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Race Column w/ factory style ignition?

Old 03-08-2018, 01:17 PM
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Default Race Column w/ factory style ignition?

Wasn't sure of best section to post this in, if there's a better spot feel free to move my thread mods, thanks.

Anyone install an aftermarket race column with removable wheel in their F-body but retain the factory key and ignition? I just picked up a full setup from Motion Raceworks and am going to be attempting to do so...looking for advice/inspiration. Figured I could probably find a way to mount the key cylinder in the dash or something, but haven't put much thought into it. I'm not opposed to wiring a push button start either, if someone has a schematic to do so that would be great. My VATS seems to be still active despite being tuned so I'll need to find a way to work around that for now.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:48 AM
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The factory key cylinder turns a cam in the column, which actuates a long rod, which actuates a (clunky) push-button ignition switch bolted to the middle of the column. So, re-using the stock cylinder would probably cost you more than the value of the car to do right and in a way that it works well.

If you don't like push buttons, you can use an in-dash ignition switch from another car and the electrical should be easy to connect. Lots of cars in the 60's had them and there were also some other GM cars in the 90's that brought them back.

^ If you do this, you may need to disable the VATS and adopt a different type of security system, if you want to retain a security feature. There may also be an in-dash VATS cylinder out there? - I don't know.
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Old 03-12-2018, 02:37 AM
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Thank you for the info. Looks like Iíll be going with a set of race switches and rockers to run the ignition. I donít care about VATS Iíll just have to put some things back together to have my friend with Hp tuners turn it off before I make the swap I guess.
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:45 AM
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Just curious, why did you go with a different column and not just put a quick release hub on the stock one? Weight savings? Also, is VATS all in the ECM on the LS cars? On my 95 I just grounded a wire coming out of VATS box on the right kick panel.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by biketopia View Post
Just curious, why did you go with a different column and not just put a quick release hub on the stock one? Weight savings? Also, is VATS all in the ECM on the LS cars? On my 95 I just grounded a wire coming out of VATS box on the right kick panel.
Strictly for weight savings and for the price is why I chose the race column over just a new hub and wheel for stock column... after buying a wheel, hub adapter, and quick release...you only spend around $250 more for a race column and I THINK shave about 12-15 more pounds off of the car... I do not know about the VATS, my friend has HP Tuners, he's going to disable it for me. Now I need a schematic of the column harnesses so that I can run switch panel wiring to forego the ignition and key and run blinkers on buttons. Anyone have access to that?
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by allblackedout5 View Post
Strictly for weight savings and for the price is why I chose the race column over just a new hub and wheel for stock column... after buying a wheel, hub adapter, and quick release...you only spend around $250 more for a race column and I THINK shave about 12-15 more pounds off of the car... I do not know about the VATS, my friend has HP Tuners, he's going to disable it for me. Now I need a schematic of the column harnesses so that I can run switch panel wiring to forego the ignition and key and run blinkers on buttons. Anyone have access to that?
Damn, I didn't realize it was that much weight, that's a good amount in a full race car. I can get you the schematics if I can dig em up in all data. I'll post em up or shoot you a PM.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:31 PM
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Let me know if this will work or you need more and I'll dig some more up.






