1990 Plymouth Acclaim Change the Ignition Starter Switch

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There are several reasons why you would want to change the ignition starter switch on your 1990 Plymouth Acclaim. The most common reason is that you lost the keys and you don't have a spare. But you don't need to take the Plymouth to a repair garage to have the switch installed, as you should be able to do the job yourself using a few basic tools. The project will take about two hours to complete.

Tools Used[edit]

Ratchet and socket
Jack stands

Change the Ignition Starter Switch[edit]

  • Open the engine compartment and disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the two screws from the back of the steering wheel and pull the cover from the center of the wheel. Remove the retaining nut from the steering wheel using a wrench.
  • Unplug the ground wires for the horn and the key light. Remove the retaining screw for the ignition key light and position it off to the side. Remove the four screws that secure the bearing housing to the lock housing with the screwdriver. Remove the snap ring at the upper end of the steering shaft using the pliers.
  • Remove the ignition key if you have it in. Remove the screw with the screwdriver to lift out the buzzer switch. Remove the two screws that secure the ignition switch to the column. Pull the ignition switch out by twisting it 90 degrees and sliding it off the actuator rod.
  • Remove the two screws from the dimmer switch with a screwdriver and disengage it from the actuator rod. Remove the two screws that mount the bell crank with the screwdriver. Slide the bell crank up in the lock housing so that you are able to disconnect it from the ignition switch rod. Remove the lock cylinder and lever.
  • Insert the head of a small screwdriver into the lock cylinder hole and push in on the spring while pulling the lock cylinder from the housing bore. Grasp the lock lever and spring and pull it straight out of the housing.
  • Seat the push rod firmly enough in the switch so that you are able to push the two drill bits into the alignment holes. Reposition the upper end of the push rod in the pocket of the washer/wiper switch. With light pressure towards the rear, install the two screws and tighten them snugly. This reconnects the dimmer switch.
  • Apply a light coat of grease on the lock levers and assemble them, the spring and the pin. Install the lock lever assembly in the lock housing. Seat the pin firmly in the bottom of the slots. Make sure the lock lever spring leg is firmly in place in the casting notch.
  • Install the ignition switch actuator rod from the bottom through the oblong hole in the housing and attach it to the bell crank. Position the bell crank assembly in the lock housing while you pull the ignition switch rod down the column. Install the bell crank on its mounting surface and tighten the screws with the screwdriver. The gearshift lever should be in park.
  • Place the ignition switch on the actuator rod and rotate it 90 degrees to lock it in place. To install the ignition lock, turn the key to the lock position and then pull the key out. Insert the cylinder far enough in the housing to make contact with the switch actuator. Insert the key and press inward and rotate the cylinder. When the parts align the cylinder will move inward and lock into the housing.
  • Tighten the ignition switch mounting screws with the screwdriver. Do this with the key cylinder in the lock position and the ignition switch in the lock position. Feed the buzzer/chime switch wires behind the wiring post and down through the space between the housing and the jacket. Remove the key and position the switch in the housing. Tighten the mounting screws with the screwdriver.
  • Install the lock plate on the steering shaft. Install the upper bearing spring and the upper bearing housing. Install the upper bearing snap ring with the pliers, locking the assembly in place. Install the four screws that attach the bearing housing to the lock housing. Install the turn signal switch. Install the steering wheel and secure it with the retaining nut and wrench. Place the cover back on the steering wheel and secure it with the screws from the back of the steering wheel.

Tips & Warnings[edit]

  • It is important that you disconnect the battery as instructed. Failure to do so may result in a deployed air bag.