox .3ohms giving a current of aprox 36 amps.
    While that may be low compared to the motor current it is not inconsiderable for an Ignition Switch. Coupled with the inductance of the coil it could be quite damaging in the medium term.I have had to fit push buttons on both my D,s for that reason.
    Woody
    How come then I have never, ever had to replace a Light 15 Lucas push button switch? Obviously the switch is built to take the current with quite robust internal contacts. I have looked inside the relays fitted to both DS and CX. The contact sizes for the high current switching is nowhere near as robust as the contacts in the push button switch.
    Cheers Gerry

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Hi Tony,

    My best solution is to try Jerry Hathaway at SM world in the US for a new or good used unit. Jerry is an extremely knowledgeable guy when it comes to SM's, and if he doesn't have the parts, he'll have a good solution.


    Best regards,

    Greg
    If Jerry has an NOS ignition switch, it will easily be $500. The accepted solution for at least the last 10 years is to use the ignition switch from a Series 1 Citroen CX, which can be sourced from Citroen Andre and others for about one quarter the cost.
    Last edited by citroenthusiast; 24th February 2017 at 05:33 AM.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    Hi Guys,

    This might be a new concept for some on Aussie Frogs, but there are some Citroen owners that like to keep their car original. So $500 for a switch, so what, you have an awesome car worth good money, and the more you keep it original the more it keeps its value.

    I'm no different to the rest when it comes to putting my mark on our cars, but I've found the more you muck around with mechanicals the more unreliable they become.

    The first thing I do when I buy a used Citroen is rip out the crap that previous owner have previously fitted (usually badly)

    Our 1955 Australian delivered 2CV has a 12" hole in the firewall where a previous owner thought it was a good place to put a radio speaker.......He obviously thought it was a good idea?

    Best regards,

    Greg
    COL likes this.
    We Have:
    C5 HDI Exclusive 2.7 '09, Pluriel '09, Berlingo 1.6 HDI '10, C4 VTS coupe. C4 Picasso '08, 2CV Charleston '84 Grey, 2CV, '55 Australian delivered. 15/6 H '55, SM '74 BVM, DS21 EFI BVH, DS21 '67 BVH.
    We Had:
    1930C6F, '73 GS1220 wagon X 2, '75 G special, '75 GS panel van, '74 GS Birotor, '82 GSA panel van with factory AC, '85 CX25GTI BVM, 2002 C5 V6, 2006, C5 S2 HDI, '86 BX19GT, '72 DS21 BVM, '55 15/6H, '54 Lt 15,'73 Dyane, '82 Visa Super X, with Chrono Mecs & factory AC, 1972 SM.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    He must have wondered why that panel was called a firewall, the speaker coil must have been blown off it magnet by all the door slamming and in cabin versus outside pressure changes, and lets let all the engine noise in. I guess a cloth roof helps a bit there. Unbelievable.

    Cheers, Ken
    Last edited by Ken W; 25th February 2017 at 10:09 PM.

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, the CX switch is indistinguishable from late OE switch once installed. In fact, I am pretty sure Jerry has installed the CX switch in at least a few of his cars - he even published instructions once on how to do it.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! Greg's Avatar
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    Hi,

    For some reason I had it in my head that the SM switch was similar to the DS, but yes your exactly right, it similar to the CX unit. The CX unit, like other model of the same time has a removable electrical section, which is what is generally the problem. There are plenty of dead CX's around to cut the plug of the old CX harness & refit new terminals to fit the SM plug.

    The other thing that SM owners may be salvaging off the CX is the centrifugal regulator for the power steering. The units on the SM are failing, and allow at total loss of pressure in the hydraulic circuit. Jerry says its a world wide problem, with no solution at hand.

    I've contacted Citrotech for a friend, and they have advised they have looked at the problem, but say they have their hands full reconditioning DS hydraulic components.

    For every problem there is a solution?

    Eventually........

    Best regards,

    Greg
    We Have:
    C5 HDI Exclusive 2.7 '09, Pluriel '09, Berlingo 1.6 HDI '10, C4 VTS coupe. C4 Picasso '08, 2CV Charleston '84 Grey, 2CV, '55 Australian delivered. 15/6 H '55, SM '74 BVM, DS21 EFI BVH, DS21 '67 BVH.
    We Had:
    1930C6F, '73 GS1220 wagon X 2, '75 G special, '75 GS panel van, '74 GS Birotor, '82 GSA panel van with factory AC, '85 CX25GTI BVM, 2002 C5 V6, 2006, C5 S2 HDI, '86 BX19GT, '72 DS21 BVM, '55 15/6H, '54 Lt 15,'73 Dyane, '82 Visa Super X, with Chrono Mecs & factory AC, 1972 SM.

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    If anyone is interested, this is the Citroen CX switch that can be used in the SM. All you have to do is shorten (or remove) the steering lock and add bullet connectors to the wiring pigtail from the old switch.

    Citroen CX kit serrures neiman et barillets de porte neuf Valeo 252183 | eBay
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

  21. #21
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citroenthusiast View Post
    If anyone is interested, this is the Citroen CX switch that can be used in the SM. All you have to do is shorten (or remove) the steering lock and add bullet connectors to the wiring pigtail from the old switch.

    Citroen CX kit serrures neiman et barillets de porte neuf Valeo 252183 | eBay
    That's cheap for a CX igniton. I'm pretty sure I have used a CX igntion in a GS by modifying the ignition lock many years ago. So a GS maybe another source. That CX ignition will be a later ignition as the door locks are not a separate key. Interesting thread, early DS/ID's have an external starter solenoid, the current dragged by them would be much smaller than the "throwout" type solenoid built into starters. I'd also never use silicon spray on the ignition. silicon isn't a conductor. You don't want that stuff getting down into the switch contacts.

    seeya,
    Shane L.
    Greg likes this.
    'Cit' homepage:
    Citroen Workshop
    Proper cars--
    '85 Series II CX2500 GTi Turbo I
    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
    '72 DS21 ie 5spd pallas (last looked at ... about 15years ago)
    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

    Yay ... No Slugomatics


    Modern Junk:
    '07 Poogoe 407 HDi 6spd manual

  22. #22
    Fellow Frogger! citroenthusiast's Avatar
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    A common modification on 5-speed SM is to add a DIN relay between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid to take the load off the ignition switch. The automatic SM already has a relay there because of the neutral safety switch.
    Cheers,
    John T.

    54 11BL; 61DS19 LHM (son's); 71DS21 BVH; 73SM 3.0; 73SM 2.7EFI; 73SM 3.0 (other son's); 74 Maserati Merak

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