1981 Ignition

I've started restoring my '81 which has been sat in a field on a Welsh mountain for the last few years - so this will probably be the first of many, many questions. Apologies in advance...
A fresh battery has given me working lights, wipers, electric seats, blower fan & stereo - more than I was expecting to be honest. However the dash is completely dead, there's no sign of life from the starter solenoid, & the indicators don't work.
The ignition feels a bit 'crunchy' when I turn the key, so I suspect things aren't as they should be under the steering column covers. I've got the manufacturers manual, which says to lower the steering column to access the ignition switch, & that instructions for lowering the column are in the next section. Except they aren't. So can anyone tell me the minimum I have to do to get access to the electrical bits under the column covers?
Extremely dumb follow-up question - where the hell is the fusebox!
--
Preston.

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Preston wrote:

You are probably going to need to disconnect and inspect/clean nearly all the electrical harness connectors.
You have your work cut out for you... first thing you need to do is purchase a good repair manual or two.
There's a GM repair manual on eBay for an 82, which is almost identical to the 81: http://tinyurl.com/y87lh2
Haynes has a 68-82 repair manual for Corvettes that might be of some assistance; Chilton has one that covers 63-82; get the Haynes manual... try eBay
NCRS offers GM assembly manual for your car, as do some of the major parts vendors: http://tinyurl.com/y6adxq

I'd try some lock lubricant before I'd pull the steering column apart. Spray it in the lock and the diameter of the rotating parts, work the lock a bit, let it sit, do it again. The column intentionally isn't easy to disassemble, particularly the lock, to make the car theft-resistant.

the left of where the steering column passes through the firewall.
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WayneC wrote:

That's on the (rather huge) list of things to do. For now I just want to get it vaguely running, even just on one cylinder, so I can manoeuver it around/in/out the garage. Space is very tight!

Thanks, I've got the Haynes on order - might get some others as required.

I've soaked everything that moves & all the electrics I can get to in either PlusGas or WD40. I suspect the electrical part of the ignition switch inside the column (rather than the key switch part) is rusty as hell, judging by the state of things behind the horn.

Great, thanks for that. I've avoided looking under there so far due to the ponds in the footwells :-/
--
Preston.

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Hello Preston,

Welcome to the club. I'm restoring an '82 that I rescued from such a fate. At some point in the distant future it will be a new car again.

I'd guess that checking the ignition switch is in order along with the fuses. The steering column is bolted in from below. As I recall there are four screws that need ot be removed to get the lower portion of the steering column bracket off. From there the column can be lowered. That may or may not get you access to the parts you need. I also had to pull the steering wheel and put in a new blinker switch.

I think it is under the dash or to the left of the dash. It could also be in the compartment behind the seats. I don't have the car here to double check, so this is from memory and I've not looked for that in a while. There was something electrical near the center of the hood, but I don't recall it being the fuse box. A quick web search didn't help my memory.
Good luck with your project,
David
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David wrote:

That's what I keep telling myself too. Maybe I'll start to believe it - eventually... ;-)

I figured those bolts would need to come out, but it's not clear from the manual if the whole column needs removing, or if it just 'drops down'. I can't see how the column covers can come off without removing the wheel, lock & indicator stalk, so I guess I may as well just remove the whole thing.

Thanks David - you too.
--
Preston.

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