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Lurch, Ford Cert.
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 20439
Experience:  Ford Cert., Heavy Line Mech, Mobile Electronics. Sales, Installation & Repair for 30 years
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how do i remove the ignition switch in a 1990 ford f350 .do ...

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how do i remove the ignition switch in a 1990 ford f350 .do i have to have the key.i lost the another switch with key.i have the whole stearing column apart .if i keep prying, hammering,and drilling on this thing i am going to brake something. please help me thank you .Customer

If you have NO Key, you will have to Drill Lock:
Here is both ways:



With Key

  1. Disconnect the battery ground.

  2. On tilt columns, remove the upper extension shroud by unsnapping the shroud from the retaining clip at the 9 o'clock position.

  3. Remove the trim shroud halves.

  4. Unplug the wire connector at the key warning switch.

  5. Place the shift lever in PARK and turn the key to ON .

  6. Place a 1/8in. (3mm) wire pin in the hole in the casting surrounding the lock cylinder and depress the retaining pin while pulling out on the cylinder.

  7. When installing the cylinder, turn the lock cylinder to the RUN position and depress the retaining pin, then insert the lock cylinder into its housing in the flange casting. Assure that the cylinder is fully seated and aligned in the interlocking washer before turning the key to the OFF position. This will allow the cylinder retaining pin to extend into the cylinder cast housing hole.

  8. The remainder of installation is the reverse of removal.


Non-Functioning Cylinder or No Key Available


  1. Disconnect the battery ground.

  2. Remove the steering wheel.

  3. Remove the turn signal lever.

  4. Remove the column trim shrouds.

  5. Unbolt the steering column and lower it carefully.

  6. Remove the ignition switch and warning buzzer and pin the switch in the LOCK position.

  7. Remove the turn signal switch.

  8. Remove the snapring and T-bolt nuts that retain the flange casting to the column outer tube.

  9. Remove the flange casting, upper shaft bearing, lock cylinder, ignition switch actuator and the actuator rod by pulling the entire assembly over the end of the steering column shaft.

  10. Remove the lock actuator insert, the T-bolts and the automatic transmission indicator insert, or, with manual transmissions, the key release lever.

  11. Upon reassembly, the following parts must be replaced with new parts:

    • Flange

    • Lock cylinder assembly

    • Steering column lock gear

    • Steering column lock bearing

    • Steering column upper bearing retainer

    • Lock actuator assembly

  1. Assembly is a reversal of the disassembly procedure. It is best to install a new upper bearing. Check that the truck starts only in PARK and NEUTRAL.


See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 1: Drilling out the lock retaining pin


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 2: Breaking the cap away from the lock cylinder


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 3: Non-tilting column mechanism


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 4: Lock retaining pin access slot on non-tilt column


Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 5: Tilt column mechanism


  1. Disconnect the battery ground.

  2. Remove the steering column shrouds.

  3. Using masking tape, tape the gap between the steering wheel hub and the cover casting. Cover the entire circumference of the casting. Cover the seat and floor area with a drop-cloth.

  4. Pull out the hazard switch and tape it in a downward position.

  5. The lock cylinder retaining pin is located on the outside of the steering column cover casting adjacent to the hazard flasher button.

  6. Tilt the steering column to the full up position and pre-punch the lock cylinder retaining pin with a sharp punch.

  7. Using a 1/8in. (3mm) drill bit, mounted in a right angle drive drill adapter, drill out the retaining pin, going no deeper than 1/2 in. (13mm).

  8. Tilt the column to the full down position. Place a chisel at the base of the ignition lock cylinder cap and using a hammer break away the cap from the lock cylinder.

  9. Using a 3/8in. (10mm) drill bit, drill down the center of the ignition lock cylinder key slot about 13/4 in. (44mm), until the lock cylinder breaks loose from the steering column cover casting.

  10. Remove the lock cylinder and the drill shavings.

  11. Remove the steering wheel.

  12. Remove the turn signal lever.

  13. Remove the turn signal switch attaching screws.

  14. Remove the key buzzer attaching screw.

  15. Remove the turn signal switch up and over the end of the column, but don't disconnect the wiring.

  16. Remove the 4 attaching screws from the cover casting and lift the casting over the end of the steering shaft, allowing the turn signal switch to pass through the casting. The removal of the casting cover will expose the upper actuator. Remove the upper actuator.

  17. Remove the drive gear, snapring and washer from the cover casting along with the upper actuator.

  18. Clean all components and replace any that appear damaged or worn.

  19. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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