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Old 04-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
JasonTL
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88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

Hi All! Found this forum a few days ago and have already found some great threads and information. Hoping maybe you guys can help me with an electrical problem.

Car Info:
1988 GMC Suburban 207k Mi. 5.7L 350
Sat Dormant for a few years, I'm fixing it up and want to fully restore it.
Has a 6 year old battery that works well.
I should also note we have an identical Chevy Suburban that works fine(windows, heat, etc works). This has been useful for operational comparison.

And yes, I have checked the fuses first.

Here's the really quick back story(if you want I can post the 'Short' version which is longer than this):
Quote:
Last week I wanted to fix my power windows(all 4 don't work). After some testing I soon found out I had no power to my Driver's Window motor(switch seems fine). A little further testing proved I had no power to my 3rd column on the fusebox, this controls Heater, A/C, and Power Windows(which explains why neither of those two work either).

Checked the connector on the engine-side of the fusebox and only had power on 2 of the terminals. Checked and tested some other things and then yesterday went under the car and checked the battery cable to the starter solenoid and found a fusible link connected to it. Cleaned off the eyelet on this link and then put it back together. The connector for the fusebox I previously mentioned now has power to all of the terminals it should.

So I rechecked my fusebox after reconnecting the connector and I still only have .01-.05v on the 3rd row. The working Chevy has .01-.05v one these fuses when the key is not in but when in Accessories or running they have full power. Mine doesn't get full power even when running. It still only gets .01-.05v.
I have checked all the basics, fuses, battery connections, wire, different connections. I've checked a bunch of stuff that I haven't listed. You can still suggest it and I'll say whether or not I checked it.

I'm thinking the problem is the ignition switch. I just don't know where it is located.
Reason I think it is this is because it seems like the power for the 3rd column runs through that switch and isn't getting turned on when the key is in Accessories.

Could anyone tell me where this switch is(or provide a pic?)? Or if you have an idea what the problem is please tell me.

Thanks in advance for help.
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Old 04-15-2013, 05:02 PM   #2
Low87
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

It's on the top of the column, at the base. One of those fun things you can't really see. Should be a rod that runs from the key switch down to the ignition switch.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
JasonTL
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

I can see it when I lower the steering column slightly but I don't want to lower it too much or I might mess up my steering, right?

When I reach under the dash I can't even touch the switch. I can see part of it but I can't feel it.

Would removing some of the dash cover help? Should I remove my steering column(if so, how?)?
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #4
motornut
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

remove the two 5/8ths holding it up
be sure to remove the shift pointer
thought i had a better picture but nooooooooo
my 88s removed now
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:08 PM   #5
JasonTL
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

That's a high beam control? Thought it was gear shift control rod.

I got the Ignition switch off and found this.




Hmm, highly doubt that should be burnt. I tested that orange wire back to my fuse box and it connects to my HTR, AC, and PWR windows which have not been working. I'd say this is part of the problem.

I'm going to replace the switch and I think I should replace that connector, too. I think I can get the connector at Advance Auto.

BTW, my dead switch has a rattle. I'm thinking about opening it up to see what it looks like.
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:: 1/2 Ton : 2WD : 207k mi. ::

Restoring to original
To do list:
Lots of things...
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:14 PM   #6
motornut
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonTL View Post
That's a high beam control? Thought it was gear shift control rod.

I got the Ignition switch off and found this.




Hmm, highly doubt that should be burnt. I tested that orange wire back to my fuse box and it connects to my HTR, AC, and PWR windows which have not been working. I'd say this is part of the problem.

I'm going to replace the switch and I think I should replace that connector, too. I think I can get the connector at Advance Auto.

BTW, my dead switch has a rattle. I'm thinking about opening it up to see what it looks like.
omg seeing that your lucky you still have it
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:27 PM   #7
JasonTL
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

It WORKED!

Well, I did expect it to, haha.

I replaced the ignition switch and after getting it tightened in the right spot I reconnected the battery and turned the key. Started right up. I tested the 3rd column in the fusebox and got a pretty 14.6v(that's nice to see). operated some of my windows and my Passenger front and middle work fine(albeit a bit slow, probably need to get some lubricant spray on the hinges and track). My Driver's middle didn't work but the glass is cracked so I don't want it to go down currently. I had previously removed my Driver's front motor and regulator. The motor power connector, however, has a full 14v so I have no doubt that will work once I put it back together. I think that motor may be bad though so I may replace it after I test it.

Thanks for the help and encouragement.

Motornut, I just noticed I'm missing two of the nuts holding the steering column mount on. I have two, but your pic shows 4. That metal piece connected to it previously just hanged(I removed it for this). Do you know if I can buy those bolts somewhere?
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:: 1988 : GMC : Suburban ::
:: 1/2 Ton : 2WD : 207k mi. ::

Restoring to original
To do list:
Lots of things...
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
motornut
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Re: 88' Suburban: Ignition Switch Problems & Location?

glad to hear
I think that holds the wiper delay module
should just be bolts?
I can check in Am
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