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Old 12-13-2010, 08:19:12 PM   #1
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Replacing ignition lock cylinder on a 79

I replaced the ignition lock cylinder today. I referenced an article from "Car Craft" but it was for a was close but there were some differences so I figured I'd post here for all to see. Obviously the first thing is to remove the steering wheel. Keep the key in the "lock" position throughout the process.

Once the wheel is removed you will need to remove the lock plate. It's held in by a retaining ring that fits on the shaft. The plate has a spring behind it so do yourself a favor and get the right tool. Autozone loans this one out. Screw it on the threaded part and tighten the wingnut. This pushes the plate back and you can remove the retaining ring. You can see the ring in this pic. It's not in it's's almost off but I left it on so you could see...

Next thing you see is the directional switch. Remove the lever and then the 3 screws that hold the switch in. The top screw is hidden but if you turn the switch (turn right) you can get the last screw. Then remove the hazard button and the switch is ready to pull out. You are going to need to go under the dash and remove the turn signal connector from the column. This gives you just enough play in the wires to pull the switch up and over the shaft so it can hang out of your way...

Okay now you will see a piece in the 2 o'clock position that has two copper "prongs". This is for the buzzer when you turn the key. It pulls straight out and they say there is a spring that you need to be careful not to lose. Guess what...I lost mine . Who needs a buzzer anyway! That piece fits right in where I have the screwdriver. I'm showing you where you need to stick the screwdriver in and push up (skyward) on the little white piece (you can see the white piece clearly in the above pic). But first here is the part that I had to figure out on my own. See the screw right of my screwdriver? That needs to come out then push up on the white piece and pull the cylinder straight out.

Here is a pic of the cylinder. The little white thing on the bottom is the thing you push up...

Reassembly is just the reverse. The only thing that is different is when you put the cylinder back into the column. You want to only push the key in about half way. This lets that little white piece fold up as you insert. Once it is seated go ahead and push the key in and give it a try. Hopefully it works! Put it all back together and you are ready to go! Hope this helps!

I decided to include the "Car Craft" article. They have better pics. Mine is mainly to show the differences between their Chevelle and my Camaro.

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Last edited by volsfan : 12-13-2010 at 08:25:21 PM.
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:35:03 PM   #2
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Nice write-up
1979 White Z 2/8 T-Top----- 388 CI

Lunati Voodoo Retro Hyd Roller Cam
AFR 65cc aluminum heads-180cc competition model
Holley 300-36 intake
MSD 6AL Ignition
Holley 770 street avenger
Ceramic headers Pypes X pipe exhaust
350 Turbo w/2700 stall converter
3:42 w/auburn posi

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Old 12-13-2010, 08:45:46 PM   #3
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Thanks. I got frustrated as I was reading the Car Craft article and found the differences so I figured I'd share.

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Old 10-29-2012, 08:47:17 PM   #4
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what is the size of the cylinder lock screw like the threads and length?
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