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Old 05-14-2004, 11:51 PM
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How to replace ingnition switch?

I'v ran into a slight problem. I need to gain access to the back of my ignition switch (where the key goes) to check to see if it's messed up inside (would explain why I cant start my car). I took off my steering wheel today but cant figure out how to get past a black piece of plastic with a piece of mettle behind it. The locking pin to lock the steering wheel from moving left and right when the key isn't in. I was also wondering about how much im going to be looking at spending for a new switch if its bad? This is on my 78 camaro as usual

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Last edited by hcker2000; 05-15-2004 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:12 AM
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You will need a lock plate remover to push the lock plate down and pry out the clip that holds it in place.

The plastic cover can be pryed off with a small screwdriver.

Let me know if there is anything else you want to know, I have repaired a bunch of those things myself.
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:24 AM
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Dang wish u lived in ohio i would have u come over and help lol. Yea we pulled the wheel off just fine with a puller but we couldent figure out how to get that plastic plate off so we xould get to the mettle lock plate (i dont know if thats what its called or not). Any idea on price if I have to get a new switch? Also could you tell me how to remove the metal plate behind the plastic and after that is out should I be able to get to the switch?
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:42 AM
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hehe yeah I think you might need my help, but I'll talk you through it.

First thing is get that plastic dust cover off, then once you have the lock plate remover you will see how it is meant to be used.
when you get the lock plate pressed down (there is a spring under it) there will be a clip to get off, which will be tricky. You will need two small screwdrivers to pry the clip out of it's groove, it will take some time and foul words.

Once you get all that stuff out the way, you will see a rack, and gear on the lock cyl that moves the rack, the rack is connected to the ignition switch farther down the column. If you need to get the lock cyl out, there will be a button by the cyl that will have to be pressed and/or a screw to remove, to get the cyl out. the key will have to be in the cyl to get it out.

Anything else?
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:45 AM
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Ok where can I get a lock plate remover? How much are they? And what do they look like? Also is this a farly comon problem with older cars when they dont want to start?
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:47 AM
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Some auto parts stores will rent them to you. they are about $25.

Are you sure the starter isn't going bad?
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Old 05-15-2004, 12:50 AM
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I replaced the starter the other day thinking thats what it was. Got it all hooked up turned the key and nothing no clicks no nothing. So to make sure the starter I have works I just hooked up a cable to the post that works the silinoid and for right now I just get in my car turn the key on get back out open the hood and put the wire to the + side of the battery and she fires right up.
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:07 AM
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Put your steering wheel back on, the lock cyl is not the problem.

The actual ignition switch is under the dash on the column, that switch is most likely the problem.
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:34 AM
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Ok so what exatly under the dash am I looking for? I can see the back end of the stearing column if I stick my head under the dash.
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:56 AM
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It's on top of the column under the dash, it's about 5" long, 1" thick, 2" wide.
Get yourself a Chilton manual for that car, it will help you out a bunch.
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Old 05-15-2004, 01:58 AM
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rgr that I'll pick one up tomarow. Will I be able to get at it with out removing a bunch of the dash? What color is it too btw?
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:09 AM
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I don't think the dash is in the way. the switch is bolted on top of the coulmn, it should be black, with wires coming out of it.
Just follow the red, pink and purple wires, and you should find it.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:13 AM
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Ok I dont think this is what your talking about but I saw a black conector strip is the best way to describe it. Will the switch part look like a switch I would have seen (I work with electronics so I'v seen quite a few switches but from what you say its in some kind of box which is probably why i didnt notice it.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:19 AM
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Yep there will be a connector up to it, and it will look like a box, it has rod going into it also.

I've got a coulmn out of a truck, with the switch on it I could take a pic of, but my camera won't upload pics on this computer.
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Old 05-15-2004, 02:23 AM
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No prob im sure that book will have a picture in it right? If you do get a pic onto your computer some how post it and ill check it out. With the rod it sounds like its a realy old way of working the switch. Your sure its on the 78? I just want to make sure before I crawl under the dash agine and about half break my back lol.
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