1996 GMC Jimmy Turn the key and starter won't do anything

Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 GMC JIMMY
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 189,000 MILES
I've put in a new starter, battery, and alternator. As well as fuel pump and filter and all oxygen sensors. I turn the key and the starter won't engage, the only noise I hear is the fuel pump. The lights don't dim at all when I turn the key. The ignition feels exactly as it does before when the truck ran great. I thought it was the starter so I replaced it along with the alternator. But still when I turn the key nothing happens. I can leave the key turned and jump start the truck by touching the solenoid with a screwdriver. What can I do to solve this problem?
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 9:10 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Hello and thanks for donating

What you have described is a failed ignition switch. You can run a temporary starter switch to fix this issue short-term. The primary fix is removing and replacing the faulty ignition switch.
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 10:08 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
Not to sound like an idiot but does that mean I need to change the switch in the steering column?
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 10:47 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
That is correct. I have posted replacement steps below to help you if you choose to do this repair on your own..

Remove the column shroud halves.
Remove the column-to-dash attaching bolts and slowly lower the steering column, making sure that it is supported.
Remove the multifunction switch if necessary.
Remove the key alarm switch, if equipped by gently prying the alarm switch retaining clip with a small screwdriver. Rotate the alarm switch 1 / 4 in. (6mm) turn and remove.

WARNING
Extreme care is necessary to prevent damage to the collapsible column.

Make sure that the switch is in the LOCK position. If the lock cylinder is out, pull the switch rod up to the stop, then go down one detent.
Remove the two screws and the switch.

To install:

Before installation, make sure the switch is in the LOCK position.
Install the switch using the original screws. Tighten the screws to 12 inch. lbs. (1.4 Nm).
Install the key alarm switch, if equipped . Make sure the retaining clip is parallel to the lock cylinder. Rotate the alarm switch 1 / 4 in. (6mm) turn until locked in place.
Install the multifunction switch if removed.

CAUTION
Use of screws that are too long could prevent the column from collapsing on impact.

Replace the column. Tighten the nuts to 22 ft. lbs. (29 Nm); the bolts to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
Install the column shroud halves.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/261618_1_164.jpg

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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 10:50 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
Awesome - THANK YOU FOR THE HELP!
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Monday, May 10th, 2010 AT 10:59 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
Hi - Last question. I've had no luck getting a new ignition switch and have decided to go the temporary switch route. Do you have instructions or suggestions? Can I use jumper cable wire running to a switch on the inside of the truck?

Thanks again
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Sure I can help with that. You will want to use 14 gauge automative wire for the job, you can pick it up at any auto part store. You will also need the following :

push button starter switch
drill
wiring ends
crimping tool

Below are the basic steps for this temporary fix. Let me know if you need more assistance along the way.

Disconnect the vehicle battery negative cable from the battery.
Determine the best location for the push button switch. It should be in an area of the dashboard which can be easily reached by the driver.
Use an electric drill and a drill bit of sufficient size to drill a hole large enough to mount the switch. Check your switch for the size as it can vary from one brand to another.
Locate the starter solenoid which is built on to the starter itself.
Strip approximately 1/4 inch of insulation from one end of the 14 gauge wire. Using the crimping tool, crimp a solderless terminal (wire end) of the type necessary to fit the lugs on the back of your push button switch to the stripped end of this wire. Attach to the switch. Run the wire through the firewall and out to the solenoid.
Install a solderless terminal (wire end) which will fit the solenoid terminal to the wire and attach to the solenoid.
Fabricate a second wire and attach it to the switch. Connect the opposite end to a 12 volt power source or directly to the positive terminal of the vehicle battery.
Mount the switch in the dash board and reconnect the vehicle battery.

Now when you go to start the vehicle, you will still need your key. You only need to turn the key until the accessories come on and you hear the fuel pump kick in, do not attempt to crank the engine. Once the key is in this position, you will then push the starter button until the engine has fired up, then release the button. Now your engine should be up and running as normal.
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 7:30 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
Well I went to the store an# they had my switch. Now I cant get mine out. I cant seem. To find the 2 screws yo remove the existing cylinder. Do you have a bettet picture of how to do this?
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 8:56 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
Have you removed the plastic covers from the steering column? once the covers removed you should be able to see the screws holding the switch pretty easily


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/261618_Noname_2146.jpg

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:16 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
Yeah, everything is off, I just dont see these screws. Are they torx head screws? The cylinder is encased in metal. Im sorry, im usually very competant whe it comes to this type of work. As ive said, ive replaced everything from the battery to the rear axle and differential. I really appreciate your help. If I wasnt out of work I would donate more
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 9:48 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
The lock cylinder is not the actual switch. The switch is behind the lock cylinder. Number 17 in the diagram I posted above is the cylinder. Make sure the steering column is lowered and the two should be 7mm screws/bolts
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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 AT 10:00 PM
Tiny
STOOLY76
  • MEMBER
For the temp switch, which stud on the solenoid do I attach the wire too?
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Thursday, May 13th, 2010 AT 6:55 PM
Tiny
BLUELIGHTNIN6
  • EXPERT
The purple wire
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Thursday, May 13th, 2010 AT 8:47 PM

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