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Ignition Actuator Replacement on an '85 w/tilt (not 56k friendly)

Also known as a "steering column tear down". Here is my write-up.


First, a few schematics so you get an idea of what is going on inside the column:






Disconnect the battery and remove the steering wheel.


Remove the access panel under the steering column:




Remove the plastic housing at the bottom of the steering column:




Remove the two screws (8mm and phillips) for the transmission indicator:




Remove the two 9/16" bolts holding the column to the dash:




Lower the steering column and remove the two (11mm) bolts holding the ignition switch to the steering column. Separate the ignition rod from the ignition switch and pull some slack for the wiring harness running up the column. Raise the column and bolt it back to the dash:




Turn the ignition cylinder to "on", press in the retaining pin and pull out the cylinder:




Remove the snap ring:




Remove the bearing:




Remove the drive gear:




Drive out the roll pin and remove the shift lever and rubber boot. Unscrew and remove the turn signal lever:

 

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Remove the screw holding the key buzzer terminal and the two screws for the turn signal switch; slide both parts out. Remove the screw right below the steering wheel lock pin and pull out the retaining block:




Undo the three screws and slide off the upper cover:




Slide off the collar:




Remove the snap ring:




Finally:




The actuator was broken flush with the housing:




I tried to pick at it but that drove it in more:




Not knowing how long it was, I tried to drive it out the other side, but it bottomed out:




I drilled a small pilot hole in the actuator:




Then used a pick to pry it out:




I figured I could take it out this way:




Not so. Again, not knowing how long the actuator was, it hits the upper tilt flange:




Remove the two pivot pins:




Thread a screw into the pin; when the pin starts to rotate, lightly pull it out:
**UPDATE - The threads are supposed to be #8-32**

 

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I thought I needed to drive out this lock pin that the tilt jaw (see next picture) locks onto, but it turns out that you can press upwards on the tilt jaw and pull outwards to clear the pin:




Tilt jaw:




The replacement actuator. Ford #E9TZ-3E715-B:




Old vs. new:




New actuator with the old ignition rod:




Put a light coat of grease on the new actuator and install:




Lower the tilt jaw to clear the lock pin, line up the tilt flange and tap in the pivot pins:




Carefully put the tilt spring in:




Line up the upper part of the acutuator and slide on the upper cover:




Put the retaining block back in and snug up the screw:




Put on some loctite and thread in the three upper cover screws:




Slide the signal switch on and tighten the two screws:

 

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Re-install the transmission and signal lever's:




Push the ignition rod to "on" and drop in the drive gear. Use the ignition cylinder as a reference as to what position the gear needs to be in:




Slide in the bearing; it has a tab on it so it can only go one way:




Drop in the snap ring:




Slide the cylinder in and turn it to "off" to lock it into place:




Attach the rod to the switch and snug up the two nuts:




From here, reconnect the battery, align the igntion switch and cycle the ignition cylinder.


Tighten the two bolts:




Attach the two screws. Cycle the shifter and align the indicator on the dash:




Put the cover back on and snug up the screw:




Place the panel back and install the two screws:




Get the steering wheel on, double check that everything is tight, and you're all done:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
JKossarides said:
bronco boy:
How long did it actually take you to do the job start to finish?
Um, two weeks. :banghead

I puttered with it at night and when I had a few spare minutes. I had it apart at least five times due to my stupidity. Now that I know how to do it, I could easily do it in an hour. In fact, once I find a new tilt rod I will be back in there. If you are following my pictures, give yourself a couple hours, or maybe even half a day (just in case) and you should be fine.
 

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Is this procedure basically the same for a 95 with airbag? I have never removed a wheel with a bag and didn't want a face full of airbag during he removal. Advice? Extra steps/etc? thanks
Unfortunately, no this doesn't apply to your application. Your column and steering wheel are a completely different animal from ours. I know this one works for '80-'91 columns.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I really appreciate that great write up.....One of my pivot pins slid right out, just like in your pic. The other one was a cast iron bitch to remove. I ended up having to get the proper sized bolt to thread into in and rigged up my slide hammer to pull it. The slide hammer was definitely overkill, but it would have been handy to know that the pivot pin has a #8-32 thread before hand.
Don't know how I missed this write up broncoboy

GREAT JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm loving your switch banks and other switches. Well done ! I paid a mechanic 25 minutes labour to change my actuator rod.....Best 25 minutes labour charge I ever spent !
Thanks all. I can't believe the feed-back from this write up. Since doing it, I get at least two e-mails a month thanking me.

