Ignition switch tumbler doesn't rotate to all positions malfunction - CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion



C3 Tech/Performance
V8 Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine, Basic Tech and Maintenance for the C3 Corvette

Ignition switch tumbler doesn't rotate to all positions malfunction

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-05-2011, 04:04 PM   #1
Petes75Vette
CF Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Member Since: Jan 2011
Posts: 111
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Ignition switch tumbler doesn't rotate to all positions malfunction

I had a thread here looking for help getting my stuck key out of the ignition. The original plan was to remove the ignition cylinder and replace it, but, after some very helpful tips by Jim Shea and other members, I came to find out that the ignition cylinder was not the culprit of my issue.

Below is how I repaired it, and hopefully this can help others in the future.

The problem:

My key would not come out of the ignition. It would turn clockwise and turn the engine on, and turn counter clock wise to turn the engine off, but wouldn't make it all the way back to the OFF-LOCK, which is where it needs to be to get the key out. Below is Jim Shea's explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Shea View Post
Now, there are five positions for your ignition key, lock cylinder, and ignition switch. First disconnect your battery. Now starting at the most clockwise position of your ignition key and coming back CCW, you have the following:

START (the key should spring return out of START), RUN, OFF, OFF-LOCK, and ACCESSORY (you will need to push in on the key and cylinder to get from OFF-LOCK to ACCESSORY). Your ignition key can only be removed from the lock cylinder in the OFF-LOCK position.
The Issue:

The issue at hand is best described by Jim Shea. I'm quoting him from my original thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Shea View Post
On a 1975 Corvette there is a cable coming from the transmission (either manual or automatic) that attaches to the steering column. Open the hood and look down under the brake master cylinder. You should see the very end of the steering column extending through the front of dash panel. There should be a lever sticking out of the column jacket that is pointing toward the engine.

When you shift into PARK (automatic) or REVERSE (manual trans) the cable should push that lever all the way to the UP position. (If you were able to look down your steering column from the driver seat, the
lever would be roughly at the 1 o'clock position when full UP.)

If the lever is in any other position than full UP, you will only be able to turn your ignition key from START, RUN, and OFF. You will not be able to rotate to OFF-LOCK or ACCESSORY and remove your key.

If the cable is not attached or the lever and cable is stuck, you need to get that lever to the 1 o'clock position in order for the ignition key to be able to rotate further to the OFF-LOCK and ACCESSORY positions.

A lot of people disconnect the cable from column lever and permanently wire the lever in the full UP position. Maybe the lever has shifted, the cable is corroded and frozen, the cable has become disconnected, etc.
The Revelation:

I took Jim's advice and looked under my hood, drivers side, just behind and down of the valve cover. The lever in question is located there, and if you're in the drivers seat looking through the dash at the lever, mine would only go as high as 3 o'clock (but needed to go to 1). I tried to move it by hand and it wouldn't budge. I looked under the car to find the cable's other end attached there, and sure enough, it was bent. Thus, when the car was put in park, rather than move the cable up and the lever into 1, the cable basically bent on itself into a "u" shape.





The Fix:

Disconnecting the cable at the lever proved to be the fix. I could then move the lever up, and remove the key. Rather than leave it disconnected, I ordered a replacement cable (Corvette Central part#533030, cost $39.95). Replacing it was fairly simple. Put the car on jack stands, removed the retaining pins under the car and near the lever, and pulled the cable through the holes and out (takes some muscle as the cable is hard). Then put the new cable in, retaining clips, and tested...and she works.





Big thanks to all who helped provide the original data on the solution and parts needed. Original thread is here: http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c3-t...e-on-75-a.html



(The car in question is a 1975 Corvette, Non-Telescopic Steering, Non-Power Steering).
Petes75Vette is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Petes75Vette For This Useful Post:
EricBing (03-14-2016)
Old 03-05-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
V4motorsports
CF Senior Member
 
V4motorsports's Avatar
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Mystic Ct.
Posts: 423
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Great write up! My key does the same thing, now I know what to check.

