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BrianLucky13

Ignition Problems??

12 posts in this topic

1991 Pontiac Bonneville

The key wont turn the ignition anymore. I have 317,000 miles on it and wondering if its just worn out or if something else is going on. Can I bust the thing apart in use a screw driver or what do you guys think??? It has a lot if miles on it and dont really feel like putting any money into it. Any suggestions??? Thanks guys!!

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I would first try a new key, then if that doesnt work I would replace the key and tumbler, you could get one at a junk yard for little or nothing! A new one wouldnt cost much either.

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Tough one!

A new tumbler at the auto parts store will not cost much at all for this vehicle. The only concern I can see is I think you have to be able to move the tumbler forward (towards or right at “on” position) to be able to push the tumbler release button under the plastic cover built into the steering column.

I agree with 4WE. A new key ground fresh might be the solution. Just bring in the old one and they will be able to make a fresh key for ya. The key it's self might just be worn/bent enough to not allow the tumbler to turn.

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wack the part that the key goes into (tumbler) with the handle end of a good sized screwdriver a half dozen times. Then with a spare key try turning it. If it goes consider yourself extremely lucky! Go directly to the parts store and get a replacement tumbler (a dealer will code a new one to the original).

The key does need to be in the run position in order fro the retaining tab to release and allow the tumbler to be removed from the housing. You will probably see a lot ob brass in the housing. Make sure its clean before installing the new one.

If you cant get the key to turn then your going to have all kinds of fun trying to get it out!!

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If I'm not mistaken, the columns back in 1991 used a torx head set pin under the turn signal switch assembly to hold the ignition tumbler in. You don't have to have the ignition on with that style, but you do have to remove the steering wheel, the steeing wheel lock ring, horn cam and signal switch just to get at it. It sounds worse than it is though, without an air bag its a 20 minute job at most if you have the pullers and torx drivers.

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Ok thanks a lot guys!! Im trying to get the steering wheel off now without buying a puller!!LOL I bought this car for one dollar when it had 250,000 on it and dont wanna put another couple bucks into it!!! Any trick on getting the stearing wheel off without a puller im all ears!!!???!!!

Thanks again!!

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If you have 3 hands its easy, if not, a helper would be great. Loosen the wheel nut but leave the nut on a few turns to keep you from flying back when the wheel comes off....pull up on the wheel firmly and then have your third hand (or helper) hit the steering shaft to pop it loose. It may take a few taps to get it to pop. The thing is, this is the easy part. If you dont have a # 10 torx to get the security ring off, and then the puller to compress the steering wheel lock ring so you can remove the snap ring, you'll be wasting your time. With all of those tools its a snap, without them it can be a nightmare wink

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I got it off!! It took 3 bolts, 2 nuts and 3 washers. And 1/4 inch piece of metal with three holes in it!! If you no what I mean!!lol

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Sure I do, you made a "puller" good work, sounds like you are industrious...now comes the fun part!

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blush I should have known that Mac!

You'll have to compress the lock ring (the metal piece with all the notches in it) and remove the snap ring. The right tool will make this a lot easier!!! You then can remove the lock ring and the horn thingy plastic ring.

I think you have to remove the three screws that hold the turn signal switch in place. There will be a screw for the turn signal lever that attached to the switch also. There will be enough slack in the wires to pull the switch out of the way. Then there is a white plastic looking thing with a couple of brass tangs sticking out, carefully remove it buy pulling on it. Once that is out of the way you'll see the screw that holds the tumbler in place. remove it and pull the tumbler out.

Piece of cake! grin

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Thanks again guys!! I did all that Airjer said and removed the the screw holding the tumbler in. Pulled the tumbler out and now it just takes a pliers to start the car!! That lock ring was a pain in my butt. Then I couldnt get that thing back on so I put a washer on the outside of the bearing in there(cuz it was falling apart) then I put everything back together except for the lock ring and put the stearing wheel back on and tighted the nut up as hard as I could. The wheel has some play in it but it will get me to work and back and thats all I need!! I just wanna get to 360,000 miles on that thing and then sell it for a buck!!!

Thanks, again!!

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