Dave - I will add that pivot pin info to my page for future reference.

Six - I remember reading about your repair when I was researching this. And thanks about the switches. I love the ARB style one's; I want to change all my switches to match them......one day.
 

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thank god for this write-up. I had no clue why it wasnt working, and i saw this, went out and checked, and surely enough I had the EXACT same problem as you did, and this guide is helping SO much.


Edit: I am now done, and I must say this write-up helped me IMMENSELY. I thought Id share a few things though.

Taking out the shifter knob is uneccesary.
Taking the snap rings, bearings, gear out, was also not needed.

My method was to get the lock cylinder in with the teeth part correct, then turn the key, remove it, attach the teeth part to the actuator, and lower the key column part onto the teeth part (hoping that the gear didnt move), and then slide the key back in. Worked easier for me heh.

You should address sliding the new actuator in, because its a PITA, you have go get both those spots with the screw pins loose, and actually pull the whole thing toward you, to have room to get the actuator in, at least for me.

And cover how you have to use a vice and punch to get the pin out and in for the rod/actuator, that was a PITA too lol
 

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Burntz, thanks for adding your info.

Most of the PITA's that you ran into were why I removed almost everything. Glad to hear you got her all figured out. :thumbup
They werent PITA's once I figured them out hehe, the PITA part was FIGURING it out :p

To get the new actuator/rod combo in, i had to phsyically pull the center section out a bit. After you pull the tilt pins, and pull the tilt teeth/spring thing, you can pull it directly towards you, and get your clearence.

Oh and btw, You had to drill a hole to get the broken piece out (i did the something and got it shoved in their) but I managed to just stick a screwdriver back in behind the piece and push it back out, so I got lucky their I guess haha.

Overall If I had to go do it tomorrow, itd be pretty easy. The whole process was hard just because I had to figure everything out.

And I liked my way of re-assembling the actuator/bracket/gear assembly more then yours, because it was less small parts to touch and mess up :D. Yours was probably a better way though.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BroncoBoy, great writeup, as a matter of fact I liked it so much that some time ago I asked for your permission to copy it to our local club website and it was a success.
Ya, I remember. :thumbup



How did you remove the steering wheel? Do you have a special tool so you don’t have to smash the wheel out?
I have a Grant steering wheel that comes off very easily, but even for a stock wheel.....
- loosen the steering wheel nut about 3/4's of the way
- pull up on the wheel (the nut will keep the wheel from hitting you in the face)
- once the wheel is loose, remove the nut and pull the wheel right off

You can use a steering wheel puller if it won't come off via the above method.
 

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I have a question.

Would lubricating the slide for the ignition actuator help extend ita life?
Could it be lubricated without complete dissasymblie of the collumn?

My key is starting to get stiffer to turn. I belive the actuator is binding in its slides. Every time I go to start the Bronco I worry its going to brake again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Yes, you should be able to shoot some in backward from the front (toward the dash) if you pull the shroud off. Either that, or tilt it to the max & shoot some into the tilt gap. Just use something that won't gum it up, like WD-40 will. Look for a "flowable grease". White lithium spray is probably OK.
 

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Great pics, but i have a question. When you reinstall the actuator, how do you get it past the catch inside the slot( where the long part goes)?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great pics, but i have a question. When you reinstall the actuator, how do you get it past the catch inside the slot( where the long part goes)?
I had the same problem.....a few times. I had to wiggle and jiggle things to get it in. IIRC, it was because everything was loose, so nothing was where it was supposed to be. The actuator needs things to be where they are supposed to be. Did that make sense? :toothless
 
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