alex
alex Dork
8/1/10 6:42 a.m.

What I learned at 6 o'clock this morning:
- My ability to identify engines from their startup sounds also works in my sleep
- Chasing the guy who tried to break into your truck wakes you up faster than coffee
- GM trucks are very easy to start without a key

So, I've got an '88 GMC 1500 that starts without a key now, but I need to defeat the steering lock so I can move/drive it while I source the replacement column. Any insight would be a ray of sunshine on a day that's off to an inauspicious start.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/1/10 6:51 a.m.

that's a hell of a way to wake up.

alex
alex Dork
8/1/10 6:55 a.m.

What I learned at 6:30 this morning:
- the ignition key still works for the steering lock
- the chase didn't wake me up fully

integraguy
integraguy Dork
8/1/10 7:53 a.m.

It's not just GM trucks that are easy to start without a key....pretty much ANY GM product (at least up until the late 80s-early 90s) can be "removed" from your possession with the assist of a hammer and screwdriver. Ask a cop, they will tell you, thieves steal GM products because it's one of the easiest brands to get started.

alex
alex Dork
8/1/10 8:05 a.m.

Yeah, my cop said he hadn't seen one of the older ones get hit for a while, since none of the kids know the tricks. So, I either got lucky enough to get a thief that had been around for a while, or one with a mentor.

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
8/1/10 9:10 a.m.

do you have a tilt column?

if so i have one for parts, the tilt mechanism is effed up but i'll pull anything you need off of it. i pulled it out of my 90 a few weeks ago to put in a new one.

alex
alex Dork
8/1/10 11:33 a.m.

I don't have a tilt column. But I'll look up some parts to see if they interchange and try to get an accurate description for you. Thanks.

Do you have a good source for a replacement column, or did you pull it from a local yard? I may just do the whole kit n kaboodle.

novaderrik
novaderrik Reader
8/1/10 12:11 p.m.

it takes about 10 minutes to replace a lock cylinder. you just need to pull the steering wheel, remove the lock plate with the proper $10 tool, move the turn signal switch out of the way with a philips screwdriver, take out the screw that holds in the lock cylinder, and the cylinder comes right out. install is the reverse of removal.

if you want to make the truck a little more thief proof, then put a hidden cutoff switch in the ignition circuit somewhere. the actual switch is on the top of the column down under the dash, and it should be pretty easy to figure out which wire you want to use for the kill switch if you know how to use a test light.

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
8/1/10 12:12 p.m.

pull a part?

i bought my replacement online because it was before the pull a parts got here - i just now got around to getting it in.

alex
alex Dork
8/1/10 12:18 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: it takes about 10 minutes to replace a lock cylinder. you just need to pull the steering wheel, remove the lock plate with the proper $10 tool, move the turn signal switch out of the way with a philips screwdriver, take out the screw that holds in the lock cylinder, and the cylinder comes right out. install is the reverse of removal. if you want to make the truck a little more thief proof, then put a hidden cutoff switch in the ignition circuit somewhere. the actual switch is on the top of the column down under the dash, and it should be pretty easy to figure out which wire you want to use for the kill switch if you know how to use a test light.

The lock's fine. He smashed the top of the column and got to the linkage (this is where my terminology breaks down) that attaches the cylinder to the rod that actuates the switch. If that makes any sense. There's what looks to be a replaceable collar on the column, which is what was broken. I'll see if I can find a parts diagram.

And yeah, a hidden kill switch or two is on the agenda when it's apart.

novaderrik
novaderrik Reader
8/1/10 4:16 p.m.

don't bother trying to fix your column- just get a junkyard one and throw it in. GM was probably nice enough to use the same- or at least interchangeable- columns from 88-98 and they sold millions of trucks during that time, so a column should be easy to find and cheap to buy.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
8/2/10 8:04 a.m.

ah... all those identical columns just makes it easier for the thieves to practice

novaderrik
novaderrik Reader
8/2/10 11:17 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: ah... all those identical columns just makes it easier for the thieves to practice

they are similar to the columns that have been in pretty much every GM vehicle since they went to column mounted ignition switched and steering wheel locks in 1969. the thieves had 20 years of practice before the all new GM trucks came out in '88..

patgizz
patgizz SuperDork
8/2/10 4:51 p.m.

88-94 i think is the interchange. they changed the dash in 95 or 96 and went to a square column instead of round

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