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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I tried to seach for this but it came up with a lot of unrelated headings so:

I took my car to get a new solonoid to a starter shop. It starts great now but... it seems they broke my steering wheel lock in the process. It was kind of going but still worked and now the wheel doesn't lock, but the key hole starter on the column doesnt move with the wheel in locked position.
Questions:

Is is ok to have the wheel lock not working. It seems to be something I could live with for awhile if theres no problems other that the just the wheel turning instead of locking in position .
Secondly, is this a hard thing to fix. I imagine id have to get a new ignition switch and keys

Thanks for any help advice

PS i was not sure where to put this as technically it didnt seem like a electrical problem, but maybe it is in the wrong subject?
 

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You need to adjust the vertical control rod in front of the firewall. With the car in park, loosen the adjusting nut on the pivot at the bottom of the rod. Move the rod so as to lock the wheel and then tighten the nut. Then test, of course.
Here is the rod looking up. The nut is on the pivot and hidden.
 

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IGNITION SWITCH POSITIONS & THE GM STRG COLUMN/TRANSMISSION INTERLOCK

The lever on the lower end of 1969+ GM steering columns enables the General Motors Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System to operate. When GM introduced their locking steering column on all GM cars in 1969 they were very afraid of lawsuits from people who by mistake turned off their ignition and locked their steering wheel even while the car was still moving forward.

So GM and Saginaw Division designed a system where there was a gate designed inside the steering column. When activated, this gate always allowed the driver to just turn the engine OFF. But it prevented the ignition key from being rotated all the way to the OFF-LOCK position which would shut off the engine but would also cause the steering wheel to be locked.

This is how it worked:
If you have a shifter on the steering column, that lever transmits your shift lever motion through a linkage system down to the transmission. If you have a floor shifter, there is a similar linkage system coming from your transmission that is connected to that lever. When you shift into PARK (automatic trans) or into REVERSE (manual trans) you will note that the lever is pushed to the full UP position (about the 2 o’clock position as viewed looking down the steering column from the driver seat.) With the lever UP that gate is opened inside the column and it now allows your ignition key to rotate further from the OFF to the OFF-LOCK position. This is how the Steering Column/Transmission Shift Interlock System works.

FYI - Most people think that there are only four positions for your ignition key and switch. There are actually five, from ignition key full CW and rotated to the full CCW position:
START (key springs back to the RUN position); RUN; OFF; OFF-LOCK; & ACCESSORY.

As stated previously, you can always shut the engine OFF but you cannot lock the steering wheel unless the ignition key is rotated to OFF-LOCK. Now a lot of people with floor shifters disconnect the cable or linkage system from the lever on the column. (Headers can sometimes interfere or maybe they changed to a different transmission.) Then they tie or somehow fasten the steering column lever permanently in the full UP position. This will not cause any problems when shifting or driving with a floor shifter and the cable or linkage system disconnected. However, the ignition key will now be able to shut off the engine AND CONTINUE BEING ROTATED WHICH WILL LOCK THE STEERING WHEEL FROM TURNING at any time, (even when driving down the road.)

Jim
 

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Good post...

So GM and Saginaw Division designed a system where there was a gate designed inside the steering column.
Are you sure on that part....GM Holden (Aussie) had the same system on their cars mid 60s..And back then Holden was totally independant in R&D
I suspect it was adopted...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks guys for all the valuable information. its all new to me.
I assumed that if my ignition key slot on the wheel locked ( didnt move with the key out in the "lock" position, and my wheel still turned freely, that the problem was inside the column. I'll get out tomorrow and take a look at the rod near the firewall
 

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If you back off the locking nut under the car so the rod is free...you can turn the section behind the steering wheel by hand.
Altu you postion correct, tighten the 9/16 nutunder the car...the chances are it will be off....It can be a little 'sensitive to get it right, espec if there is a little wear in the joints.
Or put it another way
You will get sick of climbing under neath try an adjustment, check with the key and repeating....but you will get it right.
 

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Ya know Steps, I was just messing with this rod last week because of my install of Mickey Thompson Super Scavengers. Well, I got it right! :hurray:Ever since my first set of MT SS's back in 69, my car has had a slight hitch when turning the key to lock or accessory. No more. Cool, huh? (yeah, we say 'cool' over here):D
 
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