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Old 09-11-2007, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default Ignition Actuator switch problem

Hi, I'm new to the forum and new to owning a Ford as well.

I've inherited a 1989 F150 extended cab with the 5 litre engine in very very nice shape. Since getting it, my son has been using it and I only see it when there are problems. So far that has meant a new starter, battery, solenoid and light switch.

Now he calls me over because the key won't start it. I took the steering wheel off and removed the key cylinder and it was fine. I found the problem though. The cylinder turns a gear that moves an actuator plate pushing the rod on the column down and moving the ignition switch in the harness mounted on the column. What has happened is that the actuator plate has a sort of square metal guide rod that slides through a square hole keeping the actuator plate aligned when the key is turned. This rod has snapped off. I assume it also releases the shift lever since when it broke this guide rod slid back and kept the shift lever from moving.

I've removed the broken bits and can now move the shifter however I can't figure out how to get the plate it fits through off so I can replace this part.
I've removed the 3 torque screws from behind, I've removed the actuator rod, the actuator plate, undone all the screws I can see but it won't come out..

Help??? Anyone know how to remove and replace this part?

I'm about out of patience and ready to simply install a push button start switch.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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Might wanna see if a salvage yard has a steering column for cheap. I HATE tearing into steering columns. Other than that might go to Ford and see if they will show you the breakdown on the Parts Catalog. Might help ya take it apart.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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First, don't fret too much - this is a common failure and it is easily fixable with a little patience.

All necessary screws should be accessible through the front face of the steering column - you should be good to go since you have pulled the steering wheel and the lock cylinder already.

The only plate I recall (it's been many moons ago) is the turn selector switch assembly - have you unscrewed the turn signal switch lever? There are flat spots on the shaft, at least on mine, to grip onto. Or you can use my favorite multi-purpose tool - pliers.

Once the turn-signal plate is out of the way (it's a tight move, not a lot of slack), there may be two more screws that may need to be pulled. Don't pull them if you see you don't have to.

Any Ford parts counter guy even remotely familiar with this vintage will know exactly what you need without a whole lot of description - it's a cheap pot-metal piece that has not been improved on (insert cuss-words of choice here) - sort of a horseshoe looking deal with a square rod out the back of the top of the horseshoe.

The last tooth on the gear must engage the last notch on the actuator for correct installation.
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys. It's done....but it sure wasn't easy.

My truck has tilt steering which means there is a frame over the plate the actuator goes into which does not give enough clearance to simply insert the new one. It was necessary to tap out the two pivot pins in order to get access. Of course this released the tension on the tilt spring and wow...it's a tough job to push that frame back down evenly while holding the tilt latch open and compressing the spring again...all while trying to tap in the pins to hold it again. BUt..I did it, and without any extra hands although I'll admit to using my chin, chest, shoulder etc....

Once it was all back in place it took a bit of playing to get the key gear and switch lined up but it wasn't that tough. It all works like new except that the wire for the gear shift indicator must have gotten stretched somewhere along the line because the indicator won't return. I expect the spring was damaged somehow.

Oh...and when I got it all back together and put the tools away I found a tiny spring and white plastic tube on the floor. Maybe from the signal switch?? I dunno...or could it be the spring for the shift indicator...

Anyhow, thanks again. I'm sure I'll be reading lots on this forum when other things go wrong or just need upgrading.
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:34 PM   #5
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Might be the spring for the tilt-action on the turn signal lever?
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default MY 2005 Ford F-150 WON'T ENGAGE THE STARTER

I have a 2005 Ford F-150 with a V6 and automatic trans.

I parked it in my garage and next day, it will not engage the starter. The lights and radio work and when the key is turned, there is nothing. The lights don't dim and No clicks like a bad battery. I went ahead and cleaned the terminals I've checked all the fuses, replaced the relay for the starter solenoid but that made no difference. I was told to pound on the starter with a hammer, no change. I've tried to start it in neutral. I've been told the solenoid is probably bad and I can have the starter replaced for $300. Does anyone have any idea if I can check something else before I go to the expense?

Thanks,
Slick
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paola Slick View Post
I have a 2005 Ford F-150 with a V6 and automatic trans.

I parked it in my garage and next day, it will not engage the starter. The lights and radio work and when the key is turned, there is nothing. The lights don't dim and No clicks like a bad battery. I went ahead and cleaned the terminals I've checked all the fuses, replaced the relay for the starter solenoid but that made no difference. I was told to pound on the starter with a hammer, no change. I've tried to start it in neutral. I've been told the solenoid is probably bad and I can have the starter replaced for $300. Does anyone have any idea if I can check something else before I go to the expense?

Thanks,
Slick
sounds like the actuator but it is a pretty new vehicle...run a jumper wire from the battery to the small post on the firewall solenoid and see if it cranks then.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paola Slick View Post
I have a 2005 Ford F-150 with a V6 and automatic trans.

I parked it in my garage and next day, it will not engage the starter. The lights and radio work and when the key is turned, there is nothing. The lights don't dim and No clicks like a bad battery. I went ahead and cleaned the terminals I've checked all the fuses, replaced the relay for the starter solenoid but that made no difference. I was told to pound on the starter with a hammer, no change. I've tried to start it in neutral. I've been told the solenoid is probably bad and I can have the starter replaced for $300. Does anyone have any idea if I can check something else before I go to the expense?

Thanks,
Slick
Ok I too have a F150 and my truck seems to have a full charge until I try to start it.. sometimes it starts right up but the ignition seems to stick in the crank position {not always} I can hear the starter {I think} trying to start but truck is running. None of my gauges take about 5-10 seconds to move.. And I pull back {very lightly} on the key and it's fine. But I lose all programing of all radio and clock... Other times it just won't start acts like a dead battery!! But had alternator test and it's fine... I'm at 109,562. mileage... Can anyone suggest any idea's... Plus anyone know how to really fix the 3rd brake light leak? I know Ford has an updated kit again but dealer say's it's already leaking. So I don't want to keep replacing if it is only going to leak again.. My truck has had mold in it from this and smells really bad every time it rains or gets humid and I live in SW Florida!! But Ford say's it's not a safety issue yet..
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:32 PM   #9
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Default Very helpful - thanks for the info

I have the same issue (ignition switch actuator rod had a worn/chipped tooth) and had isolated the problem due to process of elimination. Can't tell you how many shadetree mechanics were telling me to replace my keys because they were worn out (at $79/per I thought I'd keep 'thinking' about the problem). Key wasn't turning the ignition lock cylinder unless (after removing top cover of column) I gently pried the plastic actuator rod up and 'left' to realign the rod with the gears on the ignition cylinder which would allow the key to rotate forward and backward to start the vehicle (2000 Exped). 160k miles, lots of short trips in this vehicle - not surprising that this part had worn down. It was operating poorly (lots of jiggling and praying) for about 4 months then finally gave up the fight. $24.95 later, all good again. I've used the helpful information from this forum over and over again. Cannot estimate the (probably) thousands saved by me thanks to you folks.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:32 PM
 
 
 
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