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How to Replace an Ignition Switch in a 1983 Chevy

by Jack Hathcoat; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver set

  • 3/8-inch socket set

  • Wrench set

A 1983 Chevy truck ignition switch is mounted on top of the steering column, underneath the driver's side dashboard. The column is lowered until the steering wheel rests on the driver's seat cushion and the ignition switch is removed. The switch shares its mounting position with the dimmer switch. Both are operated remotely by long rods that run the length of the column, and both are removed to replace the ignition switch.

Raise the hood and disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the lower cover below the steering wheel with a Phillips screwdriver. Set the cover aside. Remove the four bolts that hold the steering column into place with a socket wrench. Lower the column.

Operate the key switch and notice the long rod that moves back and forth. It is attached directly to the ignition switch. Unplug the wires going to the switch. The dimmer switch is mounted onto the ignition switch. Remove the four small screws that hold both of these switches into place. It is not necessary to unplug the dimmer switch.

Remove the ignition switch and set it aside. Install the new switch and route the switch rod into the indent opening in the switch. Bolt it loosely into place. Install the dimmer switch, locating the switch mounting flange partly on the column and partly on the ignition switch. Loosely install the two mounting screws. Pull both switches forward and adjust them so that the rods operate them properly. Once adjusted, tighten the screws.

Lift up the column and install the four mounting bolts. Tighten them firmly into place and install the lower cover by replacing the four screws. Tighten the screws with a screwdriver. Reconnect the battery cable and then lower the hood. Test both of the switches for proper operation.

References

About the Author

Jack Hathcoat has been a technical writer since 1974. His work includes instruction manuals, lesson plans, technical brochures and service bulletins for the U.S. military, aerospace industries and research companies. Hathcoat is an accredited technical instructor through Kent State University and certified in automotive service excellence.

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