GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Ignition Switch



See Figure 1

This is an extremely difficult and lengthy procedure. You must remove the steering column from the vehicle and disassemble major portions of it. Because the column is collapsible in an accident, it is necessary that it be handled with care to avoid distortion of major parts. It must not be dropped, hammered on or even leaned on, or vitally important parts may deform. The procedure for replacing the ignition switch on tilt type columns is not included here because it involves substantial additional work and the use of several expensive special tools. Unless you are rather experienced, we recommend that the job be left to a competent professional mechanic.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the clamp bolt from the steering coupling at the lower end of the steering column shaft (located near the steering box, under the hood).
  3. Disconnect the shift linkage from the shift tube lever at the lower end of the column.
  5. Remove the steering wheel with a puller, as described above.
  7. Remove the left sound insulator and lower column cover.
  9. Remove the trim cap or lower trim panel from the instrument panel, depending on equipment.
  11. Remove the steering column cover and toe-pan attaching screws. Remove the shift indicator needle from the shift bowl.
  13. Securely support the column in position and remove the two nuts attaching the column to the underside of the instrument panel.
  15. Lower the column carefully, being careful to retain any spacers that may have been used in order. Disconnect the wiring. Then, carefully remove the column from the inside of the vehicle.
  17. Begin disassembling the column, removing the lock plate, canceling cam, and turn signal switch. See the "Turn Signal" Removal & Installation procedure above.
  19. Remove the ignition lock and key warning switch as described below.
  21. Remove the spring and bolt assembly, and the associated thrust washer. Then, remove the rack preload spring, switch rack, and actuator assembly.
  23. Remove the upper shift lever spring. Then, remove the gear shift lever bowl.
  25. Remove the shift bowl shroud and bowl lower bearing.
  27. Unhook and remove the dimmer switch actuating rod. Remove the attaching nut and remove the dimmer switch.
  29. Remove the attaching screw and stud and remove the ignition switch, disassembling the actuating rod from the hole in the sliding actuator.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Replacing the ignition switch

To install:
  1. Move the ignition switch sliding actuator all the way to the left (ACC) position. Then, move it two detents (OFF-UNLOCK) position to the right.
  3. Then, position the actuating rod hole in the sliding actuator, and install the ignition switch, stud, and mounting screw.
  5. Install the