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Ignition Switch testing - early 6 fuse car


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We have a 1971 stock 2002.  We have owned it for 15 years.  Yesterday it started fine, stumbled and died within seconds, still parked in the garage.  I now have nothing at the ignition switch, no idiot lights, nothing, no power at all.  I have pulled the large red wire off the back of the switch and have 12 volts there.  I have pulled the skinny doubled-up red wires at the back of the switch and I have no power there.  How do I test the switch before paying +/- $300 for a new one?  I have searched the FAQ and am coming up short on six fuse cars. Thanks in advance for any insight.

'71 bmw 2002 since 2005

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If the electrical portion of the ignition switch has bit the dust, you don't have to replace the lock portion, just the switch itself--it's a separate part and not overly expensive.  If you find it doesn't work, it may well be gummed up inside with old oil that folks have squirted into the lock assembly over the years.  remove the switch, douse it with carb cleaner and let it drain, then reassemble.  


AFAIK all the 2002s use the same electrical contact assembly part of the ignition lock/switch and they're readily available. 



Edited by mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Thanks Mike and Halboyles

I think I need to go in a different direction.  While contemplating the switch, I decided to turn on the headlights just to see.  Nothing.  And then after about 20 seconds they come on nice and bright, and I had idiot lights at the dash.  I decided to crank the engine and then all went dark again.  I'm now thinking its a ground issue.  I did get caught out in a rainstorm before this all happened - maybe some rust has formed on a ground connections somewhere.  Any thoughts?


'71 bmw 2002 since 2005

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Check and replace both battery cables if they are showing any oxidation.  Check especially the negative connection to the block and the positive connection to the starter.  Sand the negative connection points both to the block and to the inner fender wall near the relays.  Put a fresh ground wire from the alternator to the block and make sure the blue wire is connected to the alternator.  See diagram for alternator connections.

Wire Gauge.png

BMWCCA  Member #14493



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Problem solved - 


So after suspecting that there was a bad ground somewhere I started with the fuse box - it all looked fine but I took out the fuses and I sprayed some cleaner on it for good measure.  I then went on to the very clean looking negative battery cable - its the kind where you clamp the wire into the connector with two bolts.  I felt that the clamp didn't look tight enough around the cable and sure enough it pulled right out.  I replaced the ground cable with one that has a molded battery connection and all is well again!  Thanks for all the help.

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'71 bmw 2002 since 2005

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