Replacing the ignition switch

Guide and pictures by Devin Fisher

Applicability Complexity Time Materials Tools
1990-1991 Simple, with some frustrating elements four - six hours Ignition switch, multi-purpose grease T20, T25, #1 Phillips, and a 1/4 Flatblade screwdrivers. A deep 13mm, 1/2 or 3/8 drive, a short 7mm 1/4in drive, a 2in - 4in 1/4 drive extension, a 1/4 driver, a 1/2 or 3/8 driver, a punch or other flat, long tool, also a drill with a socket adapter to save your wrist is optional
  1. Remove the negative battery cable.
  2. Remove the under-steering kick plate. There are four screws in a rectangular pattern. This particular set calls for a T25 screwdriver.
  3. kickplate
    Kickplate
  4. Remove the headlamp switch and retaining nut.
  5. headlamp
    Headlamp switch
  6. On each side of the steering column there is a T20 trim screw (see yellow arrow). The one in the picture has been removed. Remove both of those and put with the other four from the kick plate. There are also two trim screws in the bezel above the cluster.
  7. trim screws
    Trim screw hole
  8. Once step three and step four have been completed you can take the bezel in hand and carefully remove it from the dash. It is held in by several snaps in different locations that can all be pulled free. Once all of the snaps are free, remove the bezel just enough that you can access the backside on the top to remove the connectors.
  9. bezel
    Bezel removal
  10. On this generation there are four components that are snapped into the bezel, the fog light switch, the antenna switch, the rear defrost switch and the clock. All four of these must have their harnesses disconnected before removing the bezel. There is also a lamp light behind the head lamp switch indicators that needs to be disconnected. It rotates out of the bezel. Tilt the steering wheel straight and remove the bezel completely.
  11. headlamp light connectors
    Connectors to remove
  12. This is the hardest part. Insert the key all the way. With the key inserted the retaining peg will extends. Rotate the the key to the first click clockwise. There are two holes underneath the lock cylinder, the larger one is for a trim screw. In the smaller one you will need to put the punch through it to depress the metal peg shown in the picture above. Obviously your shroud won't be off so you'll want to shine a small flashlight into the hole to locate the pin. Then rotate the key towards "On" while gently pulling on it. As it rolls to about 90 degrees from the "Off" position the actuator rod will slip through a hole and the entire assembly will come out. This part will be frustrating if it is your first time.
  13. key cylinder
    Cylinder release button
    cylinder removal
    Cylinder assembly
  14. Remove the four retaining screws from underneath the shroud. Squeeze the top shroud-half to release the clips from the bottom half. Take the bottom half off. Remove the top half, but bear in mind the position of the key-release lever. It will probably obstruct the top half.
  15. shroud removal
    Shroud removal
  16. Remove the steering support bracket by way of four nuts, one in the center of this picture and all in a rectangle pattern. I left a single nut on a rear stud to hold the bracket on, since there is no need to take it completely off.
  17. column support
    Column support assembly
  18. Remove the harness on the ignition switch (the beige device). This requires the 7mm socket. Once the harness is removed, remove the ignition switch. There are two T25 bolts holding it in.
  19. harness
    Ignition switch and harness
  20. Make sure the switches are the same. The main difference on mine was the center bolt hole had a larger outer diameter. The red adapter plate had to be removed (in pieces) and replaced with the one that came with the new switch. Put a very small amount of grease around the metal peg on the side of the switch. Reinstall the switch. Reinstall the harness; make the bolt snug, don't over tighten.
  21. ignition switches
    Comparison
    harness adapter
    Ignition switch harness
  22. Install the ignition completely into the car. Cycle the key off. Connect the negative battery cable and try to start the car. If it starts, move on. If it does not, make sure of the previous step. Double check the connections. If it still doesn't work there is more than likely another problem contributing to the car not starting. REMOVE THE NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE WHEN DONE TESTING.
  23. ignition test
    Installing the cylinder
  24. Put the top of the shroud on first. You will have to manipulate the shroud around the hazard light switch and the key release lever. There are two wires that run from the ignition and the steering wheel that go around the farthest foward screw mount, so make sure those aren't pinched. Install the bottom half of the shroud by clipping the two halves together on the passenger facing side. On the driver side clip them together. Install the four retaining screws.
  25. shroud install
    Installing the shroud
  26. Install the ignition. It's keyed so it will only go in properly one way. Cycle the ignition off and remove your key.
  27. ignition install
    Installing the ignition
  28. Reinstall the bezel. Before clipping it on, plug in the four connectors removed and the headlamp indictor lamp. Once those are installed slowly work the bezel back in position. Pay most attention to above the steering wheel, as the dust protector will need to be poked back as you work the bezel backwards and over the hazard switch. Clip the bezel in once it's in place. Install the two screws on the left and right of the steering wheel. Install the nut that goes over the headlamp switch. Hand tighten snugly. Reinstall the switch handle.
  29. bezel
    Reinstalling the bezel
  30. Reinstall the kick plate. The speed (folded) nuts that hold the bolts in like to move around so get all of the bolts started before tightening any bolts down completely.
  31. Reinstall the negative battery cable.