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How to Change the Ignition Switch on a 1985 Ford Ranger

by Dan Ferrell

The ignition switch on your 1985 Ford Ranger comes equipped with special brake-off head screws impossible to remove with a regular screwdriver or similar tool. You can remove the screws at home, however, by using a special tool that's readily available at most auto parts stores. Before you begin the job, though, make sure your replacement switch comes equipped with these screws.

Remove the Ignition Switch

Detach the ground (black) battery cable using a wrench.

Make sure the ignition lock cylinder is in the Lock position and remove the key.

Remove the upper extension shroud from the steering column, if your Ranger model comes equipped with a tilt column. Squeeze the upper and lower part of the extension shroud by hand to allow the shroud pop free from the retaining plate on the right side of the shroud.

Remove the 2 trim shroud halves from the steering column. Unscrew the two mounting bolts using a Phillips screwdriver.

Unplug the ignition switch electrical connector.

Remove the two switch mounting bolts. Use an electric drill with a 1/8-inch (3mm) drill bit to drill a hole on the center of the brake-off head screws. Then use an Ex-3 Easy-out tool to unscrew the two mounting bolts.

Disengage the ignition switch from the actuating pin by hand and remove the switch from the steering column.

Install the New Ignition Switch

Engage the new ignition switch on the lock-cylinder actuating pin on the steering column. Note that the new switch comes already set in the Run position and it should remain in that position when you install the new mounting bolts.

Align the switch mounting holes with the two mounting holes on the mounting base of the lock cylinder housing.

Start the two new switch mounting bolts bay hand. Then use a Phillips or standard screwdriver to tighten the two mounting bolts until the heads shear off says Alan Ahlstrand in "Ford Ranger & Bronco II: Automotive Repair Manual."

Plug the ignition switch electrical connector.

Install the 2 trim shroud halves on the steering column using the Phillips screwdriver.

Install the upper extension shroud by hand, if your Ranger comes equipped with a tilt column.

Attach the ground (black) battery cable using the wrench.

Test the ignition switch for proper operation.

Items you will need


About the Author

Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.

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