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ignition switch 1960 buick lesabre


joseph demeyer
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i am restoring my 1960 buick lesabre convertible and am confused by the IGNITION SWITCH: 1) even with depressing the release pin (?) by using a paperclip through the access hole the switch will not get out (turning it clockwise does not do it neither does anything else) but ok the switch does work and does not have to get replaced. 2) more puzzling is the presence of a -switch- light/lamp inside the housing: it lights up but i do not see any difference...does it have any function ? and if so ...how ?

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You will only see the light in very dark. It is a very soft light.

 

Once you inserted the key and turned CCW as far as you can then inserted the paper clip, did you feel the paper clip depress an internal pin against spring pressure? If so, then you kept turning CCW? The key does turn the cylinder to the lock position?

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13 hours ago, joseph demeyer said:

 2) more puzzling is the presence of a -switch- light/lamp inside the housing: it lights up but i do not see any difference...does it have any function ? and if so ...how ?

The light was to help find the switch in the dark. Course that meant having to turn the park lights on for the switch light to come on. About as simple to use the dome light to find the switch, really.

 

I know Buick, Olds and Cadillac used these little niceties. Not sure on Chevrolet and Pontiac. Worth a hoot or not, the low-level lighting added elegance and was part of what made a high-level GM car what it was.

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Joe has not been back.  Leaves us in the dark also.

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  • 1 month later...

sorry Frank for not replying sooner (got distracted by very nasty water leaks in the rain gutter of my convertible top causing puddles in the trunk left and right-finally fixed by installing an inner lining over the welds )

So yes I can feel the spring action but only with the key in the OFF position (and I can not see the little light-only in the other positions with the key pulled out)

So maybe the ignition switch was replaced in the wrong position ? I also wonder how the bezel can get over the key hole as it seems to be just a fraction too small - but then how did it get over it when installed ? In any case: it all seems to be still stuck...I will try to turn the switch around from the back : the lamp should be on the right as it is now on the left side. Is that the correct location ? Thanks for your input !

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2 hours ago, joseph demeyer said:

So yes I can feel the spring action but only with the key in the OFF position

Is there a LOCK position? Does the key you have allow it to turn to the LOCK position? Hmm, found picture of 1960 Invicta dashboard. When you have the key in ACCESSORY position, do you feel a spring action when inserting a pin? The older Buicks do remove the cylinder turning CW from the LOCK position, but I'm not sure of 1960. The later Buicks turn CCW from ACCESSORY to remove the cylinder.

 

Water leaks, not fun!

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my latest most recent reply may have been confusing..Today i consulted the 1960 Buick Chassis Service Manual and on page 10-59 very clear ignition switch and lock repairs.

Only in the OFF position there is spring load and a very short  CW turn allows the lock to pull out.  After removal of the bezel and disconnecting the leads I removed the entire ignition switch assembly with the little lamp. The carton cover with small  light slit opening was gone so i replaced it. Before  re -installing I filed a groove in the key hole ring at the place when it is in the OFF position so that more light can exit . The filing can not be seen from the outside. Now every things works as desired ! thanks for your interest..and yes water leaks suck !

Replacing the door windows  belt line rubber weather strip ( on the exterior side ) is also a fun exercise in improvisation (when not removing all the window cranks, arm supports and door handles) and one should certainly not forget to replace any missing polyethelene sheet covering between the inside of the doors and the interior door side, inserting it in the appropriate bottom slit...it always amazes me how much water still seeps inside the doors and comes out of the bottom drains (now also covered with little rubber flaps to keep road dust and salt outside )

(Maybe I should place these notes in the My 1960 Buick forum posts)

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Excellent!

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