1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks
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Got a problem.After driving the F150 the other day,with no problems,and after parking it, I got in it last nite to drive it,and the key won't turn the ignition lock cylinder. Nobody's driven it for a week,and it has sat in the same place for a week.I've tried every key I've got,and they all worked before. HELP! Any ideas??
It's a 1988 F-150 4x4.The 4WD is not engaged.The wheels aren't under stress,I made sure of that when I parked it.They are straight with no turning involved.They are not against a curb or rise in the ground.I tried the shifter trick,to no avail. I have sprayed WD-40 in the cylinder and am going to leave it set overnite. I am gonna jack the truck up tomorrow to make sure the tension is completely off the wheels. I'm afraid the cylinder took a dump on me with no warning and now I can't get it to the position where I can change it out. I'm willing to listen to anymore suggestions you may have so as not to have to take the steering column apart. Thanks!!
You can get the cylinder out without removing the steering wheel. The problem is, you need a working key to turn the cylinder to the "run" position in order to use a 1/8th drill bit in the hole below the cylider to release the retainer and pull the cylinder out.
Ford locks are not terribly secure. You might be able to get a fistful of Ford keys from a junkyard. Keep trying different keys, I bet one of them will work. If nothing else, lots of different serration patterns will bump the tumblers enough to free any sticky ones so that the correct key works.
A decent locksmith (or even a good amature) should be able to pick the lock.
It is possible the tumblers work OK, but the switch won't turn because there are broken parts between the key cylinder and the actual ignition switch. If this is the problem you will have to disassemble the steering column. You should be able to feel the difference between these two possible failure modes -- try rocking the cylinder between "ACC" and "ON". A tumbler problem won't allow much motion. Mechanical prob lems downstream will allow more.
I am not able to get it to the ACC or START/RUN position. It feels as if I am constantly using the wrong key. One thing I noticed is yesterday when I tried to start it,the key went in stiffly,like it was the wrong key.I tried the others I have,which worked previously,and they all felt the same way. The keys seem to be going in more smoothly now.
Try holding a light turning pressure against the cylinder as you move the key into and out of the lock cylinder by maybe 1/8 inch or so. This may move the recalcitrant tumbler enough to allow the cylinder to turn, without pushing the others off alignment too much. Basically, you would be trying to pick the lock using the key.
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