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Can't find VATS bypass for a C5. Help!

krnlpnc

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
22
Location
California
Corvette
1998 Artic White Coupe
My VATS system is becoming worse by the day and needs either bypassed or replaced. After several phone calls and a lot of web searches I found there doesn't appear to be a pre-made VATS bypass anywhere on the market. Ecklers etc, carry only '96 and older. I've also not found anyone clearly stating they are using the Radio Shack resistor bypass method on a C5. This leads me to think 1) the VATS system never fails on a C5 (ha!) or 2) the system is very different and can't be bypassed with a series of simple resistors.

If any C5 owner has performed a bypass themselves I would be grateful for details! Alternatively, if the system can't be bypassed, I'm considering getting a new ignition cylinder (around $100) and attempting an install myself. Any idea how hard that is to replace? Thanks for anyone's help.
 

DocOhm

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
61
Location
Okla.
Corvette
2001 Coupe QuickSilver A4
I just had the same problem with my 2001 coupe! It wouldn't start for me last week. Fortunately I was in the driveway of my friend the certified Chevy mechanic when it quit completely. He said, 'looks like the sensor that reads the resistor in the key has gone bad, no problem, we can bypass it in a few minutes'. So, we got an ohm meter and read the resistor in the key, mine was 3.7K ohms, I happen to have lots of resisitors in my ham radio junk box at home so he took me home and we found the right combination to come up with that value. It took 5 resisitors, a 3.3K & 4 100 ohm resistors. You can buy them at Radio Shack if you don't have some at home.
Then we took the console off, I have already documented the whole method to get the console off (and fix the hazard switch) here:
http://myweb.cableone.net/kd5fx/HSwitch/HSwitch.htm
Next, remove the knee board, or whatever you call that piece of plastic that is under the steering wheel, (there's two screws on the bottom and one UNDER the trunk/fog light switch panel, pry on the bottom of that switch with a flat blade and it will pop right out) this exposes the ignition switch. Look for the plug with two small white wires. It is plugged into the black round ring that goes around the key. This is the sensor for the resistor in the key. Pull that plug and plug in the resistor(s) that you soldered together. Put in the key and see if it will start, if so, you're done. Button it all back up and HIT THE ROAD!
I'm waiting on parts to change out the whole ignition switch, they should be here this week and I'll document all this with pics as I get back in there to give it a long term fix. Right now I'm running around with the console and other parts off! But it runs!
Save the wave.... Doc
here's a list of all the resistor values:
http://forums.corvetteforum.com/show...t=VATS+ codes
 

krnlpnc

Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Messages
22
Location
California
Corvette
1998 Artic White Coupe
Hey DocOhm, thanks for the detailed reply. Unfortunately I couldn't come up with enough information quickly to perform this temporary fix so I had no choice but to take it to a dealer ;shrug . They called today and are quoting me the standard-dealer-rip-off-price of $600+. They're saying 2hrs of labor + 1hr for the diagnostic, and new ignition cylinder switch for $116. I found the ignition cylinder switch online for $98 and was hoping to do the long term repair myself, but was told by a few people that special tools were required. Not having a service manual (I guess I really need to invest in one) I took their word. The real kicker is that even after they replace the ignition cylinder, they're saying there is a small chance it could be a problem with the BCM as well, but can't diagnose it for sure. I was a computer technician for 10 years and when we couldn't diagnose something for sure, we installed the parts based on an educated guess and if it wasn't the right fix - we'd remove the part. Of course since dealerships aim to screw you at every opportunity, any repair they "guess" at, you pay for. Period. I'm now 0-2 vs GMs anti-theft systems, totaling around $2000. :mad

Please ignore my frustrated rant and post the details of your temporary resistor fix and the ignition cylinder replacement. Those would be of great value to the C5 community and will hopeful spare someone else from becoming a poor schmuck like me. Perhaps when my BCM eventually fails to read the key correctly I can use the resistor fix to totally bypass the system for good.

You and your mechanic friend officially own the market lead on the resister bypass for C5s, you should build and sell them to the catalogs for $599 - you'd make a killing.

Thanks a ton for the links when you have them. :beer
 

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