Throwing in the towel (column lock switch)

Joshua van Tol josh at
Thu Nov 26 05:59:28 PST 2009

On Nov 25, 2009, at 2:30 PM, Steve Sears wrote:

> Hi Ben,
> Removed Tantrum's ('87 5ktq) ignition switch last night (only 1 set  
> screw on
> the top) and turning it with a screwdriver only made the starter  
> click.
> Hmmm.....check battery voltage.....12.3 volts.  Looks like it's  
> dead.  Put
> in the decent Spiral Cell battery.....still clicks, but does it  
> less before
> it starts.  When it's running the dash gauge says 13.6 volts (and  
> there's a
> rebuilt 110 amp alternator in there).  I beginning to suspect the  
> battery
> cable splice, which I will be checking tonight.

Bad solenoid. If it's clicking (at the starter) and not at least  
trying to crank, it's pretty likely the starter solenoid. Try  
applying power directly to the solenoid with a jumper wire (make sure  
the car isn't in gear, really sure), and see what happens.

> For the record, I checked out the column switch - the oblong bump  
> (where the
> locking spring is located) is at the 7 to 8 o'clock position when  
> looking
> down the keyhole.  The earlier Type 44 steering column looks like  
> it has 2
> 13mm bolts (with white paint on the locknut ends) holding it in the  
> car.
> With the column switches and instrument cluster and lower covers  
> removed,
> you could remove the bolts, slide the column back detaching the two- 
> pin
> linkage to the rack, and then remove the column assembly.  For the  
> later
> Type 44, I seem to remember that there were two "security shear"  
> bolts that
> Frank and I cut free with a sawzall before the car was sent to Audi  
> Heaven.
> If you wanted to avoid removing the shear bolts (which could  
> probably be
> accomplished with a decent easy-out), then perhaps a Dremel with a  
> carbide
> tip mounted on a flex shaft could get in there to expose the spring.

You can usually get those security bolts out with a small chisel or  
pointed punch. Just set it off center on the head of the remaining  
part of the bolt, give it a good whack with a hammer to make an  
indent to hold the head, and then tilt the punch and use the hammer  
to spin it out. It usually works great, and is a lot less work than  
drilling it out.

> Cheers!
> Steve Sears
> 1987 Audi 5kTQ
> 1980 Audi 5k
> 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Steve Sears" <steve.sears at>
>> Subject: RE: Throwing in the towel (column lock switch)
>> To: <quattro at>
>> Message-ID: <C9E3BCBAC6E54D0296A799287750B407 at stevelap>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>> reply-type=original
>> Ben,
>> It sounds like the pot metal connection between the key and the  
>> switch is
>> the culprit in your case, as it has been recently manifesting  
>> itself in my
>> car (and it's really getting worse).  The earlier type 44 columns  
>> have a
>> single screw, and later (curved instrument binnacle) have the two  
>> screw
>> electrical switch lock.  I had a spare curved binnacle column on  
>> hand, so
>> I
>> took the old hack saw to it - very carefully.  The spring that  
>> locks the
>> ignition tumbler and link assembly into the socket in the column  
>> finds its
>> home where the socket widens out just about a half inch back from the
>> tumbler/socket joint (the socket is round nearer to the key, but  
>> where the
>> spring lock is it's oblong in section).  I could drill a small  
>> hole in the
>> oblong part of the piece of the socket that remained, and then  
>> pulling on
>> the key in the socket while pushing the spring with a screwdriver I
>> managed
>> to get the tumbler and link free of the remains of the socket.  On  
>> the
>> later
>> Type 44 assembly I butchered, the link is attached to the key  
>> assembly
>> with
>> a small roll pin, which was fairly easy to drive out (provided  
>> that you
>> support the cast link well...don't want _that_ to break!).  Once  
>> free the
>> key and pin housing easily come out.
>> The part is uber-pricey here in Canadia ($100+taxes), but I found  
>> it on a
>> site called Europarts America in Texas.  Part number 443905855A  
>> listed for
>> $10.17 plus shipping.  The link is at:
>> Once I get the part from Mark in West Seneca (it was really  
>> difficult to
>> arrange a direct purchase to Canada for some reason) I'll take a  
>> bunch of
>> pictures and do a write-up.
>> Cheers!
>> Steve Sears
>> 1987 Audi 5kTQ
>> 1980 Audi 5k
>> 1962 and '64 Auto Union DKW Junior deLuxes
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "Ben Swann" <benswann at>
>>> Subject: RE: Throwing in the towel (column lock switch)
>>> To: "'Dave Defferding'" <MstrBlastr at>
>>> Cc: 'Ben Swann' <benswann at>, quattro at,  
>>> '200q20V
>>> mailing list' <200q20v at>
>>> Message-ID: <012f01ca6c98$0b4090d0$0201a8c0 at swansong>
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>>> ******** Audifans listers see below follow-up request for  
>>> information on
>>> steering column
>>> lock *******
>>> *
>>> Dave,
>>> The ignition switch itself is easy to replace on the Type 44.   
>>> See Al'S's
>>> tips at ++++
>>> bottom email++++
>>> My problem is with the column lock that I believe requires  
>>> removal of the
>>> steering
>>> column or portions thereof.
>>> My column swith has been left unrepaired now for over a year.
>>> I simply use a screwdriver to turn the ignition switch module  
>>> that is now
>>> hanging, wire
>>> tied below the key.
>>> It can be replaced, and I figure the better part of a day that I  
>>> simply
>>> have allocated
>>> when nothing else is pressing - means I'll probably never get to  
>>> it.  Se
>>> la vi!
>>> The key still operates the column lock.  I have toyed with ideas  
>>> like a
>>> push button
>>> switch for starter and ignition enable toggle - this would be  
>>> easier to
>>> install than to
>>> do the ultimate fix.
>>> Cheers!
>>> Ben
>>> ******************************
>>> If any lister has real-world experience on how much time/effort is
>>> required to replace
>>> the column lock assembly on the Type 44 - '91 2Ctqa specifically  
>>> - Please
>>> advise.
>>> ******************************
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