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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys, I've poked around through many threads on ignition issues including ignition switches, ignition rods, and ignition actuators. I apologize since this has been posted so many times. What I am trying to do is limit the trips to the parts counter and do this in one sweep since my baby is my only form of transportation.

A thanks upfront for everyone help a few days ago. Dropped a new Rad in, did coolant flush, and tran flush. All went well. Was going good until I got stuck in a customers driveway and couldn't get the truck started.

The tow truck driver bridged the solenoid and it started up real well. He said I should check my ignition switch. Seemed simple enough to replace at $12 so I did it.

Here's where I am at. I'm 99% percent certain on whats happening or not happening and i'm prob 90% correct with my choice of words.

Whats happening is when I turn my key to start, my ignition rod isnt dropping or moving all the way down in the ignition switch. Not enough throw. If I turn the key all the way and pull/push the rod towards the engine away from me, she starts. Its just a bit that I need to do this. On the ignition switch itself I can adjust where it sits on the column, but regardless of how far up I am, it wont be enough to push the rod to start the truck.

So, i'm thinking something is up with ignition actuator and rod. Key runs smooth, full rotation. Other then pulling the wheel and replacing the ignition actuator, do you think I need a new rod to? Lastly, I did find the tread on ignition actuator replacement that has been referenced alot but I wasnt sure what I need to pull the steering wheel off. Steering wheel puller? I have two threaded holes on each side.

Would autozone have my rod and actuator or am I off to Ford?

Any feedback would be great.

I'm in hudson valley ny, anyone who is passing through who has helped me out, my door is always open and I always have cold beer! I couldn't have done any of this with out the help of you FSB folks.
 

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Redneck Romeo
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In all likelihood you won't need to replace the rod. The actuator is the weakest part (pot metal) in the steering column, so it usually breaks long before you put enough force on the ignition rod to bend it. Besides that, if you find that the rod is bent (more than it should be...), you can always reshape it or adjust your ignition switch (at the base of the steering column) to make up for any misalignment the bent rod causes.

Go to the parts house and buy an upper actuator ($12), a steering wheel puller (~$30), some long, thin snap ring pliers (~$15), and lithium grease (in a spray can, ~$5). You'll be out less than $70. You could also rent the steering wheel puller, pay the $30 up front, and get the money back when you return it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In all likelihood you won't need to replace the rod. The actuator is the weakest part (pot metal) in the steering column, so it usually breaks long before you put enough force on the ignition rod to bend it. Besides that, if you find that the rod is bent (more than it should be...), you can always reshape it or adjust your ignition switch (at the base of the steering column) to make up for any misalignment the bent rod causes.

Go to the parts house and buy an upper actuator ($12), a steering wheel puller (~$30), some long, thin snap ring pliers (~$15), and lithium grease (in a spray can, ~$5). You'll be out less than $70. You could also rent the steering wheel puller, pay the $30 up front, and get the money back when you return it.
Thanks BigUgly. Just finished the job now. Wasnt really a walk in the park, but it started better then before and i'm very pleased it can now be crossed off the list. Actuator was broken and the track along the actuator was worn and not in the best of shape. I did have some challenges with removing the snap ring under the lock cylinder. Couldnt find a pair of snap ring pliers anywhere, so I managed to remove and reassemble without removing the gear and snap-ring. Thanks again!
 
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