My key is stuck in the on position........ - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:56 PM
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My key is stuck in the on position........

I've got a 84' Cutlass with floor shifter. I'm not sure what happened today, but my key is stuck in the on position. It won't turn back so I can remove it and it won't turn forward to start the car.

The car is still under construction. The last thing I did before it happened was forget to to put the car in park or neutral after it cut off. I started it again and it jumped forward, I braked, it shut down again & thats when the key problems started.

Any input on what happened and/or how to correct this will be appreciated.

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Old 06-24-2008, 09:17 PM
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Is the steering wheel locked? Try taking the pressure off of it if it's jammed tight in a slightly turned position.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:41 PM
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It's not locked, I really dont think it locks at all, hasn't locked since I owned the car(3 yrs), and the neutral safety switched isn't installed yet. I can completely turn the wheel both ways while the key is stuck.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:53 AM
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Might check your ignition switch and see if it's broken. It's on top of the column, under the dash. There's a rod that connects it to the lock assembly. That's an easy DIY fix if you're lucky.

My '78 Skylark did the same trick a few years ago, but I wasn't lucky. The locksmith only charged me $50, though, since I didn't care if the new key matched the old one.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:26 AM
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'84 Cutlass has a column ignition lock cylinder,the spring cap that is containing the sidebar wafers has exploded and is wedged in the on position. None of these ignition parts are serviceable to the layman. Either disassemble the column and replace the ignition lock or go to a locksmith and have him replace it. Strattec replacement part # 701 398, cost about $28.65.
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Old 06-25-2008, 09:32 AM
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Yep, time to unhook the battery, and pull the steering wheel, and replace the ignition lock switch.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:38 PM
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Before you tear into the column or anything else, check the backdrive linkage that runs from the trans to the lever at the bottom of the steering column. If the inner tube of the column has turned out of position, you will not be able to turn the key off. If the backdrive linkage is still connected, disconnect it from the lever on the column then pull the lever all the way up and hold it there while someone tries to remove the key. I'll bet this is the problem.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:50 PM
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It could be, but if he can't move the key switch to the start position, or any other position, it most likely will be the lock switch, not linkage, ot twisted tube, from what I have always found.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
It could be, but if he can't move the key switch to the start position, or any other position, it most likely will be the lock switch, not linkage, ot twisted tube, from what I have always found.
You're probably right, but checking the backdrive linkage and tube is quick and easy.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:58 PM
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Ok, thanx for all the tips. I lowered the column today and played around with the rod that goes to the ignition switch. It worked. I guess it was stuck or jammed.
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:22 AM
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This thread was moved to electrical because the problem turned out to be with the switch linkage ...


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