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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The actuator rod does not push the ignition switch far enough to go into the start position and the gear selector won't shift out of park. These two things happened at the same time.

I can start the engine by using a screwdriver to push the ignition switch to the start position(when it's not bolted onto the steering column and the key is turned so that the steering wheel is unlocked) but the gear selector still will not move out of park.

I have replaced the ignition switch so I know the problem is not there.

I read a post that mentions a gear rack(?) that moves the actuator rod. Will somebody please tell me how to check this and get the parts (what to ask for?) if need be? I guess it must be in the steering column in the same section as the ignition lock cylinder. How do I remove the metal sleeves from the steering column? My tilt steering column has two sleeves(I think) - one with the ignition lock cylinder and one with the gear selector. Any and all information is greatly appreciated.
 

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Been there, done that.
One major PITA.
The part is cheap, even from the dealer, but changing it out is another story.
Got a manual?
Don't know if a Haynes would detail that procedure, but it's worth a try.
I know the factory manual does.
It's been a while, so I can't exactly explain how to do it.
Suffice it to say, I pulled the entire column out, and worked on it on a bench.

If I can scan the section, I'll give it a go.
Hopefully someone can 'splain it though, since I doubt I'd get a pic up till next week sometime.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's not in the Haynes guide


If you could scan it for me I would be forever in your debt!

Is it safe for me to assume that I need the gear rack for the ignition switch actuator rod? Is that what I should ask for when I call around looking for the part?

How would I go about getting a factory manual?? This haynes guide is not very good(seems like the Chilton's guides were better - many moons ago)...seems like it tries to cover too many years of stuff...and does a lot of advertising for taking your truck to a Ford dealer
 

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Reverend GripShift is right - it's a PITA disassembling the tilt column and working on the ignition switch operating rods!
Basically, you just start pulling parts off the column, beginning with the steering wheel, and continue until you get to the little gear rack that's busted. It's a nightmare to do and even worse to try to explain in text, so I'm not gonna try. You'll need some hardened (black Allen-head) screws to pull the tilt pins (I can't remember the thread, but it might be 10-32), and you have to be careful when you do it that the tilt spring doesn't shoot a chunk of metal into your forehead.
You also have to pay REALLY good attention (did I put enough emphasis on that?
) to the way the operating rod's gears fit into the upper (tilting) part of the column or the lock cylinder won't go back in or work. It usually takes me 3 tries before I get 'em timed right, so don't get frustrated if it takes you that many or more.
 

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You can order the shop manuals here. Helm
I'd have to check some old receipts to find out the exact name and part number for you.
Like I said, the part itself is cheap. Like, under $20.
I'd hate to ask what a shop would charge for the labor though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys


This board may turn out to be a life saver!!

Any suggestions about which manual to order:
1) 1989 LIGHT TRUCK SHOP MANUAL
2) 1989 AERO/RANG/BRONCOII SHOP MANUAL (says it covers full size Bronco)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Flame me for disabling safety features, but I wanna get in there and see if I can defeat the gear selector lock for the auto tranny, ditto for the steering wheel lock. That way if an actuator rod breaks in a bad place I can just pull the lower switch off the column and slide it forward to start it up! Oh, I'll also be able to steer it and shift it LOL!
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Tilt Spring

OK...I managed to get everything back together EXCEPT for compressing and re-inserting that dang tilt spring. So now I know it works and I know I'll have to pull it apart one more time to put the spring back in. The gear rack was fine(replaced it anyway) but the upper assembly(the one that the actuating rod attaches to) was broken.

It is a PITA!! Many, many thanks to WD40 and Steve83 and everyone else for the help!!

Two questions:
1) Any tips on compressing that spring? Special tool?
2) What would happen if I didn't put the spring back in?
 

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Re: Tilt Spring

1) Any tips on compressing that spring? Special tool?
I used vice grips to help compress the spring, and a BIG screwdiver to guide it in place.

Man, you're bringing back some ugly memories.


2) What would happen if I didn't put the spring back in?
Edit:
Read Steve's comment below.
Thanks for clearing that up.
 

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Re: Tilt Spring

I don't remember having to fight it any of the times I've done that, but it's been a while. All I remember is putting the column back together in the highest tilt position, i.e., least compression on the spring.

I don't think it'll cause any major problems until someone who doesn't know about it tries to adjust the tilt at 80mph.
Rev, there's a separate spring that holds the tilt lock against its bar - this spring pushes the wheel up, and only works when the column is unlocked for tilting.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: Tilt Spring

Yeah Steve that's right. It worked ok without the spring but I pulled it apart and put it back in because I had to put the other retaining pin back in - sorta messed one of 'em up taking it out (FYI, one retaining pin is $12!).

I didn't think about the highest position/least compression thing...used a medium sized socket on a large half inch drive wrench and vice grips to compress the spring against the column enough to slip it into place through the hole in the bottom right side of the tilt mechanism.

To answer Shilo's question - it looks like if you cut off/shortened/notched-out the long bar of the upper actuator assembly you would defeat the gear selector lock(it looks like the gear selector rotates through a notched area of the long bar) and if you cut off the pin from the lower assembly that would defeat the steering wheel lock. It seems like the actuator rod would be very unstable if you remove the bar from the upper assembly, though.
 

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Wheel lock

THAT mechanism is the thing that sticks out to the rear of the lock cylinder and engages the toothed ring on the back of the steering wheel. You'd only have to leave out that spring & button to permanently defeat the wheel lock, but you can defeat it momentarily by pushing hard on the steering wheel at the 10:00 position - this "bends" the steering shaft away from the lock button & allows the wheel to turn a few notches. Wrecker drivers do it all the time to straighten cars' wheels before towing them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: Wheel lock

That's good to know...

I guess I didn't fully grok how the wheel lock worked. It looked like the pin on the gear rack was the steering wheel lock pin.
 
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