North American Turbocoupe Organization



Ignition switch failure
87TbirdTc979 Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hi, so I have been having some electrical issues with my 87 tc. It started with the low beams and fogs not working and now my ic will not illuminate and high beams will not stay on, you have to hold the stalk to use them. I pulled the steering column apart an found that the connector on the ignition switch has a burnt wire and appears to have blown out the plastic of the connector. The burnt wires are a grey/yellow and grey. I tried finding a diagram to see what this wire goes to and if the info I found is correct it is the blower motor? Can anyone confirm this? I have an Evtm coming in the mail, so that should help. I’m not real sure as to what I should do here. Should I replace the switch and connector or is it possible the switch is good and just connectors shot? Anyway to test this? Where can I find a new connector? If it is the blower motor wire does that mea. I need to replace that as well to prevent this happening again? Sorry for the long winded post. Thanks I’m advance! Brennan
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87TbirdTc979 Offline
Junior Member
#2
I forgot earlier when I made this post but I have also been having some troubles with my gauges intermittently as well. I don’t think they are related but I could be wrong. The speedo will sometimes start twitching sporadically and then from time to time it will go from sporadic to just reading zero. The temp gauge will randomly spike when I know the car is running cool, I’ve never seen the ammeter move at all but maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be? I’m pretty confident that the fuel gauge is incorrect as well. Is there a way to check that short of running the car out of gas or dropping the tank?
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#3
Pretty common... replace both the ignition switch and the connector.  The connector comes with several replacement wires.  

Use a terminal tool or small screwdriver to remove the wires that are in good condition and insert them into the new connector.  Take a photo first and do one wire at a time so you don't mix them up.  The wires that are not in good condition can be cut and spliced with the wires in the kit.  Replace the ignition switch and you should be all set.

The connector has probably melted some and just replacing the switch will only last a short time since the connection at the switch will be loose, causing excessive heat and then the same issues you have now.

I've used the standard motor product ignition switch without any issues.  You can probably find a switch at autozone or O'riely's that will work fine also. Not replacing the connector and damaged wires would be a mistake.

Ignition Switch Connector

Ignition Switch
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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87TbirdTc979 Offline
Junior Member
#4
(05-19-2022, 03:32 AM)vegas_ss Wrote: Pretty common... replace both the ignition switch and the connector.  The connector comes with several replacement wires.  

Use a terminal tool or small screwdriver to remove the wires that are in good condition and insert them into the new connector.  Take a photo first and do one wire at a time so you don't mix them up.  The wires that are not in good condition can be cut and spliced with the wires in the kit.  Replace the ignition switch and you should be all set.

The connector has probably melted some and just replacing the switch will only last a short time since the connection at the switch will be loose, causing excessive heat and then the same issues you have now.

I've used the standard motor product ignition switch without any issues.  You can probably find a switch at autozone or O'riely's that will work fine also. Not replacing the connector and damaged wires would be a mistake.

Ignition Switch Connector

Ignition Switch

That’s what I figured but wasn’t sure if the connectors were readily available. I plan on doing the headlight relays asap! Do you know if the grey wire with yellow stripe goes to the ivr or the blower motor? I’ve seen conflicting information on that. I plan on pulling the cluster and trying my hand at the solid state ivr soon as well. Thank you so much for your help!
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#5
Offhand I'm not sure, but replacing the ignition switch and connector should fix all your issues. I know that I had no blower motor or gauges when I had ignition switch problems and everything was working fine after the ignition switch/connector repair. The solid state IVR is for more accurate gauges... I have some parts I acquired to do a solid state IVR but haven't gotten around to that. I actually may get to that in the next few weeks.
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#6
Both parts by standard motor products are available on Amazon...

Amazon Ignition Pigtail

Amazon Ignition Switch
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#7
Single (i.e., not bundled in a harness) light gray / yellow stripe goes to the stock IVR. This is a resistance wire (8 ohms roughly) and can not be replaced with a regular piece of copper wire.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#8
(05-19-2022, 03:00 PM)Jeff K Wrote: Single (i.e., not bundled in a harness) light gray / yellow stripe goes to the stock IVR. This is a resistance wire (8 ohms roughly) and can not be replaced with a regular piece of copper wire.

Hi Jeff,

Enjoyed reading your Hemmings article on the tbird and some others that I've come across over the past year or so.  It was your article on the blackwing too, correct?

Anyhow, is the gray / yellow stripe wire bypassed when a solid state IVR is used?  I'm going to need to refresh my memory on connecting up the parts I have for the solid state IVR.
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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87TbirdTc979 Offline
Junior Member
#9
Well I have replaced ignition switch and connector to no avail. Although my blower motor is now running at full strength… WOW!!
What a difference! Gonna get out my multimeter and run through everything and see if I can find the issue?
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vegas_ss Offline
Senior Member
#10
So what isn't working? Cluster and headlights? Turn signal, brake lights, interior lights, wipers? May want to check fuses too.
1987 TC, 5sp, Boport Stage 3 Head/2.1 Cam
1996 Impala SS, DCM, Borla Cat Back, too much other stuff!!!
2009 Pontiac G8 GXP 6M, 6.2l LS3, Kooks Long Tube, Hi Flo Cats, Mild Cam
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