Q: Ignition Lock Cylinder Removal
I have a 1967 convertable and I am having a hard time removing the ignition switch. I have the cover unscrewed, but it doesn’t fit over the face of the key insert… is there a special way to get it off???
A: It is really easy to get out if you have a key. All you have to do is put in the old key put a needle into the pinhole and turn counter clockwise after you are in the aux position.
I did not have this luxery since the previous owner lost the keys in the 7+ years the car was out of service.
There is a very easy way of removing the cylinder without the key, but it can cost you up to $25 to replace the tumbler. I am always a paranoid skitz on this one, but here goes….
(Everyone has my permission to mame or kill anyone who tries to steal a bird or any classic GM with this information:)
Take a “TiN” coated drill bit (Titanium Nitrate) about 3/8″ diameter in your trusty hand drill. Coat the tip of it with lard, I used crisco shortening. You can use regular or butter flavored, which ever you prefer. Solid bacon grease works too, but I don’t need the colesterol. The crisco will keep the bit cool as it cuts through the steel face plate on the tumbler, it acts as a cooling/cutting oil.
Next I will tell you where you have to drill. On the face of the tumbler with the key slot vertical you want to place the bit around the outer perimeter. You should drill at (10 “O”Clock) not in the morning or night you see < — art art art, but if you were to look at the cylinder as if it were the face of a clock you would put that bit right through 9:48.
Do not let the bit walk even a 1/16th of an inch out of the edge in fact stay in a 16th from the edge. Try your best. It might even be beneficial to measure offset an use a pilot bit to start the hole before you use the 3/8″ bit. Now make sure you stay straight!!! Make sure that you are drilling purpendicular with the face of the tumbler!!! Other wise you get to buy a new ignition switch.. Got it..?
Only go in about 3/4 inch, and that might even be too much. I would keep looking into your bore with a pen light moving only an 1/8″ at a time till you see a spring popping out. Only the face of the switch is steel. The rest of it is soft aluminum, so watch you feed rate when your drilling.
Now there’s more. Tap the tumbler with a screw driver handle to nock out the locking mechanism. What you have just done, is removed the back of the locking block and the spring behind it. The switch will now operate as if it had a key in it. Put a standard tip screw driver into the slot and turn it to the left till it is in aux position. This is easy cause it will go no further to the left. Insert a paper clip into the little hole. You are now going to push a spring loaded button inside the hole with the paperclip while you turn the tumbler to the left with your standard tip screwdriver till it popps out like magic.
The replacement tumbler will go back in with the key inserted into it, and the top of the briggs and stratton facing 7:00 or so. Then you just turn it to the right and it clicks into place. Make sure you clean any runaway lard off though before you put it back in.
Mine only took me all of 15 min to remove and replace. Not really, I am lying because I drilled through the tumbler into the switch. Had I not done that though I would have had the new tumbler back in, in 15 min, and that’s no lie.
Good luck, and don’t forget to have your door lock tumblers brought into the locksmith to match your ignition key. Other wise you will be carying 3,4, or maybe even 5 keys to your Firebird. 2 is enough in my opinion. Costed me 18 bucks to have the glovebox, and trunk keys matched, as well as the door tumblers matched to the ignition key.
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Content last modified: January 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm