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Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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Old 03-17-2005, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ignition key won't turn!

So here is the deal:

Went out this chilly morning with the intention of taking the truck to work. Key went into the ignition, no problem. Key wouldn't turn once in the ignition. Tried jiggling the key, shift lever, no luck. Didn't matter whether I was stepping on the brake or not. This is a 97 F250 CC with an auto tranny.

Any suggestions? The motorcycle got me to work today, but it was alittle chilly. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

Try turning the steering wheel back and forth while trying to turn the key. If the wheels are not straight ahead the column lock can bind the ignition switch.
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

Tried that, no luck.

Anybody else? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shrug.gif[/img]
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97 F-250 Crewcab,4X4, 4.10 gears, coolant filter, 203 deg. thermostat, coolant eye, Bilsteins, 255/85R16s.

00 Ural BC-65.

97 Honda Foreman.

"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

Is the steering wheel locked in position or still feel loose to turn a lil? If its tight, a lil tension held on the wheel will help while trying to turn tye key.

You can also take the key switch out very easily with a small awl/coathanger/welding rod/etc.. by trying to push the lil nub up in the hole in the plastic while trying to rotate the key switch & see if it comes out - sometimes over the years the switch wears out & the internal parts bind - the can be swapped out for about $13 at advance with a new keyswitch & with a bit of tinkering you can swap the tumblers from your old switch over to the new so you wont have to have 2 seperate keys also.

Best of Luck
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Old 03-17-2005, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

Switch has to be in the RUN position for the switch to be unlocked and removed from the collum. Otherwise you may have to drill it, not easy.

Marty
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Old 03-17-2005, 06:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

The steering wheel is loose to turn, up to the limits of the lock. It is not tight.
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00 Ural BC-65.

97 Honda Foreman.

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Old 03-18-2005, 12:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

did you try flipping the key over? on mine, sometimes it gets caught when i try turning the ignition with the key in one way, flip it over and there's no resistance... maybe that also has something to do with me being able to remove the key while the truck is running when the key is in one way and not the other
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Old 03-18-2005, 02:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

Try some graphite spray on the key. I went to OSH and got this stuff...its in a little blue spray can and it is lock lubricant with Graphite in it (cant think of the name). But if you get some and spray the key down, put it in, pull it out a few times, spray and key and repeat a few more times, it may come loose. My door locks were getting tough to move and this stuff really did the trick...give it a shot...

Is your key in good shape? Are the teeth worn down enough that it may cause it not to turn?
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

For all those who tried to help, thanks.

What it turns out to be is a bad key cylinder. After not having any luck with what had been posted here, I put a post on the webboard I use for my motorcycle ('00 Ural Bavarian Classic). Turns out, one of the members is the shop foreman for a Ford dealership in New Mexico. He gave me his cell # and let me talk to one of his technnicians who talked me through.

As soon as I get my riding gear on,me and my trusty Russian Iron Horse will be traveling to buy a new cylinder and try to get it re-keyed to my existing keys.

I'll give a short write-up here and try to write a full article about it after it's all back together.

As explained to me, hold pressure on the key with your left hand, as if you were trying to start the truck. Then gently tap the key with a hammer. Hopefully this will allow the tumblers to fall, allowing you to turn the key to the run position (or even start it if you wanted to.)

I took the bottom cover of the steering column off to see better, but then a small rod (I used a coat hanger) can be inserted into a little hole that will push the retaining ball out. The whole cylinder can then be removed. The ignition switch is now in the on position, so if you are going to be awhile, you may need to disconnect your batteries.

[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/biggrin.gif[/img]
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00 Ural BC-65.

97 Honda Foreman.

"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

As Renegade mentioned, you can get a replacement (like $15 at AutoZone), and re-key it to your key. I did it on mine and posted how I did it (its in the archives with some procedural improvements made by Renegade). I'll hunt for it if I get time. Cheers!

Added in edit: Here's my old post with the improvements by Renegade: "New Ignition Lock Assembly, Old Key!!!". Cheers again!
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Old 03-19-2005, 08:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Ignition key won't turn!

[ QUOTE ]
As Renegade mentioned, you can get a replacement (like $15 at AutoZone), and re-key it to your key. I did it on mine and posted how I did it (its in the archives with some procedural improvements made by Renegade). I'll hunt for it if I get time. Cheers!

Added in edit: Here's my old post with the improvements by Renegade: "New Ignition Lock Assembly, Old Key!!!". Cheers again!

[/ QUOTE ]


Well, the Autozones around here (St. Louis) say that can't get that part. The one nearest me doesn't carry anything for a Powerstroke either, but I digress.

Through another forum (for my motorcycle) I got in contact with a shop foreman for a dealer in New Mexico. He let me talk to to one of his tech who talked me how to get the key to turn, which then allowed me to remove it.

Broadway Ford (in downtown St. Louis) sold me a replacement for $50. Was it more expensive there versus something after market?, probably, but they are usually the lowest cost dealer in the St. Louis area for parts, and I've never had to order anything from them, its in stock. (They handle most of the commercial trucks in this area.)

And I've messed with locks before, so the locksmith coded it to my existing key for $32.

Hopefully I can take pictures tommorrow and post it all then.
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97 F-250 Crewcab,4X4, 4.10 gears, coolant filter, 203 deg. thermostat, coolant eye, Bilsteins, 255/85R16s.

00 Ural BC-65.

97 Honda Foreman.

"A little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing." Thomas Jefferson
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