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MG MG Y Type - Trafficator switching plate

I am in the process of repairing my trafficator switch. Unfortunately the centre of the little switch plate which is mounted on the central shaft has worn round, insted of being an oval shape with flat sides. As a result, when I rotate the switch ring on the steering column, no rotation occurs inside the switch.

I am sure I am not the only restorer to have experienced this problem - I doubt that it's possible to buy a new switching plate (if that is what it's called) and I would be very interested if anybody has come up with a fix.

I am thinking that I could make a new plate (A fiddly job, I'm sure, but not impossible, with patience)but I'm not sure what sort of material to use for the insulating material, which needs to be both thin and strong like the original bakelite used to be. Any suggestions much appreciated.

N Wakeman

Formica and similar laminates used on kitchen and bathroom worktops are thin and strong - stronger than Bakelite I think - and can be cut to shape using normal tools. It comes in different thicknesses depending on the quality - and various colours too! You can glue two pieces together if you want it thicker.

I have used this material to repair the dynamo cutout on my 1934 Lanchester with success. I actually scrounged a sample panel from a kitchen supplier. In the UK, you can order samples free from the manufacturer on line. They are about 6" x 8" and arrive in a couple of days.

M Long


I would suggest fill the center with an epoxy glue, then center drill it out with a drill slightly smaller than the smallest width of the square shaft. Then using a jeweler's rat tail file, file the flats out carefully to fit.

If you dont want to do this yourself, send it to me and I'll do it for you for free as I owe you for sorting out my door and boot lid locks.

Paul Barrow

Hi Neil,
I think you will find that the plate is made of the insulation material 'Synthetic Resin Bonded Paper' more commonly known as Tufnol or Paxolin(e)

The Formica referred to by Mike is a similar type of material, but not designed specifically for the job you require in the car.(it will work however).

You may be able to track some down if you have an electrical works who still make circuit boards etc, but if not, let me know how thick it is, as I may have a few small pieces here that could help you.
Keith D Herkes

Many thanks for your suggestions, Mike, Paul and Keith, will give me something to do today! Thanks also Paul for your offer of "hands on" help - I will try out your suggestions first and if I get into trouble ....

It's amazing how a tiny component like this can hold up progress for a couple of days!


N Wakeman

If you go to radio shack or any electronics supply house you can buy the same material that is used to make circuit boards. It can be had in different thicknesses. You can buy it with copper on both sides or just on side. The nice part is you can then make the necessary contacts if you buy the chemicals required to etch the material. In any case you can make a new part from this material that will work just fine. Be certain to get the kind without predrilled holes.


This thread was discussed between 07/06/2012 and 10/06/2012

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