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Motorboatin' SOB, Headlight Cleaning Guru
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is this possible? if so, im listening.
 

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I removed mine without having the key in. Just pushed the release switch/button on the bottom of the cylinder.
 

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I removed mine without having the key in. Just pushed the release switch/button on the bottom of the cylinder.
I don't see how that is possible until your tumbler chamber was REALLY worn or the pin was drilled off previously. Ford tumbler units are designed so that it is NOT possible to push that pin in without the key turned to the ON position. I've drilled out several at work, if there is an easier way, please tell me too! lol

Because the pin is hardened steel (and I don't want to damage the steering column drilling it off), a lot of times I just use a 1/4 inch bit and drill out the tumblers themselves until I can turn it to the ON position, push the release pin and remove the tumbler assembly.

I might have one at the shop, if so I will take and post pictures to show you how it's designed NOT to be removed without the key.
 

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wouldn't that make it extremely easy to steal these cars?? I could walk around with a cylinder in my pocket, pop one out and drop mine in, and drive off with someone elses car.

the service manual says you need to turn the ignition to the on position to remove it..... and I had to do so to remove mine.....odd. maybe yours was broken?
 

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I can pull my key out when the ignition is turned on. Can you? Maybe it's related. I'll see if I can get my ignition cylinder without the key in.
 

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I can pull my key out when the ignition is turned on. Can you? Maybe it's related. I'll see if I can get my ignition cylinder without the key in.
As long as you can turn the cylinder to the RUN position, you can push the pin in. If you look at a tumbler assembly out of the keyswitch, you can see where the pin is it's cam-shaped. It's high in the LOCK position and low (let's you push the pin in) in the RUN position.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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If you can remove the key with the ignition cylinder in any position other than LOCK, I'd suspect it to be damaged internally.
 

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If you can remove the key with the ignition cylinder in any position other than LOCK, I'd suspect it to be damaged internally.
Well worn. I've had a few vehicles like that, my 1970 Chevelle for one that got stolen. It was so worn, you could wiggle ANY key in it enough and it would turn over. Tough lesson to learn - I should have changed that keylock a long time ago. :zdunno:
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Poor choice of words on my part, perhaps. I recall an old Hyundai hatchback my parents used to have that you could pull the key out of while driving.
 

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yes I can pull the key out of the cylinder after it's turned, but I didn't when I pulled the cylinder.

I'd like to know how to fix that problem..... but I think I need to have my entire car rekeyed anyway.
 

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Raoul Duke
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Remember that the key lock cylinder and the ignition switch are two separate devices.

I had three Fox Cougars (86, 88, 86) before my '96, and all three of them had worn key lock cylinders. You could remove the key with the engine running in all three cars.
I found it convenient, actually.

With that said, the key lock cylinder must be in the 'RUN' position in order to be removed from the column.
 

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My service manual has a step by step for this exact situation...I will read it to see the specifics, but it's something like basically get some pliers or vice grips, and force it toward the start/run position and basically you break it out and have to clean up the inside of the column where it locks into place...I will look tomorrow...it doesn't sound pretty from what I have read.
 

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From my manual, for a 97 cougar.
Lock Cylinder Non-Functional

The following procedure applies to vehicles in which the ignition switch lock cylinder is inoperative and the ignition switch lock cylinder cannot be rotated due to a lost or broken lock cylinder key, unknown key number, or an ignition switch cap that has been damaged or broken to the extent the key cannot be rotated.

Removal

Disconnect battery ground cable. Refer to Section 14-01 .

Remove steering wheel (3600).

Working through the access hole in the lower steering column shroud, use a small pilot punch to center punch the retaining pin and then drill out with a 1/8 inch diameter drill.

Using channel lock pliers or vise grip pliers, twist ignition switch cap or bezel until it separates from ignition switch lock cylinder.

Using a 3/8-inch diameter drill, drill down middle of key slot approximately 44 mm (1.75 inch) until ignition switch lock cylinder breaks loose from breakaway base of ignition switch lock cylinder. Remove lock cylinder and drill shavings from steering column lock cylinder housing.

Remove bearing retainer (3C610), steering column lock housing bearing (3E700), ignition switch lock cylinder and steering column lock gear (3E717). Thoroughly clean all drill shavings and other foreign materials from casting.

Carefully inspect steering column lock cylinder housing for damage from the above operation. If damage is apparent, steering column lock cylinder housing must be replaced.

Installation

Replace steering column lock cylinder housing, if damaged.

Install steering column lock housing bearing and bearing retainer as described.

Install trim and electrical parts.

Install new ignition switch lock cylinder as described.

Install steering wheel as described.

Connect battery ground cable.

Check ignition switch lock cylinder operation.
 

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Motorboatin' SOB, Headlight Cleaning Guru
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Because the pin is hardened steel (and I don't want to damage the steering column drilling it off), a lot of times I just use a 1/4 inch bit and drill out the tumblers themselves until I can turn it to the ON position, push the release pin and remove the tumbler assembly.
how do you drill out the tumblers? i started to drill the pin out, and its taking forever. i got the column halves removed, and twisted off the ignition cap.
 

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how do you drill out the tumblers? i started to drill the pin out, and its taking forever. i got the column halves removed, and twisted off the ignition cap.
I've tried to drill that stupid little pin out, too. It doesn't work very well and I think that's because of one or two (or both) reasons: the pin is hardened steel and the pin just rotates with the drill bit (most likely). I told you the easiest way, it goes faster than you'd think. Use a 3/8" bit, drill right into the keyhole until you've drilled enough of the tumblers away so you can turn the key to "RUN" position, then push that pin in, pull out the tumbler assembly. Slide the new tumbler assembly in and you're done!
 

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Motorboatin' SOB, Headlight Cleaning Guru
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
well i dont have a key, as said. i did buy a new cylinder with keys. will using one of those keys do the trick?
 

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well i dont have a key, as said. i did buy a new cylinder with keys. will using one of those keys do the trick?
:zdunno: Doubt it, but stranger things have happened!
 
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