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mohessian
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I was so excited to learn my year-old Project18280 had an ignition key I fiddled with all the functions.  Yay! all the functions seem to work, but now I can't figure out how to unlock the column.

Jensen Healey
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Turn the key to the first position to unlock the column. It's should only be locked when the key can be removed.

mohessian
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Yeh but, the key won't rotate.  I tried jiggling the wheel whilst (you like that?) trying to turn the key. I tried fiddling with the knob/button under the column while trying to rotate the key.  It sure seemed to lock with a nice clean "click", i was sure it would unlock the same.

Jensen Healey
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I'd try wrenching the wheel left to right with light pressure on the key. If all else fails remove the steering wheel and try to get some lubricant into the steering lock.

Jim Ketcham
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Has this key ever worked?  If not it may be wrong key.

Remember, you do not need the key to lock the wheel. 

mohessian
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Thanks Jim, but you fail to notice the word "project" in the project name.  The latest that this car would have run is 1984.  It has sat with me for a year, but now I want to start at least tidying it up.

Unbeknownst to me, there was a key in the ignition switch.  I have moved the car in and out of the garage, and had been able to rotate the steering wheel while jockeying it back and forth.  I decided to see if the key would work.

The key went in and out of the slot.  The lock rotated to what felt like an "on" position, rotated further it went to the start position and returned via its spring to "on". 

Counterclockwise from the "off" position, I may have felt a detent for the accessory position, I kept going counterclockwise to the final position, and had my fingers on the lock button underneath.  I felt a nice clean "click" through contact with the button,  and the column was locked.

I've tried rotating the wheel back and forth, clunking against the stops, while trying to move the key clockwise away from "lock".  I've also pushed and pulled on the lock button while trying to move the key.  No Good.

Is there a secret to the lock button?

jcdean
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Mohessian,

On the JH's I have had you simply had the key in the "Off" position, pushed up on the button on the bottom of the column, and removed the key.  For starting and unlocking the wheel, it was insert key and turn to the Acc, On, and then Start.  Column was always unlocked as soon as the key was turned out of the "Off" position.  In other words, just like every other car made since the early 70's.  Now, there is a secret handshake...

Joey

Pink Van Man
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I have the exact same problem, the free turning ignition key was in the car when I picked it up but the car hadn't been used for a couple of years. The steering wheel wasn't locked but after removing the key it clicked in.

I put the key back in but the key now refuses to turn and I've jiggled it to the point of getting blisters on my index finger. I've flooded the barrel with WD-40 to no avail and as a last resort even tried tapping the end of the key with a hammer to make sure it was fully inserted.

I guess I'm going to have to strip the lock out and replace it - unless you managed to find some secret way of doing it?

Im so frustrated with it that I was also considering stripping the guts out of the lock and wiring the ignition to a switch and push button start on the dashboard - or is that just ridiculous?

Any advice gratefully accepted

Richard

1972 Mk1 . Lincolnshire UK

   

mohessian
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Hey Pink,

when I bought Project18280 it came with a spare, separate engine /transmission from a different JH that the guy I bought it from actually drove.  I suspect that he guy HE bought them from gave him everything he had.  In boxes, if necessary.  I also suspect that the key I have, belongs to the engine/transmission car instead.

Good call Jim.

It looks like I'm going to have to drop the steering column, drill out the security bolts, and reconfigure the electrics for switching power, like you.  Is that ridiculous?  Not unless you can purchase a new ignition switch for a reasonable (for you) amount. I can't, but I'm not going Concours anyway.

Good luck. Brother.

Pink Van Man
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Hi Mohessian,

I did drill out the lock which made everything significantly worse, I finally resorted to removing the collar assembly from the steering wheel using a hacksaw blade to hand cut through the bolts at the joint line - (I've now got more blisters than my front wing). It actually came off quite cleanly with little damage to the collar and I didnt even have to take the dashboard out (1/2 hr labour + 2 hacksaw blades).

With that removed the steering wheel was released and I'm left with the electrical contact plate from the  back of the ignition switch. I've ordered a push button/relay and toggle switches for mounting on the dashboard to turn on the electrics and fire up the engine so fingers painfully crossed I should have it back up and running in a couple of days - without so much as a bent paper clip for security.

Just a thought - should I re-attach the now disabled lock housing assembly? I can't see that it does anything other than hold the locking system to the column but I suppose it could be playing some vital secondary role. I'd hate for the steering wheel to work loose at 90mph.

You may have guessed I don't intend to win any prizes at the local car show, I just love driving - preferably as painlessly and cheaply as possible. 

mohessian
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Hey PVM,

thanks for the tip.  I've got a half-hour to spend. 2 hacksaw blades on hand too!!  I'll wear gloves.

Steve

mohessian
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How about a main power cutoff with removeable key/handle?  Isn't that available from some racing supply source?

Jensen Healey
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$50 bucks for a keyed dash mount ignition switch with starter function:

http://store.summitracing.com/egnsearch.asp?N=700+115+304719&D=304719

Pink Van Man
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Hi,

I'd actually thought a straightforward steering wheel lock (baseball bat type $10~$20 on Ebay) would be as good as anything - I generally use one on my other cars anyway as its a good visual deterrent - coupled with a thumb tack on the drivers seat. Another thought was to install a discreet battery cut off switch somewhere under the dash together with a flashing LED on the dashboard and a couple of alarm stickers. I could also put a magnetic Virgin Mary on the dash board - just to cover all the angles.

I always think older cars with canvas roofs are a bit of a liability anyway as they are a fairly easy target for a thief with a sharp knife and a long arm - is it worth locking your doors? I'd rather loose a cheap radio than a canvas soft top.

Where I live is fairly rural and we don't get much in the way of car crime - other than the bills from the local body shop, so I'm not really that worried.

One idea I had on another project was to install a small bank of say four cross wired toggle switches with a simple on/off sequence to allow a current to flow through - eg on/off/on/on, it would be quite difficult for someone fumbling about with it to get the right sequence to connect the circuit (16 possible combinations) and would give me lots more switches to play with on the dashboard :-).



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