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!
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.
Fusebox is up under the dash, mounted on the inside of the firewall, to
the left of
where the steering column passes through the firewall.
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
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 :-/
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
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,
That's what I keep telling myself too. Maybe I'll start to believe it -
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.
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