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Ignition Switch

I love my Chevy Chevette!
Posts: 1
Joined: 01/13
Posted: 01/20/13 07:15 AM

I just bought a 1973 Corvette with a 4 speed transmission and when I wanted to take the key out of the ignition , I pushed in the clutch , pulled up on the lockout under the shifter knob , put the transmission in reverse , and turned the switch toward me to "lock" and I can take the key out , but the switch is locked will not turn away from me to the start position.   There was not an owners manual with the car , and I could not find anything in the shop manual to fix what I had done.   Is there a step to reverse this "lock" position or do I need to replace the ignition switch?   Thanks !  

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My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 181
Joined: 04/12
Posted: 01/20/13 10:47 AM

are you sure its IN REVERSE...

let me describe how this system works...

the reverse lever on the side of the transmission has 2 rods on it..  one from the gear shifter mounted on the tail housing..... the other a LONG Rod going forward to the steering column in front of the firewall...   corvettes use a cable.

this is the reverse lockout control rod...  when you place the transmission in reverse...  it rotates the shifter bowl where a column mounted shifter would be..

this aligns a notch to allow the ignition lock actuator rod to slide freely ..

allowing the ignition switch to be free to turn completely off...

can you place your left hand on the section just infront of where the ignition lock cylinder is in and see if it rotates when you pull it into and out of reverse..

i don't know if i should post this in the public view..

but i had a friend who had a gm with this type of column..   i showed him a trick..

i grabbed the shifter bowl and rotated it.. with the gear shifter in 3 or 4th gear... this pulled the transmission into forward and reverse at the same time.. LOCKING THE REAR WHEELs as tight as an automatic transmission in park...

he did have the issue when he did this of parking on a hill one time and getting it all bound up..


if the ignition lock cylinder seems to be seized.. this does happen...  as the internal parts of the lock come apart and wedge the lock tight...

its a pain but something to learn for corvette owners to replace the ignition lock cylinder..  it does require some special tools but most parts stores have the tools and the lock cylinder..

if you managed to hold the ignition lock cylinder in the CRANKING position and then moved the gear shifter into the REVERSE position.. there is a small chance the actuator rod could be caught by the gate in the shifter  bowl..

you could also have a broken actuator rod system in the column...

tilt column with teloscopic i am taking as almost all corvettes came that way...  

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My first time was in a Chevy
Posts: 181
Joined: 04/12
Posted: 01/20/13 11:08 AM

hmm... 69 to 72 uses a cable up from the transmission like this


this is not as good a copy but you can see the shift interlock cable in this image also..


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