Question about 1997 Ford Explorer AWD

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1996 Ford Explorer key to ignition switch loose

I placed the key in the ignition switch and the vehicle started but I noticed the key extended beyond the typical arc as if it were loose. So I shut the engine off and tried to start the car again and the key seemed to not connect to turn the ignition switch to start the engine. It essentially is completely loose moving forward toward the 'start engine' position and does click in the downward arc position and stops at the auxillary mode. I thought there may be a nut loose or something where the key goes into the ignition switch so I loosened the casing that fits above and below the top of the steering column to get a closer look. I didn't see anything immediate that would pose the problem though I'm not proficient with working on cars. Does anyone have what may be a simple solution to this?

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  • at7717 Feb 15, 2009

    Okay, I see the brass pin on the top with a black tip to depress down and the gap in the metal cylinder as you rotate the key, but the problem now is that the key won't crank forward enough for the gap to line up with the brass pin! Any other ideas?

  • at7717 Feb 16, 2009

    Actually, I was looking in the wrong place, it was underneath, real easy to pull out. So that part is done, now I can see what the real problem is and I've inserted a couple of photos.

    The metal pin going into the steering column from the tumbler to crank the ignition to the "on" position appears broken! Any suggestions for the next phase of this predicament!



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Sound like the tumbler is falling out, when you open the steering column there should be a hole where a small but solid object can go in.. this release the tumbler but only when the key it turn at a certain position you will feel the pin in the hole go inwards then you can slide it could be defective or just need to place back properly..hope this help..

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

  • Lickzee Feb 15, 2009

    try playing with it pushing the cylinder in.. there is a grove inside where the cylinder must go in. i know it is hard to do but there is no other way as the tumbler already came out to a point where it is almost impossible to get back in place..

  • Lickzee Feb 16, 2009

    you will have to purchase a new or get a used one from a junk yard w/the key of course...


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