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My ignition switch starting getting more difficult to work correctly during these past 6 months.  Working on getting my car back on the road has been a challenge to say the least.  So starting the car today the ignition switch felt like it had dirt in it. Smoke came from the starter while it turned over. I stopped immediately and then checked for lightning to hit me. Ground cable to battery was hot also.  Electrical surge caused by ignition switch? Well I waited for 10 minutes, made sure the key was turned slow and easy and starter still worked and no issue.  It is not cured I know. Its a problem and I am not pushing it.  Just wanted to check if the starter was still working or not. So I will be hunting for a new switch now.  I thought my to do list was suppose to get shorter?  Oh and I posted today about my fuel filter turning to stone at the same time as this issue. Well the good news is my new front calipers and master cylinder work great!! Plus I replaced the fluid in my clutch slave. Damn it was pretty black after many years. So off on the hunt for a switch.


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  • 20230928_162826: My cool key I made 15 years ago
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The electrical portion of the ignition switch is a very, very difficult piece to locate. To my knowledge, no vendors have them. Occasionally the capri vendor teamblitz has used ones available, but not in regular stock.

The switch is known to gum up over the years, but it can be very carefully taken apart, cleaned and put back into service. See this link at www.Panteraplace.

The switch internals seem to have different versions, but this article will serve as a good guideline. The bending of the retaining crimps is very critical and if done wrong you will crack the black bakelite rear of the switch.


Dear Daxter,

           One option for the ignition switch is to treat it with a professional locksmith lubricant, Houdini.  Yes, that is the name.

       The link:

          I bought a can about twenty years ago.  A bit pricey, but it has worked well in home and automotive and padlocks over the years.  It is available on Amazon, Lowes and Home Depot, reportedly.

          If it works, then it is cheaper than  removing yours to take to a locksmith. 

                     Warmest regards, Chuck Engles

No vintage locksmiths near me on the east coast.  Some of those guys are geniuses. Replacement wire harness smoke was out of stock at my NAPA. By mistake I went to Pep-Boys first but theres only a counter in there and no parts or stuff. Manny Moe and Jack must be depressed over that change.

So I started on the ignition switch. The cover was held on by two straight slot screws. I think thats why a phillips didnt work. I got it lowered and without cusing loosed the wires that were in the block. I also found an old car alarm wire mess in there that I forgot about. ( had it disconnected years ago. Horrible alarm guys didnt even remove it just disconnected it.) Anyway  I was asking if I can remove the nut Im pointing at in the picture and if the steering column would then come out so I could work on it on a table. I think it would be much easier to do that but I read nothing about doing it that way. I have not even tried yet to remove the security bolts.


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  • column nut: remove and it comes out or am i dreaming
  • Bundle of joy

You will not be removing the steering column in order to service the ignition lock.

The two bolts with the torque-off heads that hold the ignition assembly to the column are generally not tightly attached. I prefer a small, fiberglass cut-off wheel with my Dremel tool to cut a flat slot for a screwdriver, or you can use a drill bit and an easy out.

but pulling the lock assembly off the column doesn’t give you any more access to that piece than you already have with it still clamped onto the column. As mentioned previously, powdered graphite, or Houdini lock cleaner/lubricant can be generously applied with it still clamped onto the column.


Well cleaned it and sprayed it and wired it back up. All good but those damn covers are a pain to get just right. So the factory made everything as small as humanly possible. Hands are a bit swollen but worth it for now. It starts and nothing smoked yet. When I put the front engine cover back on that changed something. I touched or moved something that must have been a bit crispy. So I went to start again and it only starts and idles super low rumble.  If I touch the gas pedal it dies. I checked fuel its getting plenty of that. So I have to go through the wires sitting in front of the dist and try to find an issue there.  Wife said not to buy lotto this week. lol 2 steps forward one step back. 

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