GM Astro/Safari 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Ignition Switch

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For anti-theft reasons, on all models covered by this guide, the ignition switch is located where access is difficult. On all except 1996 vehicles, the switch is located inside the channel section of the brake pedal support and is completely inaccessible without first lowering the steering column. The switch is actuated by a rod and rack assembly. A gear on the end of the lock cylinder engages the toothed upper end of the actuator rod.

For 1996, the redesigned steering column relocated the ignition switch up the column, under the upper shroud and attached to the lock cylinder housing assembly. Although access is arguably easier here than in the channel of earlier columns, it still requires some effort.

When servicing any components on the steering column, should any fasteners require replacement, be sure to use only nuts and bolts of the same size and grade as the original fasteners. Using screws that are too long could prevent the column from collapsing during a collision.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Steering Column Without Air Bag

See Figures 1 and 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Common early-model style ignition switch-NOTE proper switch position for installation



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Fig. Fig. 2: Another common ignition switch found on GM steering columns-again finding the LOCK position is critical to assure proper adjustment during installation

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the lower instrument panel-to-steering column cover. Remove the steering column-to-dash bolts and lower the steering column; be sure to properly support it.
  2.  
  3. Place the ignition switch in the Locked position.
  4.  

If the lock cylinder was removed, the actuating rod should be pulled up until it stops, then moved down 1 detent; the switch is now in the Lock position.

  1. Remove the 2 ignition switch-to-steering column screws and the switch assembly.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Before installing the ignition switch, place it in the Locked position, then make sure the lock cylinder and actuating rod are in the Locked position (1st detent from the top).
  2.  
  3. Install the activating rod into the ignition switch and assemble the switch onto the steering column. Torque the ignition switch-to-steering column screws to 35 inch lbs. (4 Nm).
  4.  

When installing the ignition switch, use only the specified screws since overlength screws could impair the collapsibility of the column.

  1. Install the steering column and the lower instrument panel cover. Torque the steering column-to-instrument bolts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Connect the negative battery cable and check for proper operation.
  4.  

Steering Column With Air Bag
EXCEPT 1996 MODELS

See Figure 3



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Before installation, make sure the switch is in the OFF-LOCK position-a drill bit can be used to hold the switch in this position during installation

  1. Properly disable the SIR (air bag) system, then disconnect the negative battery cable. For details on disabling the air bag system, please refer to Chassis Electrical of this information.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower column trim panel, then remove the steering column-to-instrument panel fasteners and carefully lower the column for access to the switch.
  4.  
  5. On some vehicles, the dimmer switch must be removed in order to remove the ignition switch. If necessary, remove the dimmer switch.
  6.  
  7. Place the ignition switch in the OFF-LOCK position.
  8.  

If the lock cylinder was removed, the switch slider should be moved to the extreme left position, then 1 detent to the right.

  1. Remove the ignition switch-to-steering column retainers and disengage the switch wiring, then remove the assembly.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Before installing the ignition switch, place it in the OFF-LOCK position, then make sure the lock cylinder and actuating rod are in the Locked position (1st detent from the top or 1st detent to the right of far left detent travel).
  2.  

Most replacement switches are pinned in the OFF-LOCK position for installation purposes. If so, the pins must be removed after installation or damage may occur. You can make your own pin by insert a3/32in. drill bit into the adjustment hole provided in the switch in order to limit switch travel. Just remember to remove the bit before attempting to place the switch in service.

  1. Install the activating rod into the ignition switch and assemble the switch onto the steering column. Once the switch is properly positioned, tighten the ignition switch-to-steering column retainers to 35 inch lbs. (4.0 Nm).
  2.  

When installing the ignition switch, use only the specified screws since over length screws could impair the collapsibility of the column.

  1. If removed, install the dimmer switch.
  2.  
  3. Raise the column into position and secure, then install any necessary trim plates.
  4.  
  5. Make sure the ignition is OFF , then connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  
  7. Properly enable the SIR system.
  8.  

1996 MODELS

See Figures 4 and 5



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Use a small bladed prytool or screwdriver to gently release the retaining clip on the key alarm



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the ignition switch and key alarm assembly

  1. Properly disable the SIR (air bag) system, then disconnect the negative battery cable. For details on disabling the air bag system, please refer to Chassis Electrical of this information.
  2.  
  3. Either lower the steering column from the instrument panel for access or unbolt and remove the column. If the column is removed, prevent it from rotating so the SIR coil does not become uncentered.
  4.  
  5. Remove the combination switch from the steering column.
  6.  
  7. If equipped, remove the alarm switch from the lock module assembly by gently prying the retaining clip on the alarm switch using a small blade prytool. Then, rotate the alarm switch 1 / 4 turn and remove
  8.  
  9. Remove the 2 ignition switch self-tapping retaining screws.
  10.  
  11. Disengage the connector, then remove the wiring harness from the slot in the steering column. Remove the ignition and key alarm switch.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Position the switch to the column. Route the wire harness through the slot in the column housing assembly. Secure the harness using a wire strap through the hole located in the bottom of the housing assembly.
  2.  
  3. Install the switch retaining screws and tighten to 12 inch lbs. (1.4 Nm) in order to secure the switch.
  4.  
  5. If applicable, install the alarm switch to the lock module assembly by aligning the switch (with the retaining clip) parallel to the lock cylinder, then rotating the switch 1 / 4 turn until locked in place.
  6.  
  7. Install the combination switch to the steering column.
  8.  
  9. Position and secure the steering column.
  10.  
  11. Make sure the ignition is OFF , then connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Properly enable the SIR system.
  14.  

 
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