Question about 1988 Ford F 150

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For Ford F-150 P/U 351 EFI, 1988, ignition problem I can tell you what it is not ignition key switch new, solenoid new, problem , key stays on can jump solenoid and truck runs, to stop must rmove coil wire and battery cable to cut power. what eles could there be?

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  • edjb50 Nov 18, 2009

    I've bought that switch but was afraid that there was other switches in this system? that could cause this problem because it seems to be in a tough placr to change, and seems like alot of work to change this switch , or do you know any short cuts? to changeing this switch on the stering column.

  • edjb50 Nov 18, 2009

    do you happen to know the size of the bolt that holds it in place?

  • edjb50 Nov 20, 2009

    here's my problem did what you said on switch did sneak out ok, put new switch on and tested no power at all, so I exchanged switchat ford and reinstalled same no power at all now can jump solenoid but won't start what could this be? I'm totaly at a loss, but put the old switch and can jump the solenoid and truck runs Help?

  • edjb50 Nov 22, 2009

    I didn't have to remove steering column because this key switch has a pin release for removal, however when I put the new switch on the column there was no power to the ignition at all , but I put the old switch back on and there is power to the ignition, so this is where I and at a loss, the new switch is on top of the steering column, I'm loss-ed could it be ignition relay went bad too? or is it more than I can chew off? but I did wonder what made the switch work , because is possible there is a eletrical switch in the column that is bad ? what started this was as I turned the key it was getting harder to get it to crank over the I put it in netutal and it was easy, could this problem be in the netural saftey switch ? and was compounded by other problems as well . and is the a diagram of the ignition system ?

  • Jason Lewis
    Jason Lewis May 11, 2010

    From what you described it sounds to me like it could be the ignition switch...the electronic one...it's on the steering column about halfway down...doublecheck that and then get back to me..I"M HERE TO HELP!!

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  • 412 Answers

Unfortuneately there is no shortcuts....But if there was for sure I'd tell you...it's really not hard....just take off the panelling on the lower and you can sneak it in and out...get back to me...I'M HERE TO HELP!!

Posted on Nov 18, 2009

Testimonial: "hey everybody these answers are on the money...., everyone should get this type of service from their auto service center thank you for your help jame"

  • 2 more comments 
  • Jason Lewis
    Jason Lewis Nov 19, 2009

    I don't know the exact size off the top of my head but i DO KNOW that it's a 13 mm or smaller....for sure. You can buy a small 1/4 inch ratchet driver with sockets for like $8 that will be more than adequate to install this switch. Any more problems please get back to me...thx....

  • Jason Lewis
    Jason Lewis Nov 20, 2009

    That new switch should of had power to it....no questions asked, that was a new switch not a used one correct?there's no way that it wouldn't have started properly unless there was a wire overlooked or the switch wasn't new...get back to me....

  • Jason Lewis
    Jason Lewis Nov 20, 2009

    And the problem you are having is you're not able to turn the vehicle on correct? You need to jump the solenoid to get it to start?Then pull wires and cable to get it to turn off?

  • Jason Lewis
    Jason Lewis Nov 20, 2009

    no this ignition switch should be the type that you can adjust by sliding up and down the column slightly, correct? If so, did you try adjusting the switch in different locations before you removed the new switch again?

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If the problem is the starter won't crank the engine over, check the small wire at the solenoid (the one from the ignition switch). It should have power when the key is held in crank. If no power there, trace the signal back to the ignition switch-check the neutral safety switch-at the clutch pedal-or the park/neutral switch on the transmission, if automatic. Check if the ignition switch has power out of it on the start wire with key in crank. Use a voltmeter or testlight for checking.

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Do you hear the pumps run when key is in the run position? There should be a relay for the fuel pumps. However check and see if you have spark, have your ignition module tested, most parts stores can test them. Also check the ignition switch and make sure it is operating properly and not needing to be replaced.

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1 Answer

My F250 1988 truck won't turn over. I replaced ignition switch on column, and replaced starter solenoid. I think it may be the ignition wire but I need to verify routing before I start cutting and...


Call Autozone or Oreillys and see if they show an Ignition relay for your truck. This relay would kill power to the Ignition switch.

If no relay, check the small wire or wires on the Starter Solenoid with a test light or 12 volt meter. Have a helper turn the key to Start with the small wire disconnected from the Solenoid. If no helper, Ground Neg. end of tester to vehicle and the other end to the disconnected wire and put the tester where you can see it light up or the meter move.

Then turn to Start position and see if the tester lights up or the meter move. These small wires go back to the Ignition keyswitch. If no power to the Solenoid, the wires are bad.

You can jump the Starter Solenoid with a screwdriver or Battery cables If the truck is in Park or Neutral and the Ignition is ON, the truck will start and run until you shut it off.

Double check your new Solenoid, for the right type. There are Negative and Positive ground Solenoids. There are 1 and 2 wire terminal types which is easy to see. But the Positive ground Solenoids go on Boats and are also used on Hydraulic pumps for heavy equipment.

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W/out knowing details on your vehicle, it makes it very difficult to help. Year? Stick or auto>? engine/trans info. Does it have an alarm installed or a factory security system?

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