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How do I remove the steering wheel on my 72 Lemans?

  
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How do I remove the steering wheel on my 72 Lemans?

 
radar_guru radar_guru
New User | Posts: 17 | Joined: 08/11
Posted: 11/05/11
12:14 PM

I believe the ignition switch is bad and needs to be replaced, but I do not know how to take the rubber three spoke cover off the original steering wheel so I can get to the nut and pull the steering wheel off.  Any suggestions?  TIA  

idrivejunk idrivejunk
Addict | Posts: 5138 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 11/05/11
12:41 PM

No problem, the ignition switch is located on top of the column, underneath the dash. No need to remove the steering wheel to get at it. Those three spoke steering wheel center covers usually have screws on the back side of the steering wheel.  
idrivejunk

radar_guru radar_guru
New User | Posts: 17 | Joined: 08/11
Posted: 11/05/11
11:56 PM

I had no idea the ignition switch was underneath the dash.......thx!  So maybe I should've asked a better question.  When I turn my key nothing happens.  I've tried it in park and neutral.  I've also jumpered across the neutral side of the safety/neutral shift and nothing.  So do you think its the ignition switch, or the key lock cylinder? I have also taken the starter off and had it tested and its good. Thx for the info IDJ!  

pepsi1 pepsi1
Enthusiast | Posts: 348 | Joined: 09/11
Posted: 11/06/11
02:08 AM

radar_guru:

Put it all back together. It's hard to follow simple circuts even without a schematic.Start at the Ignition switch, and follow nit out.

FIRST Check all the fuses and if you have any fusiable links. See if there OK. With a helper you will need to go to the starter motor as your helper turns the ignition switch. YOU CAN EVEN TAP on the Starter motor as your helper turns the ket.Check and see if you get power to the starter motor solenoid. If you don't start tracing the wires backwards.

Make sure you have a good battery, and good battery connection..
Make sure you have a good battery ground.Both POS. and NEG.
I don't know if your car has a small ground wire from the hood to the engine If it doesn't it would not hurt to install one.
They are usually grounded from the hood spring area on either side.Make sure you do scratch the surface under the connector you make,for a good ground, or it will all be for naught.
Does that have a floor shift? If so is it hard to move from park to drive ect.

Your just going to have to find out where you lost the battery voltage, Some FYI a starter motor can bench test fine,but may not have the power the spin the engine. (NO LOAD). Give all the wires a little tug. Do the connectors have any green corrosion on them. Replace them too.

Don't get frustrated electrical problems can be a real pain. It's good to have a helper on the inside of the car. The old cars are simpler to find a problem. For the simple fact you don't have large bundles of wires like the newer vehicles. Give me an older car any day.LOL

You may find it's something simple. Just take your time and if you have a have a trickle battery charger hook it up while your looking for your PROBLEM!!! LOL.......

I had a neighbor who's father had a beautifull LeMans. The problem with it that noone ever found even after replacing (4) floor shifter cables. The problem he noticed first was he had to play with the shifter to get the engine to start. The second problem was he eventually could not get it into gear, the third thing if it sat for a weekend the battery went dead. My neighbor asked me if I would look at it. I was under the car and was touching the transmission shifter cable the shifter cable wasn't warm it was hot! There was the battery drain. I started looking around and there it was a broken ground wire from the hood to the engine.(My guess when the hood was taken off the wire was broken). I had some 16ga wire so I doubled it up and put some connectors on it.I made two ground wires one for each side. I also put a #1 ground cable from the engine to the frame. The shifter cable was nice and cool.Those little 12" pieces of wire caused more grief, and each time it was back in the day $12.00 for the cable and I think $60.00 labor each time the shifter cable strecthed. I remember 4 times it was replaced.It just found its ground.
Does that have one of those annoying door buzzers? Does that work? If not they maybe on the same circut. GOOD LUCK and really take your time with electrical problems. Go to the starter solenoid first.  

idrivejunk idrivejunk
Addict | Posts: 5138 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 11/06/11
08:05 AM

All good info there, pepsi!  Smile

Radar, if you take the ignition switch connector off, you can use jumpers to check the switch. Meaning hot-wire the car. If she cranks with a jumper wire at the connector, yep its your switch. And they do wear out eventually and cause all sorts of problems but are inexpensive. I have even disassembled and repaired them before, they have copper or brass contacts inside that wear out. The part inside the column is called the ignition lock. If the key moves freely you don't have a problem there. The lock is connected to a long (wire rod) link that hugs the top of the column and slides to actuate the switch. Lay your hand over the column in the brake pedal area then work the key, you'll feel the link move. It just has a bend on the end that actuates the switch when its bolted up.

Also, to add to what pepsi said, if your car is floor shift, locate the collar on the column where the column shifter would be, and twist it counterclockwise. Sometimes the backdrive (the shift linkage that goes to the column so the neutral safety switch works) gets out of adjustment. I actually had a 72 Cutlass with that problem and it was like a security feature for me. Wouldn't start unless you knew to twist.

Once you find and eliminate this problem, be sure that your shift linkage is adjusted correctly. And keep in mind that this isn't store-bought advice from a jar. Just some dudes trying to help out. You are welcome here, ask anything.  
idrivejunk

idrivejunk idrivejunk
Addict | Posts: 5138 | Joined: 12/09
Posted: 11/06/11
08:51 AM

In case it helps, heres a '71 Cutlass wiring diagram, they are very similar. Hope you can read it. 71Cutlasswiring  
idrivejunk