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          Ever have this problem? You have a component on your truck, and it's not at all obvious how you even begin to remove it without butchering it all up to the point of ruin. No obvious screws, bolts, or other methods, save just staring at it and hoping that if you concentrate hard enough, you can levitate it out. Sort of like those pre-War truck ignition switches, right? Well 'ole Trev did the unthinkable -- He asked an expert how to ...

Remove/Reinstall the Ignition Switch

(01 March 2008)

By Trev
Bolter # 13963
1937 Chevy 1/2-Ton

          After posting to ask if anyone knew how to remove my ignition switch from my "old" dash so I could reinstall it in my "new" old dash (and fumbling around with it for a few days), [ image ] I was on the verge of bringing the job to a locksmith.

          I called one (Solid Rock Safe & Lock -- (604) 760-0937) and spoke with the head locksmith, James, who was very helpful and told me the correct way to remove your ignition switch from your dash.

          In the thread I posted asking for help, the suggestions I got were "almost" right but there is a trick nobody had mentioned that makes the difference between success and failure. So I thought I'd post my first ever "tech tip" in case anyone else ever has to go through this. I am happy to say this worked perfectly for me and I got it done!

Here is the procedure for removal

  1. Insert ignition key in the lock.
  2. Turn key to "accessory" position.
  3. Insert paper clip into the hole next to key on ignition switch. [ image ] (if you have two holes in your ignition switch, as I do, it will likely be the hole to the left when they are at the top above the key). [ image ] You will know if the paper clip is in the right hole [ image ] by pressing down on the paperclip. It should feel a bit of resistance or "spring" to it.
  4. While pushing down on the paper clip, you should turn your key counter clockwise while at the same time pulling out the paperclip. (If you do not pull the paper clip as you do this, the paper clip itself will jam the mechanism making removal impossible.)
  5. If you have followed all the steps above properly, pull the key (still in the ignition switch) out towards you gently and as soon as the paper clip is pulled out, the lock mechanism should rotate slightly left and the lock cylinder should pop out, still attached to your key.
  6. Remove mounting ring (which holds the remainder of the lock mechanism onto the dash) by covering the mounting ring with a soft cloth. [ image ] Then use a pair of vice grips (not too tight) to gently loosen the ring until you can unscrew it the rest of the way with your fingers. Your entire ignition switch will now be removed!

Reinstalling your ignition switch

  1. Push ignition mechanism through your dash, reinstall and tighten the mounting ring, snugging it up with your vice grips and a soft cloth (as above).
  2. Once ignition mechanism is firmly in place, insert lock cylinder into mechanism -- your key still in the ignition.
  3. Insert paper clip in the same hole as before and line it up with the small spring/pin you see inside the mechanism.
  4. Push down on paper clip, compressing the pin inside the lock mechanism and push down on key/lock cylinder. Turn clockwise very slowly and gently as you remove the paper clip. You will feel a very slight "click" as your ignition switch falls into place. It is now reinstalled correctly and should turn smoothly with the key in all positions.

          It seems very simple once you know how. But until I spoke with James, I was trying to use paper clips in both holes and nowhere did I see mention of turning the key counter clockwise. As it turns out, that is the only way it will work!!!

          I hope this will help other 'Bolters who may have to deal with this issue... good luck!



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