I've read that there is a solenoid of some sort on some trucks which is
hooked up to the brale light circuit.
I don't think that is the problem...
I'm trying to find out when the electrical interlock came into being.
I have a 1991 Centurion (Think of a 4-door Bronco) which is based
on an F-350 crew cab for the forward half.
I am having troubles with my ignition switch (sort of)...
I have isolated the trouble to the upper column (the
key turns and does not always move the pushrod that
goes down to the ignition swicth).
I think my trouble with the shift selector being stuck in
park began last night after I removed the lock cylinder.
It seems like it should still be working though... the
lock cylinder went back in just fine, and works like it
did before I removed the lock cylinder.
The clunk sound of the shifter interlock is coming from
the upper column. Is the interlock entirely mechanical ?
Does 1991 have a brake pedal interlock to prevent you
from taking the car out of park? I seem to remember being
able to take the truck out of park from outside the vehicle
when working on it before (memory is not what it used to be).
Anyone got any tips for getting the upper portion of the
actuation mechanism from the key to the pushrod working?
(I think it has a gear in the upper column somewhere).
I am about to pull the steering wheel and dig deeper into the
whole steering column...
I'll check back in a while to see if anyone has had similar experience
I can learn from.
My 99 f150 does this everyonce in a while. I think it has something to do with the steering wheel locking out. You have to pull as far as you can to bringing the wheels straight and then turn the key to release the steering at which point you should be able to pull it out of park. I could be wrong, of course.
I finally forced it, and it either worked its way into the unlocked
postion (allowing me to move the shifter out of park) or I broke
off the pin or other feature which locks it. Now I can move it
out of park regardless of what position the key is in.
If I busted the lock feature... that is absolutely fine by me.
The steering lock still works (It has a pin which slide into ahole
in an outer ring of the steering wheel).
I never did get enough of the column apart to get to the gear which
drives the pushrod which actuates the ignition switch when the
key is turned. Once I got the car mobile I decided to give up and
take it to the dealer to be repeired. Unfortunately, they will probably
want to replace the whole steering column
I hate admitting defeat, but I got tired of breaking parts trying
to figure out how to disassemble the column (I even have the
factory service manuals!)
As I said, I don't think getting the truck out of park was ever
dependent upon putting a foot on the brake.
As a matter of fact, when I drove my Dad's (much nwere) Ford
van I had trouble getting it out of park, and then I tried pushing
on the brake and that was what was wrong... I hadn't pressed
on the brake... which means I probably do it that way on my
At least now I can move the truck. It was in front of the garage.
I discovered it wouldn't go out of park when I was moving the truck
in order to get my MR2 out of the garage to drive it to work tomorrow.
I figured I better move it before I take off the steering wheel in case
I don't finish... so that I'll have a car to drive to work tomorrow.
I almost had to have my wife drive me to the park & ride.
This whole thing sucks. I wish I had a newer vehicle, but the Centurions
are unusual, so I sorta want to keep it... but I would sure trade it
for a diesel Excursion. Did Excursion come in 1-Ton models?
your ignition actuator cam is bad or broken. it is a standard with the older fords. the part only costs around $12 from ford, BUT the labor to put it in is in the $350 range, cause you have to take the column apart. if you have the factory service manual, it is covered in there, and it is a 3-4 hour job if you are mechanically inclined.
BTW, I was able to grab the rod with pliers and push it the last portion of the movement it makes (pushing against the return spring in the crank position of the actual ignition switch) and it does crank. It is definitely the ignition switch actuator cam, as you said.
I got as far as removing the steering wheel, removed the turn signal switch assembly, removed the 3 screws which hold the upper column housing in place. At that point I think I should have been able to slide off the upper housing, but it was sorta hung up. It looked like there was a pin of some sort (maybe a press fit pin) near where the other pin that locks the steering is, but farther down (at the level where the 3 shroud srews go in).
I didnít want to force it because I was getting tired of breaking parts while trying to disassemble the column to get at the actuator cam assembly. I already busted the plastic lugs the screws to the horn fascia go into by thinking it was all just pressed into place like many other interior panels.
