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Thread: Disassembling steering column?

  1. #1
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    Disassembling steering column?

    We need to change the ignition on our 69 Skylark. In the set we got both the key switch and the ignition whatever the switchboard is called in English.

    Trying to pry the key switch out, I can't for the world find a way to get to it since the covers to the steering column won't separate. What am I missing? Is there a spring lock under the ball bearing? Is there a way to separate the lock from the next piece there?

    Thankful for any and all help.

    Also, where does the connector bit go? Is it under the dash or in the engine compartment?

    PS: spare with me, I'm a total novice trying to help my lady fixing up her darling

  2. #2
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    To remove the key lock, refer to Section 90-36 step 1 through 11 in the attached pages from the 1969 Buick Chassis Service Manual. These instructions are for the non-tilt column.

    The associated switches and connectors are mounted along the column inside the passenger compartment. See drawings in the attachment. You may have to send a picture of the parts you received to insure correct identification.

    If if this is not enough information, I can send added data from the manual. We will keep going until the repairs are complete.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

  3. #3
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    Don't know if this is how one replies.

    You wrote about attachments. I Can't see any? Is it because I'm using my phone, or are they missing?

    Quote Originally Posted by TODD View Post
    To remove the key lock, refer to Section 90-36 step 1 through 11 in the attached pages from the 1969 Buick Chassis Service Manual. These instructions are for the non-tilt column.

    The associated switches and connectors are mounted along the column inside the passenger compartment. See drawings in the attachment. You may have to send a picture of the parts you received to insure correct identification.

    If if this is not enough information, I can send added data from the manual. We will keep going until the repairs are complete.

  4. #4
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    i can view his picture attachments just fine.

    it would be best if you viewed this on a regular computer but check your phone screen for a paperclip symbol or a bar that talks about the attachments on the post.
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  5. #5
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    There were 4 pages in the attachment. Basically the steering wheel has to be removed first. Then parts are pulled out of the top of the column until the latch that releases the cylinder can be reached.

    This has happened before with other guys in Scandinavia. If you would send me your e-mail address in a private message, I will send the attachments directly to you.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

  6. #6
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    Got the pics

    Thank you again! Logging on to the site with a regular browser did the trick. I have now printed the four pages. Hopefully I can get stuff done from this.

    Btw. A friend of mine (much more the mechanic than I) suggested removing the cabin part of the steering column altogether, so it would both be easier to access, and to figure out how things actuall are built. Any thoughts on this aproach?


    Quote Originally Posted by TODD View Post
    There were 4 pages in the attachment. Basically the steering wheel has to be removed first. Then parts are pulled out of the top of the column until the latch that releases the cylinder can be reached.

    This has happened before with other guys in Scandinavia. If you would send me your e-mail address in a private message, I will send the attachments directly to you.

  7. #7
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    Yes, if you have to go beyond step 12, removal of the entire column will be necessary. The whole column down to the flexible coupling in the engine compartment comes out as one assembly.

    Be sure to note the warnings in section 90-35 about handling the column when removed from car. Delicate handling is required to prevent damage to the collapsible parts.

    The steering shaft can fall out of the column unexpectedly during dismantling unless precautions are taken.
    What has been, can be again. (Bob Wills, 1942)

  8. #8
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    Exactly what Todd said above. The column is very easily damaged and where you are not so easy to replace. What you need to do shouldn't require removal of the column as this job is somewhat easy to do once the steering wheel and lock plate is off. I got so good at it I didn't even need to remove the turn signal switch just click for a turn and go through it.
    The most wonderful thing that was ever done for car thieves was putting the ignition on the column. They would break into the car screw a slap hammer into the lock cylinder and pop it out in one motion. Put a flat blade screwdriver into the hole turn it start the car and drive it away! At least with a dash mounted ignition the hood had to be opened to hot wire it. I had a 1974 Camaro that they did that to 7 times. I had installed a hidden cut off switch that was never found. They flooded the engine a lot but never got the car. I started hanging the chrome rings from the lock cylinders on the rear view mirror and the car stopped getting broken into after that. I guess they got the message. - Bill

    Edit: there is a plastic button on the cylinder that has to be depressed with it in the run position. Pull it out put the new one in, fairly easy. The time consuming process is removing and replacing the steering wheel and lock plate. Do Not use hard blows when replacing the steering wheel as a hard impact will collapse the steering column.

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