Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to replace Ignition Switch on 97 chevy blazer?

First make sure the key is in the “OFF” position. Disconnect the negative battery terminal, and disable the air bag. Do this by removing the air bag fuse and disconnecting the yellow connector at the base of the steering column. Remember to disconnect the negative battery terminal first.

Next remove all the access panels and assess the situation. First remove the lower panel, 7mm Hex fasteners, then loosen the upper panel with 7mm Hex fasteners and torque drive (T25 size).

Now remove the lower steering wheel column cover. It has two T25 torque fasteners that are accessed from the underside. Note the two hooks on the rear of the cover. Now remove the top steering wheel cover. Two E6 series Torx fasteners (I read a std ¼ drive 3/32socket, might work, but I think using the right tools is better) are visible (see explanation below). Note the one on the driver’s side wont fall out after you loosen it, it has a lock nut to keep from falling out.
I read that you don’t need to remove the top cover, but I found it much easier with it removed. I used a Dremel tool to cut a slit just under the key cylinder. Now GENTLY spread the plastic enough to come around the approx. 0.75” Dia. key housing. It’s easier with the tilt down all the way. The rubber cover on the lower cover will hide the cut.

Next remove the small white connector from the top of the metal, key “tumbler”. Rotate the switch towards the passenger seat to remove. This gets the small wires out of the way so you can get to the upper left fastener.

Now you’re ready to remove the switch. Reverse Torx fasteners hold the switch in. These are the same kind of fasteners as earlier. They require an “E” series socket. Basically the fastener looks just like the business end of a torque screwdriver. It is an E3, or E4 socket. I found an E4 at Sears Hardware. It fit a bit loose but it worked. With some down pressure and slight side pressure they were removed. BE CAREFULL!!! Note the white plastic parts toward the front of the car. For the lower right fastener the white part goes on the outside of the black plastic switch, when things go back together.

Now go back underneath and remove the harness at the main block. Use a 9/32 socket to loosen center fastener (mine was red). There are basically three harnesses in one. The two outside ones are for the turn signals. Remember orientation of the harness block, relieves worry when you go back to install the new harness. These two out side harnesses come out from the bottom/back side of the ignition switch harness. Once loose, cut the zip ties and remove the switch.

Now just put everything back in reverse order. Connected the battery and test the switch before reassembling everything. When the air bag is disabled the air bag light will stay on.