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IGNITION KEY Stuck in my '69

 
Old 04-11-2010, 06:17 PM
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VancouverMark
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Default IGNITION KEY Stuck in my '69

Hey Guys

For whatever reason my Ignition Key decided to get stuck today. Normall I just shut the car off and the keys turns back the the "lock" position and I take it out. Today it would not roll all the way back to the Lock position. I don't have tilt or telescopic.

How do I get the key out and fix this?
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:37 PM
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rvazquez
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not sure about a 69 but in my 72 which is a 4 speed car, I have to have it in reverse to get the key to return to the off position which allows the removal of the key. Don't know what to do if its an automatic car, I guess you would have to make sure it was in Park.
Good Luck
Regards
Roy
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:06 PM
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Jim Shea
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The lever on the lower end of 1969+ GM steering columns is a very important part that enables the General Motors Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System to operate. When GM introduced their locking steering column on all GM cars in 1969 they were very afraid of lawsuits from people who by mistake turned off their ignition and locked their steering wheel even while the car was still moving forward.

So GM and Saginaw Division designed a system where there is a gate designed inside the steering column. Regardless if the gate is activated, the driver is always allowed to just turn the engine OFF. But the gate prevents the ignition key from being rotated all the way to OFF-LOCK which would not only will shut off the engine but also causes the steering wheel to be locked. Also, the ignition key can only be pulled from the lock cylinder in the OFF-LOCK position.

FYI - Most people think that there are only four positions for your ignition key and switch. There are actually five, from ignition key full CW and rotated to the full CCW position:
START (key springs back to the RUN position); RUN; OFF; OFF-LOCK; & ACCESSORY.

This is how the steering column/transmission shift interlock system worked:
On the 1969-1976 Corvette there is a cable system coming from your transmission that is connected to that lever. When you shift into PARK (automatic trans) or into REVERSE (manual trans) you will note that the lever is pushed to the full UP position (about the 2 o’clock position as viewed looking down the steering column from the driver seat.) With the lever UP that gate is opened inside the column and it now allows your ignition key to rotate further from the OFF to the OFF-LOCK position.

As stated previously, you can always shut the engine OFF but you cannot lock the steering wheel or remove your ignition key unless the ignition key is rotated to OFF-LOCK. Now a lot of people with floor shifters disconnect the cable or linkage system from the lever on the column.

One problem would be that the ignition key will now be enabled so as to shut the engine OFF and yet continue being rotated further to OFF-LOCK which will lock the steering wheel from turning, (even when driving down the road.)

Jim Shea
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:21 PM
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1ARACE
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Originally Posted by Jim Shea View Post
Now a lot of people with floor shifters disconnect the cable or linkage system from the lever on the column.
I'm guilty of this. Less hassle IMO.
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Old 04-11-2010, 10:31 PM
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VancouverMark
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This Forum is awesome! I looked under the hood and low and behold the cable was off the linkage due to a missing cotter pin. I popped in a paperclip to do the job for now. Even still it takes some playing around to get it to the Lock position, but it does.

So if I disconnect the linkage and just put the cable in the all the way down position it should solve the problem right?
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:59 AM
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Jim Shea
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The cable only operates the lever. You need the lever all the way in the UP position (about 2 o'clock if you were looking down the column from the driver seat) in order to be able to rotate your ignition key to the OFF-LOCK position and remove your key.

Jim
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:17 PM
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I have a 1976 Corvette with the key stuck in the on position in the ignition. My car is an automatic with a telescopic column. Any help, I've tried to loosen the bolts & found the rod still in it's place, confused chickie at this point in time.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 1ARACE View Post
I'm guilty of this. Less hassle IMO.
Same. I will come up with a graceful fix when I'm ready to install a new alarm system.

I actually lubed everything and installed a new cable. It kinked immediately.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:14 PM
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Default Excellent explanation, thanks Jim!

Excellent explanation, thanks Jim!
Originally Posted by Jim Shea View Post
The lever on the lower end of 1969+ GM steering columns is a very important part that enables the General Motors Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System to operate. When GM introduced their locking steering column on all GM cars in 1969 they were very afraid of lawsuits from people who by mistake turned off their ignition and locked their steering wheel even while the car was still moving forward.

So GM and Saginaw Division designed a system where there is a gate designed inside the steering column. Regardless if the gate is activated, the driver is always allowed to just turn the engine OFF. But the gate prevents the ignition key from being rotated all the way to OFF-LOCK which would not only will shut off the engine but also causes the steering wheel to be locked. Also, the ignition key can only be pulled from the lock cylinder in the OFF-LOCK position.

FYI - Most people think that there are only four positions for your ignition key and switch. There are actually five, from ignition key full CW and rotated to the full CCW position:
START (key springs back to the RUN position); RUN; OFF; OFF-LOCK; & ACCESSORY.

This is how the steering column/transmission shift interlock system worked:
On the 1969-1976 Corvette there is a cable system coming from your transmission that is connected to that lever. When you shift into PARK (automatic trans) or into REVERSE (manual trans) you will note that the lever is pushed to the full UP position (about the 2 o’clock position as viewed looking down the steering column from the driver seat.) With the lever UP that gate is opened inside the column and it now allows your ignition key to rotate further from the OFF to the OFF-LOCK position.

As stated previously, you can always shut the engine OFF but you cannot lock the steering wheel or remove your ignition key unless the ignition key is rotated to OFF-LOCK. Now a lot of people with floor shifters disconnect the cable or linkage system from the lever on the column.

One problem would be that the ignition key will now be enabled so as to shut the engine OFF and yet continue being rotated further to OFF-LOCK which will lock the steering wheel from turning, (even when driving down the road.)

Jim Shea
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by VancouverMark View Post
Hey Guys

For whatever reason my Ignition Key decided to get stuck today. Normall I just shut the car off and the keys turns back the the "lock" position and I take it out. Today it would not roll all the way back to the Lock position. I don't have tilt or telescopic.

How do I get the key out and fix this?
SOMETIMES ON MY 70 i HAVE TO TURN THE STEERING WHEEL FROM SIDE TI\O SIDE TO GET THE KEY TO LOCK.sorry I had the cap lock on,good luck, Rob
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