Originally Posted by ilyaz
but then one of the switch contacts started smoking
>high contact resistance, either internally or at the switch push-on connector.
but then after about 1/2 second the circuit breaker would get tripped
If you look at the trip curve for a residential breaker, 1/2 second means a pretty heavy overload, several times rated current.
This switch probably puts DC into the motor in the off position to brake it. You need to take some ohmmeter measurements before you apply real power to this setup, there might be a diode inside the switch.
For a four terminal switch, checking with the switch on and off, two terminals at a time and reversing the ohmmeter leads to check for diodes, this is a lot of permutations.
If you post all your zero or infinity readings the resulting truth table can be decoded.
Plus your switch may be clobbered in a way that an ohmmeter cannot detect. If only the diode is clobbered you may be able to put one on externally for a buck or so.
You can check the motor by running 120v directly into it without the switch.