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Old 03-13-2018, 02:45 PM
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I didn't weigh them to have exact amounts because my new column hasn't shown up yet...but when it does I'll toss my stock column on the scale and toss new one on scale...see what difference is and let you know. But I remember reading overall weight savings with a new wheel and all that is right around 20 pounds. It's a good savings and creates a little more space also... Thank you very much for those wiring diagrams those will help out a lot when I set up the switch panel!!
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by biketopia View Post
Just curious, why did you go with a different column and not just put a quick release hub on the stock one? Weight savings? Also, is VATS all in the ECM on the LS cars? On my 95 I just grounded a wire coming out of VATS box on the right kick panel.
VATS is in the BCM. When the BCM receives the proper resistance from the key, it gives the OK to the PCM to run the engine. You cannot access the BCM through HPTuners but what you can do is tell the PCM to not look for the BCMs signal, meaning the motor will run whether the BCM likes it or not.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
VATS is in the BCM. When the BCM receives the proper resistance from the key, it gives the OK to the PCM to run the engine. You cannot access the BCM through HPTuners but what you can do is tell the PCM to not look for the BCMs signal, meaning the motor will run whether the BCM likes it or not.
I figured it was different on the LS cars, thanks for the clarification. Just went back through my notes and Shoebox's site and found what I actually did was bypass the PASS-KeyII systems theft module, (I also have no more ECM derr) I gave it a constant ground and not a ground provided by the key, allowing the pump, starter, etc, to work with the key. I deleted air bags and a slew of other things and popped the fuse box out of the driver side. Flipped it over and sniped the Air Bag fuse wire on the output side of the fuse, and ran it to my center console and used it for factory fused switched power for my MSD Box and LED activation for my fuel pump relay, fan low and high, and roll control.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:25 PM
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Good info...I deleted a lot of stuff, radio, hvac, air bags, rear view mirror, power seats, etc... going to need some circuits to run fuel pumps, fans, nitrous, etc... good to know I will have a bunch of factory circuits to tap into now.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by allblackedout5 View Post
Good info...I deleted a lot of stuff, radio, hvac, air bags, rear view mirror, power seats, etc... going to need some circuits to run fuel pumps, fans, nitrous, etc... good to know I will have a bunch of factory circuits to tap into now.
Im doing a full cage and pulling the dash back out. Im half temped to eliminate some of the wiring and i would love to have the fuse boxes from underhood moved to under the dash. Im dreading that.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
Im doing a full cage and pulling the dash back out. Im half temped to eliminate some of the wiring and i would love to have the fuse boxes from underhood moved to under the dash. Im dreading that.
I'm with ya, my dash is currently out...I'd love to get the fuse panels out from under the hood also... I can wire pretty well, but that just seems like it's going to be way way too much effort lol. At this point I'll be doing full switch panel for the car, now would probably be the time to do it, god knows I won't want to do it later. I'd like to eliminate as much wiring as possible once everything is together and I know exactly what I can get rid of without messing up the car too badly.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:55 PM
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Yeah, my biggest fear isnt the work its the "maybe" having to chase an electrical gremlin afterwards.
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
Yeah, my biggest fear isnt the work its the "maybe" having to chase an electrical gremlin afterwards.
Same with me. A LOT to go wrong there.


weighed stock column and race column today. With steering wheels attached. 20lb total weight savings from stock to race column. Stock was 28 and race column was 8. Not bad.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by allblackedout5 View Post


Same with me. A LOT to go wrong there.


weighed stock column and race column today. With steering wheels attached. 20lb total weight savings from stock to race column. Stock was 28 and race column was 8. Not bad.
Nice!!

If you both are doing full on race cars it would almost seem to best thing to do would be to strip out everything and either re work the factory harness's for lights and the needed engine stuff, or just get a hot rod harness and eliminate EVERYTHING. Then no more HVAC wiring, no more ABS, SRS, etc etc. But that does sound like a gigantic pain in the ***.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:40 AM
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Yeah there is a metric **** ton of wiring throughout these cars.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
Yeah there is a metric **** ton of wiring throughout these cars.
hahah, that is an accurate weight measurement. Every time i tear into another part of the car or open up something I find more and more I can just clip and toss. Under the console of my Lt1 car the SRS crash sensor i feel honestly weighed 2lbs, that and a few more of it's 1-3lb friends add up to a lot. Plus with the factory harness you've got splices with this feeding that and getting ground and power from over yonder to make all the modules and safety sensors happy. That's the **** that will trip you up if your not careful, been there done that .
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Old 03-15-2018, 11:47 AM
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Haha. A metric ton is actually 2,200lbs.
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Old 03-15-2018, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by 01ssreda4 View Post
Yeah there is a metric **** ton of wiring throughout these cars.
Originally Posted by biketopia View Post
hahah, that is an accurate weight measurement. Every time i tear into another part of the car or open up something I find more and more I can just clip and toss. Under the console of my Lt1 car the SRS crash sensor i feel honestly weighed 2lbs, that and a few more of it's 1-3lb friends add up to a lot. Plus with the factory harness you've got splices with this feeding that and getting ground and power from over yonder to make all the modules and safety sensors happy. That's the **** that will trip you up if your not careful, been there done that .
TONS of wiring I know, crazy... That's what scares me the most is having to chase down a random ground or hot wire somewhere that ends up ****** my entire body harness up because I clipped the wrong lead off the main harness and I'm screwed... I think I plan to leave all wiring in car, tuck it all away as best as possible and use what's needed... splice into what I have to to get the brake and running lights to work, get the ignition to work, and call it a day...
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