my truck starts without the keys in it. is it hard to change the ingition switch?
Turn the ignition cylinder to the "ON" position. There is a small pin that retains the cylinder in the column which will need to be pushed in (a pick or ballpoint pen does the trick). While pushing in the pin, pull the cylinder out of the column. To install the new cylinder, just slide it into place.
I believe its Mitchells manual that shows the best description on how to change the lock cylinder. The lock cylinder moves a rod that is connected to your ignition switch which is located on the top of the steering column below the dash board, two nuts to take off and replace the switch. you have to insert the rod into the groove in bottom of switch and into a hole in the switch. Plug the plug back into switch, check timing to make sure the lock cylinder will turn the vechicle on and off. then, tighten the nuts. all done. Just did mine yesterday. For some reason my heater fan stays on when i shut off the ignition,as do the turn signals and backup lites if in reverse.( manual tranmission). Gotta make sure i shut everything down or i come out and have a dead battery.
What White Max said. Its a known problem with these trucks. Mine did this for a couple of years. I finally plopped down the $16.00USD to buy a new cylinder. It literally is a 5 - 10 minute job. There is a hole underneath the ignition key cylinder. just put a skinny object (I used a torx screw driver) in the hole, turn the key while pulling out on the ignition key assembly. It might take a little doing, but ideally it pulls right out when you get a feel for it.
I highly recommend fixing it. The couple of times I let others borrow my truck; they accidentally left the ignition in the "ACC" position which caused the battery to drain.
The cons of this is you will have a separate ignition key from your door key. I thought it would be a major inconvenience, but it actually has some advantages. You can have them "keyed" to be the same but it costs money.
From a safety standpoint, there have been some accidents caused by this problem. Not too long ago a 5 year kid started his grandmother's truck and drove it into a swimming pool!
I actually liked mine not needing a key. I was a FireFighter for 27 years. In the middle of the nite when my pager went off , I didn't have to look for keys. Just jump into my clothes , fire the old girl off and haul *** to the station. I had a 76 Nova that was the same way , it was mighty handy.