Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Steering Column swap problem

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by tuffdogstudio, Dec 16, 2004.

  1. tuffdogstudio

    tuffdogstudio 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Posts:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Mexico
    So, I have swapped in a steering column from a 1988 suburban into my 1984 Suburban... my old column had a short in the column and was causing the brake/turn signal lights to not work.

    Well, the column seems to be functioning fine in all aspects except I now have brake lights on all the time and when I put the turn signal on the brake light on that side just turns off.

    Anyone have thoughts on why this is happening? Maybe the wiring plugs are a little different from 1984 to 1988?

    Thanx in advance.
     
  2. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2000
    Posts:
    26,980
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Roy WA
    I'd be surprised if some of the wiring *didn't* change between those years. It's not that the wires aren't there, from what I recall, GM just moved wires into different spots based on how many things were being "run" off the column.
     
  3. 73k5blazer

    73k5blazer Unplug the matrix cable from the back of your head Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2001
    Posts:
    4,987
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    The Rustbelt
    There's no way to solve this except with good old fashion troubleshooting. Sorry. The '84 column is a bit unique, if I remember right 73-83columns are direct swapable, 84 was first year to put wipers on the turn stick and not on the dash, and I really don't know from there on up, but with the advent of controls and monitors I'd bet things changed between '84 and '88.
    There are wiring diagrams that may help you, but you'll have to find them. Occsionally I see them offered on eBay, but you'll need 84 and 88. Aside from that, break out your meter or a test light, and start testing with wires coming off the column do what.
    Just a thought, but how did you know the short was in the column before.
     
  4. tuffdogstudio

    tuffdogstudio 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Posts:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Thanks for the info guys, I'm pretty confident the short was in the column based on, I traced the wiring all the way from the rear of the vehicle to the column and found nothing suspicious, and upon moving the tilt on the column my brakelights and turn signals started working... that was until its shorted out completely and started popping the stoplight fuse as soon as I turned on a blinker or stepped on the brake pedal.

    Going to check out a few things in the morning like the turn signal and hazards modules on the fuse block and the brake light switch... after I figure out that they are or or not ok I suppose I'm going to start tracing wiring. One thing I have noted, the wireing colors and plugs are identical in everyway on the two columns.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2004
  5. trailblazer86

    trailblazer86 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Posts:
    112
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North Shore of Lake Ontario
    Check your grounds and other connections. With your brake lights staying on untill the signal lights are activated sounds like something is backfeeding.

    Also check the bulb sockets and the grounds at the tail light assembly.
    Electricals can be a headache, but are usually inexpensive to fix when you find the trouble.
     
  6. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Posts:
    4,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Well, you are going through a lot of work when the problem was the turn signal switch inside the column. I have had that happen in 4 of my rigs. 2 rigs were older w/out the wipers on the column, and 2 were newer w/ the wipers/cruise on the column. EVERY time it was the signal switch in the column shorting out. It's a wear item, it WILL go bad eventually. In rigs with the wipers/cruise on the column, there is a wiring harness attached to the turn signal switch inside the column. Over time, the insulation around the wires gets brittle and cracks. When bare wire is exposed, it shorts out somewhere in the column and things either quit working, or they work very differently.

    Since you are going to a newer version column, you are going to have to trouble shoot the wiring. It would be much easier if you had the wiring schematics for both. If I remember correctly, you need to switch the location of 2 wires. I cant remember off the top of my head which ones though. I'll dig through my schematics and see if I can figure out which ones again.
     
  7. tuffdogstudio

    tuffdogstudio 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Posts:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Yeah, figured it was just the switch, but my old column had a myriad of problems... No key needed for ignition switch to turn on, hazards button completely removed from column and turn signal/wiper/cruise arm was all jacked up. Figured getting an entire new column would actually save me some headaches, ohh well.

    If you have schematics it would help me out tons as I dont have any.
     
  8. tuffdogstudio

    tuffdogstudio 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Posts:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I'll try that as soon as the snow melts, got about 3" of sloppy muck out there right now, nasty to work in. I had previously checked the tail light bulb connections and found nothing suspicious. The lights were limping along untill a light offroad trip got things jarred around.
     

Share This Page