TECH – Lets fix that loose ignition switch

A common problem on any old vehicle is that somebody probably got their hands on it and “FIXED” all kinds of stuff before you got it. The ignition switch and anything else to do with electrical is a good example of this. The guy before you probably had cousin Bobo check things our for a 6-pack of beer… what a deal. The only problem was that OEM style parts often were never used which creates more issues farther down the line. My ignition switch was in this category for sure.
DSC04572 Besides looking like crap, the switch would not stay tight.
DSC04576 Adding a Stainless Steel trim washer made things look better, but the switch would still rotate during use.
DSC04577 Removal of the switch finds an over size hole that does not have any keyway to grab the switch to keep it from rotating… what to do?

I didn’t want to do any welding on the dash as a paint job is not that in the immediate future. Being the curious type, I wanted to see what was going on behind the dash. Out came the trusty digital camera and after 5 or 6 shots, I would see what I needed.
DSC04590 As I had hoped, there was a flange at the seam of the dash near the ignition switch. The idea is to create a backing plate that the switch can lock into and if properly cut, this flange would hold everything from rotating. Sounds simple, and it was.

DSC04592 DSC04595
With some scrap 20ga steel to use for the backing plate, some stats were taken.

DSC04596 DSC04598
A hole saw on the drill press and some good files were all that was needed to create the plate. It is important to file the hole to include any flats and notches the switch may have to lock it in place.
The plate was cut on the left side to align tightly with that flange we talked about earlier, but I wanted to be sure that it stayed in place. ENTER JB WELD!
Cut a piece of wax paper and create a hole just the right size for your ignition switch. Use this like a gasket between your switch and the plate just to be sure that any excess JB Weld does not make your switch a fixture on the dash. Apply a thin layer around the edges and get ready to install.
I almost forgot… don’t forget to clean the surface of the INSIDE of your dash so the JB Weld can stick to it. Just stick your finger through the hole with some sandpaper or a scotch brite should do the trick. Use the camera again to be sure you have cleaned it enough.
I re-used the trim ring just to cover up the bad painted area. Without the washer, everything still tightens great and the locknut covers the edges of the hole just fine. This fix works like a champ. For the first time in 10 years, my switch is solid every time I turn the key.
TOTAL COST $0.00 if you have the stuff laying around like I did.
TOTAL TIME – About 1 hour

1 Comment

  1. avatarJohn St. John

    Very good. I like your repair.I was a member years ago. My friend and I started the San Bernardino Chapter.


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