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Ignition Switch/lock replacement...

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Zack1978, November 24, 2011.

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    1. Zack1978

      Zack1978 New Member

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      Hi everyone,
      I have a 1999 Explorer, and the ignition switch is worn out and broken. The switch is so worn that you can simply pull the key out while the truck is running. Also it is now not returning to the lock position, without force.
      How hard is it to replace the ignition switch? What are the steps to doing this job?
      What difficulties will I run into since my key has a chip in it, and the truck will not start without the chip key. I was on Rockauto and they have a Motorcraft part for $55.00 with keys (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php). Will that part work on my truck? Will I need to have it towed to a dealer for the keys to be reprogrammed? Any ideas?

      Thanks,
      Zack
       
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    3. Zack1978

      Zack1978 New Member

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      Bump....Anyone?
       
    4. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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    5. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      The replacement is actually very easy, doubt it takes 2 minutes. Look at the bottom of the steering column - you'll see a hole with no screw in it on the passenger side. Place a screwdriver or punch about 3 inches into the hole until it rests on the spring loaded plunger. Turn the key to acc on, push the button up with the screwdriver (1/4" push), then the entire assembly will slide out. New ignition slides in the same way with the key in the ignition turned to acc on. If you already have 2 keys for your truck, you can easily program the new keys. If you only have 1 key, then the dealer or a locksmith with the correct computer will be needed to program the keys.
       
    6. Zack1978

      Zack1978 New Member

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      Thanks! I do have two keys for the truck, how do I use them to program it? Also with the new ign switch, it comes with new keys. I assume that I must use the new keys, but do the new keys usually have the chip?


      Thanks,
      Zack
       
    7. RomeovilleIL

      RomeovilleIL Well-Known Member

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      The new ignition cylinder will come with 2 PATS keys. If you have 2 working ignition keys right now then programming the new ones won't be too challenging. First you need to have all the door closed and locked. Then using one of the working keys, turn the truck to run (don't start). Let it sit until the theft light turns off, maybe 30 seconds or so. Then turn back to off, switch to the second working key and repeat turning to run and waiting for theft light to turn off. You are now in programming mode. Pull the ignition cylinder out, swap in the new one with key and turn from lock to run. When theft light turns off the key is recognized. Turn back to lock and swap in second new key. Repeat turning to run and again wait for system to recognize the key. Start truck to end programming mode and verify keys work. Done in about 4-5 minutes.

      If you have trouble trying to swap out the cylinders quickly enough for whatever reason, you can go route 2 which needs a little more prep, maybe 10 minutes: Take off the plastic column shroud by removing the 3 phillips screws from the bottom, unscrewing the tilt lever (its actually a steel bolt with knurled handle), and popping the top/bottom apart. Swap the cylinders as noted before leaving 1 new key in place. Now look at the lock cylinder. You will see there is a green or blue plastic "c"-shaped sensor with a wire running to it sitting on the cylinder. This the PATS key reader. You can pull it off the cylinder and hold it against the keys as you go through the off/on sequence. Start with sensor against the old working keys one at a time, then the new loose key and end by puting the sensor back in place and turning with the new key you have in the ignition. Once finished, snap the column covers back on, replace screws and tilt lever.
       

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