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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so this is about my 1972 Impala, not my Sonoma, but I thought maybe somebody might still be able to help me. The short version of a long story is that my dad has had my grandpa's 1972 Impala in storage, non-running for about 20 years and recently gave it to me in the hopes that I'd restore it because he finally realized he was never going to get around to it himself (big "I told you so" from me) and he knew how much I loved this car (it was my grandpa's first new car, a graduation present from him to my dad 12 years later, and the coolest weekend and road trip car ever when I was a kid).

Well, the storage facility my family has used for the past 20+ years is now under new ownership and they've implemented a new policy stating that non-running cars may no longer be stored there and that anyone with cars stored there (I have two) have until April 15 to get them out. I have a new place arranged where I can store both cars, but, unfortunately, the keys to the Impala have long since been lost. I'm sure it's possible for a good tow truck driver to drag it out and drop it at the space I'm renting on my friend's property, but it would make life a lot easier (both for the tow truck driver and for me in the present and in the future) if I could get it to go into neutral and/or be able to turn the wheel. I was hoping somebody could tell me how to "steal" it without having to damage anything too badly to free the transmission and steering lock.
 

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I don't feel tardy
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pull the steering wheel off and there is a lock plate behind it, remove the lock plate and it will then steer.

if it is a column shift, you can just pull the cotter pin on the linkage where the column comes out of the firewall, or the one where the linkage connects to the trans, and click the trans into any gear, even reverse will roll.

be sure you have the tools to remove the steering wheel before the tow driver comes. pulling a wheel can be a chore. sometimes I can get the nut loose (but not off) and rock it back and forth (very very firmly!) to get the wheel off without a puller.
 

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I don't feel tardy
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sometimes I can get the nut loose (but not off) and rock it back and forth (very very firmly!) to get the wheel off without a puller.
sorry, I worded this poorly. sometimes I take the center nut all the way off, then thread it back on a few turns, then by pulling on each side of the wheel very firmly in a jerking motion, the wheel will come loose from the splines. keeping the center nut on a few threads keeps the wheel from flying off and breaking your front teeth.
 

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Old Fart
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A lock smith could make you a new key.
 

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Registered Offender
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About twenty bucks gets you a new lock cylinder and keys.

The steering wheel and lock plate must be removed. A proper wheel puller and compressor makes this a lot easier, especially in a dark storage stall.



It is FAR easier to use the lock plate depressor tool to hold the plate against the upper bearing preload spring while removing the small round wire retaining ring. It is difficult enough to remove the retaining ring with the tool and both hands free, let alone while trying to hold the plate against the spring with one hand. I used to do it that way, then I got lazy/smarter. Either way, you should use safety glasses or some eye protection just in case the lock ring snaps or flies of the steering shaft.

Once the lock plate is removed, the turn signal cancelling cam will lift straight off the column.

With that out of the way, all that's left to do is to remove the key warning buzzer clip/contact set, and remove the lock cylinder retaining screw. After that, the lock cylinder will simply pull out of the column upper housing. Reverse the procedure for reassembly.



While you're in there, it might be a good idea to clean up all the dried grease and dirt from the turn signal switch and cancelling cam. Also, closely inspect the cancelling springs on the switch and replace as necessary, then regrease the parts with clean white lithium grease. A couple drops of clean engine oil into the upper bearing wouldn't hurt, either. A little care and preventive maintenance will go a long way here.

I'd suggest trying the new lock cylinder before closing up the column and installing the wheel. There is a remote possibility that you have a problem with the sector and rack mechanism in the upper column bowl, so there's no sense in reassembling until you're certain it works to your satisfaction.
 

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94 4x4,01 Blazer
2001 Blazer 4dr 4wd LT
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you could try taking vin number to a DEALER and have a new key cut- if they still have the codes on file
 

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locksmith with a good key gun can make you a proper key in 5 min.
If you have AAA it would be free

IIRC 72 still had 2 keys
one ignition only the other was trunk,doors and glovebox
I still have key codes to all my older cars in case I ever need a new key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
About twenty bucks gets you a new lock cylinder and keys.

The steering wheel and lock plate must be removed. A proper wheel puller and compressor makes this a lot easier, especially in a dark storage stall.



It is FAR easier to use the lock plate depressor tool to hold the plate against the upper bearing preload spring while removing the small round wire retaining ring. It is difficult enough to remove the retaining ring with the tool and both hands free, let alone while trying to hold the plate against the spring with one hand. I used to do it that way, then I got lazy/smarter. Either way, you should use safety glasses or some eye protection just in case the lock ring snaps or flies of the steering shaft.

Once the lock plate is removed, the turn signal cancelling cam will lift straight off the column.

With that out of the way, all that's left to do is to remove the key warning buzzer clip/contact set, and remove the lock cylinder retaining screw. After that, the lock cylinder will simply pull out of the column upper housing. Reverse the procedure for reassembly.



While you're in there, it might be a good idea to clean up all the dried grease and dirt from the turn signal switch and cancelling cam. Also, closely inspect the cancelling springs on the switch and replace as necessary, then regrease the parts with clean white lithium grease. A couple drops of clean engine oil into the upper bearing wouldn't hurt, either. A little care and preventive maintenance will go a long way here.

I'd suggest trying the new lock cylinder before closing up the column and installing the wheel. There is a remote possibility that you have a problem with the sector and rack mechanism in the upper column bowl, so there's no sense in reassembling until you're certain it works to your satisfaction.
Thanks! This was a lot of help. I was able to get the lock ring off and I pulled out the turn signal stalk and loosened the three Philips screws holding in the plastic piece it was attached to (is that the cancelling cam?), but, while the plastic piece is loose and seems ready to come out, the only thing holding it in place is the hazard switch, which I can't figure out how to remove. I couldn't tell if I was supposed to twist it, yank on it really hard, or if there was some kind of clip holding it in that I couldn't see and I was afraid of breaking it. How is the hazard switch supposed to come out?
 

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Registered Offender
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The pull knob on the hazard switch is held in place with a small Phillips screw. Once the know is removed and the wire harness is provided some slack from the base of the column, it should slide upward, out of the column bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I forgot to bring my sockets with me today, but I did manage to remove the hazard switch and flop that plastic assembly forward and out of the way. I'm assuming I need to remove those four bolts, but do I need to do anything special with either of the two holes I marked with arrows? The upper one has a brass piece sticking out that moves the ignition cylinder when I press on it, but I didn't see any screws to undo.
 

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B4U Task Force Admin
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Well, (removed link) has tried removing the screw but after removing the problem remained the same.
Since this thread is dead and shouldn't have been bumped, the link has been removed and thread closed.
 
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