1988 Ford E-Series Van Ignition stiff

  • V8
  • 2WD
  • 52,000 MILES
I wonder if you could steer me in the right direction.
The Ignition key in my Motorhome has been getting stiffer and stiffer over the last couple of years. Now it is almost inoperable it is so stiff. I have removed the cyl and cleaned and lubricated it with no success. I was hoping you might be able to help me out. Greatly appreciated.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, May 7th, 2010 AT 9:56 AM

1 Reply

I am going to refer to a past experience, with a 89 van.

I fought it for months til it finally broke the teeth off the cog, had to disassemble the column, rework, only to have it still turn hard, a mess.

Anyway, remove the lower panel from under the column. Remove the four bolts in the column saddle, lower the column down. On the top side toward the lower part of the column, near the point it passes through the firewall.

There you will see a bunch of wires running to a switch. The switch will have a rod coming out of the top then runs the length of the column. Unplug the wires. Try your switch. Should still be hard to turn.

Now loosen the two nuts that hold down the switch.

Try your ignition switch again, did it get easier?

If it did. Remove the switch completely, you can either replace with new or spray with contact cleaner and get all the gummy grease out of there and re-lube with dielectric grease. Reassemble and verify all positions are correct on the ignition switch and it turns easily.

If it did not. Remove the switch completely and try to push the rod up into the column. Work it back and forth. If it doesn't loosen up. You are looking at the square cogged piece that matches up to the tumbler. No fun to replace. I took the column out and did it on the bench.

Lets just hope it is a stiff switch.
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Friday, May 7th, 2010 AT 1:26 PM

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