How to Remove a Chevy Ignition Cylinder

by Don Bowman

When replacing a Chevy ignition lock cylinder particular attention and caution must be observed in several areas. The air bag system must be disarmed, if present. Disconnect the air bag once it is disabled and face the airbag away from your body. When removing the clockspring assembly, care must be taken not to disturb the position of the steering wheel or the clockspring. It must go on oriented exactly as it came off.

Disconnect the negative terminal on the battery and allow 20 minutes before proceeding. This allows the circuits to go to sleep and discharges any residual charge that could set off the airbag. Remove the airbag, using a torx bit driver to remove the two screws securing the airbag to the steering wheel from the back of the wheel.

Lift the airbag up enough to disconnect the two singular horn wires from the sides of the airbag, followed by the multi-wire connector for the airbag. Lie the airbag down on the passenger seat, face up. Remove the snap ring around the steering shaft, using the snap ring pliers.

Lift the clockspring up carefully. With your fingers, grasp the electrical harness and slowly pull it outward just enough to allow the clockspring to clear the top of the steering shaft. Let the clockspring hang.

Install the lock plate compressor on the top of the steering shaft and turn the top nut down with a wrench to push the lock plate down. When the lock plate is compressed enough, the lock ring will be loose on the steering column. Remove this lock ring with the small screwdriver. Once removed, take the lock plate compressor off, which allows the plate to rise. Remove the plate.

Remove the three Phillips screws securing the turn signal switch to the column housing. Lift the turn signal lever as if you are making a right turn. Remove the top screw. Return the lever to the middle and remove the screw securing the lever arm. Remove the arm. Remove the bottom screw. Remove the small screw in the emergency flasher. Lay the screw, the two halves of the button and the spring where they will not get lost.

Lift the turn signal switch up and over the steering column carefully and let it hang. Remove the buzzer on the right side above the ignition key lock cylinder with the use of a needle nose. Pay particular attention to the way it is installed before removing this little stinker. It could be a pain getting in and out. It is just a matter of slightly squeezing it and pulling it out, but it always seems to want to hang up on something. Putting it in is just the reverse. If it breaks or turns out to be a stinker, leave it off. If left off, there will be no buzzer when the key is left in the ignition.

Insert the ignition key and remove the small screw directly above the lock cylinder. Withdraw the cylinder. Install the new lock cylinder and all parts in the exact reverse of removal.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Bowman has been writing for various websites and several online magazines since 2008. He has owned an auto service facility since 1982 and has over 45 years of technical experience as a master ASE tech. Bowman has a business degree from Pennsylvania State University and was an officer in the U.S. Army (aircraft maintenance officer, pilot, six Air Medal awards, two tours Vietnam).

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