Itís not often I am willing to concede defeat, but I have spent too much time out in the driveway freezing my fingers off and breaking parts.
I have a Haynes, Chilton and actual Ford shop manual. Iím pretty mechanically inclined (I used to build kit cars, and work as an engineer), and I did look in the manuals pretty thoroughly (for the last week or so I have been reading it and thumbing through trying to understand the whole mechanism). I found a small picture (illustration) of the actuator cam, and I did see where it shows removal of the two screws that hold the turn signal switch assembly in, and the three screws that hold the upper column housing in place. I seperated the plug down on the column and pulled the turn signal switch assy out, removed the three screws, and expected the housing to slide off, but it would only rattle a bit. Even the Ford manual doesnít give more detail, and I didnít want to pry it apart, so I put it all back together and gave up.
At this point, as much as I hate to pay high labor rates, I think it might still be worth paying to have it fixed. I might try to haggle a bit on the laborÖ there is a recall against the ignition switch, so maybe since they will be working around the column anyway they will give me a break on the labor. It may be worth the money to avoid further frustration.
Iíll be also getting a major tune up since my gas mileage has gone down from 10 mpg to about 7 mpg, so they will be getting plenty of money from meÖ hopefully they will give me a break on the work to fix the ignition switch actuator. Heck, Iíve already done the bulk of the diagnostic work for them.
The reason I like the Centurion is because I can caryy 8 people, and unlike a Suburban it is a 1-Ton. It is the same size as a Suburban, but has one foot longer wheelbase (the Bronco and Blazer have less rear overhang than the Suburban, and the Centurion is a Bronco in the rear half of the body). I thought about getting a Crew Cab and putting an extra row of seats in the bed and adding a shell, but when itís just the family on a trip, the dog likes to sometimes come up to the kids to get petted, and sometimes heíll go sleep in the back. Also, having heat and other comforts for the third row seating is helpful at times. A 1-Ton Excursion would be almost perfect (though I think it isnít as wide as the full size pickups and Bronco from 1991). I definitely will get a diesel next time!
Anyway, Iíll let yíall know how bad I get gouged by the dealer.
When I Googled "Ignition switch actuator cam" I found that I got a lot of results linked to this forum... with answers from TJC Transport.
It would be really useful if somebody were to go through the whole process and photograph the steps and write an article on how to do it.
I got close, but couldn't get the upper column shroud off.
If anyone is near Port Orchard and knows how to do this job, I will supply the truck, tools and camera if you can help me get the column all the way apart. I had to borrow a steering wheel puller from Autozone, but I may just make or buy one if I decide to try again (which I probably won't do without knowledgeable / experienced help).
I can see how this could easily be done in two hours by someone who has done it a couple of times. Most of my time has been spent scratching my head and reading the manuals. A good step-by-step process with tips and warnings of pitfalls would really be immensely valuable.
There was no interlock on the 91 Bronco, the most common part to fail was the pot metal casted actuator 3E715(E9TZ3E715B) the picture is not the best. it is more of a "L" shape type part. But that sounds like your problem.
I did the job you describe on my `87 F250 which is probably the same. The shroud you describe as being held after removing the screws is the one with the key switch on it. You have to rotate the key switch as you pull the shroud off. It should come off easy. You can then see the actuator with the gear teeth and the one that connects it to the rod running down the column to the starter switch. There is a long pin on this actuator that goes thru a slot and operates the Park lock. You will probably find this square section pin is now broken. Remove the bits and fit a new actuator, about $6.00 from Ford. You have done most of the work so why not go the full 9 yards.
I'm going to add the remote starter switch (like NASCAR) for now
and replace the ignition switch actuator cam after I get my shop cleared
out or the weather turns nicer. (Unless I end up liking the starter switch).
I have a 32 x 36 shop building too full of junk to get a car in there.
(Never really finished unpacking after the move from Alabama where
I had a 6000 sq ft barn to work and collect junk in).