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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

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Old 04-14-2012, 07:37 AM
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Ignition Switch Adjustment???

Is there such a thing as an ignition switch adjustment? I recently had some some starter issues and had my mechanic friend rebuild the starter. He noticed (as well as I have know already but just thought I was crazy) that while starting the engine, the engine doesn't actually start until you release the key into the run position. I mean you can hold the key in "start" and it'll just crank and crank and crank and crank. If you hold the key in "start" for a short second and release it right away - Vroooooom - she fires right up. Usually and at least in two of my other vehicles the engine catches/fires up in the start position.

The mechanic suggested looking at the ignition switch. he's my friend so he doesn't really touch anything unless I ask him to specifically do something. He knows I know how to do almost anything just need to figure out how's its done.

Before I go wasting time/money and screwing something up, Is there an adjustment on the ignition switch position? Everything in my steering column is pretty worn out so I wouldn't be surprised if the switch was too. I can replace the switch no problem but only if there is no adjustment.

Thanks Much,
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'96 F-250 XLT 4x4 Supercab 7.3 Powerstroke; my immaculately clean truck w/ 175,000+ miles
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:50 AM
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you can try to adjust it...the switch is mounted on top of the steering column and is actuated by a rod that is connected to the key cylinder. When it is installed they should both be in the lock position with the key removed.

I have seen this exact problem before and it was the switch itself. When in start, the switch gives power to the coil and ignition module. If the contact in the switch has gone bad it will not do this. Once you go to run, the ignition gets power and off she goes.

You should also make sure that the coil is getting power from the start position. When in start, it gets 12V directly. When in run, it gets power through the key via a resistor. So it may not be the switch, may be the power sourse to the coil when in start.
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82' F100 with 460. Wieand Stealth with Holley 750 and Hooker headers.

Last edited by 82f100460; 04-14-2012 at 07:55 AM. Reason: change discription
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:52 AM
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These out of the 82 EVTM will help.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:09 AM
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thanks all! that's good news. I hate making adjustments like that. I know there's a rod, etc. I used to be a big Oldsmobile buff (hence why my user name is "rocket". I should change that LOL) and the GM's were the same way. I just never had that problem and wasn't sure if it was a ford way of doing things.

Kevin, is that a ford chassis service manual? Where did you find that and do you have an idea as to what they sell for? I could totally use one although my truck is pretty much self-explanatory. No emissions so the only real electronics are the ignition controls and the radio and my cellular phone when I'm in the truck (the radio is factory original ha-ha-ha if you can even call it "electronic").
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'98 Volkswagen Jetta TDI - my 50 mpg (that's not a typo) commuter car!
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by granny_rocket View Post
thanks all! that's good news. I hate making adjustments like that. I know there's a rod, etc. I used to be a big Oldsmobile buff (hence why my user name is "rocket". I should change that LOL) and the GM's were the same way. I just never had that problem and wasn't sure if it was a ford way of doing things.

Kevin, is that a ford chassis service manual? Where did you find that and do you have an idea as to what they sell for? I could totally use one although my truck is pretty much self-explanatory. No emissions so the only real electronics are the ignition controls and the radio and my cellular phone when I'm in the truck (the radio is factory original ha-ha-ha if you can even call it "electronic").
you are correct...they are just like the old GM's....done a few of them myself. Restoring (well customizing really) a 72 BB Nova right now with a 427.

This manual is an EVTM manaul published by ford. They are absolutely wonderful. Go to ebay and search your year EVTM and you will get results....for example mine is an 82 so search for "1982 EVTM" and you'll get 50-100 results. Mine was $15....worth 10x that. And that's about the going price. I've seen them on there for $5

They are actually part of a (I think) a 4 volume set for each year. There's one for engine, chasis, maintenance and then the EVTM. Which stands for Electrical & Vacuum Troubleshooting Manual.

It will be for the F100-350 including the Bronco. The early ones, like mine up to 1982, will also include the currier. The Currier in 1983 became the Ranger as the compact truck. Prior to 1983, the Ranger was one of the full size pickup lines. Ranger, Explorer, etc... Those then became names of trucks themselves and the F series trucks started using the XL, XLT, Lariat, etc....names for their trim packages.

So if you just enter EVTM you get what you want. Don't try to use pickup, F150, etc....in your search....EVTM is specific to Ford manuals so that's all you'll get.

If you're looking for the other manuals in the series (engine, lubrication, etc...) then just search for your year and use Shop or Service manual. There are thousands of them on ebay.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:19 PM
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The wiring diagrams are also separate manuals, and there's one for the emissions stuff, too.

Don't rely just on eBay, use Google, too. There are places out there that sell used automobile literature, sometimes for cheap.

Welcome to Lloyd's Automobile Literature is a place I've bought from and am happy with.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granny_rocket View Post
Before I go wasting time/money and screwing something up, Is there an adjustment on the ignition switch position?
There is one simple adjustment.

Assuming the key & switch are already in corresponding positions (both in 'lock') the switch is supposed to be set in the middle of it's free-play.......IOW, loosen the two nuts holding the switch to the column, then if the switch can be moved up & down the column 1/4" (for example) without turning the key, set it at 1/8" and tighten it down.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:09 AM
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It's even simpler than that. I do not know about the original switches, but the new switches have a hole in them with a pin. If the old switch has a hole, just take a paper clip and straighten it out and insert it in the hole in the switch. This centers the switch, so then just tighten it down, and then pull the locating pin back out.

Like was suggested though, I would buy a new one. Do you realize how old these things are getting? And I have never had a problem so far with the aftermarket switches. I wish I could say that about all replacement parts.
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:19 AM
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It's even simpler than that. I do not know about the original switches, but the new switches have a hole in them with a pin. If the old switch has a hole, just take a paper clip and straighten it out and insert it in the hole in the switch. This centers the switch, so then just tighten it down, and then pull the locating pin back out.

Like was suggested though, I would buy a new one. Do you realize how old these things are getting? And I have never had a problem so far with the aftermarket switches. I wish I could say that about all replacement parts.

That's correct....the shop manual states to use a drill bit...paper clip would work just as good

So I would assume the originals were that way too since it's in the manual
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:03 PM
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I think the pin secures the switch in the Lock position so you don't have to count 'clicks' to find it when installing........but the linkage freeplay still needs centering.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:47 AM
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granny rocket,

If I were you, I would pay more attention to what these other guys have said, as I value their experience and knowledge as being greater than mine, but I will offer another possibility... I am assuming that your vehicle is the 1984 F150 with 302, listed as "newest in your fleet". If so, it most likely has Duraspark 2 ignition.

Once, the same starting anomaly happened to me and it turned out to be the ignition module mounted on the driver's side fender. The coil was not getting power when cranking, but did when the key was released and the engine then started. I replaced the module and the problem disappeared!
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:14 PM
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That could absolutely be the issue as well. The module gets power from 2 sources (start or run) so a fault there I would think would have the same symptoms. That's a very good point.
You could test continuity across the switch in start and rule that out.

Edit....I don't think checking the switch would work as we already know it's making contact or the engine wouldn't crank. I don't have an 86 specific wiring diagram but on the 82, the same contact that provides power to the starter solenoid, provides power to the ignition module. So could be the ignition module itself no functioning in "start" but would not be a power supply issue from the switch in "start". The coil is supplied power from the swithc in "start" by a separate contact although. Might be worth hanging a meter on the coil to see if it's getting power while in start.

Last edited by 82f100460; 04-16-2012 at 01:10 PM. Reason: additional information
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:14 PM
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