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Thread: Trick to installing ignition switch?

  1. #1
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    Question Trick to installing ignition switch?

    Just replaced the lock cylinder our 95 Park ave and added a removable passkey bypass with old car parts. https://www.teambuick.com/forums/sho...121#post105121

    It looks like it went well and it all works. However, in the process of narrowing down the problem I lowered the column and unbolted and slightly detached ( not the wires) the high beam switch and ignition switch to see if the key rack moved freely.

    It turned out to be a bad lock cylinder so I bolted the two parts back on, raised the column and started tearing into the steering wheel.

    But now I'm getting a no crank situation and there is also no click coming from the starter so it seems like it must be the ignition switch. Used the following page to check.
    https://itstillruns.com/test-ignitio...h-5892178.html


    Can anyone tell me if there's some trick to installing these switches on the key rack arm? Or maybe it's obvious to somebody how I messed this up? Thanks.
    Last edited by 95ParkAve; 09-09-2017 at 12:17 PM. Reason: Typos

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    The only things not hooked up are the airbags and one other thing I just noticed. It's this strange elastic cord coming out of the instrument panel with a clip on the end. It clips onto the plastic housing of the steering column.

    Could that little thing prevent cranking? What is it anyway?

    I just dropped the column a little way again to check the ignition switch. I haven't removed it again yet but it seems to have a full range of movement. The lock cylinder travels all the way from lock to start easily suggesting it's seated on the key rack okay.

    Are these things fragile or something? Did just inspecting it break it somehow?
    Last edited by 95ParkAve; 09-10-2017 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Typos

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    20170910_100916.jpgfigured out what this elastic cord does. It moves the orange shifter notifier thing that shows what gear we're in

    20170910_095521.jpghard to get a good pic of the underside of the ignition switch. But there appears to be only one hole for the key rack arm to go into.
    I bolted it on tight, snugged up towards the steering wheel. Based on the scoring from where it was previously installed, it's in the exact same position again.
    20170910_100724.jpg20170910_100745(0).jpg

    I was going to start it, see if it worked. But I had the battery disconnected so now I have to wait until the security light goes out in like 10 min.

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    Battery had gone dead being attached for a night and day. I disconnected the horn awhile back because the stupid alarm kept going off randomly. I'm guessing that cruddy alarm is draining the battery.

    This car is just headache after headache and most of the problems seem to stem from this ridiculously bad security from the 90s. Can anyone point me to a good thread on disabling this darn thing?


    Got the battery charged again and still no crank, no click. Security light goes off though.

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    20170910_100832.jpgThe only other thing I messed with is this connector. I unbolted the red bolt in the center but it never came out and just spins forever. I tried to bolt it back on but it seems to spin forever that direction too without grabbing anything, even when applying pressure while turning.

    I pried a little around the edges but nothing broke. The rest of the electrical in the car is working if that helps narrow it down.


    Also the only fuse that's still removed is the airbag fuse. But that's shouldn't prevent starting.

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    So I had the battery tested and I was surprised to hear that it passed.

    But, when it's connected to the car it dies in like 4-6 hours.

    I guess I need to pull out my multimeter and start looking for the problem that way.

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    Following this guide, http://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/3....es-not-crank-2

    I'm 99% certain it's not the starter. It worked fine before I took everything apart.

    Can anyone tell me how to test the ignition switch signal with just a multimeter? Don't have a power probe.

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    I just found this, https://repairpal.com/gm-passlock-security-light-issues

    Apparently, after a job on the lock cylinder, the passkey relearn procedure must be done. Really, nobody here knew that? I've been accidentally doing the 10 min procedure, sort of. But today I'll try the 30 min one.

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    Sheeeeeeesh, even that didn't work. It turned the security light off. But, still no crank, no click.

    Google just isn't as useful as it used to be since the corporate overlords turned the internet to little more than a mall.

    Isn't there some simple way to test an ignition switch with a basic multimeter?

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    A good item to start on is the battery drain problem.

    The whole electrical system should pull 50 ma or less of current with everything off. A 7-minute wait is necessary before testing so that timer circuits can time out and quit pulling current.

    Is your meter digital or pointer type?

    What is the highest DC current range on it?

    What is the lowest DC voltage range on it?

    Dream tool to have here is a clamp on DC ammeter.

    Does the car have any aftermarket electrical equipment such as stereo, amp, lights etc?

    We don't want to try measuring the current directly if it is more than the range of your meter. It may be pulling several amps at rest if it runs the battery down in a few hours.

    One easy thing to eliminate is dirty battery connections. Make sure there are no signs of corrosion on battery terminals or cable connectors. Clean them anyway with a wire brush or similar tool.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

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