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Old 08-04-2006, 08:35 PM
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72 chevelle ignition switch assembly problems

Hello
i have a 72 chevelle and ive had a problem with the ignition recently mainly the ignition switch, not the keyed switch maybe? but the switch on the column under the dash.
i got into the car once and it was dead, no power to anything at all. i finally replaced the igniton switch assembly and it worked fine for about 6 months, when i turned the car off ne day and it did the same thing. i replaced the ignition switch again and sure enough it fixed the problem. and again i turned the key and it half cranked and no power to anything, my first thought was the switch, so i got one and it didnt fix it this time lol. im stumped, the car gets no power to anything no radio or light work, i remember the first time i replaced the switch it was kinda tricky and was a pain but once i read the instructions 3-4 times and messed with it it finally worked perfectly. i checked my fuses and looked for loose wires but have had no luck.

i put the switch in and noticed that the car didnt work period and the key was able to be removed when fully turned in the on/running position, im still guessing that im not doing something right, i tried to different things and put the switch in 6-7 times, i have chilton/haynes manuals and installed the switch exactly how it was described, and how the instructions that came with the part instructed. this is a tilt steering wheel which is see alittle different than a non tilt in the instructions. any help would be great if anyone has had this problem before, if not its time to tow the car to the house lol thanks

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Old 08-04-2006, 09:21 PM
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Do you have headlights---if no, check for fusible link near the starter--there might be two of em.

Tilt Wheel---ahhh---whole new story
The tilt wheel is the most used option in every car i have ever had since High School--Have even installed tilt into my 67 Catalina and more recently the 59 ElCamino.
My chevy pick-y-up 79, has tilt, Bought this car when I was 18, still drive it some, over 400,000 mi.

I have replaced the pivots in the tilt assy 2 times.
The rack and rod assys. once. The rack and rod is a weak point in these columns, if they see any serious use at all.

You will need a manual to replace the rack and rod if you have never done this before--(column disassembly )

Try this----remove ignition switch---with a very stiff piece of wire bent at a 90deg about 1/2 inch from the end---insert into the slot of the switch and push toward the bottom of the column--you may find the switch is okay--the linkage from the key to the switch is bad.

You can also use a small screwdriver to accomplish this

I used a rod to start my truck for about a year before I got around to fixing it. (Ignition switch hanging below dash---rod on dash)
You will still need the key to unlock the steering, so if you do this and your key comes out in the run position---make sure that you turn the key back to lock, to make it more trouble to steal.

Bryan
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Old 08-05-2006, 02:08 AM
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Doc here,

When this occurs..And you lose power..do you lose HEADLIGHTS , BRAKELIGHTS, and HORN?

If so you have a bad connection from the link area to the fuse buss, and Ignition switch...Possably a cracked joint on the brass buss bar.

If the above WILL operate , while the other devices are powerless, check the plug at the base of the steering column for burnt, bent or corroded pins..clean and burnish all the pins..be sure the plug SEATS all the way.

When it fails, try pulling that plug and jumping the pins (follow your manual on the pin locations and colors) and see if you can get it to manually jump and function..If it does..

Check the adjustment of the actuator rod it may be worn or out of adjustment..Also any loose bolts on the switch that may throw it off..

If your just loosing the "Start " Function..check the Neutral safety switch..

As always , We assume you have checked and cleared any power and ground issues for the power and grounding busses/Cables.

Doc
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Old 08-05-2006, 01:46 PM
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Hello
the car is totally dead no power to anything at all. i am unable to get to the car today is raining and is at a friends house. im thinking that its making a bad connection and im going to go over it tommorow. its funny that this will be the 3rd time in a year i will replace this part, might not be the part at all hoping its a bad connection
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Old 08-05-2006, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

When this occurs..And you lose power..do you lose HEADLIGHTS , BRAKELIGHTS, and HORN?

If so you have a bad connection from the link area to the fuse buss, and Ignition switch...Possably a cracked joint on the brass buss bar.

--->**As always , We assume you have checked and cleared any power and ground issues for the power and grounding busses/Cables.**<---

Doc
Doc here,

If your loosing ALL power, replacing the switch is just throwing good money after bad...

Most likely you have a Fuse link at the big bolt on the starter intermittent, or loose ,... OR, the wire that supports the fuse buss from there is loose or cut..

