Author Topic: Ignition switch question  (Read 11307 times)

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Ignition switch question
« on: August 29, 2014, 10:27:42 AM »
I own a 85 C10 and I'm starting to have an issue with my ignition switch.  Over time I have to turn if farther and farther to start the truck and now it won't start on the first try.  I turn it all the way forward until it stops (no start) and back off and turn again and it starts.  I'm assuming ignition switch, but I don't know for sure.  Has anyone had this issue and can tell me what it is and how to fix it.

Offline bake74

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 5871
    • Build Thread
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2014, 06:47:13 PM »
     Yes, ignition switch.  It is worn out.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Online bd

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5726
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2014, 08:06:36 PM »
Before you replace the switch, make sure its mounting screws are not just loose.  If the screws are loose, the switch may have been pushed out of adjustment.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline Bronco Boy 66

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
  • Newbie
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2014, 08:14:00 PM »
Exactly what BD said, check on your column, under the dash closest to the firewall ON the steering column itself. it is a big ass plastic switch box that is SCREWED to the column. If that comes loose, which it probably did, presto, You ain't starting your truck..
Give it a look see. Let me know what you find.
 ::)
 :o

Offline haroldwca

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 65
  • Newbie
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 09:52:32 PM »
Scott, I hope the switch at the base of the column was, indeed, loose or defective.  If you have addressed this component and it hasn't corrected the problem, it probably is the ignition rack that has failed (broken).  It is buried deep inside the column, but is cheap (+/- $12) and still available at the local discount auto part stores.  To fix the problem, you may want to Google search "Jazzman Steering Rack Rebuild."  It's a 69 page pdf file so load it, go fix a sandwich, then come back and read up.  This is THE BEST online resource I have found for tearing down and reassembling the Saginaw steering column.  The article shows DOZENS of clear, up-close photos and uses correct terminology, so anyone who can follow directions and read a shop manual can perform this procedure. 

By the way, I also have an '85 C10, and last fall I experienced this exact problem.  First, I replaced the switch at the base of the column, without result.  I also replaced the ignition lock, which yielded no result.  Once I disassembled the steering column, the broken steering rack fell out in two parts.  This part is either aluminum or pot metal, so it is not high strength.  Also, our trucks are nearly 30 years old, and so are the columns we might find at the local pull-it yard, so a replacement column is likely to be prone to failure as well.  You may as well fix the problem.  Then you will have another 30 years of use on this part.  Good luck!

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 10:52:50 AM »
Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate it.  By adjusting the tilt (wheel lower), the truck now starts fine.  Tells me that it could be loose, or making poor connection. But then again that most likely is a temporary fix.  Honestly, I'm having trouble locating the switch.  It appears its on top of the column about half way down to the floor.  Difficult to access, but it does feel tight.  Is that the actual location?  The only box close to the fire wall is a enclosed in a black housing and I can hear the relay click, but I think that is just getting a signal from the switch.  If the switch is indeed on top of the column, can it be replaced from the bottom or do I have to take the dash out?  If it is adjustable, can I loosen the top mount bolts and push it towards the wheel.  Again any additional input would be appreciated.  thanks!

Online bd

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5726
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 12:50:21 PM »
Ignition switch replacement is fully explained on page 258 (3B4-19) of the 1986 Service Manual.  (Note that 1985 and 1986 procedures are identical).
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 11:40:11 AM »
BD, I really appreciate you taking the time to send this and offer input.  It does work when I adjust the steering wheel, but clearly that is a short term fix.  Looks like tearing it apart is the best long term option.  I was glad to see they stated dropping the steering column to access, because I saw no other way to get at it.  again thanks

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2014, 08:07:41 AM »
After using the truck for a while, my ultimate problem came through.  The ignition key switch has failed and now just loosely turns without doing anything.  Either the switch cylinder is bad or the rod is broken or not catching.  I was able to pull the wheel and remove a lot of wheel adapters, but now I'm at the turn signal portion and again having issues.  Per the picture, I cannot pull this round metal plate out.  I've tried prying the outside edges, but it doesn't want to pop out.  I don't want to ruin the turn signal mechanism, so before I keep pulling I'm again looking for advice.  How do I get the piece out and is it difficult to remove the turn signal mechanism?  There are a couple of screws that are accessible, but loosening them didn't do much other than disconnect the turn signal lever. The manual I have just isn't that clear, so expertise is what I'm looking for.  thanks in advance!

Online bd

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5726
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2014, 09:49:30 AM »
If you have a tilt column, the gear rack may have broken...

"How To: Fixing a Sloppy GM Tilt Column"

Whether tilt or standard column, disassembly is nearly the same - right down to the key tumbler. 

The lock plate needs to be compressed downward with a special u-shaped tool and the caging snap-ring removed before the plate will come off.
Rich
It's difficult to know just how much you don't know until you know it.
In other words... if people learn by making mistakes, by now I should know just about everything!!!
87 R10 Silverado Fleetside 355 MPFI 700R4 3.42 Locker (aka Rusty, aka Mater)

Offline LTZ C20

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3795
  • "I'm here for a good time" -George Strait
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2014, 09:52:06 AM »
There is a locking ring around the shaft at the middle of the plate. It's not very big but it's enough to hold the plate on.

There is a tool that goes on the end of the shaft and has 2 fingers that push the plate down  so you can pop the ring off.

Or you can do what I do. It requires a bit of strength and usually works better if you have a fairly strong helper. You or the helper pushes down on the plate, it's gonna require some good force but you won't break it. Then pry the ring off with a small screw driver, just remember, it's a spring so it will try and snap back or fly off when you get it off. Then slowly release the plate, then it will just slide off.

Reinstall the opposite order, push the plate on so it's resting relaxed, then push the ring on closest to its groove in the shaft. Then have helper push down on the ring and quickly snap the ring into place and release the plate.
LTZ Cheyenne C20

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2014, 10:34:08 AM »
Seems like there is always a trick to figuring a lot of this stuff out.  Can't thank you enough for taking the time to offer up advice and input.  Next step appears to be finding a strong helper, as my wife isn't going to fit that bill.
P.S. it is a tilt wheel.

Offline roundhouse

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1474
  • Newbie
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2014, 11:04:47 PM »
The special tool is only a few dollars

Any auto parts store will have it


I bought one a couple years ago to replace the ignition cylinder in a GM that the keys had been lost

Once you get the plate off there is a single screw that holds the ign cylinder in

You remove that screw and slide the old cylinder out

Offline LTZ C20

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3795
  • "I'm here for a good time" -George Strait
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2014, 12:36:16 AM »
Your welcome. I would suggest getting the tool like Roundhouse said. It's not a super hard task, just gotta know all the steps haha.

Get the tool, you will have her fixed up in no time.
LTZ Cheyenne C20

Offline ScottD

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 29
  • 1985 C-10
Re: Ignition switch question
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2014, 08:49:21 PM »
I'm back and I have everything apart, but I don't see the issue.  The key cylinder seems to work find and I see everything moving and it looks OK, but then again I've never seen it before.  I assume there is a rod that pushes down towards the ignition switch, but I don't know exactly where that is.  Like I said, everything rotates fine on top, but it doesn't seem to do anything.  Does the mechanism on the left side push a rod down when it rotates?  My old truck was stolen via Chicago punch where the peeled back the column and pushed something down to get it started.  Could that something be broken or is there a way to test that function with everything apart?  I really want to figure this out, but never working on this puts me at a major disadvantage.  Again, looking for some expertise.  thanks in advance.