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Can I clean this switch? '78 Ibanez Artist

travisvwright

Member
Messages
11,879
The switch on my 78 Ibanez Artist is kind of glitchy. The neck position works but when I switch to the bridge pickup, I need to kind of wiggle it a bit to make it connect. Rather than just straight replace it I'd like to try and clean it. Can I just spray contact cleaner in one of these holes? It's not exactly what I'm used to.

The switch for identification:


The holes I could spray in:


 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,163
Yes - carefully bend the 4 tabs back that hold the bottom plate to the "box" or housing, and pull the thing apart, being careful to note how it goes together. Spray a good quality anti-oxidant spray on the contacts you'll see, then put it back together. Work the switch a bunch of times to bust off the corrosion, and you should be good to go.

Alternatively, if you're afraid to bust that sucker open, you can just spray the stuff into the switch via the toggle hole, and provided you use something like Deoxit or similar, it'll eventually wick down in there and do the job - regular contact cleaner will work, but I prefer an anti-oxidant, as it leaves a lubricant film that helps the parts make a reliable connection.
 

Barnzy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,491
Fully agree with Chris S., but take the easy way first, which is to spray a short burst of Deoxit through each of those casing holes with the straw (provided with the can), wait a few seconds, work the toggle a few times and flush with a few more short bursts. You'll probably find that the switch works like new after that but if not...you need to open up the casing and get to work.
Barnzy
 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,163
Fully agree with Chris S., but take the easy way first, which is to spray a short burst of Deoxit through each of those casing holes with the straw (provided with the can), wait a few seconds, work the toggle a few times and flush with a few more short bursts. You'll probably find that the switch works like new after that but if not...you need to open up the casing and get to work.
Barnzy
Yeah, prolly better - just read my post backwards I guess.:p
 

teefus

Senior Member
Messages
8,945
if you do end up popping the bottom of the switch off you might need to tweak the contacts a bit to get a better connection on the side that is twitchy.
 

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
I have had old open back switches get to the point where the contacts are no longer touching do to the plastic on the toggle wearing or the blades change shape, and have bent the blades to correct them. It isn't easy to do and get right, but if you gotta change the switch anyway then you got nothing to lose by trying it.
But normally Deoxit will fix the problem.
I have opened the backs of other types of closed back switches and fixed them, but never had to do it to a toggle.
 

Chris Scott

Member
Messages
9,163
I have had old open back switches get to the point where the contacts are no longer touching do to the plastic on the toggle wearing or the blades change shape, and have bent the blades to correct them. It isn't easy to do and get right, but if you gotta change the switch anyway then you got nothing to lose by trying it.
But normally Deoxit will fix the problem.
"I have opened the backs of other types of closed back switches and fixed them, but never had to do it to a toggle".
...I wonder how many of you guys live in the tropics or at the beach.:omg
 

travisvwright

Member
Messages
11,879
Fully agree with Chris S., but take the easy way first, which is to spray a short burst of Deoxit through each of those casing holes with the straw (provided with the can), wait a few seconds, work the toggle a few times and flush with a few more short bursts. You'll probably find that the switch works like new after that but if not...you need to open up the casing and get to work.
Barnzy
That's what I did. Worked wonderfully thanks for the advice.

...I wonder how many of you guys live in the tropics or at the beach.:omg
It doesn't know but I'm not sure where it spent it's first 30+ years.
 

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
...I wonder how many of you guys live in the tropics or at the beach.:omg
Not sure what you meant by that, but I do live quite a ways from "civilization" and don't always want to wait to finish a project until something arrives, and have the knowledge and skills to repair just about anything.
So I am use to repairing things rather than discarding them.
I am sure there are many others who do the same.
 

mark norwine

Member
Messages
17,163
dissenting opinion:

That's a crappy switch. A switchcraft only costs a few bucks; isn't this wonderful guitar worth it?
 

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
Exactamente.

If you are a guitar or amp, (or anything not made out of concrete) and happen to reside down here, it can get pretty nasty.

Ahhh yes, that didn't occur to me. I am more use to seeing switches destroyed by smokey bars ( thank God they are starting to curb public drug abuse a little). And for that matter pots in amps.
This newer more drug free society is still a rather new thing to me. I am still thinking in terms of spraying them and seeing brown resin drip off them.
 

Rockledge

Senior Member
Messages
5,553
dissenting opinion:

That's a crappy switch. A switchcraft only costs a few bucks; isn't this wonderful guitar worth it?
Actually those old Japanese switches are extremely good. But you are right, a 1978 switch of any quality is likely about used up.
 




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