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HELP: Replacing the Ignition Switch

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Ranchero72 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30-June-2010 at 3:57PM
OK, so I now know that the ignition switch on the column is my problem.  For some reason, none of the parts stores list my ignition switch correctly.  They all have a wiring harness that comes out of them.  Mine is more like the one listed for a 73 Gran Torino Q-code.  I found some part numbers after doing some searching but none of the part stores seem to have it in stock.  Anybody know where I can get one?

Borg Warner part#
CS78

AC Delco part#
F1459

Autozone/Duralast part #
LS407

Napa/Echlin part#
ECH KS6590

Ford part #
D20B-11572-A2B

I called Advance Auto Parts (I work for them), Autozone, O'Reilly's, and searched Napa's website because they're not open.  Despite knowing the in's and out's of our catalog at work and calling all the other stores, I still can't find one available from any of these guys.  My car won't start without it and I'm stuck.  Our Ford dealer doesn't open till tomorrow but I'm not sure they'd even have it as old as my car is.  Thanks for any suggestions!


Edited by Ranchero72 - 11-July-2010 at 6:05AM
'72 Ford Ranchero 500
-351C C4
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-June-2010 at 4:37PM
You may have bumped the plug on the ignition switch on the column. 
Paul
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-July-2010 at 5:01AM
To clarify, when I do turn the key to the ON position, the radio does come on so evidently part of it is still working.  I don't see anything unplugged under the column but I'll start dissecting it here in a bit and taking things apart to get a better look.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-July-2010 at 6:30AM
Thanks for the reply Psquare, it gave me a good place to start.  OK, more details.

The radio wasn't actually coming on, it was going past the the point of start.  It IS for sure a failed key ignition starter switch.  I'm just lucky it didn't fail on me when I was in town somewhere.

How I found out was I took the gauge trim down and started digging.  There are two sandwich style panels that hide the wires coming down from the steering column and I removed those checking the wire connector there to make sure it didn't come loose.  That's when I noticed that I had the key on and the radio wasn't turned up.  I turned the radio up and nothing, not even static.  That's when I knew that the key wasn't actually ON.  I slowly turned the key and about 1/4 past OFF the radio bleeped on breifly.  I carefully placed the key to that fine position and began my trial of jumpering a wire from the battery to the key signal post and it kicked over and spark came from the plug I had pulled to test for spark.  That's when I knew exactly what my problem was.

So, any suggestions for how to replace the key ignition switch?


Edited by Ranchero72 - 01-July-2010 at 6:30AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-July-2010 at 5:12AM
unplug unit, two nuts, replace, adjust :). I think the switches are 72, and 73-76, and 77+, someone can correct me on that. 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-July-2010 at 4:53PM
I'm having trouble seeing where the two nuts are that hold it in. The housing around the key switch looks solid. I did some looking on the computer at work today and I found the correct switch, just not sure how it's supposed to go in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skinnys Garage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-July-2010 at 2:59AM
The "key switch" probably isn't the problem. All the tumbler does is actuate a rod that hooks into the "ignition switch". That switch is located about half way down the column and has all the wires plugged into it. It's held on with two small bolts and can be adjusted back and forth on the rod to "fine tune" the position with the tumbler. It may have gotten bumped when you did the speedo work and just needs to be adjusted back to work correctly with the key.

You may want to pull the two screws on the plastic column cover cover and separate the two halves to get a better look if you want to see how it works. I think you can adjust the switch without, but it may be easier to understand if you do. That way you should be able to see the rod that's moved by the key and the switch it goes into. I'd just loosen the switch and slide it up or down on the column until everything works correctly with the key again. If it's plugged in good and adjusting it doesn't work, you need to try a different switch box. If the key doesn't move the rod, it's the tumbler assembly, but it sounds like it's moving it if you briefly get power. Good luck with the diagnosis. 

Edited by Skinnys Garage - 03-July-2010 at 3:23AM
Scott -'73 Gran Torino Brougham

Past Torino's -'73 Q-code GTS, '76 Original PS-122 S&H, '73 H-code GTS, '73 Ranchero
        '71 Cobra 351 Auto, '70 351C Brougham 2dr HT, '71 351C Ranchero
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-July-2010 at 1:06PM
Awesome! I'll try that when I get back from vacation. Currently out in Phoenix, AZ and loving the sun and hot weather. Going to see the grand canyon tomorrow, woohoo!

