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Old 06-05-2008, 07:04 AM   #1
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Default 1990 F150 steering column problem

Good day and hello to the group.

I have a 1990 Ford F150 Lariat with a 302 (5.0) liter engine with automatic transmission. It does not have tilt steering.

After doing some brake work on it, I wanted to test drive the unit to check for brake performance. When I turned the ignition key, the starter engaged for less than a second and then stopped.

Now the ignition key seems to turn freely without engaging the starter and the shift lever on the column will not come out of park.

The daytime running lights still come on, blinkers and everything else seems to work.

I have removed the steering wheel and the problem seems to be beneath what is just under the wheel. I think the problem is the actuator rod or it's assembly further down the column. I've read about the actuator rod in other posts and forums.

Can someone send a link to a diagram and/or change out procedures. I probably could get a new column from the wrecker- would that be a better idea?

Thanks for any posts and help. Have a great day.

Last edited by labtek; 06-05-2008 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Additional information.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:19 PM   #2
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Its been a while, but here goes. I assume you have the column covers removed. Investigate beneath the ingition key and lock tumbler for a small access hole to relase the pin holding the key and tumbler in place. Trick is to have the key in the right position. Turn it to accessory and see and feel the release pin thru this hole. If its not there, then try it with the key in the run position. Some position aligns the pin with the hole. Push up on the pin and pull out the key and tumbler assy. All else fails go the parts store and look at a new one to see what I'm talking about. After the key and tumbler is removed will expose a gear and a lever which actuates the slide electrical ignition switch bolted to the column. You should be able now to find out what is wrong.
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Old 06-05-2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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Hi Bill. Many thanks for the post.

I removed the key assembly as per your instructions. Inside the assembly housing there is slot which presumably fits into the cam on the key assembly. I can't really see anything obviously wrong inside the housing. I'll try to move the slot with a screwdriver when the key assembly is removed. The transmission shift lever is still stuck in the PARK position and cannot be moved.

Of note though is the key assembly itself....it binds and sticks in several locations and does not move smoothly through it's various normal stop positions. I'm thinking that it might be at least part of the problem I'm having.

At this point, it is the easiest item to change out and eliminate from the list of possible problems.

I have not yet removed the upper column shrouds. How would one do that?

Thanks again for any help or thoughts.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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Been off on Jury Duty. The same screws secure both of the column covers together. Just a matter of gently with force push upper cover away from column and pull out from under instrument cluster. I guess on some years/models we had to remove the cluster first. Another thought, am not remembering when Ford went to the brake pedal solenoid. Brakes have to be applied to remove from park.
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:38 AM   #5
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Thumbs up

Hi Bill and to those who have read the posts so far. Sorry for the "radio silence" but I've been out of town for the past few days.

I eventually changed out the steering column after checking the cost of parts and the aggravation of installing them. A new column from the wrecker cost about the same. Changing the column was easier than I thought. I left the transmission shift linkage attached and with careful maneuvering, it can go through the hole in the firewall.

The truck now starts OK and hopefully I will never have to deal with it again.

Cheers and have a great day.
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:56 PM   #6
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Default same problem

Hey have the exact same problem with my 89 F 150. I have replaced the actuator arm, ignition Coil, and ignition switch along with everything else I could think of, I tried troubleshooting it by by passing wires from the brake switch to the transmission switch and I just cant find the problem. of course I can start it by bypassing the solenoid but eventually that is a hassle and I wanted to fix it for good. But it sounds like getting a whole different steering column is my option, any one have any remarks??
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Old 10-01-2011, 06:56 PM
 
 
 
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