Ignition switch rod won't stay in on '78 K10

cudajim

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I got roped in to fixing a customers K10 with electrical issues. The first thing I noticed was that the key was very hard to turn and the previous hack installed an aftermarket push button switch for the start function. The short story is that they installed the ignition switch (on the column) upside down and ran the rod underneath it. It sorta worked but wasn't right. Anyhow, I bought a new switch, installed it the right way and it's all working but now I cannot get the rod to stay in place at the switch. Is there a clip or something else that holds it in? I'm a Mopar guy so this is new to me.

As a side note, it was also not charging properly. The previous hack ran a nice fat cable from battery negative to the chassis. No cable to the engine at all so he had a floating ground and the alternator didn't know what to do. I ran another hefty cable to the block and solved several problems. I now have 14.2 volts at the battery.
 

DanMcG

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Jim, Are you talking about the switch down towards the bottom of the column or the lock cylinder "switch"
 

DanMcG

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Here's a video that might answer your question.
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I'm not sure how it wouldn't stay in unless it was bent or something
 

Curt

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Just bend it where it will stay in.
 

cudajim

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That video above helped quite a bit, now I know what to do. I don't have to pull the whole column, just drop it a bit to get to things. I think my switch down on the column is installed wrong. I'll give an update later on today or tomorrow. Many thanks!!!
 

cudajim

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I am going to need a schematic too, any idea where I can download one for free?
 

cudajim

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Ok, I got it working now. So where can I buy a new instrument cluster minus the gauges? Half the plastic mounts are brittle and broken, lights don't stay in etc. This 44 year old plastic just isn't strong or pliable anymore.
 

75gmck25

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LMC truck sells the plastic “cluster backing plate” for about $60. You might also want a new printed circuit (wiring for the cluster) for about $65.
 

cudajim

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Every switch and other electrical on this vehicle has been bad. Here's what I had to replace so far. Battery, starter, alternator, ign sw, headlight sw, headlight dimmer sw, turn signal sw, wiper motor, door sw's, temp sensor, Gnd wire, and misc. bulbs. The only switch that was good was the wiper switch! Fortunately the wiring is in good shape. Many thanks to all of you for your help.
 

85K304SPD

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Welcome fellow Mopar man. Sounds like you had to spend a fortune on electrical stuff for that square body. Something must have shorted out all that stuff. I have one that I need to finish working on with the push button set up disaster like you described, and the rod is all bent up. I have had no luck bending it back to where it works.
 

cudajim

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Engine Size
350
Most of the electrical switches I replaced were bad due to opens in the switches and 44 years of usage and abuse. One example was the headlight dimmer switch. It was intermittent in that it would switch headlamps but while doing so they would both turn off between transitions. it's supposed to be "make before break". Anyhow, it's all working great now. This morning I got rid of the stupid starter button on the dash. It was redundant and also bypassed the neutral safety switch which 'aint good.
 

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