Thanks

Russ
V4motorsports is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
kdf1986
CF Senior Member
 
kdf1986's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2004
Location: Campbell ca
Posts: 4,456
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Default

Nice write up with photos to show what was done.

thanks
kdf
kdf1986 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
sstocker31
CF Senior Member
 
sstocker31's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2006
Location: Edmonton Alberta
Posts: 1,282
Thanked 46 Times in 42 Posts
Default

Isn't it great that these guys with all the experience love to share their knowledge with us....

I say a big two
sstocker31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 10:36 PM   #5
BowTieBlood
CF Senior Member
 
BowTieBlood's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2001
Location: Little Elm Texas
Posts: 2,029
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Great thread! I know it's 'old' now, but I just purchased a car with the key stuck in the ignition and this thread came up in a search and solved my problem. I'm sure it'll be a good source for others down the road.



BowTieBlood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 11:05 PM   #6
Oldguard 7
CF Senior Member
 
Oldguard 7's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2002
Location: Norfolk VA
Posts: 2,262
Thanks: 0
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts
Default

Great info.
Oldguard 7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2013, 07:26 AM   #7
Jim Shea
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
Jim Shea's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jul 2000
Location: Saginaw Michigan
Posts: 5,983
Thanks: 0
Thanked 47 Times in 41 Posts
Default

We should make this into a "sticky" so it can be easily referenced in the future. This problem with 1969 through 1976 C3s gets written up very frequently.

Most owners are not familiar with the General Motors Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System. It usually comes as a surprise that there is a lower lever on the steering column that is connected to the transmission and interconnected to the ignition lock cylinder and key.

Excellent pictures and explanation.

Jim Shea
Jim Shea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
Dano C3
CF Member
 
Member Since: May 2012
Location: Clarkston MI
Posts: 57
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Shea View Post
We should make this into a "sticky" so it can be easily referenced in the future. This problem with 1969 through 1976 C3s gets written up very frequently.

Most owners are not familiar with the General Motors Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System. It usually comes as a surprise that there is a lower lever on the steering column that is connected to the transmission and interconnected to the ignition lock cylinder and key.

Excellent pictures and explanation.

Jim Shea
AWESOME thread! My 72 is currently sleeping in its winter cocoon and still has this very problem. I look forward to getting out into the garage tomorrow and hopefully fixing this problem. I too am one of the folks who had no idea about this system.


Many thanks guys, like always you're willing to help with volumes of tribal knowledge.

DC
Dano C3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 12:07 AM   #9
bluedawg
CF Senior Member
 
bluedawg's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jan 2009
Location: anchorage ak
Posts: 3,736
Thanked 50 Times in 49 Posts
Default

Awesome c3 tech.
bluedawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
Clay master
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Feb 2012
Posts: 38
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Well I checked the cable and it is in perfect condition. What is step 2?
Thanks clayton
Clay master is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 09:47 PM   #11
bdchase73
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
bdchase73's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2010
Location: Fairview PA
Posts: 177
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Would this cause a manual not to shift into gear? I just got it all back together an had the key problem as well (with a new cable to boot). I have not gotten under the car to see if this is the issue, but I cannot get it into gear (except reverse). Only know this as today was the first day this car has run since 86.
bdchase73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2013, 08:25 PM   #12
beautimus
CF Member
 
beautimus's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2012
Location: Woodstock Alabama
Posts: 76
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

also it might be a good thing to mention that the end of the cable with the rubber seal on it goes on the steering column end. just did this on mine and realized that I put it on upside down, and I had to redo it.
beautimus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2013, 08:42 PM   #13
BowTieBlood
CF Senior Member
 
