1996 Suburban diesel ignition switch cylinder gear problem

Discussion in 'GM Electrical Tech' started by 2091B22, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. 2091B22

    2091B22 New Member

    I have a 1996 Suburban diesel that will not start. When I turn the key to the run position, all is well, when I turn the key to the start position, nothing happens. I have done a bunch of troubleshooting, and have narrowed down the problem to the gear mechanism between the cylinder and keys and the ignition switch.

    If I remove the ignition switch from the steering column, and turn the ignition switch with a flat blade screw driver, it goes to the run position, then the start position, and the engine starts normally. When I turn the key in the cylinder, the gear that operates the ignition switch turns, and does not seem to have a problem. When I put the ignition switch into the gear mechanism, and turn the key, the engine will not start.

    Has any one seen this problem and have a fix for it? What is the gear mechanism that connects the ignition switch to the cylinder and keys called? I can not find the part name on any parts list.
  2. 2091B22

    2091B22 New Member

    Ignition Problem Repaired!

    Not sure of the how or why, but the problem has been repaired. Hopefully the fix is long lasting, but I am not sure. I swapped in a new ignition switch and I got the same symptoms as I described in the original problem. Put back in the original ignition switch, and the same problem was there, so it seemed like the problem was not the ignition switch assembly.

    We took the original ignition out of the vehicle, as I wanted to ohm out some of the connections. I took the wrong side of the switch apart, and six little springs went flying! I recovered four of the springs, but could not find the other two. I took two ball point pens apart, and used the springs out of the pens in the ignition switch, and put the switch back together.

    We put the ignition switch back in the vehicle, and it worked! Tried starting the vehicle several times, and it always worked. We put the steering column and all of the sundry parts back together, and it still works.

    That was yesterday, and I am still not having a problem. Not sure why the new ignition switch would not work, and not really sure why messing with the springs in the original ignition switch fixed the problem. Hope this information helps someone else!

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