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16,202 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
original thread
I tore into this steering column yesterday and what a PIA. First off old, pot bellied, impatient Italians should never be allowed to work on F body cars, we just can't contort enough to get at all the bolts.
Removal of the wheel and getting into the ign lock wasn't to bad. The air bag columns have a deeper bucket and longer shaft and my standard length lock plate tool wasn't long enough. The first part you see under the wheel is the air bag module, then it is routine from there down. The VATS system must somehow be disabled. The ign cyl had one of the white wires broken yet the car still started. The security light had been on for months so I thought with replacing the lock cyl that would shut the light off. Wrong light still glows. His air bag light was also on all the time and I figured with cleaning everything up the spring loaded switch on the module would make contact and again the light would go off, well wrong again. 0 for 2. Well it turned out not to be a problem with the lock but the switch itself. So now 0 for 3. The switch is another piece of work, drop the column amidst enough wire to power a small house. Found that the shifter is interlocked thru the ign switch and guess what no one sells one. All the aftermarket parts places only stock the one for a manual transmission (which is pretty much the one that fits 90% of all GM cars) even though most F bodies are auto trans. Dealer item I am told of course the dealer is closed for the weekend. So where are we now 0 for 4. Time to disassemble the switch to make a shade tree repair. Found some broken pieces of the plastic slide that had jammed up the switch, removed them and cleaned it all up, everything works except accessory position which he can live without until a new switch is purchased and I install it. Ended the day 1 for 5 but the car again runs.
Some things I learned:

The airbag module if not positioned correctly will keep the right turn signal from operating.

Aftermarket alarm systems that dealers install are junk. By disconnecting the ground wire the alarm is useless.

When it is 110 degrees in the shade a pool is a better place to be than under a dash.

Things I need to learn:

Why is the airbag light on.

Why the security light is on and the car would start with the broken VATS wire.

Why my son can't learn to fix his own car. I am going to be feeble someday and make him take care of me until I die. Paybacks can be hell.

All in all a good day as I got to play a little with my grandson.

<<Update>> on the security light, son just called and let me know the light decided to go off on its own. Maybe the computer needed a few start cycles to reset.
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