I have a 97 f150. It is my third ford truck and I love it.
My key turned freely the other morning as I was on my way to work. Got out of work that day, but am having a tough time fixing my truck. I have tilt steering and a two peice actuator rod that connects the key cylinder to the ignition switch. The rod seperated where the pin connects the two peices.
I can n0t figure out how to get the lower peicce out.
I know this a very specific question. I was hoping that this may be a common wear item. Has anyone else had this problem? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Also, this site is real "clunky" slow to respond to keystrokes and mouse actions. Is this me?
Let me tell you about my experience with the 2 piece rod. This is not a truck. It's a 95 T-bird with a 4.6 V8 and it does have the tilt steering wheel. My wife and daughter where sitting in the car working the key switch back and forth for some time. I watch and laughed. Asked them what they were doing. Said the key was stuck and couldn't get it out. I got in the car and put it in park and took the key out. Seems it was still in Drive. (woman drivers) . Next day drove to get gas and could not turn the car off at the gas station. Drove home and got it to turn off but the ignition was still on and had to disconnect the battery. Thought it was the key tumbler so got a new one, but that didn't fix it. Started looking really close and saw that the pin that holds the 2 piece rod together (for tilt wheel) that pushes on the starter switch had come out of the hole that holds the 2 rods together (after taking most of the dash off, steering wheel off, airbag off, tilt wheel assembly off). I was lucky to find the pin. It hadn't gone far because of the grease on it. The bottom of the 2 piece rod WILL NOT come out of it's place, at least I couldn't get it out. I put some heavy grease on the pin to hold it in place and got it started in one of the rods and then while putting the tilt assembly back together I had to line up the onther rod and push the pin in with a small screwdriver or whatever. This whole thing will absolutely PISS YOU OFF TO THE MAX AND THEN SOME and I spent several days screwing with this because I had to stop working on it because it is a REAL PISSER and I was ready to break something. This is all I can say. Told someone at work about this and they said it had happened to a friend and there was no really easy way to fix it. I can't believe this. Who would design 2 plastic rods and a little pin with no keeper to hold it together to start you car reliably. The only thing that keeps it together is the housing the rod slides in. Good Luck and THANK YOU FORD!
Thanks for the reply. I understand your frustration!!! That was a difficult job. I made it more difficult by figuring things out as I went along. I finally got that thing fixed last night. I agree with you, Ford should not have designed this so that it is this difficult to replace. Also, Chilton should give instructions for this job.
Learned a little about it though, and since I may never have to do this one again so I am going to share. Hopefully This may spare some misery to someone.
I made this job more dificult by not breaking the colum down all of the way. The rod in my F150 could not be reconnected with the lower peice inside. Onec I removed the steering column, the steering shaft can be removed by releasing the spring that is on both ends. After that, the lower section of the actuator rod slides out the bottom. Installation is reverse.The hardest part is reattaching the tilt mechanism.
This is still not a fun job. I am glad it is almost over.
Again, thanks for the reply.
One more question to throw at the message board.....Has anyone seen my steering wheel bolt???? Quit playing!
You mean you had to take your whole column out? Jesus. You had fun -didn't you! I will agree, putting the tilt assembly back together and getting the spring back in is a pain. How long do you think it will last? If it can come apart once... it'll do it again , just at the wrong time! I like my 86 f150, but I will never buy a new Ford. It's gonna be Chevy. Ford is offering up to $5000 off some of their trucks, because they can't sell them.
Hello to all, I'm temporarilly truckless but expect to be back on the road again this coming summer. Found this site by searching for ignition switch advice. I just wanted to add to the advice already posted and perhaps save some one else some frustration..
Thanks to GA Boy and Harry, your info got me going in the right direction. I just wanted to add a tip for others that might come accross this site and have this problem. I have a 97 T-bird with the same type steering column and the pin in the 2-part linkage fell out as discribed above and the pin was still in the greese so putting it back in was the problem. Prepertory work is as described above. Disconnect battery, remove dash covers and gauge assembly for clear access to the top of the column. Remove key lock assembly by depressing spring loaded pin on bottom of housing and remove assembly with key inserted and turned to the on position.
I did not pull the steering column but did remove the switch on top of the column and the ignition switch on the bottom lifting both gently out of the way. Next I discovered that with a small screw driver that I could move the front slide aft toward driver against a spring and compressing the spring I placed a large flat blade screw driver in the now open slot forward of the slide. This exposes the rear end of the front slide out the back of the slide housing, with the steering wheel tilted all the way down. now you can persuade the rear slide into position and insert the pin from the left side of the vehicle using needle nose pliers or the like. The hole in the front slide is a long verticle slot so be sure that you get the pin started into the hole in the rear slide before letting go of the pin. If you drop it, it may fall down the inside of the steering column. Been there, done that!! A pair of gas pliers will seat/position the pin in the rear slide.
Re-insert key lock assembly and remove large screwdriver, re-install switches and test movement with key to be sure it moves freely.
Ditto, Ditto.. This was not one of those fun jobs but I managed to get it done in about 3 hours, in a parking lot at my daughters work. Good luck to those that have to go through this and hope that this helps ease the pain a little...
Bob - Just another backyard mechanic!
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