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1936 ignition switch question

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The column mounted ignition switch that was on my 36 special when I bought it had been mangled by some previous owner. I have a new switch that I was a bolt away from using to replace the old one when I realized a few oddities.

On the mangled switch the on/off portion worked even though the lock cylinder was mangled. I assumed this was due to the afore mentioned mangling. However, as I looked over the replacement complete with a good lock cylinder and all the other bolt on parts I realized that I was able to work the on/off lever even though the cylinder was in the lock position.

This made me wonder if the lock is actually suppossed to prevent the on/off lever from moving. I ended up tearing out the remainder of the mangled lock from the old switch and for the life of me I cannot see how it would possibly prevent the lever from moving.

I need to take the replacement lock to a lock smith because I do not have a key for it but before I do that can anybody tell me if the key is suppossed to lock keep the lever from moving? If it doesn't, what the heck does the key do?

One other question. I noticed that the portion of the lock that holds the stearing column was very plain on my original but the new one has a few extra ribs on it for adornment. Is this because my car is Canadian or could it be that the special had a plain one while the other series had a fancier column brace?



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The ignition on/off switch is the lever on the right. It has nothing to do with the key/key cylinder.

The key/key cylinder operates the steering lock, should be a steel pin that moves across when you turn the key and locates in a drilled hole in the steering column.

You don't need a key to start the car, provided the steering is left unlocked.

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Thanks for the description. I went back and turned the wheel until I found the hole in the shaft you described. I was then able to inert the spring loaded portion of the ignition lever in far enough to lock the steering so I now know how that works. It is also clear that I am missing some remnants from the mangled switch that must be part of what moves the lever inward slightly when the key is turned to lock.

It is kind of a disappointment to realize the ignition lever isn't locked but at least now I know how it was supposed to work.


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