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Thread: ignition key just keeps turning on my 85 ford

  1. #1
    SUPER CHEESY
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    Mar 2004
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    Stansbury Park UT.
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    ignition key just keeps turning on my 85 ford

    My wife called me at work the other day and told me the truck just quit on her, and she couldn't get it started again.
    When I got off work at 2am I drove to the place she left it (where it still sits), got in put the key in it the key rotated about 180 degrees and THEN the starter engaged, it was cold so the beast wouldn't start so I let off the key to "pump the gas pedal" and when I turned the key again it kinda snapped and just kept turning, all the way around, never even making a click.
    My repair manual gives real crappy instructions, and I have never been inside a steering colum before. The repair manual says you have to remove the steering wheel and drop the steering colum, to get at the lock cylinder (if that is what the problem is).

    Has anyone ever fought this fight before, what do you think happened, is it the switch? Is it the lock cylinder? Is it the rod (I guess there is a rod in there)? Can I fix this without taking the steering wheel off?
    Any advice (besides push it off a cliff) woud be appreciated!
    By the way we are dealing with an 85 f-150 with tilt & cruise.

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  3. #2
    Anti-Social Networking jpest's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    Sounds like the shaft on the back of the key cylinder snapped. Usually on the F-150 there would be a retainer you can access without taking the whole steering wheel apart.There should be a small hole right below the key cylinder about 2" in from the ears of the cylinder. Take a small tool that you can poke into this small hole and push the retainer in after turning the key cylinder to the on position. You should be able to feel the retainer collapse and then pull the key cylinder right out. The you'll have to look inside the housing an take some tweezers or small plyers and remove the broken peice before installing a replacement cylinder.
    If the cylinder tail piece is not broken it could be stripped gears or broken linkage inside the column in which case you'll have to replace the column.

  4. #3
    SUPER CHEESY
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    OK I'll try that, Thanks jpest!

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  6. #4
    free loader!! wrnchplr's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    I had that problem

    it was on my 85 Bronco. there is a rod in there it is hard to discribe..you have to take the wheel off to get in there. one end of the rod broke off and that stopped everything from moving and the key just spinnnnnnnssssss. it cost $5 at p/p to get the replacment part, it is not hard to change. if you are close i could come give you a hand. also take the cover off of the colom you can move the rod and get it to start.
    Dave
    Last edited by wrnchplr; 12-18-2005 at 12:33 PM.

  7. #5
    SUPER CHEESY
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    Mar 2004
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    Stansbury Park UT.
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    new lock cylinder= $10 from autozone
    long skinny needlenose plyers= $8 from autozone

    free advice from cool guys like you= priceless!

    I got it running again, thanks guys!

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