Also the Firewall plug could be loose, bent pins or corroded plug/socket..

A bad Ground buss will do the same thing.

Doc
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Old 08-09-2006, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by customdrumfinishes
Hello
the car is totally dead no power to anything at all. i am unable to get to the car today is raining and is at a friends house. im thinking that its making a bad connection and im going to go over it tommorow. its funny that this will be the 3rd time in a year i will replace this part, might not be the part at all hoping its a bad connection
To add to Doc's infinite wisdom, we had a '71 Chevelle that had this same intermitent problem...it would just go dead all of a sudden. Only happened a couple of times, and we could not locate any loose connections or bad fusible links.

One day we are under the car messing with the exhaust and I went to pop the trnsmission shift linkage out of the frame side bushing (column shift) and get this great big arc...startled me quite good. Turned out that the battery was properly grounded to the engine but there was no frame ground (or maybe it was the other way around...been a long time and it wasn't my car). The chassis was grounding through the shift linkage!

Check and double check that your battery is properly grounded to the engine AND the frame, then check every other ground.

Sometimes these electrical gremlins can get quite inventive.
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Old 08-09-2006, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies and help guys! the easy answer is sometimes the best! the battery terminal was alittle bit loose. took me about 10 minutes of looking at wire connections to wiggle it and car started right up. but i did check all the other terminals and wires in the entire ignition system to make sure that was the problem. seems like the simple stuff gets me more than the hard stuff!
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar
To add to Doc's infinite wisdom, we had a '71 Chevelle that had this same intermitent problem...it would just go dead all of a sudden. Only happened a couple of times, and we could not locate any loose connections or bad fusible links.

One day we are under the car messing with the exhaust and I went to pop the trnsmission shift linkage out of the frame side bushing (column shift) and get this great big arc...startled me quite good. Turned out that the battery was properly grounded to the engine but there was no frame ground (or maybe it was the other way around...been a long time and it wasn't my car). The chassis was grounding through the shift linkage!

Check and double check that your battery is properly grounded to the engine AND the frame, then check every other ground.

Sometimes these electrical gremlins can get quite inventive.
Doc here,

To Add drama to Lonestar's Post ..

And the REASON I highly Advocate Grounding systems...

Imagine that the shift linkage was plastic..and the ONLY source of ground was the FUEL LINE...

Something to ponder , while you upgrade the Ground buss!

BE SAFE!

Doc
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

To Add drama to Lonestar's Post ..

And the REASON I highly Advocate Grounding systems...

Imagine that the shift linkage was plastic..and the ONLY source of ground was the FUEL LINE...

Something to ponder , while you upgrade the Ground buss!

BE SAFE!

Doc
Doc, did you know that "flame jobs" are still quite popular in the hotrodding culture?

Seriously, I am happy that the problem was simple, and yes it is usually the simple things that make for the most difficult diagnoses. I think it has something to do with ego and the refusal for us to believe that we could have done something like forget to tighten / check the battery terminals...

I had a car die on me in the middle of the night, out in the middle of nowhere AND in the middle of winter. I could not figure out why...killed the batteries in my flashlight looking. Spent the night in the car, freezing to death only to find out at first light that the stupid battery had shifted over shorting the + terminal to ground. I moved it over, car fired right up and off I went. Now I look at all the simple things first.
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonestar
I think it has something to do with ego and the refusal for us to believe that we could have done something like forget to tighten / check the battery terminals...
Doc here,

Notwithstanding that..

The single-most time and Expense consuming problem I run into on SBC's..

Guy Say's it runs like crap in a can..backfires once in a while, has no power..

you tell them like 3 times CHECK the fire order..and BE SURE 5 & 7 aren't backwards..

"Yeah..Yeah..It's all good" ..and He never bothered to check..because "He's Not that Dumb.."

A Month later..He's added a new Q~Jet.., 3 sets of Valve cover gaskets..(checking timing) New Coil...New Module..New Rotor and Cap..Checked EVERY Vacuum leak possibility, new smog parts..New fuel...PLUS the car has sat for a month..

Turns out...5 & 7 were reversed usually at the plugs..or at one end or the other..The ONLY two wires that are next to each other at BOTH ends!

Age has taught me..If I'm not "Dumb enough" to pull a bonehead misstake..That's probably EXACTLY what's wrong with it!

Triple Check everything if it is suggested or logical!

Doc
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