Help! Thieves busted up my steering column! <pic> - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-11-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default Help! Thieves busted up my steering column! <pic>

...So the other day, I was woken up by the Police. My car was broken into in our underground parking at our apartment. Checked it out - must have stabbed something into the driver'* door handle to get in, as that'* messed up. Stole my 5 year old POS Kenwood CD player. Yeah, it sucks, but I can live. Get myself ready for work, get my daughter ready for daycare, get all buckled up, put the key in, and the ignition won't turn. Sonovabitch!!! Grrr.....I'll deal with it later.

Checked it out that night, and this is what I found..(click link for larger pic)
(picture is looking at steering column from drivers door; left side is speedo, right is wheel and blinker switch)
http://img460.imageshack.us/img460/2650/dscn0049bg0.jpg



Apparently they tried to steal my 93 Bonne with almost 170K on it! Bastards!

Thanks for listening to my story - here'* where I need advice. (Please pardon any lack of proper terminology) It looks like the bar that connects the ignition lock to the ignition switch along the left side of the steering column is sheared. The ignition lock (where the key goes) seems to turn a little backwards, causing that little nub (bottom right arrow) to move outwards towards the dash; attempting to turn it towards RUN or START position the nub hits the plastic. It DOES ding with the key in, and assuming that I can get it to turn backwards a little, the pins in the tumbler aren't all messed up.

Here'* my questions...
1) What kind of project am I getting into right here to fix this? Is the only way to fix this one part is by getting a whole steering column?
2) I have looked at remote start before, which seems pretty easy with a decent wire diagram, which has led me to consider temporarily "hot wiring" this thing so I can at least get it to someone that has tools (and avoid a tow bill). The only thing is that the steering wheel is locked (along with the shifter) - Does this broken piece affect this? If I get the nub (by the bottom right arrow) bent down so it can clear the plastic, will I be able to unlock the steering and shifter, or is the lock deeper under the dash?

Sorry if this sounds like a dumb post - Kinda traumatized; my bonne'* been violated!

I'm checking this frequently, so feel free to ask any questions. I appreciate any advice or comments that anyone can offer.

Thanks ~ Jon
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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you need a new steering column as that cant be fixed as it was tore up with a flat head screwdriver on the inside.. go to www.getusedparts.com and fill out the form for a new steering column. people will then email you with their prices. then buy the cheapest one that color matches your car.. then when it gets delivered. take it to any mecjanic. the total cost for part and labor should be no ,more then $250 if you cant change the column your self.. its actually pretty easy and you can get all the info off this sight,, hope this helps
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:58 AM   #3
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oh and to start the car and drive it you must do what the thievs did. but you will need you key as well as a flat head..

first put your key with the chip half way in the ignition. then go into the ignition with a flathead screwdriver from the side that the theivs cracked the plastic by the turn signal handle then once you get the screwdriver in the ignition from the back side then turn the screwdriver foward like you would do with the key and the car WILL START.
the reason you need the key half way in the ignition is because the chip on the key has to be in or near the ignition when the car is started or the car wont start.. this is why the theivs were not able to steal your car.. and i bet the stupid idiots did not no that the car is steal proof..
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! I'll start looking for steering columns, as that might be my best bet in the long run. I got some decent diagrams from AllData (they have it on the computers at the public library), so I might be able to do it myself.

I went and looked at the car again, and (relating to the second post) jt seems that the "nub" the second bottom arrow points to seems to be a pivot where the wheel turns. I think I understand what you are saying, but the hole in the steering column is on the dash side of the blinker switch. The ignition cylinder lock seems to turn freely, except that nub catches on the shroud.

If I get that nub pushed in far enough so it gets past the shroud, will I be able to unlock the steering wheel when I turn the key?

If you look at the bottom left arrow, there is a piece that slides (that used to be connected by the nub part). Assuming I have the steering wheel unlocked and my key in the ignition, If I pull that slide piece towards the wheel (with something like a screwdriver), the car will start? Is this correct?
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:05 AM   #5
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Swapping columns are easy. I have done it, and it may take about an hour of your time for the actual swap.

If you get someone to send you a column, make sure they did NOT cut the harness out instead of taking the extra 30 seconds to properly unhook it. Also make sure you get the key with it.

Now then, assuming you have keys for BOTH the columns, there is the little problem of the VATS. See, when you swap the column, you still won't be able to start it because the VATS will more than likely see a different resistor than what it learned with. There are two solutions to that problem (well, 3 actually...but the third solution involves disabling, which I don't recommend). First is to take BOTH keys to a keysmith, and have him cut a new key with the old key resistor value. Second is to swap resistor pellets between keys.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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yes this is correct.... my uncle owns a towtruck company.. and taught me all the trick of the trade.. if i were close id help you out.. where are you located.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:08 AM   #7
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I disagree with 88'* diagnosis. Anything can be fixed. The question is..which is easier and less expensive.

Locally..at yards a column is cheap. They are very easy to pull. That is the route I would go as well..

To change out a column...
Pull dash trim
Remove 4 10mm holding the lower trim on and a couple 7mm holding the hush panel on.
Unbolt the wiring connetor to column
Unbotl the lower knuckle before it heads through the firewall and outside
Lower two bolts holding up the column.

While you are in there..consider installing a resistor for the vats if you get the keys with the new column.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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Boosty, I would imagine he would want to keep the VATS. That is what saved his car from being another statistic

When I swapped my column, I got the idea of just swapping pellets. It'* worked for me so far. But the best thing to do is just get another key cut with the new columns tumbler cut and the old ones pellet value.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:17 AM   #9
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[quote="BillBoost37"]I disagree with 88'* diagnosis. Anything can be fixed. The question is..which is easier and less expensive.


i agree as well . your right anything CAN be fixed. but that person might not have the proper know how or knolledge to fix a cloumn.. besides.. its all cracked up and thats why i suggested a swap would be better..whould'nt you say so bill?
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:32 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the replies!!

Next question...my car is a '93 with leather, console shifter, no radio controls. Looking at Craigslist, there is a guy trying to sell one for a 95 SSE (car has front end damage, trying to part it out). I would imagine that this would have radio controls (which mine doesn't), but if it has front end damage, I would end up putting my good steering wheel/airbag on his column.

Will this fit my car? Should I be concerned about damage affecting the steering column?

One more thing - looking at the schematics that I do have, it makes it look somewhat easy to swap out lock cylinders (with the steering wheel off)....is this NOT true?
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