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Old 03-09-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
silverado84355
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85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

Hey guys...I just went to fire up my 85 and no crank. I think it has something to do with the ignition switch because the key actually turns alot more than it should. Any ideas?
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:55 AM   #2
KrazyRay
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

There is a rod going along the side of the column that could have come apart. My inlaws used pliers on the rod to start their 87 GMC for years.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
Weasel Diesel
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

This will sound weird, but it can be a damaged rack & sector. The Ignition rod is activated by a sector gear at the end of where the key cylinder hooks in and enguages a rack that has the rod attatched to it. Lay your hand on the ignition switch on top the column, turn the key and see if you can feel movement in the switch. If you dont, then disassembly of the upper end of the column will access the rack & sector part. If you feel movement, then I'd go after the switch. The rack is made from a " cheezy" pot metal material and can crack & break. The sector is plastic. see link below, part # 24
http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/cc/full.aspx?Page=136
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:47 PM   #4
jhngardner367
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

I agree with Weasel Diesel.This is a common problem with these columns.It can break at any time,and usually,when the switch is turned OFF,it "snags",and breaks the rack.This rack also locks the steering wheel,so if you turn the key,and it unlocks the wheel,it may have broken at the point where the rod attatches,rather than,as mine did,in the middle of the rack.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:06 PM   #5
silverado84355
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

Thanks guys. Im going to tackle it this weekend. Now I know atleast where to start..thanks!
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:46 PM   #6
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

Hey guys, first post. I'm glad I found this thread, seems like i'm having almost the same problem as silverado84355

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel Diesel View Post
This will sound weird, but it can be a damaged rack & sector. The Ignition rod is activated by a sector gear at the end of where the key cylinder hooks in and enguages a rack that has the rod attatched to it....The rack is made from a " cheezy" pot metal material and can crack & break. The sector is plastic. see link below, part # 24
http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/cc/full.aspx?Page=136
I noticed at that link, in a box it reads "The rack and sector gear kit is the mechanism that locks the steering wheel when the truck is parked." They didn't mention anything about it being attached to the ignition rod, and actuating the ignition switch. This seems like a rather important piece of info to leave out. Are we sure this is the same part that actuates the ignition rod? I just don't want to return uneeded parts.
I recently decided to get my '85 C10 back on the road. Fresh gas, fresh battery, crank....nothing. I broke mine in the middle, and it is indeed made of "cheezy" pot metal. Do you know if dealerships still carry these so I can see it firsthand? Would I be able to replace this piece without having to remove the rod from the ignition switch or are they permanently attached? It's buried down there...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrazyRay View Post
There is a rod going along the side of the column that could have come apart. My inlaws used pliers on the rod to start their 87 GMC for years.
I've thought about doing the same, maybe using a small pair of Vice-Grip. I was afraid though of pulling too far back once the engine was started, and shutting it down again. Over and over. It doesn't slide to easily, and prefers to skip a few indents each time.
Would it be worth replacing this rack, or should I just wire in a new switch to bypass the current ignition switch or get a whole new/used column? Thanks for any info.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
silverado84355
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Re: 85 Gmc no crank..possible ignition switch

Fixed it! Broken rack and sector gear. It was only $10 bucks at autozone. Thanks everyone for pointing me in the right direction!
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