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87 Olds Cutlass Key stuck in on position wont start nor can take the key out

87 Olds Cutlass Key stuck in on position wont start nor can take the key out

Old May 12th, 2010, 10:19 PM
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87 Olds Cutlass Key stuck in on position wont start nor can take the key out

i dident really know where to put this but today i went to my buddies house and shut my car off i left my keys in it like i always do but it was off when i got back in it went to on and it locked both ways i couldn't turn it over nor take the key out please help my radio kept resting and my cig lighter stopped i messed with the tranny linkage on the tyranny and in-front of the firewall and it wasn't them please help i need my car for work
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Old May 13th, 2010, 02:29 AM
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I not clear on what your saying, but it sounds like it could be the neutral safety switch switch is bad. Have you tried turning the steering wheel and turning the key at the same time? Is it a column shift have tried pushing up on the shifter? The thing about the radio and lighter makes it sound like it could be ignition switch.

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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 70 cutlass s View Post
I not clear on what your saying, but it sounds like it could be the neutral safety switch switch is bad. Have you tried turning the steering wheel and turning the key at the same time? Is it a column shift have tried pushing up on the shifter? The thing about the radio and lighter makes it sound like it could be ignition switch.
Just to clarify, the G-body cars do not use an electric neutral safety switch. There is a lockout linkage in the steering column that mechanically blocks the key switch from rotating if the shifter is not in park or neutral. The outer housing of the column (called the bowl) actually rotates with the shifter - even if you have a floor shift car. The backdrive linkage between the trans and the column actuates this. If you've removed the backdrive linkage, the bowl has probably rotated out of place. If the linkage is still there, it's probably out of adjustment. In either case, you need to rotate the bowl fully counterclockwise.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:28 AM
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Ok thanks Joe. I guess the thing that the auto parts store calls a neutral safety switch which they sell for G body cars is mainly for back up lights then. I knew about the the lockout linkage I just thought the switch worked with it also. I guess that's my bad.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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thanks and ive tired both of those because i think its funny that i can colum shift my car when it a floor shifter
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Old May 13th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Have been able to get your key out or start your car.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by JMW803 View Post
thanks and ive tired both of those because i think its funny that i can colum shift my car when it a floor shifter
Did you disconnect the backdrive linkage under the hood and try to rotate the bowl on the column all the way counterclockwise?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 70 cutlass s View Post
Ok thanks Joe. I guess the thing that the auto parts store calls a neutral safety switch which they sell for G body cars is mainly for back up lights then. I knew about the the lockout linkage I just thought the switch worked with it also. I guess that's my bad.
It's a common misconception. The switch even has a set of park/neutral terminals in addition to the backup light terminals. The difference is that this "park/neutral" switch is not connected to the starter circuit in any way. These terminals are used to tell the ECU that the car is in park or neutral, so the computer can appropriately vary the idle speed and mixture.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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ive tried turning the bowl counter clock wise i even went under the car and shifted off the tranny manually nothing seems to be working
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JMW803 View Post
ive tried turning the bowl counter clock wise i even went under the car and shifted off the tranny manually nothing seems to be working
I'm sorry for beating this into the ground, but did you actually disconnect the linkage at the base of the steering column and THEN try to rotate the bowl? If the backdrive linkage has slipped out of adjustment, the things you've tried so far will have no effect. If you disconnect the linkage, first verify that the bowl rotates through the entire range of travel. Try turning the key with the bowl in various positions (or even while you're turning it). If the key still does not move, either the column or the lock cylinder need to be replaced.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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the linkage on the fire wall that connects to the tranny?
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JMW803 View Post
the linkage on the fire wall that connects to the tranny?
Yes
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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i dident take that off but i shifted it idk im stumped
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Old May 13th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JMW803 View Post
i dident take that off but i shifted it idk im stumped
OK, one more time then I'm done.

The linkage from the trans to the column has an adjustment feature that can slip. If it is not adjusted properly, you can shift it all you want and the bowl STILL won't be in the right place.

At this point, you're on your own. Try what I suggested or don't, I really don't care.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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try pulling on the steering wheel one way and then the other while trying the key
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Old May 13th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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no i see what ur sugesting i will try and get back to you
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Once you've tested what Joe is suggesting, next question:

Do you have a tilt steering wheel? If so, is your steering wheel somewhat loose, such that, when locked in the tilt position you want, you can still wiggle it up and down, maybe even jerking it to the next position without moving the lever?

If so, then there's some bolts deep inside the column which are working themselves loose. The first concern is that you need to fix it before the whole thing falls apart while you're driving down the highway. Yes, that can happen. But, more related to your original question, I have had such a loose tilt mechanism result in the key jamming as you describe. I'm not sure what the connection is, but it can happen.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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if you have tilt steering it is probably the linkage bar for the ignition they are notorious for binding up right at the pivot point where it tilts
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