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How TO Change An Ignition Switch - 97 Blazer


imnprsd
01-13-2005, 01:51 AM
If your are experiencing intermittent symptoms you can't figure out: like a fuel pump failure, hard to start motor, trouble with your transmission shifting smoothly, or an occasional "engine light" problem only to find no codes leading you to the problem -- then maybe you should consider changing the ignition switch.

To replace your ignition switch (+wire harness):

-- REMOVE THE GROUND FROM THE BATTERY.
-- Remove the bottom plastic covers to the steering wheel with an allen wrench or Torx wrench.
-- Remove the top cover and carefully twist it over the key cylinder. (Look for 2 Torx nuts that you can remove with a 4mm socket.)
-- Remove the drop down cover above the foot pedals
-- Remove the small wires to the key. Note the position of the tinny switch (Green wire forward.)
-- Remove 2 Torx nuts which hold down the ignition switch
(I didn't have a 3mm socket so I use needle-nose vise grips.)
-- Locate the other end of the wiring harness above the foot peddles and remove the hold down nut which secured the electrical block.
-- Mark the ends so you know how to put the electrical block back together, and remove the top and bottom separate electrical connections. (Note: There are 3 wiring harness which make up the single block. You are replacing the center harness.
-- CUT ALL THE WIRES to the old ignition switch and remove both halves.
-- Feed the need new ignition switch trough the dash and reconnect.
-- Reinstall all the parts.

The whole job took me 1.5 hrs, but since this is my first time I bet I could do it again in 45 minutes. The shop says it takes 2 hours. Yeh, that's typical. However, if you don't cut the old harness and have to remove more of the dash I can see where that could add more time. The part cost me $75 at Auto Zone and you can get it at Advanced too. The other shops did not carry it.

I hope this helps. Any one who has done a little dash work before, like installing a stereo, can handle this job. Good luck.

Sunliner
01-14-2005, 10:37 PM
Thanks for the walk through..I'm probably going to be doing this soon.

Just curious..does the harness necessarily have to be changed along with the switch-& is there splicing involved (I noticed the part about cutting the wires to the old switch)?
Does a new harness come with the new switch?

Thanks again!

imnprsd
01-15-2005, 01:34 AM
Thanks for the walk through..I'm probably going to be doing this soon.

Just curious..does the harness necessarily have to be changed along with the switch-& is there splicing involved (I noticed the part about cutting the wires to the old switch)?
Does a new harness come with the new switch?

Thanks again!


The ignition swich, as it's called, consists of a wiring harness (which is about 1-1/2' long) and an ignigion. It's one part and I wouldn't try to do any maintenance to it. I believe on reader cleaned the contacts in the switch, reinstalled it, and a few months later he had to replace it with a new one. As for cutting the old switch (wires) I suggested you do that so it's easier to remove it.

For clarification, the harness at the bottom-end consists of 3 conectors. The center is the ignition switch. So don't be concerned if there are too many wires on the bottom end. Just separate the top and bottom connector from the ignition connecter and off you go. Be sure to mark the ends and note which connector is on the top so you don't mix them up! Good luck....

BTW, I did this as a precautionary measure. My 97 Blazer 4x4 has 115K miles on it and I didn't want any trouble (fuel, trans, wippers, etc) down the road if everyone on this forum seems to think "all 97 Blazers have a bad ignition switch." Would have spent $300 to have the shop do it. Probably not, but for the price of the part ($75) and my free time, I guess you can say I'm glad I replaced it.

"Theropy comes in many different packages. The best kind is the type you administer yourself and doesn't cost too much."

CrooK CA13
02-17-2005, 02:07 PM
well i started with the directions you gave...except top piece of steering column...the ignition ring is bigger then the hole itself, and wont come off, and i cant get to the top torx looking bolt...so id have to take off steering wheel which is crazy...have to stick something in little holes in back and release springs off of studs with grove cut in them..i cant find anything

imnprsd
02-17-2005, 02:25 PM
Well.... my instructions were based on my 1997 Blaser. I'm sorry you are having trouble. if I understand you correctly... You need to find the screws which are holding down the top cover plate and remove them... Then twist off the plate carefully as you have to use some force and rock the steering wheel up and down.

The top torx can be removed with a std. 4mm socket, but the bottom torx are smaller than any socket I owned or could find, so I used some neddle-nose vice grips to undo those. FYI... you don't remove the key cylinder. Good luck trying it again.

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