column messed up

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oldolds

Greasemonkey
May 17, 2017
159
24
18
pine city/rosaila washington
#1
i lost my ignition key so i went and bought a new locking cylinder and went to install it and it wouldn't turn, crap now what is wrong? i took it back out and it wouldn't turn i thought it was the ign switch so i removed it that wasn't it. the problem is in the column itself. now i just need to get the tilt mechanism out to get to the pinion or whatever it is called. i tried to tug on therod but it doesn't move either. what a pain in the butt.
 
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oldolds

Greasemonkey
May 17, 2017
159
24
18
pine city/rosaila washington
#2
took the steering wheel off and worked my way down to the three screws holding the housing on and gently pulled it up and saw the problem. it was gummed up with old grease and dirt. cleaned it up with brake cleaner and gently worked it and it finally came free. gave it a shot of lithium grease and now it is as smooth as butter. now to reattach the linkage for the dimmer switch.
 
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

G-Body Guru
Jan 2, 2006
695
432
63
#4
Dirt gets you every time. In my experience with old steering columns, either the grease just gets hard and useless, or dirt finds its way in there and gobs crap up. Think about it. Every time the car was stared every day of its life, the ignition switch was turned. That's a lot of cycles. I'm amazed they last as long as they do without some sort of maintenance.
 
O

oldolds

Greasemonkey
May 17, 2017
159
24
18
pine city/rosaila washington
#5
well, i thought i had it fixed but it won't turn all the way off. i am thinking it is just worn out. where can i get parts for a 1980 olds tilt steering column?
 
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

G-Body Guru
Jan 2, 2006
695
432
63
#6
What parts do you seek?

I saw a p/n 7827030, ignition switch actuator rod go for 22.00 on ebay a couple months ago. Discontinued from GM. The dimmer switch rod is 7820030 and it's discontinued too. There is one on ebay for 70.00, I think that's what it was. Way too much IMO.

7830380 is the ignition switch with keys. Delco #D1403B. Saw them on ebay….cheapest one I saw was 24.99 shipped. Good deal actually.

EDIT: I saw you had bought another ignition switch. Is it the right part? Just asking.

9990116 for the tilt ignition switch itself on the lower colum. Delco #D1405B. Still available from GM. Ebay sells em cheap. Around 15 bucks for the cheapest Delco one I saw. If your car starts, I doubt this is your issue, OR your neutral safety switch.

Sounds like it COULD be your ignition/key tumbler giving you problems. Worn key can do things like that as well.

All the parts above fit 80-up and sometimes earlier tilt wheels. Pretty much standard parts for the most part. But if you find out something's broken, come back here and ask. Someone may be able to find what you need.
 
Last edited:
69hurstolds

69hurstolds

G-Body Guru
Jan 2, 2006
695
432
63
#7
Tip about ignition and key locks themselves...…..briggs and strattion claim to ONLY use electronics cleaner for cleaning tumbler parts and powdered graphite for lubrication. Don't use any oily based things. Obviously dirt sticks to them.
 
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oldolds

Greasemonkey
May 17, 2017
159
24
18
pine city/rosaila washington
#8
not sure what parts i need. i have the key and tumbler out and the rack was not moving and it was dirty so i cleaned it up and now it turns ok with pliers but it doesn't shut off all the way. i am not sure how to take the rack or the round part out or even if that is wise. i haven't messed with the tilt part yet, but i shouldn't have to. i have a shop manual but the steering column is kinda vague so i am going by guess and by golly. so the ign switch for a tilt is different than a non tilt? it is a learning curve to be sure.
 
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