1987 Ford F-150 ignition switch doen't start the truck.

Tiny
HARRYPATSY
  • MEMBER
  • 1987 FORD F-150
1987 Ford F150 V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic

when I turn the key to start the truck, the key just keeps on going. I replaced the switch, thinking that was the problem, and it still does it.
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Friday, October 10th, 2008 AT 6:57 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
You put the key in and turn it it just keeps turning around and circles?

Does power or anything come on?

You replace the ignition switch or the tumbler?
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Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 AT 9:12 AM
Tiny
OLDMAN&OLDTRUCK
  • MEMBER
Same thing has happened to my truck. Key will turn tumbler with out engaging starter. Battery seems ok.12 volts, and lights & accessories work ok. Fuses are ok. I have not replaced the switch yet. Saw a problem like this on page one from 11/30 where you reccomended replace the switch in the column. Guess I'll try that?
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Wouldnt go replacing the switch right away. I would check to make sure the starter solenoid is functioning properly and the neutral safety switch is good also

when trying to crank it does the brake light illuminate?
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 7:40 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
I mean the brake system indicator in the instrument cluster.
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
FORESTGUY
  • MEMBER
Try arcing across the terminals on the starter relay under the hood. This is a small black block with 2 or 3 terminals sticking out of it, located on the firewall to one side of the motor. If when you arc across them, the starter spins and starts the motor, this tells you that you ignition switch is no good. If it does not start the truck, look to see if one of the wires to the starter solenoid is broken, corroded, or if it may have rubbed and arced out to ground. If so, replace the wire.
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Monday, December 1st, 2008 AT 10:24 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Just becase that works doesnt mean the switch is bad. It could mean a bad switch, cut wire, bad neutral safety switch, or a bad starter solenoid. Also some 87 fords came with a starter circuit interupter located at the base of the instrument panel.

Put +12v to the +s terminall of the starter relay passanger side of the compartment, about half way from the battery to the firewall, close to the jack storage area. If it turns then the starter is good.

Let me know what you find.
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 6:42 PM
Tiny
OLDMAN&OLDTRUCK
  • MEMBER
Sorry for the delay. Thanks to both of you for the reponses.. The battery light does not come on in the instrument cluster when the key is turned in the tumbler. When this problem first happended, the battery light would come on, but no longer. Only the "overdrive off" light comes on. Anyway, I arked a screwdriver accrtoss the leads as suggested above and the strarter did crank. I tried it a second time and nothing happened. Did I fry the solinoid? Do I need to replace the switch in the column? This is a 1990 model F-150, six cylinder, 2WD. Thanks.
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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 AT 2:52 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
You could have a bad starter solenoid or starter.

Try having someone hold the key to the crank position while you check for voltage at the s+ terminal on the solenoid. Should get voltage. Let me know what you find.

Try hitting the starter and cranking it.
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Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 AT 6:15 PM
Tiny
OLDMAN&OLDTRUCK
  • MEMBER
Well, after replacing the ignition switch, the key tumbler still would not engage the starter. Then, after removing the steering wheel and shroud and turn signal, etc, found that the ignition actuator arm was broken. This is cheap metal part that goes from the tumbler to the ignition rod, and moves the rod up and down along the steering column. I bought a replacement part at the local parts store that looks like its made of pot metal. Anyway, I got it all back together and the tumbler turns as its supposed to, and the ignition works again, and the truck starts in the correct manner. I dont use the truck very ofter so maybe the part will last a while. Thanks.
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 AT 12:25 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
The part should have been made to last in the first part!

Glad to hear you found what the problem was and was able to fix it.
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Sunday, January 4th, 2009 AT 8:54 AM

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