BowTieBlood's Avatar
 
Member Since: Dec 2001
Location: Little Elm Texas
Posts: 2,029
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beautimus View Post
also it might be a good thing to mention that the end of the cable with the rubber seal on it goes on the steering column end. just did this on mine and realized that I put it on upside down, and I had to redo it.
You know, this has me worried that I may have put mine on backwards given that my broken one was the opposite way. My car is not here at the moment for me to check, but what are the consequences of installing it the opposite direction?
BowTieBlood is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 12:35 AM   #14
beautimus
CF Member
 
beautimus's Avatar
 
Member Since: Aug 2012
Location: Woodstock Alabama
Posts: 76
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BowTieBlood View Post
You know, this has me worried that I may have put mine on backwards given that my broken one was the opposite way. My car is not here at the moment for me to check, but what are the consequences of installing it the opposite direction?
I don't know , but I thought it would be nice to know which way it is supposed to go, just in case .....
beautimus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
genuine1980
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
Support Corvetteforum!
 
genuine1980's Avatar
 
Member Since: Sep 2006
Location: Jamison PA
Posts: 790
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Mine is missing all together. Where does it connect to on a manual trans. Pics would be most helpful, so I can see how this get's from trans to the lever.
genuine1980 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2013, 08:57 AM   #16
Buzzardz_vette
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
NCM Sinkhole Donor
 
Buzzardz_vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2005
Location: Yorktown VA
Posts: 2,046
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

My key has been stuck for the last few months. Now I have something to check tonight. I know the cable was removed by the PO.
Buzzardz_vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2013, 08:14 AM   #17
gofor28off
Junior Member
 
Member Since: May 2013
Posts: 29
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by genuine1980 View Post
Mine is missing all together. Where does it connect to on a manual trans. Pics would be most helpful, so I can see how this get's from trans to the lever.
Worth asking if there is any reason not to just disconnect the cable and leave the lever in the up position? Any thoughts on this? Thanks
gofor28off is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2013, 08:14 PM   #18
Buzzardz_vette
CF Senior Member
Support Corvetteforum!
NCM Sinkhole Donor
 
Buzzardz_vette's Avatar
 
Member Since: Apr 2005
Location: Yorktown VA
Posts: 2,046
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzardz_vette View Post
My key has been stuck for the last few months. Now I have something to check tonight. I know the cable was removed by the PO.
Thanks for the tip. My lever did move down about a 1/2" and that was enough to lock out the key. Saves me from taking it down to someone to get the key out. Now I just have to wire the lever up so it doesn't move again.
Buzzardz_vette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2013, 10:05 PM   #19
Higgy76
CF Member
Support Corvetteforum!
 
Higgy76's Avatar
 
Member Since: Jun 2013
Location: Senoia GA
Posts: 56
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Went and checked my 76. Almost made me giddy. Lower cable end not even connected.
Thanks for the knowledge.

Higgy09
Higgy76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2013, 10:06 PM   #20
CrazyJoe '76 L-82
Junior Member
 
Member Since: Jul 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

My key had been stuck since I purchased the car 8 years until I read this post. It took me about 15 minutes to disconnect the cable and pull the lever up. Problem solved!
CrazyJoe '76 L-82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Go Back   CorvetteForum - Chevrolet Corvette Forum Discussion >
Reload this Page
  • Ignition switch tumbler doesn't rotate to all positions malfunction
  •  
     
    Reply

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    1973 Turn Signal lever wilmac57 C3 Tech/Performance 1 06-21-2017 10:57 AM
    Reverse lockout cable 1969 loflite C3 Tech/Performance 13 04-28-2017 06:42 AM
    1969 lock cylinder linkage problem? 427JCD69 C3 Tech/Performance 4 11-26-2016 08:20 PM
    Ignition Switch Replacement & Adjustment bruisedknuckles C3 Tech/Performance 9 04-20-2013 11:02 PM
    Ignition Cylinder - How to remove on '75? Petes75Vette C3 Tech/Performance 16 07-07-2011 10:53 PM


    Tags
    1973, 73, 75, 77, corvette, cylinder, fix, ignition, key, keys, lock, remove, replace, reverse, steering, stuck, telescopic

    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Click for Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off

    Forum Jump


    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:50 AM.


     
    • Ask a Question
      Get answers from community experts
    Question Title:
    Description:
    Your question will be posted in: