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EA82 ignition switch spruce up (starter position doesn't work)


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#1 Dylan86GL10

Dylan86GL10

    USMB is life!

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  • Tidewater, VA

Posted 19 December 2009 - 04:38 PM

I've been battling the dreaded starter click and/or intermittent ability to start using the key. This is always a case of the current at the starter solenoid being too low (whether the fault is in the supply current to the solenoid via the key switch, low current from a drained battery, bad grounds at the starter, defective solenoid...). At first I was going to wire in a relay to increase the current but decided to start with the key switch itself.

To remove the switch portion of the key switch, remove all the screws on the bottom of the steering column trim, lift the top half off, and remove the bottom (may have to maneuver it around the key switch body). On the left/driver side, you will see heavy gauge wires with big solder joints going into a round brown connector. Remove (1) phillips head screw at the 12 o clock position. Pull the switch portion out of the key cylinder. Unhook the wiring harness (6 wire black connector with 4-5 wires).

Bring all of this inside and gather a q-tip, alcohol, a small flat head screw driver, and some sandpaper. You will see three indentions in the metal portion of the switch that holds the brown plastic part from coming out. Use the flat head to lightly bend these indentions back out. Pull the switch apart being careful not to lose the spring inside or the two spring/ball bearings in the blue plastic insert.

Here is where the majic happens. The wire harness side has copper contact pads and the key side has a rotating copper disk with contact points. Clean all of this with alcohol and light sand the contact points just enough to bring the shine back. Reassemble the switch like it came apart. The next part is slightly tricky. Use a nail or punch to bend the metal indentions back in on the brown plastic part without breaking the metal. Once done, insert back into the key cylinder and test it out.

In my case, I have full starter function again even on cold days.
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