1996 Ford Ranger



December, 28, 2008 AT 5:28 PM

Electrical problem
1996 Ford Ranger 6 cyl Two Wheel Drive Manual 145000 miles

Engine kept running when switched to 'off'. Had to let clutch out to kill it. Switch had a lot of play in it. Flopping back and forth.
Replaced both the ignition switch and the ignition / keylock assembly.
Still the same thing. Engine starts, but won't switch 'off', and switch still is very " loose". Just flops back and forth when the key is in. Again, it STARTS ok, but the key switch won't turn the engine off. I'm able to reach up under the dash and PUSH the end of the " greased rod assembly" back up toward the key-switch, in order to make the engine shut off.
Is this a job for Ford, or is this still something a home mechanic can fix?


8 Answers



December, 28, 2008 AT 7:04 PM

Hello -

I just want to make sure I understand you correctly. Are you talking about the ignition lock cylinder that the key goes in is loose and flops back and forth?

Does the ignition lock cylinder pull in and out?

You changed the ignition switch.



December, 29, 2008 AT 7:09 AM

To clarify for you, when I say " flops" back and forth, I'm referring to the actual key position. Once started, you can turn the KEY to the off, idle, accessory, or back to start positions, without meeting any kind of resistance. It just flops back and forth. The lock assembly did not come out without using the detent button (and rotating it into the 'start' position). I'm not sure what your other comments are. Yes, I have replaced both the keylock unit AND the ingnition switch. Each replacement went just fine.



December, 29, 2008 AT 8:02 AM

Hello -

It sounds like to me you don't have it engaged and locked into position........

As you see by the steps in the attached.........you have to turn the key to run - engage - lock into position.............are you sure you rotated the cylinder and locked it into position?

Please make sure it is seated and do the functional check.........

NOTE: The following procedure applies to vehicles that have functional lock cylinders, ignition keys available for the vehicle, or ignition key numbers that are known and the proper key can be made.


Disconnect battery ground cable, then remove steering wheel.
NOTE: Ensure steering wheel is in full up position on models with tilt steering.

Turn lock cylinder key to RUN position.
On models with tilt steering, remove tilt lever, then the steering column collar by pressing on collar from top and bottom while removing.
On all models, remove lower dash panel trim cover, then the column shroud retaining screws from bottom of column shroud.
Remove bottom half of shroud by pulling shroud down and toward rear of vehicle. Move shift lever as required to ease shroud removal on models with automatic transmission.
Lift top half of shroud from column.


Push down on lock cylinder retaining pin using a 1/8 inch diameter wire pin or small punch, then pull lock cylinder from column housing, Fig. 2.
Disconnect lock cylinder electrical connector from horn brush electrical connector.

Lubricate lock cylinder with suitable grease, then turn lock cylinder to Run position and depress retaining pin.
Insert lock cylinder into housing in flange casting, ensure tab at end of cylinder aligns with slot in ignition drive gear.
Turn key to OFF position, allowing cylinder retaining pin to extend into cylinder casting housing hole.
Rotate lock cylinder to all positions, ensure cylinder is operating properly.
Connect lock cylinder electrical connector to horn brush electrical connector.
Position top half of steering column shroud onto column so that screw moldings on shroud seat in mounting bores in column. Place shift lever in lowest position to aid assembly on vehicles with automatic transmission.
Install bottom half of shroud by sliding guides in bottom half of shroud into tabs in top half.
Install shroud retaining screws and torque to 18.5-25.6 inch lbs.
On models with tilt steering, install steering column collar by pressing on top and bottom while installing on column.
Install tilt lever and torque to 2.2-3.6 ft. lbs .
On all models, install steering wheel.
Install lower dash panel trim cover, then connect battery ground cable.
Check for proper start in P and N, and ensure vehicle cannot be started in D or R positions and steering wheel locks in LOCK position.

Ignition Switch Lock Cylinder

NOTE: The following procedure applies to vehicles that have functional lock cylinders and keys. If key numbers are known, the proper key can be made.

Lock Cylinder Functional


Disconnect battery ground cable (14301).
Turn lock cylinder key to RUN position.
Remove lower shroud as outlined in this section under shroud removal.
Place a 3.17mm (1/8-inch) diameter wire pin or small drift punch in hole in steering column under lock cylinder. Depress retaining pin while pulling out on lock cylinder to remove it from housing of steering column.



Install lock cylinder by turning it to RUN position and depressing retaining pin. Insert lock cylinder into steering column housing. Make sure ignition switch lock cylinder is fully seated and aligned in interlocking washer before turning key to OFF position. This will permit retaining pin of ignition lock cylinder to extend into hole of steering column.
Rotate lock cylinder, using key, to make sure of correct mechanical operation in all positions.
NOTE : When the battery (10655) has been disconnected and reconnected, some abnormal drive symptoms may occur while the powertrain control module (PCM)(12A650) relearns its adaptive strategy. The vehicle may need to be driven 16 km (10 miles) or more for powertrain control module to relearn the strategy. Connect battery ground cable.



December, 29, 2008 AT 8:54 AM

When you say ". You don't have it engaged and locked into position.&Quot, I agree that's what it feels like. But unless a failed key-lock, and one not engaged properly have the same symptoms, I'm not so sure there isn't something else wrong. Including the instructions you sent, I have now found and followed three sets of instructions for reinstalling the key-lock switch, all with the same results.
Again, the initial failure was after normal driving, turning off the ignition. Replacing both the key-lock assembly and ignition switch have not changed the symptoms.
Is there some other component which could be a likely contributor to this problem?



December, 29, 2008 AT 9:50 PM


Well, it may be a failed key lock..........may............

Going off of what you had said...." ...had a lot of play in it. Flopping back and forth.
Replaced both the ignition switch and the ignition / key lock assembly. Still the same thing. Engine starts, but won't switch 'off', and switch still is very "loose". Just flops back and forth when the key is in."

So to me something is not connected.....

Okay.....you say........started the vehicle........driving along....life is good....you get home and turn the key to shut off and nothing.........pop the clutch to kill. From that point on the problems.........

You did say you reached up under and pushed the rod to shut off....okay....is the rods in the correct spot....is it worn or broken where it connects.......Have you performed a very good visual of each and ever little area....is something broken...slipped out....cracked and allowing it to flex once on.....I put another pic with the arrow for anything broken etc.....


Remove the key lock....I am not sure how yours is made.....but are you able to use pliers or screw driver to turn to start? My reason is.....if you can without the key lock....then see if once turned on if it is loose internally......that will eliminate the key cylinder.....

To me it is right there in the column area.....the rods....key cylinder....etc........

What do you think............



January, 15, 2009 AT 12:36 PM

I have the same exact problem with my 95 Ford Thunderbird. I replaced the lock cylinder and the car will still not turn off. My next step was to replace the ignition switch, but it didn't fix anything for dnvreece. I'll post back if I figure it out.



January, 17, 2009 AT 8:48 AM

It ended up being the plastic slide that connects the keyswitch to the ignition switch.

(Basically when you turn the key ON, the slide moves down the column and shifts the ignition switch downward, it springs back into place for " run", and when you turn the key OFF, it SHOULD pull the slide up to shift the ignition switch upward turning the vehicle off.)

It's a real devil to get to, requiring that you drill the heads off some rivets, or replace the steering head assembly intact.



January, 17, 2009 AT 1:03 PM

Hello -

Thank you so much for letting us know. This will also help others.

We are glad you are back up and running.

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