1997 Ford Explorer V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic 16OOO miles
I JUST CAME HOME FROM WORK PARKED THE JEEP. WHEN I WAS READY TO MAKE ANOTHER RUN I COULD NOT TURN THE KEY THE STEERING WHEEL WILL NOT MOVE AT ALL I DONT KNOW WHAT IT IS BUT MY STEERING WHEEL LOOKS UPSIDE DOWN
Try spraying a little WD40 down keyhole then rock steering wheel from side to side while turning key backwards and forwards in lock .. this sometimes releases it ... once released you will have to change faulty barrel/switch because it will probably do this again .. and maybe won't release next time ???
Removal & Installation
Disconnect negative battery cable. Remove steering column opening cover. See Fig. 4 . Remove hood release handle and position aside.
On Explorer and Mountaineer, remove steering column opening cover reinforcement. Disconnect ignition switch harness connector. Remove 2 ignition switch screws and ignition switch. To install, reverse removal procedure.
Fig. 4: Identifying Steering Column Opening Cover
Courtesy of FORD MOTOR CO.
Removal & Installation (With Key)
Disconnect negative battery cable. Set ignition switch to RUN position. Insert a 1/8" drill bit or wire through access hole in trim steering column trim (below lock cylinder). Press retaining pin inward and pull out lock cylinder. To install, lubricate lock cylinder. Turn lock cylinder to RUN position. Press retaining pin inward and insert lock cylinder into housing. To install remaining components, reverse removal procedure.
Removal (Without Key)
Use this procedure to remove ignition lock cylinder if key is missing or cylinder is frozen. Disconnect negative battery cable. Remove steering wheel. Using pliers, twist cap until it separates from ignition switch lock cylinder.
Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill down middle of ignition lock key slot about 3/4-1" (19-25 mm) until ignition switch lock cylinder breaks loose from breakaway base of ignition switch lock cylinder. Remove ignition switch lock cylinder and drill shavings from lock cylinder housing.
Remove bearing retainer, bearing and gear. Thoroughly clean all metal shavings and other foreign material from housing. Carefully inspect housing for damage. If damage is apparent, replace housing.
Install gear, bearing, and retainer. Lubricate cylinder cavity. Rotate lock cylinder to RUN position. Press retaining pin inward and insert new lock cylinder into lock cylinder housing.
Before rotating key to OFF position, ensure cylinder is fully seated and aligned. Use key to rotate cylinder to ensure mechanical operation is okay in all positions.