Originally Posted by Bill's Dad
There is no set screw holding cyl.in on a 97' like there used to be in the 80's...It is a spring loaded pc.of metal which Haynes says to depress with an allen wrench. I just had mine out last week to replace the ign.switch. It was extremely frustrating for me to get it to "uncatch"...I spent a good hour + just trying! Finally she just worked and I got it out...what a pain....I also spent more time than required trying to get the air bag to release but finally did using a smaller reg screw driver. When you fiddle, disconnect neg.batt,pull air bag fuse and disconnect yellow air bag connector at lower column area-it's very easy to do. Also they state to set air bag down carefully and in normal position..yikes!
I don't want that baby going off around me!
Thanks Dad. The Haynes is pretty specific about disconnecting the battery, fuse and setting the air bag unit down somewhere faceup. It also mentions the removal process for 1995 and newer being as you described. We must have the same manual. My problem is getting to that point as I can't unlock the wheel to turn it. Can't even tow the vehicle without dragging it from it's parking place.
Well after calling a handful of dealerships, most of which were at a loss as to what to do, two recommended drilling out the cylinder. The Haynes manual does say that there is a hole in the top of the ignition module that you must use a small Allen wrench to depress the release pin so before drilling out the cylinder, I located the hole and drilled through the plastic cover and tried that first. Didn't work. A later call to my local mechanic who has the same year S-10 said that only works if the key can be turned so the pin can be depressed. So drilling was my last option.
Tried drilling with a 3/8" carbide tipped drill and found it tough going. Switched to a normal hardened drill and stepped it up to 7/16" and it cut like butter. Drilled to the depth of the key and was then able to turn the cylinder with a screwdriver and start the truck and unlock the steering wheel and transmission. Am going to go the route of an over the counter ignition cylinder and or module as it is cheaper than the one from the dealership. Probably will forgo getting it coded as well as that is an extra $20. Maybe someday if I decide to sell it but I'm keeping my S-10 as long as I can.
So I guess the lesson here is if you start having problems and are able to get it started, drive it home, park it with the wheel at 90 degrees and get that thing out of there A.S.A.P. Will have to check to see if that release pin works on a unit when the key can turn. If it does, the much simpler solution without having to remove the steering wheel would be to drill a 3/8" hole above the hole in the Ignition module and release the cylinder while the unit still works. You can get snap in hole plugs to dress it up and make it look presentable. To find out where to drill that hole, look at a new ignition module and take measurements from it. Not sure if that will even work yet but if it does, it would save a lot of time and effort not to mention no chance of setting off the air bag!