Removal & Replacement of the Ignition Switch on a 95 Ford Explorerby Don Bowman
The 1995 Ford Explorer has its ignition switch mounted to the lower top section of the steering column directly below the dash cover. The switch is cycled through its various positions by a rod under the switch that extends up to the ignition key tumbler. As the key is rotated it moves the rod up and down the column changing the positions on the ignition switch.
Open the hood and disconnect the negative battery terminal first followed by the positive terminal. Allow one minute for the circuits to go to sleep before proceeding. This also disarms the air bag system. Remove the dash panel filler below the steering column using a socket and ratchet.
Remove the nuts on the break-away studs in the steering column support bracket using a socket and ratchet. Lower the steering column so the steering wheel rests on the seat. Unplug the ignition switch electrical connector.
Remove the two steering column nuts securing the ignition switch to the column using a socket and ratchet. Lift the ignition switch off the steering column.
Check the new ignition switch to see if it has a pin through the top that holds the switch in the off position for installation. If it does not, the switch must be set. Holding the switch in the position in which it will be installed, insert the small screwdriver in the hole underneath the switch. This is the hole for the control rod on the column. With the screwdriver, pull the switch forward until it stops. Now, move it back one click.
Insert the piece of coat hanger wire through the hole in the top and if the wire passes through the switch exiting through the rod hole it is in the off position. If not, use the screwdriver to move the switch until the two holes are aligned. Remove the wire.
Install the ignition switch over the rod on the column making sure that the rod enters the hole in the bottom of the switch. Install the two nuts on the steering column studs and torque them to 40 to 64 inch-pounds.
Plug the harness connector into the switch. Lift the steering column up and install the nuts on the break-away studs. Torque the nuts to 19 to 27 foot-pounds. Install the lower steering column filler panel. Connect the positive battery terminal first followed by the negative terminal.
Turn the ignition key on and watch the SRS air bag light. If the air bag system is working properly the light will go out within a few seconds. Due to the loss of memory in the computer, the car will need to be driven for 10 miles for it to relearn its strategy. From this point on it will drive normally again.