Thanks for the help Skinny!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 5:43AM
Updated original post.  Thanks guys!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 6:24AM
I take that back, it looks like AutoKrafters has one for $30 plus shipping.

AutoKrafters part#
SW1079

http://www.autokrafters.com/v4/go.gnf?session=b1472db0c880133c88d6bfcf6a02952a&s=autokrafters&t=&n=default&d=products&show_product_id=851805&product=25621

BUT, I'll be paying four times what any of the other parts stores wanted for it if they had it in stock.


Edited by Ranchero72 - 11-July-2010 at 6:24AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Skinnys Garage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 8:33AM
Just one more thought. Have you ruled out the neutral safety switch at the bottom of the column? You could have bumped a wire down there also. Will the key turn on and light up the accessories or is it completely dead. If it does turn stuff on, but won't turn the starter over, it could be the safety switch. Try moving the shifter back and forth while holding the key on and see if that does anything. Something else to check anyway.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 10:44AM
When the key was turned on it wouldn't give me any lights on the dash or working accessories.  That's what led me to believe that it was the ignition switch.

This morning I took the cluster back out of the dash and inspected the ignition switch this morning.  It was junk just by the first look.  The exterior was cracked and I accidentally ripped the top plate off of it way too easily.  Upon further inspection, it looks like the underside of the circuit board was corroded and burnt.  The base was also cracked.  This is what leads me to believe that this is my issue.

I'll need a new one anyhow seeing as how the ignition switch was part failed from the beginning anyway.  Thanks for all your help thus far guys!  I'll take pics and describe what I see.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 11:09AM





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The_Trooper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-July-2010 at 11:44PM
Yeah I ain't no electrician but that green sht can't be good.LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote occupant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 1:19AM
I am so going to check the condition of mine when I get inside the dash next. On my checklist for when I go up in there:

Replace the whole cluster, swapping over my odometer/speedo, no more crustiness
Replace the voltage regulator for the cluster
Replace the headlight switch
Replace a couple fuses and the hazard flasher
Fix the dash lights or tape up the neon wire thing I bought
Check/replace the ignition switch
Check/replace the headlight switch
Reroute some wires from the last radio install session I had at 9pm with no light
Replace dash speaker *IF* I can get it out without pulling the dash pad

And then I'm replacing the back speakers with the nicest pair of Ford/JBL 6x9's I can find in a Town Car or something similar from the 90s. Why spend $100-$150 on speakers when I can get them for $5.99 each at a pick-n-pull?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 3:08AM
72 uses a weird ign. switch that is '72 only'. That's why your having a hard time finding one. 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
79 F100 460/TKO500/3.25:1
'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 3:40AM
Originally posted by Psquare75 Psquare75 wrote:

72 uses a weird ign. switch that is '72 only'. That's why your having a hard time finding one. 
 
I'm showing them as using the same one from 72-76 from what I see.  It looks like the same one anyway.
 
 
It just appears that nobody but AutoKrafters stocks them anymore.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Psquare75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 3:41AM
Ahh. You could switch the pigtail end to the 77-79 style switch, which is plentiful. 
Paul
77 XR7 460/C6/3.00:1 *SOLD*
78 XR7 523/C6/3.5:1
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'I also have some left over potatoes-I understand you can generate electricity from them'- Foote500
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranchero72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 6:28AM
Well, to say I'm excited is an understatement.
 
I called my local Ford dealer, Dennison Ford in Bloomington, IL.  I gave them the OE part number off the switch and had them look it up.  He gave me the Motorcraft number it crossed to but it has been discontinued and they didn't have any in stock.  He then looked it up in their system and said that Bob Allen Ford in Kansas had one in stock and gave me their phone number.  I called and talked to Mark at Bob Allen and I gave him the number and sure enough they had one in stock. 
 
$17+shipping and it's on the way now!  That sure sounds better than trying to dig up an aftermarket unit or paying an extra $15 for the expensive one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ilyes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-July-2010 at 6:33AM
hey guys, SINGER in France, it's a sewing machine brand LOL
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