To you remove the ignition cylinder, you must first remove the bottom half of the shroud surrounding the steering column. Note that you can't remove the top due to the ignition cylinder. Once moved out of the way, you will note a small pin about 1/8" diameter at the 6:00 position at the bottom of the cylinder. Turn the ignition key to the "On" position, just short of starting the car. Using a small nail or suitable instrument, push this pin up towards the 12:00 position. If it doesn't move, then you are not in the correct position with the key. If pushed far enough, you should now be able to remove the ignition cylinder. Be careful not to pull the cylinder apart, as it has small springs and other parts that are easily lost. To replace the actuator rod(s), you will need to remove the entire column from the vehicle. There are only 4 13MM nuts holding the column in postion, but several other items must be disconnected in proper order. You should begin by removing the upper shroud as well as the lower shroud after pulling the key cylinder from the column, then remove the steering wheel, these directions and photos are available in common repair manuals and I find auto zones web site to be very good for the simpler tasks. I had to have the dealership print me a diagram of the column parts including actuator rods as I could not find these elsewhere. The diagrams did not come with instructions, just exploded parts with numbers, so my first time was a learning curve. Just proceed as I have listed below.
When removing the SWheel (caution with the airbag), also remove turn signal and the round plate beneath the wheel, next remove the ignition switch(not the key cylinder). Disconnect all wires that clip onto the column and now disconnect the shift control arm at the rear of the column (this connects to an arm on the back of the column by a pin, just pull tword you and it will release from the pin, the cable is ancored on a bracket on the left rear of the column, push up on the cable and it will slide out). You will also have to disconnect the shift column wire which links to the dashboard park/drive display, mark the adjusting device before removal. Last remove the bolt which holds the steering linkage from column to floorboard closest to the column and spread the metal where you remove the bolt enough to disconnect the steering rod from the linkage. now the column can be removed by removing the four 13mm nuts. WIth the column on a flat surface, you will need to remove the shift control arm, there are three brackets, on at the rear which has three screw hold the notched bracket and position indicator sensor. the contol are will lift off the column. under the control are is a leaver held by a small pin, using a small punch, tape the pin out from the interior to the outer side, note the position of the leaver before removal. Now you will need to remove the c-clamps on rear end of the steering rod and the two bolts which hold the font tilt section of the column, carefull a powerful spring should be removed first which is between the tilt section and the larger section of the column. the actuator rods can now be removed by sliding them out between the tilt section and larger section, the front actuator(one with the metal pin) slides out only one way. the rear actuator piece has a metal slide with spring, simply remove and place in you new one. be sure to lubricate both with silicone or suitable grease. also be sure the metal pin of the front(ingintion clyinder notchs) actuator is engaged in the rear one. Now it is to reverse the order and assemble.
when reinstalling the key cylinder make sure the ignition swith is in the run position and the key is also in the run position. You must note the position of the parts inside the key cylinder well in case they become dislodged during the process.
I had the option of a junkyard column for a hundred bucks but opted to pull and replace the actuators and ingnition key cylinder for less, the only hassle is now i have one key for the doors and one for the ignition since my 1996 gl wagon doesn't have keyless locks. Maybe next!
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