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Discussion Starter #1
Something let loose in my 71 camaro steering column causing the ignition cylinder to freely spin through the start position that usually has the spring resistance. Any idea what likely broke and maybe a pic or instruction on repair.

I post this here, since it is the same steering column and key style as my Roadmaster. I am sure someone has run into this.

Thanks
Todd
 

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The only spring return is for the start position. It has detents that are controlled by the switch on the top of the column under the dash, and the return spring for the start position is also contained in the switch. The lock rotates a rod, that goes through the column and turns a cam. The cam pushes a cast piece against a rod that goes to the actual switch. The rod fits into a hole in a slider with contacts on it to engage the different functions of the switch. When it is properly positioned, the switch will make the correct contacts corresponding with the functions desired.
 

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Assuming the Rod is still connected to the Ignition Switch, it's probably just a broken Tumbler/Lock Cylinder.
 

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The tumbler/lock cylinder does not have a return spring. The spring tension felt by the lock cylinder is transferred by the switch on the lower column.
 

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That spring only holds the parts together when they are not under load. It is called a preload spring, not a return spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I assume this is the system I have. The cylinder rotates and stops at the expected 2 locations - it does not travel too far. It also exhibits no detent feel in the various function spots - just turns freely. The lock pin does actuate so the cylinder is apparently still connected to the sector gear.

What I gather here is that the rod has likely become disconnected via some broken part (pin at bottom of the rack, plastic sector gear, etc.)

Thanks
Todd
 

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That spring only holds the parts together when they are not under load. It is called a preload spring, not a return spring.
Incorrect, the preload spring goes under the rack gear and preloads it. The spring I'm talking about actually connects to the gear that moves the rack gear.

It's been awhile since I've had to get into a GM steering column. The spring I was referring to IS NOT a return tension spring as I originally said but rather it is what actuates the steering wheel lock pin.
 

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The spring is described as a preload spring in the FSM.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I pulled the column and the actuation rod does not move or feel attached to the rack when the key is turned. The box part stores no longer carry the dorman rack repair kits in my area, so i will have to order it. Instead, i installed 2 rocker switches, some fuses, a relay, and a push button to start. Its functional again so that is all that matters.
 
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