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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 03-03-2010, 09:52 PM
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EMoeFord EMoeFord is offline
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94 F150 won't start with Key

Hello! I search this forum & Google for a solution to my problem. I saw some posts with problems similar to mine, but no solutions.

I went to work one day, and as I was backing in, I noticed the lights on my radio flickered (aftermarket radio, been in truck for several years). The next morning put key in the ignition to start it & nothing. I had to jump the starter solenoid on the pass firewall, to start the truck (with no problem - fired right up). Drove home, about 20 miles, shut truck off, but would not start via turning the key.

Thought starter solenoid was bad, so I replaced it. Still same thing. Bought a new ignition module (under steering column mount). Still same thing. I know the battery is good.

I ruled out starter & starter mounted solenoid, but truck can be started, via jumping starter solenoid on fire wall. I tried to start truck in neutral, still won't start. When key switch is turned just before start position, truck buzzer, radio, dash lights, signal lights, all work. All fuses check good. I also have an aftermarket remote starter, that I had for 3/4 years, without any issues.

I'm down to the ignition switch key cylinder, neutral safety switch, PIP sensor (distributor), TFI sensor.

I think this cover's everything. Any thoughts on this issue? Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2010, 07:07 AM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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Your problem may be a bad ign switch actuator. The key switch turns a gear cog that meshes with the actuator and the gears can wear.
There is a rod that runs down the column from the actuator to the ign switch under the dash. See if you can feel if that rod moves "in time" with turning the key. If not then you will need to replace the actuator.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:01 AM
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Thanks Lazy K, for the reply! I will check that out, then post an update.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:20 PM
caseymou caseymou is offline
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2nd on that pot metal piece that "pushes" the actual ignition piece and runs down the steering column. I've owned 2 F150's and had to replace both. I think it's pretty obvious though if I remember correctly. The key turns but there's no springback.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:27 PM
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Thanks Caseymou! That might be the difference, because I get spring back when I turn the key to the last position, then let it go. I have to go out to get a Chilton's manual to disassemble the steering column. I wonder though if the rod, in the column is broken, will I still get springback?

I replaced my neutral safety switch, about 1.5 years ago, but that doesn't mean, that it couldn't have gone bad again. Every thread I read, & the advice I'm getting is leading to this actuator.

Big task tearing the column apart, but that's the only thing that makes since I guess. Unless you can think of something else.
Thanks again.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:40 PM
caseymou caseymou is offline
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A quick google makes me think your 94 is set up differently than the jobs I've done in the past. I repaired a 89 and 90 with this part and although it's been several years since I did it, I thought the spring was located near the base of the steering column. In your case you still may get springback but rod is not engaging properly.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:54 PM
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Thanks again. I think the piece I'll be looking for, looks like this (if I'm not mistaken):Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:29 PM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/84...ition-fun.html Read the last post in this thread by BChance for instructions.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:38 PM
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Just dropping in, to post a quick update. Picked up a Chilton's Repair Manual today. Will resume work on the truck on Monday. I'll make sure to eliminate the Neutral Safety Switch, before tearing into the column. Not looking forward to that.

Thanks again! Will post update, as aquired. I'll be checking this thread, for more help suggestions in the meantime.
Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:47 AM
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94 F150 won't crank with key

New discovery & test question:

I removed the ignition control module, with the wiring hardness still attached. I then switched the key, to the start position, which had no spring back, because the spring back action, is provided with the module, not the lock cylinder, or the actuator rod.

Anyway, I then moved the small stem rod on the module, through the positions, simulating, as if it was attached to the ignition components. Same thing, engine would not crank! I can look at the underside, of the steering column, and see the plastic mechanism moving, as I turn the key in the cylinder.

Can I rule out, from here a broken "actuator rod", upper or lower, in the steering column. I still did not fully test the NSS (trying to find the best way to do it).

Thanks!
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:14 PM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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OK then you replaced the fender mounted starter relay and the ignition switch (under the dash) and when you operate the new ign switch manually you still have no start. I would think either you have a bad wire to the fender mounted relay or the neutral safety switch is bad.
Glad to hear that the actuator is good as it is a real PITA to replace.
Is your truck stick or auto?
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:36 PM
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Thanks Lazy K!

It's an automatic.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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Had it been a manual the neutral safety switch would have been easy but with an auto the problem is what wires at the trans are for that switch.
Have a look at your manual and see if you can find which wires go to the neutral safety switch. If you can identify them then just jump them. If the truck then starts with the ign switch you will need to replace the neutral safety switch.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:17 PM
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Thanks Lazy! Will give it a shot.
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:53 PM
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OK, I just replaced the NSS, and the truck is still doing the same thing. Just to backtrack, I can jump the starter solenoid, or give power to the "S" terminal, via a jumper wire from battery positive to the "S" terminal, & truck fires up, like a charm.

What am I missing here? I'm questioning my key cylinder now, after NEW ignition module, New starter solenoid, & now NEW neutral safety switch. Also, what are the chances that something in the computer itself, has gone bad.

Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:53 PM
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1996, 90, 94, actuator, bad, f150, ford, ignition, key, replace, start, starter, switch, truck, wont

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