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  1. #1

    Default Ignition switch, lock cylinder, or both?

    Hi folks,
    So since I bought my 85 GT the car dies over hard bumps. I would always crank it and be on my merry way. I took a look at the grounds under the hood and they seem pretty clean/sturdy. The other day I noticed when it happened all I had to do was SLIGHTLY turn the key and it would come back to life without cranking. It only takes a small touch of the key to shut the car off.
    I'm thinking it's the ignition switch but should I replace the lock cylinder while I'm at it?

  2. #2

    Default

    If the key operates smoothly, leave it be.

    Probably the ignition switch
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  3. #3

    Default

    Look at the ignition switch. If it's splitting open that's the problem.

    Ive had times in the past where I could see that wires had arced on the ignition spades before too. If you can get the connector to release from the plug you bend it to tighten it up. If not, one of my connectors on my 86 I used a bent over staple on it for years. Eventually it got to a point where I had to just replace that connector with a generic spade and deal with it.

    in 455K it's never been the lock tumbler or rod-- always the switch or connections to it.
    -- James

    86 Mustang GT - Black with red interior. 5.0 T5 built as Z. Original motor ~1/2 million miles. 18 yr daily, 7 a toy
    85 Mustang Saleen 1985-0006? (Lol) Planning Medium Canyon Red / Grey interior. Mystery. Current project roller, tons of Saleen pedigree

    Also in the stable - 1986 Mustang GT Convertible. Black/Black/Black conversion. 93 leather. VM1 ECU. T5Z
    past foxes - 1989 Mustang LX Sport 5.0 AOD white/tan black top

    I'm a four eyed pride supporter, are you? Become one today!

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    SE Michigan
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    Default ignition switch and cylinder notes

    Mine was doing the same thing. 39 years old, many cycles.
    Occasionally the heater blower would not work unless key was moved slightly back in 'on' position.
    One day at work parking lot, determined key 'on' had play in that position.
    Sometimes accidentally cut off the engine, quickly moving back to key 'on' to stay running.
    Then some concern would arc a fire someday, more so do to wear than a defect.
    https://www.autosafety.org/ford-ignition-switch-fires/

    Did nothing about this for 10+ years.

    Solution:
    New Motorcraft ignition switch. not hard to do. Took less than an hour.
    Last year, tested if the small bolt fasteners would loosen easily. No problem.
    Tested the water. Was not in the mood to take the dip....
    Finally replaced 8/17 after 6 years of unfounded procrastination. Carried switch in car toolbox.
    Disconnected battery.
    Marked position of old switch just in case. New one did not need any adjustment.
    Turned key to off position. Checked new switch was also indexed to off position.
    Both fasteners came out fine intact, no drilling, etc, as did the ele connector.
    Of course, be careful with the wire harness connector tabs.
    Replaced both metric fasteners.
    Old switch was not split or anything visible in or out to indicate wear.
    New switch has more robust feel when turning key to start.
    No more accidental shut offs. More positive no play key 'on'.

    Ignition lock cylinder:
    Have replaced that too. They wear out. Failed suddenly 8/2001 in driveway getting ready to go to car show.
    No start. Could not turn key. Had a feeling beforehand. Was getting sticky turning or something.
    Had new cylinder from Pep Boys with me. Surprised took only 20 minutes. Made car show easily.

    Wise to think ahead for easy removal. When it fails, no telling when or where that will happen.
    Like if you have to 'scramble the bomber'.

    Consider the fact a new cylinder will have a new key coded differently from the door.
    Need to re-key to keep one key door/ignition.
    Instructions online how too transfer old ignition tumblers the new cylinder to keep the old key.
    A Ford dealer or locksmith can do it. Ask first.
    Ford dealers also have the best key blanks.

    Replaced the combo turn signal switch 1/17. AZ Duralast. Solid. Works great.
    Good feeling knowing all is well in the column.
    Last edited by gr79; 09-10-2017 at 03:39 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gr79 View Post
    Mine was doing the same thing. 39 years old, many cycles.
    Occasionally the heater blower would not work unless key was moved slightly back in 'on' position.
    Sometimes accidentally cut off the engine, quickly moving back to key 'on' to stay running.
    Was concerned would arc a fire someday, more so do to wear than a defect.
    https://www.autosafety.org/ford-ignition-switch-fires/
    Did nothing about it for 10+ years.

    Solution:
    New Motorcraft ignition switch. not hard to do. Took less than an hour.
    Last year, tested if the small bolt fasteners would loosen easily. No problem.
    Tested the water. Was not in the mood to take the dip....
    Finally replaced 8/17 after 6 years of unfounded procrastination. Carried switch in car toolbox.
    Disconnected battery.
    Marked position of old switch just in case. New one did not need any adjustment.
    Turned key to off position. Checked new switch was also indexed to off position.
    Both fasteners came out fine intact, no drilling, etc, as did the ele connector.
    Of course, be careful with the wire harness connector tabs.
    Replaced both metric fasteners.
    Old switch was not split or anything visible in or out to indicate wear.
    New switch has more robust feel when turning key to start.

    Ignition lock cylinder:
    Have replaced that too. They wear out. Failed suddenly 8/2001 in driveway getting ready to go to car show.
    No start. Could not turn key. Had a feeling beforehand. Was getting sticky turning or something.
    Had new cylinder from Pep Boys with me. Surprised took only 20 minutes. Made car show easily.

    Wise to think ahead for easy removal. When it fails, no telling when or where that will happen.
    Like if you have to 'scramble the bomber'.

    Consider the fact a new cylinder will have a new key coded differently from the door.
    Need to re-key to keep one key door/ignition.
    Instructions online how too transfer old ignition tumblers the new cylinder to keep the old key.
    A Ford dealer or locksmith can do it. Ask first.
    Ford dealers also have the best key blanks.

    Replaced the combo turn signal switch 1/17. AZ Duralast. Solid. Works great.
    Good feeling knowing all is well in the column.
    Funny you mention that. I've got the turn signal/multifunction switch along with the ignition switch in my cart at LMR right now. Waiting to see what happens with Hurricane Irma before I check out. No sense ordering parts if my garage blows down.

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SE Michigan
    Posts
    3,001

    Default

    Was thinking exactly the same thing.
    Have family up on the east coast Fla coast riding it out.
    Batten down the hatches.
    We are with all of you guys down south hoping things turn out better than news hype. Lots on TV.
    Some military aircraft are up here to roost out the storm.
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/loca...ase/644113001/

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gr79 View Post
    Was thinking exactly the same thing.
    Have family up on the east coast Fla coast riding it out.
    Batten down the hatches.
    We are with all of you guys down south hoping things turn out better than news hype. Lots on TV.
    Some military aircraft are up here to roost out the storm.
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/loca...ase/644113001/
    Made it through with minimal damage. Tree down, some soaked insulation in the attic, that's about it. Got pretty gnarly there around 2AM Sunday. Got the yard cleaned up, fence fixed, and some fans going in the attic then took a nice ride with the boys/dog last night. Perfect T-top weather!
    My LMR order gets here Monday then we'll see what's what.

  8. #8

    Default

    Man, those tamper proof screws are really ****ing tamper proof.
    Anyway got the new switch in there and went for a violent drive. No shut-offs.

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