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Hi everyone! I’am new to the forum but have been tinkering with cars for awhile. Not a pro but just a DYIer. Anyway I have a 1997 Pontiac Firebird Formula, manual trans, stock except for headers and exhaust. I have an issue that the car won’t start and the ignition switch doesn’t feel like it’s going into the run or start positions. It won’t spring back from start or anything. It turns fine but just doesn’t do anything after turning. I have the steering column torn apart and installed a new ignition switch but it still feels the same as the old switch. I also have a new VATS key already cut for the new ignition switch. Any thoughts from anyone?! Thank you ahead of time!!
 

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Welcome to the forum.

When you say you changed the ignition switch, were you meaning the lock cylinder that takes the key? If that's what you changed, it's only part of ignition switch. The other parts include the electrical part of the ign sw. and rod that connects lock cyl to electrical part of ign sw.

So, is rod moving when you go from lock through the different detente positions of lock cylinder? Is the rod in it's small hole of elec part of ign sw? And does the slide of elec part of ign sw, move when key lock moves?

Next step is to download the 96 service manual at the following link. It will have wiring diagrams so you can figure out if all power supply wires are getting battery voltage to switch. And if all output wires are getting battery voltage as you move key lock from locked to reverse, on, acc, & start positions.
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There is another component that goes to keylock. It is what locks steering column so steering wheel is locked. Does this part of key lock work correctly?

Last thing I'll point out is the adjustment of elec part of ign sw. If this is not aligned correctly you could have problems you mentioned. It adjusts by backing off the 2 screws that hold it to steering column. You move sw in 1 of 2 possible directions to adjust. Service manual should have instructions.
 
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