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1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked


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jas31l
Novice

Mar 22, 2017, 11:55 AM

Post #1 of 11 (177 views)
1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

I have a 1988 Ford Econoline Van. It has over 200,000 miles. When starting it, first I turn the key which turns on the radio, and enables the lights to work if I turn them on. Then I crank it a little further to start the van. However, while it does do the first part - I can turn the key smoothly in order to power the radio, it will not crank any further and appears locked from going further.

Video of me showing the problem is at:

https://youtu.be/c7_XxcCYt0k

I have tried all the normal stuff - moving the wheel around; making sure it's in park.. took it out of park and back in park... pressed the brake.. even tried to jump the battery.. nothing works; it won't turn any further than enough to power the radio and lights.

The problem occurred this morning... first it WAS turning all the way but didn't start which sometimes happens.. and I have to try again or maybe a couple times before the engine is triggered... but after I tried maybe 3 or 4 times, it made a sound in the ignition area and then was locked as I've described and I can't get it unlocked..


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Mar 22, 2017, 12:19 PM

Post #2 of 11 (164 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Have you gone under the dash and inspected the ignition switch mounted on the column? There is a rod that moves the internal part of the switch. You can also remove the switch and then use a pocket screwdriver to move the switch manually to see if it will start. There is a rod that runs along the column tube. Make sure it travels fully when you turn the ignition lock cylinder.





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Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 22, 2017, 12:26 PM

Post #3 of 11 (158 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Video helped as I wasn't sure quite what you meant. First try it appears key cylinder did turn fully then went all stuck. I also see the probably horn button added on that column so suggests it's pretty worn in general. Time to take the steering wheel off and take a look at things. Takes a tool maybe rentable at some parts stores or not all that costly. Suspect ignition has just worn AND other issues in there to be seen after start wheel that locks wheel and wheel removed may show exactly.


Know this - people get this misunderstood. Key is for the lock cylinder and electrically is down lower by rod(s) to the ignition switch. Things just wear so expect some of each to be worn/bent or who knows till you are there?


Parts? Oh my? Might be stuck for used and have them tell you which years of what will have same parts. Ignition cylinder for the key is available no doubt just wont be the same as the doors anymore.


Just FYI - if you just want radio turn the key backwards to acc. position not to "run" position if you are doing that - don't for just radio or other acc. things,


T



jas31l
Novice

Mar 22, 2017, 12:31 PM

Post #4 of 11 (153 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Just tried to see what you're referring to and I am clueless... I looked under the dash and took off a panel but I don't see a rod or switch or anything... is there any photos of what I'm looking for?


jas31l
Novice

Mar 22, 2017, 12:37 PM

Post #5 of 11 (151 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Okay - thanks for all the info! I will work on getting the wheel off to get a better look at what's going on.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 22, 2017, 1:07 PM

Post #6 of 11 (144 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Don't take the steering wheel off. That isn't going to help you at all. The electrical part of the switch is mounted on the top of the column under the dash. The rod runs right against the top of the column.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jas31l
Novice

Mar 22, 2017, 1:48 PM

Post #7 of 11 (136 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

Haven't taken it off yet..


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 22, 2017, 2:39 PM

Post #8 of 11 (124 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

? First you turned the key fully then it wouldn't turn at all like a wrong key? That makes me think the cylinder is at least suspect of worn plus possibly more all at once.
Fun trivia on double cut keys - it's only using one side not both just cut the same on both sides. It's lots easier if needed to replace the lock cylinder if you can still turn it with a key even if just barely working then easy AFTER wheel if off.


All this stuff that locks wheel then releases it by turning key in cylinder can be held up by a stuck nub for the "star" wheel. Can't know that very well without a look.


These would be nice to lube periodically but you really can't and most aren't an issue like this except for many recut keys and lots of use over time and it has both.


The horn - isn't that a horn button someone added? It's worn in there and time to look around. Parts unknown but this looks like the generation BEFORE a 1988 car by Ford and may be in for a hunt if really worn inside. Some you can get to without removing wheel and some stuff you really can't.


You said you thought you heard it click like ignition switch was trying to send power to starter back a few and it probably was just not enough. I can't know but it smacks of just plain worn "stuff" - hardware of it.


BTW - If you do need a new lock cylinder you can ask to have a new key cut with one side for doors and the other for ignition lock cylinder so you don't have to have 2 keys just mark which way it up for which,


Tom



jas31l
Novice

Mar 22, 2017, 2:53 PM

Post #9 of 11 (120 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

I just bought it a couple weeks ago and was told 1988.. that's what the paperwork shows. Anyway, I will have it looked at tomorrow and use all the advice so far to help us in getting it on the road... at least to take it somewhere where it can be fixed up. I tried a few things but haven't gotten it fixed yet.. but the key seems to go in fine and turns as if it's the right key.. I can get power to the radio but once I want to make that final twist to start the engine, it feels locked up.


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 22, 2017, 3:16 PM

Post #10 of 11 (118 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

OK - Just got it and understand. Said video was helpful. Showed it both work once or turn fully then lock up like it was the wrong key totally? So it's open to more than one issue going on.


Just FYI to me the steering wheel itself is a ton like those of the 1970s era full size Ford vehicles not so uncommon for trucks to do that just worries me about parts that are dinky clips for rods might be tricky to find.
You could trigger this starter from the solenoid under hood if key is in fact in the "run" position it should run. We don't know that yet.


It's "locks up the key" is issue 1 to tend to unknown except it's older and could just be worn and surprised that just all fussing and jiggling doesn't find a spot to work.


When it did move what looked like all the way and didn't start suggests the ignition switch down above your feet and up either isn't good or rods don't push it far enough.


Can't know this stuff without inspection of all of it.


I'm better at many Ford products than most others this no exception but by chance had more problems with same era of GM vehicles - just chance??


Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 22, 2017, 3:58 PM

Post #11 of 11 (110 views)
Re: 1988 Ford Econoline Van Ignition Won't Turn - Seems Locked Sign In

You can see the switch and the rod sitting on top of the column, near the base.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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