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Username Post: Need help with electrical        (Topic#365100)
Posts: 11

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 04-30-14
05-03-21 07:55 PM - Post#2819233    

Today I was looking at something after work and noticed the ignition in run position, turned it back off but I don't have power to any lights and no start, but the fuel gauge does go back up, drops down to E after returning to off position. The ignition can be turned without key so probably not a factory switch, or needs to be replaced anyway.

Did I burn up my ignition switch? I tried taking it out to check it out but for the life of me, after 2 hours, I swear there is no brass retaining ball in mine or it won't depress anymore. I switched from the paperclip to heavier binder clip wire and still nothing to get lock cylinder out.

1966 Chevrolet C10 with 350 sbc SM420
1986 Chevrolet C20 crew cab with 350 TH400


Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 466
Loc: West Richland, WA
Reg: 02-05-17
05-04-21 06:40 AM - Post#2819254    
    In response to OldsCool398

It's common for the factory lock to wear out and allow a screwdriver to start it. Both my brother's truck ('63) and mine ('65) could be started with a screwdriver when we purchased them in the 90's.
For the power problems, it's unlikely you burned up the switch to cause no power to anything just from leaving it on. In fact, the lights aren't affected by the ignition switch, so there's something else wrong. Troubleshooting steps I'd take are:
1) Make sure battery is fully charged.
2) Check grounds: specifically engine to body, engine to chassis, and main ground wire at the battery to the body.
3) Check for any bad fuses in the fuse block.
4) Use the factory wiring diagram to trace wires to each circuit and use a volt meter to measure voltage at key locations.

As far as removing the ignition lock, it sounds like you've researched how to do it, and it's just not coming out. You start with it in the accessory position, which should allow the lock and the button to line up. Press in the button, and then turn the lock past accessory and it should come out. You should feel the little brass button depressing when you put the paperclip in. You should feel it contact, then a little more pressure to get it to release. It's possible that after ~60 years the button is stuck. Removing it at that point probably requires destroying it in order to get it out.

Posts: 12

Reg: 03-16-21
05-04-21 02:05 PM - Post#2819271    
    In response to OldsCool398

Good comments from JKtrucker. Here are mine. This is VERY difficult without knowing if your switch is original type. Without a picture of it's terminals:
So I will proceed assuming original type.
Hold off on taking tumbler out. That's not how you test a switch.
You didn't give us any information as to if you have checked the battery for 12.6V. It's possible you just drained the battery or (burnt coil or points or maybe the switch). But first things first.

After charging battery. Try starting.

If no start:
1. By examination of ignition wires and switch, you should be able to determine which wires are run (to coil) and which are start (to solenoid) and which are battery (hot wire from battery)
2. Take off switch wires or it's connector. Attach or jump batt wire to run wire, touch start wire to those two (be prepared for motor to turn over and maybe start). Disconnect all the test connections. Switch is separated and not used for this test.
3. Report what happens.
4. Don't know your experience or available equipment so did not mention meter testing yet.

Posts: 11

Loc: Oklahoma
Reg: 04-30-14
05-04-21 06:21 PM - Post#2819280    
    In response to AdamAmp

Yes I gave little info in that post! I spent 2 hours before I posted this thread with the voltmeter and checked continuity of all grounds from battery to tail lights. I've been needing to do that anyway and grounds are in great condition, none of them corroded just dusty/dirt all over. However, I may have used it wrong to determine battery charge as it showed what I thought was 14.2V last night but this morning I hooked the genie up, it was flashing 25%!

Sorry folks, it was indeed a dead battery.

As for the ignition switch, I cut it out and put in a new one that now does not turn with key out, and can be removed with a paperclip as usual.

I also replaced the headlight switch that arrived with the ignition, and I have a dome light again!

I apologize for my hasty thread, I thought I did something terribly wrong leaving that ignition switch on run.

1966 Chevrolet C10 with 350 sbc SM420
1986 Chevrolet C20 crew cab with 350 TH400

Edited by OldScool398 on 05-04-21 06:22 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

Posts: 81

Loc: Arizona
Reg: 03-13-09
05-05-21 06:36 PM - Post#2819359    
    In response to jktucker92

I don't know if this will help or not. For 30 years Ihave bypassed my neutral safety switching my 74 First I turn on the key. My voltage meter comes alive then I start it with a push button. But I would charge that battery first cause 99% it's drained.


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