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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After my car's second start button went out in just a few months, I was determined to bypass the start button and just use the key to start the car. A couple of searches on this forum seemed to indicate that at least one person has done it, but there were no details other than "a couple of hours with a soldering iron".

During my first attempt I ended up losing a small spring in the ignition switch and ended up buying a new one. Hence this is a two-in-one: replacement of the ignition switch and bypass of the start button. It also makes sense that, if you have to replace the ignition switch, you may as well do this at the same time.

NOTE: There's a chance you'll break or lose pieces of your ignition switch. A new one is about $100.

Needed equipment:
- New ignition switch (if replacing)
- A couple feet of 16 or 18 gauge wire
- A female spade connector for the above wire
- A wire tap for the above wire
- Recommended: 3 Amp fuse and in-line fuse holder. The start button and start circuitry is currently protected by a 3 A fuse; make this modification bypasses that fues.

1. Disconnect the battery. I know a lot of procedures call for it where it doesn't make sense, but no fooling in this case - there's an un-switched live wire at the ignition siwtching.

2. Remove the upper and lower steering column cowling and the instrument cluster. The instrument cluster removal is probably not strictly necessary, but makes replacing the ignition switch a bit easier.

3. On the left side of the column you'll see something like this. Remove the ignition switch cover by lifting up the two tabs on the outside edge. There's a third clip in the small hole, but I don't have a way to get that clip. Jiggling things around once the two tabs have been lifted seems to work.

IMG_20140213_191950_355.jpg

4. Remove the lower steering column cowling support arm that is closest to the ignition switch.

IMG_20140213_192143_276.jpg

5. Remove the wire connector from the ignition switch - this is the worst part. This ignition switch wire connectors are very tight. Additionally, there is a clip (green circle above) that must be pried away at the same time. Do NOT try to simply pull the connector off as you will pull apart or break the ignition switch - you must pry between the wire connector and the ignition switch as well tilt the clip away from the center.

If you do pull apart the ignition switch, it can be re-assembled, but make sure you have all of the pieces:
- Large round piece
- Small block with a bump
- Very small spring
- Two "Y" shaped pieces of metal

I can provide a picture of how it all fits together (sans lost spring) if needed.

6. Remove the small screw holding the ignition switch in place in front.

IMG_20140213_195014_590.jpg

7. At this point, the ignition switch is held on by a small pin that is pushed in from the back side, opposite the screw just removed (sorry no picture, but it's a very tight fit). As far as I can tell, the only way to remove the ignition switch is to break it off by pulling and tilting. Once the switch is off, the pin can be pushed outward. So pull, tilt, and hope the pin doesn't bend (mine was fine), then push the pin outwards.

IMG_20140213_201638_343.jpg

8. Using a razor knife and/or a small drill bit, widen the opening of the wire connector so that your female spade connector will fit completely inside.

IMG_20140213_203720_279.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Continued....

IMG_20140215_135534_061.jpg

7. Connect your spade connector to your wire and run the wire through the wire connector hole as shown in the photo.

IMG_20140215_135618_463.jpg

IMG_20140215_140101_392.jpg

8. Connect the spade connector to the ignition switch as shown.

8. Press your ignition switch and wire connector together again so that the two are flush. Make sure your newly installed spade connector is not interfering with the fit - if so, widen the hole some more and try again.

9. Line up the ignition switch with the existing lock barrel and push it into place.

10. Re-install the screw removed in step 6.

At this point, I would highly recommend testing the ignition switch, as once you push the pin in (the next step), you'll have to break the ignition switch to remove it. Just apply a bit of pressure to the ignition switch to help facilitate turning the key.

11. Push the pin from step 7 in as flush as possble. Mine did not go as flush as it was from the factory, even though I pressed with quite a bit of force with a screwdriver - a special tool is probably needed to make it flush.

12. Remove the start button panel and connectors.

13. Run the wire behind the dash to where the start button is.

IMG_20140215_143128_972.jpg

14. Connect one end of the fuse holder to your wire.

IMG_20140216_133929_258.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Continued...

15. Connect the other end of your fuse holder to the start button connector red and white wire via wire tap on the harness side, not the button side.

IMG_20140216_132924_276.jpg

16. Insulate the connection to the fuse holder.

IMG_20140216_134645_446.jpg

17. Tuck everything away and screw everything back together.

18. Use key to start car.


P.S. I will be replacing the start button with another button type. I can do a write-up for that too, if there's interest.
 

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Nice write up and thanks for taking the time to put this up and have this info available for people that would like to do this mod!:clap:
 

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After my car's second start button went out in just a few months, I was determined to bypass the start button and just use the key to start the car. A couple of searches on this forum seemed to indicate that at least one person has done it, but there were no details other than "a couple of hours with a soldering iron".
Is this what you were looking for: One wire to start using key.

EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed that you had posted at the end of that thread, so obviously you did find it. :facepalm

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is this what you were looking for: One wire to start using key.

EDIT: Sorry, I just noticed that you had posted at the end of that thread, so obviously you did find it. :facepalm

Cheers.
On my car (there seems to be a lot of small variations between cars), the only way to get to the ignition switch spade was pulling off the wire connector (or do a lot of cutting of the connector). When I tried to pull off the wire connector, the ignition switch popped apart. I managed to find everything except the small spring, which is why I ended up replacing the ignition switch too.

Maybe there was an easier/better way, but as Homer said, "Nothing's easy" :)
 
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