DIY GEM Ignition Switch Replacement (NAPA part)

I saw the posts here about using a NAPA switch to replace a GEM ignition switch. I did it today on my e4 so I figured I’d share what I learned.

I replaced my switch because it was intermittently failing to turn on. After switching off and on about 20 times it would finally “take”. I also experienced times where the switch went off while driving, causing the vehicle to stop abruptly.

I used part number ECH KS6040 – it was $17.49 @ my local NAPA, and they had it in stock, it came with 2 keys.

I didn’t take photos of everything, but here are the high level steps from my 2009 e4:

[li]Turn off your master breaker.
[/li][li]Remove the 2 plastic caps over the instrument display, behind each will be a security torx bit. Unscrew these. My 100 pc security bit set from harbor freight had the right bit in it.
[/li][li]Loosen the “dash” area – the gray plastic lifts off the white base – it’s secured with velcro – you just want to get it off of the steering column area.
[/li][li]Moving down the plastic cover of the steering column, unscrew 3 more security torx bits – one will be inside the dash, past the rubber skirt over the steering shaft.
[/li][li]I also unscrewed 2 non-security torx bits around the turn signal/wipe/horn stalk, but I don’t think it was necessary.
[/li][li]You can now move the plastic cover pieces for the steering column – they kind of split in half – move them around to get access to the bottom of the ignition switch.
[/li][li]Unscrew/slide/work the switch out the bottom, and unhook the plastic 3 pin connector.
[/li][li]Cut the connector off the switch, leaving as much wire as possible.
[/li][li]Cut off the extra third wire (see photos).
[/li][li]Strip the 2 remaining wires of insulation, about 1/4" – install on new switches screw terminals.
[/li][li]Plug the 3 pin connector/new switch back in.
[/li][li]Before continuing – turn master breaker on, test switch, turn master break off.
[/li][li]Adjust the retaining nut on the new switch to fit the hole, push it in tightly, and screw the retaining ring on very tightly.
[/li][li]You can now reassemble the plastic bits – there are hooks on the bottom where they snap into each other – once it looks right start putting screws back in, checking for any gaps/loose bits as you go.
[/li][li]Turn master breaker back on – test overall operation.

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Here’s the old and new switch together:

Here’s the old and new switch, the pins marked with sharpie are the ones you’re moving to the new switch:

Finished replacement switch:

The 2 pins you need to keep are the middle, and the bottom one in this photo (the “D” shaped connector)

The new switch installed:

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Just did this . part number is still good . $17 and 20 min. Done!

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That obviously energizes the vehicle for travel but what of the third wire that’s cut out of the picture? Are some of the electrical accessories (lights, turn signals, horn, radio, etc.) now disabled?

No, everything works. The third wire is on the new switch but not used on the the car’s side. It’s probably an “off” position, when we only need “on”.

I’m sure glad I received a reply. I was beginning to think I was in this forum all alone as I haven’t seen any reply dates newer than 2017.

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I’m new to this forum and I’m having a little trouble navigating here. But that’s the least of my problems. I purchased a 1996 trans2 a couple weeks back. The batteries were missing, the “ignition” switch was gone and some wiring was cut. My thought was ‘How hard could it be to get a wiring diagram and put this thing back together’. Ha!. Little did I know that obtaining parts or information on line for this EV was next to impossible. I think I’m in over my head.

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Good info & thanks for the informative write up.
The NAPA part # is still valid, just ordered one to replace the switch on my e2.

Just replaced switch in an e6 and worked like a champ. The replacement was a little bigger so had to carve out some of the plastic.

Just bought the switch. The Napa numbers are the same, but it has gone up to $35.00.