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Ignition won't turn

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Troubled, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. Troubled

    Troubled New Member

    Hello All,
    I am new to this forum, but on several others for my other cars, I have a question, have searched but could not find anything on this issue.

    First I have a '96 suburban

    Problem I can not turn the ignition with the key in, I can not unluck the steering wheel or move the gear selector, which keeps me from starting the truck. I have monkeyed with this for well over an hour, finally called a rollback to bring her home.
    I have heard this could be the tumblers inside the ignition could have fallen apart does this seem possible? If this is the case does anyone know how difficult this would be, I DIY most everything but I have never messed with this before.

  2. GaryL

    GaryL New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    Here are some instructions on how to replace the lock cylinder:

    Removal & Installation
    1) If equipped, disable SIR system, then disc battery. Remove tilt lever (if equipped). Remove 2 lower shroud screws. Tilt lower shroud down and slide back to disengage locking tabs, then remove lower shroud. Remove upper shroud.

    2) Hold key in START position. Using 1/16" Allen wrench, push on lock cylinder retaining pin. Release key to RUN position, and pull lock cylinder set from lock module assembly.

    3) To install, insert key into lock cylinder and turn to RUN position. Ensure sector in lock module is in RUN position. Insert lock cylinder into upper cover. Align locking and positioning tabs with slots in lock module assembly, and press lock cylinder into position.
    To complete installation, reverse removal procedure.

    1) If equipped, disable SIR system, then disconnect battery. Remove tilt lever, if equipped. Remove 2 lower shroud screws. Tilt lower shroud down and slide back to disengage locking tabs, then remove lower shroud. Remove upper shroud.

    2) Remove retaining ring. Remove SIR clockspring assembly. See appropriate AIR BAG RESTRAINT SYSTEMS article in ACCESSORIES/SAFETY EQUIPMENT. Remove wave washer. Using Lock Plate Compressor (J-23563-SIR), remove and discard retaining ring. Remove shaft lock shield assembly. Remove turn signal cancelling cam.

    3) On models with park lock cable, ensure lock cylinder is in OFF-LOCK position and gearshift is in Park. Insert small screwdriver into slot in lock module assembly, push against locking tab on end of cable and remove park lock cable.

    4) On all models, remove 3 screws, and remove lock module assembly with upper shroud. Remove backing plate from lock module assembly. Mark 2 sector gears at PARK-LOCK position for installation reference. See Fig. 1. Remove both sector gears.

    5) Using 1/8"burring tool, remove positioning tab on end of lock cylinder. See Fig. 2. Remove all burrs in and around lock module assembly and lock cylinder. From inside lock module assembly, push on locking tab and pull out lock cylinder. Clean debris from lock module assembly.
    NOTE: Ensure 2 sector gears are properly aligned at OFF-LOCK position, or lock cylinder will be improperly timed.


    1) Install sector gears and backing plate to lock module assembly, ensuring reference marks are aligned. Ensure sector gear in lock module is in OFF-LOCK position. Insert key in lock cylinder, and turn key to OFF-LOCK position. Align position and locking tabs with slots in lock module assembly and press lock cylinder into position.
    Turn lock cylinder to ACC position, and check alignment of arrows on sector gears (arrows should point toward each other). Turn lock cylinder back to OFF-LOCK position.

    2) To complete installation, reverse removal procedure. When installing turn signal cancelling cam, lubricate lower brass surface with synthetic grease. Use NEW shaft lock retaining ring. Tighten all screws to specification. See TORQUE SPECIFICATIONS table. Adjust park
    lock cable, if necessary. See PARK LOCK CABLE in ADJUSTMENTS.

  3. Harstad74

    Harstad74 New Member

    Hi I am new 2 this page also, but i have had the same problem.
    I own a 96 suburban 6,5 Diesel which wouldn`t start at first. Finally I had 2 really turn the steering wheel to each side get the ignition turned round. Try this, thats`s my idea.

    Greetings from North Norway
  4. GaryL

    GaryL New Member Platinum Contributor 1000 Posts

    Good suggestion Harstad. I have had the same problem when parked against a curb with the wheels turned just a little. I was thinking about that, but I assumed he had tried it again since it had been towed home. Hopefully it is something this simple.
  5. Troubled

    Troubled New Member

    GaryL thanks for the detailed removal guide. I will try it out this weekend since I have it back home now so there is no hurry.

    Harstad74 I have tried that many times, even the tow truck driver fought with it for awhile, my belief is that the tumblers inside the lock have fallen apart, so I will be taking it apart.:party:
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2008

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