Ignition Switch

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Ignition Switch

Post by DiscoMalibu on Tue May 14, 2013 11:33 pm

Ok, just got my '77 Malibu running for the first time in 3 years. Its been 5 years since the motor ran. The original kick to get it off the road and apart was a bad ignition switch. Today I tried it for the first time and it worked a couple of times, but then I had to climb under the car and jump the solenoid to get it started. The switch was really hard to turn and I had to twist it as far as I could before it'd crank. Then it quit working.

So whats bad? Its been years since ive had a GM column apart. I know the actual key switch engages rods and in turn move a switch, correct? I have an '80 El Camino column and an '81 Malibu column, can I swap parts out of these? I'd probably use the '81 column, the car had 77k on it and a half a dozen key copies.

I'm going to start buttoning things up here really quick now that I know the timing is correct and I'd like to be able to start it with the key. I know for sure it's nothing to do with the wiring but in the column. Please help, i'm going to pull it apart very soon. bounce
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by Bruisr on Wed May 15, 2013 1:15 am

Sounds like the ignition switch needs to be adjusted on the lower end of column. It can be slid up or down depending on the tumbler rod. It might even be bent a little causing it to drag somewhere inside the column. I know on my car, I had a non tilt column and my sons 76 elco had a tilt column, a few of the parts are not interchangeable. You probably already knew that! (I just reread your post).
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by DiscoMalibu on Wed May 15, 2013 2:22 am

Thanks, i'll just have to pull it apart and check it out. I think theres two screws that the switch slides up and down on that can be adjusted. I don't remember, its been a long time!
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by 77mali on Wed May 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Yes there are & that little slider rod has to be in there correctly also. Take notes or pics when you remove it. They're not hard to adjust if that's the issue. BTW...happy belated B-day.
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by DiscoMalibu on Thu May 16, 2013 12:32 am

Thank you Smile

I did fool with it a little today, I took the cover off under the dash where the two knobs are for the vents. I turned the key and reached up and pushed the rod down at the same time. Wha-la! It cranked over and fired right up. I'll just adjust it when I get time, simple fix! I'm probably going to replace the switch too because its really sloppy and I have one thats like new.
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by driveit on Thu May 16, 2013 8:14 am

I wish my starting issue was that easy. I still haven't tracked down the culprit. I tried to put a wire in the nuetral safety switch and loop it, but it didn't change anything. I am loosing hope for driving the car to it's first ever show! Sad
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by dynchel on Thu May 16, 2013 9:06 am

Make sure the connections at the starter are clean ie arent green with corrosion.
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by driveit on Thu May 16, 2013 11:08 am

Will do! Thanks.
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by pila on Fri May 17, 2013 12:45 am

There's a connector on the neutral/start switch too, so maybe you could make sure it's on all the way etc...

If you should want to drop the column down from the dash to get to the switch easier, don't forget to un-hook the little cable that moves the shift selector indicator dial. It's clipped onto the sleeve that the shift lever is mounted on, with one screw holding it...

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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by DiscoMalibu on Mon May 20, 2013 3:41 am

I loosened the two screws on the switch, moved it upward on the column, now it works like brand new! Thanks folks! Very Happy
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by Bruisr on Mon May 20, 2013 12:57 pm

Glad it was an easy fix for you! Happy motoring!
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Re: Ignition Switch

Post by pila on Mon May 20, 2013 7:41 pm

Good to hear it's working OK with just an adjustment ! Very Happy

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