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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 01-20-2011, 12:19 PM
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I have slow/gummy ignition switch . . . sometimes sticks when starting . . . help!

I have a 1990 F250, and my ignition switch feels gummy and slow.

I went to start my truck yesterday, and when I turned the key, I had to pull the switch back once it fired up, but the starter was still engaged for about 1-2 seconds.

I have owned the truck for a few years, and the ignition has always been a bit gummy, but it is especially bad in cold weather.

Is there any way that I can lubricate or loosen up my ignition switch so that it doesn't do this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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90 Ford F250, 4x4, 7.3L Diesel, E4od
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:17 PM
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I just tried it again and this time, I quickly turned the ignition off and pulled the key out, and the starter was still engaging for about a full second.

Would WD-40 in the ignition cylinder fix this? Or electronics cleaner? I'm not too sure where to look . . .

If anyone can offer me any advice, I would be eternally grateful!

Thank you!
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97 Ford Ranger, Ext. Cab, 2wd, V6, 4.0, 5spd,
90 Ford F250, 4x4, 7.3L Diesel, E4od
66 Ford F100, 2wd, all stock 352 V8 and 3spd, ugly as sin, but it runs!
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:19 PM
bren_tx bren_tx is offline
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I think we all have had the same problem at one time or another. I have found that its not the switch itself but the moving parts inside the steering column. You would need to partially disassemble the column and lubricate the parts in there
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:55 PM
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I'm looking at my shop manual, and it is telling me not to spray any lubricant directly into the key hole . . . is this a really bad thing to do?

It's SO cold out here, I'm afraid of cracking the plastic housing around the steering column?

Is there a quick fix to get me by until the warmer weather? I generally hate quick fixes, but with these temperatures, it's tough to do extensive repairs on a vehicle without a heated garage.
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97 Ford Ranger, Ext. Cab, 2wd, V6, 4.0, 5spd,
90 Ford F250, 4x4, 7.3L Diesel, E4od
66 Ford F100, 2wd, all stock 352 V8 and 3spd, ugly as sin, but it runs!
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:59 PM
88n94 88n94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeVR5 View Post
I have a 1990 F250, and my ignition switch feels gummy and slow.

I went to start my truck yesterday, and when I turned the key, I had to pull the switch back once it fired up, but the starter was still engaged for about 1-2 seconds.
It sounds like you have another problem, besides a sticky switch. It sounds like your solenoid is sticking. I see by your signature this is a diesel. This sticking solenoid may get worse and not stop cranking the engine. I would become familiar with the location of the solenoid and how it works in case it does stick, so you know what to tap on to stop the engine from cranking.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeVR5 View Post
I'm looking at my shop manual, and it is telling me not to spray any lubricant directly into the key hole . . . is this a really bad thing to do?
I didn't think so. At least with a gas engine setup. If the manual is telling you not to do so, there must be a reason. I'm not sure how the diesel switch is setup, but I would assume it's like the gas, in that where the key goes is just a tumbler and there is a rod connecting that tumbler with the switch about 4 inches away.

At any rate, I don't think lubricating anything in the steering column will solve the problem of the starter running a second or so after the switch is shut off. It could be the switch itself or the solenoid as I mentioned before, in my estimation anyway. I hope you get it solved before it gets worse.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:21 PM
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i had the same thing happen to me, and my ignition cylinder was a little wore out, so i just spent the $20 and put a new one in it. i got mine at autozone and it came with 2 keys, and i just put a little wheel bearing grease on it before i put it in. it works perfectly now.
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:57 PM
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This is purely from an American ingenuitized do what ya gotta do until you can do better opinion, but what you could do is wire up a push button to engage the starter. Then you could use the key to put the ignition in the "on" position and the push button to engage the starter. I don't know if the setup is different on a diesel than the gas engines, but doing what I am talking about with a gas engine amounts to hooking up two wires to the starter solenoid on the inner fender and to the push button switch. Twenty minutes tops.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:52 PM
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Thank you guys for the ideas!

I did have the starter motor and solonoid rebuilt at a shop last summer, so I don't think that could be the problem, but I'll definitely check it out.

I've driven quite a few Ford pickups, and the ignition lock cylinder on this diesel F250 just feels slow and gummed up. I don't think it's in the solenoid . . .

I love the idea of a push-button start if all else fails! However, I might go with a new lock cylinder before that . . . .
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90 Ford F250, 4x4, 7.3L Diesel, E4od
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:56 PM
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I thought this was a common ford issue you just learn to live with. Every time i crank the 91' up it seems to hold start a bit longer than it should and it grinds for a second. I start it like every other vehicle i have driven and those don't grind at all.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeVR5 View Post
I'm looking at my shop manual, and it is telling me not to spray any lubricant directly into the key hole . . . is this a really bad thing to do?

It's SO cold out here, I'm afraid of cracking the plastic housing around the steering column?

Is there a quick fix to get me by until the warmer weather? I generally hate quick fixes, but with these temperatures, it's tough to do extensive repairs on a vehicle without a heated garage.
There is a little piece of pot metal in the column, some call it the tumbler, basically turns the turning of the key into forward movement of the ignition rod. The tumbler is the piece that needs to be lubricated, otherwise it will eventually break on you. Mine has broken twice...last time i replaced it, i lubed it up really good and now i dont have those cold morning sticks and hard-to-turn ignitions.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:11 PM
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My 96 does this, does it even worse in the cold. But like the satin goes. Don't fix it if it aint broke and it still starts so when I start ****in money i'll fix it right. Lol
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:52 AM
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mine was all wore out and sticky and the key wouldnt come out of the ignition, so i replaced it. lol. i have to do the same to my chevy. lol
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bren_tx View Post
There is a little piece of pot metal in the column, some call it the tumbler, basically turns the turning of the key into forward movement of the ignition rod. The tumbler is the piece that needs to be lubricated, otherwise it will eventually break on you. Mine has broken twice...last time i replaced it, i lubed it up really good and now i dont have those cold morning sticks and hard-to-turn ignitions.
This is correct...except it's called an actuator. Very common problem on 91-older trucks. You can get a new one from Ford for only about $18 but they're a PITA to replace.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:53 PM
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I have this exact same problem. So this thread is of interest to me.

Funny story actually. I used to be able to start it without any keys. So I got used to leaving them at home for running errands. So I went to the dump one day, and while I was there, suddenly it decides it needs a key, and I had no cell phone. What an awkward conversation that would've been with the guys that worked there.Luckily I got it to start one last time without the key. Now I've needed one ever since.
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Old 01-21-2011, 01:53 PM
 
 
 
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