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Disconnect the negative battery terminal. Remove the horn pad on the steering wheel-Phillips head screws from the back side of wheel. Then loosen the nut on the steering wheel center. Mark the steering wheel to column shaft position, so the wheel goes back in exact same position on the shaft. You may need a steering wheel puller to get the wheel off the shaft, not always, but sometimes the wheel is on pretty tight. Do not hammer on the wheel to get it off, use a puller if needed. These pullers are at parts stores and not expensive.
That is not the key part of the switch, it is the electruical switch the key cylinder operated. Instructions
Set the front wheels to point forward and remove the key from the ignition.
2Disconnect the black battery cable and then the red battery cable, in that order, using a wrench unfasten the two torx bolts securing the lower lid on the steering wheel using a ratchet and torx bit. Pull off the red shorting connector from the underside of the lid and put the lid aside.
4Reach through the steering cover opening, unplug the air-bag electrical connector and insert the red shorting connector to the air bag side of the unplugged connector.
5Unfasten the three glove-box mounting screws and put the glove box aside using a Phillips screwdriver.
6Unplug the passenger air-bag electrical connector and insert the red shorting connector located next to the connector into the air-bag side of the unplugged connector.
7Pry off the small cover behind and on each side of the steering wheel using a small flat-head screwdriver.
8Unfasten the torx bolts under the small covers using a ratchet and a T30 torx bit and remove the bag assembly from the steering wheel. Place the bag in a safe place away from your working area with the cover facing up.
9Unplug the horn connector located on the upper side of the steering wheel assembly and the cruise control switch located off center and towards the right of the steering wheel assembly.
10Make alignment marks on the steering column shaft, at the center of the steering wheel, and the steering wheel assembly so that you can reinstall the steering wheel in the same exact position. Use a marker.
11Unfasten the steering-wheel retaining nut on the center of the assembly using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Hold the steering wheel steady with one hand as you remove the retaining nut.
12Rock the steering wheel carefully from side to side as you pull the wheel off the center shaft. If the steering wheel is stuck, install a steering wheel puller on the assembly and detach the wheel from the shaft.
13Remove the upper and lower steering column covers using a Phillips screwdriver.
14Unplug the ignition switch connector.
15Insert the key into the lock cylinder and turn the key to the "On" position.
16Unfasten the two ignition-switch mounting bolts from the steering column using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket. Then remove the switch from the steering column
I've done this twice in the past year. Remove the two screws under the steering column that hold the cover in place. Then you will see two nuts with washers, one on either side of the column, that hold the column to the dash frame. Remove those two nuts and washers, and you can lower the steering wheel and column to rest on the drivers side seat cushion. Then with a ratchet and I think a 5/16-inch socket and a couple of "wobble end" extensions on the ratchet, one long and the other short, you can contort your body into position to reach the two hex-head self threading screws that hold the ignition switch to the column. Once they are out, you can re-contort your body so that you can disconnect the two electrical plugs that connect to the right side of the switch. (When you first look at the plugs and the wires, it looks as though it is all one plug, but it's two.) Good luck!
I had a similar problem several years ago with my 1993 Dodge intrepid. None of the instruments on the dash would work. When this would happen the transmission would not shift past second gear. My heater blower was Not running all the time. What I found was the wiring harness to the ignition switch did not have enough slack in it. This was causing the ignition switch plug to randomly lose contact with the ignition switch. The first thing you need to do is remove the steering column covers. Put the tilt steering all the way up. Look under the steering column cover. There are 2 phillips head screws and 3 recessed T-10 torx tip screws that hold the 2 halves of the cover together and to the steering column. Remove all 5 screws. The handle used to tilt the steering wheel also has to be removed. You will need a T-30 torx tip to remove it. Now carefully remove the bottom half of the cover. The ignition switch wiring harness is under the steering column. I just reached in under the column and gently pulled on the harness until it had a little slack when I left go. Make sure the ignition switch plug is plugged in all the way. You might even want to unplug it and plug it back in several times just in case a slight film of corrosion has accumulated on any of the electrical terminals. This will help clean it off. You could also look inside the plug to make sure none of the terminals are bent or pushed part way out the back. I hope this solves your problem. Mine has not reoccurred in the 8 years since I did this.
If tilting the wheel turned the headlights on, it sounds like there's a problem with the ignition switch. Or if the headlight switch is a stalk on the steering column, possibly a fault somewhere in that switch or the wiring to it. First thing to do is find the headlight fuses and see if you have power on both sides of the fuse with the key on. If you don't, i would take the steering column covers off and look for a broken wire or burnt connector at the ignition switch.
Could be more worn steering parts such as the pitman or idler arm. IIRC, the 98 Ram has a steering gear box, and not rack and pinion steering like newer models.
If the issue is not up front under the hood, you could also have a worn intermediate (sometimes called a sector shaft) . This shaft goes between the steering column and the gear box or rack and pinion.
If the fuses are good and the front and rear bulbs are good, change the flasher for the turn signals, even tho the right is working. If that doesn't fix the problem, it might be in the turn sgnal switch on the steering column.
If both bulbs are good for the backup lights and fuses are good, then the backup light switch, which is screwed into the side of the transmission has to bad.
there is a release button on the side of the ignition cynder take it out then push the rod at the top of the steering wheel column to see if it move you can also start it this way to but the column pops apart
either you have the wrong key,or try turning the steering wheel to the right all the way,then turn key,this usually happens when you park the vehicle and the wheels are turned,then the steering wheel locks hard