starting troubles

89 XLT

New member
Feb 23, 2010
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redding ca
89 xlt 5.0

i bought it and the next day it wouldn't start turn the key theres power to the dash but no crank. called the guy i bought it from he sent out his mechanic who installed a bypass with a push button to a wire connecting into the ignition switch over the collom. so now i turn the key to unlock the steering wheel and engage all the power then i push this button to turn over the engine.

now i had another issue with the fuel pump sticking on and i replaced the ignition switch and fixed it, but while i have everything apart i wanted to remove this bypass and go back to just the key. i thought by fixing the ignition switch it would also fix the starting issue.

it didn't but i also havent bolted up the collom and all that either. my question is,

how do i fix the starting issue? do i need to just put every thing back, remove the bypass, or do i need a whole new tumbler, maybe i need to adjust the ignition switch and the rod from the tumbler. i'm unsure.

any help would be great. thanks chris



Active member
Dec 26, 2007
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New Jersey
I am a little lost, but it seems to me that you may have a broken wire between the starter relay that is mounted on the fender, and the ignition switch. Replace that, and you should be good.

OTOH... I may really be lost

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Jul 15, 2009
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Trenton NJ
OTOH... I may really be lost :( /emoticons/[email protected] 2x" width="20" height="20" />
Yeah, I'm a lil confused myself as to why a "mechanic" would install a button. I'm wonderin if he by passed the switch, the solenoid, or the neutral safety, or all of it. But I'm sure with enough coaxing, we'll be able to get it squared away.



96 Bronco 5.0
Staff member
Oct 18, 2005
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Floating in the Pacific
That "mech" prob didn't want to fool w/ da Actuator Rod)

Is this a TILT Column?

There are many discussions on diagnosing the rod and R&R ing it here in da zone

Removal & Installation in 87-91 (figure 1) (also applies to 80-91 w/Tilt; Non-Tilt do not have the Actuator Rod) Source: by Broncobill78 (Dave) at Bronco Zone Forums

a tip by JK;

Overview; "...The ignition rod is attached the upper ignition actuator by a 3/32 x 38 roll pin ($0.12 each) and the rod needs to be straight so it travels enough to trigger the igniton switch but it's a chore to take it off as you need to remove the steering wheel and tear it down to the (Tilt or Non-Tilt) knuckle, usually down when you replace a broken upper ignition actuator. The ignition switch located on the lower part of the steering column has slots so it can be adjusted by loosening the 2 -7/16 nuts and move it up or down but a lot depends on what's wrong up top with some of the other parts, ie: ignition rod, key cylinder, lower igniton actuator and upper igniton actuator. These parts are timed so when you turn the key to RUN they all need to move forward/downward so the rod triggers the igniton switch to START the BKO..."

"...Find the ignition rod (on top of the column, running from the steering wheel down to the ignition switch at the base of the column) and make sure it's moving back and forth when you turn the key, through all positions. If it is, your upper actuator is probably not the problem. Lastly, check your ignition switch (again, at the base of the column). Manually push the switch back and forth through the different positions. Push it all the way forward (or down) and see if it will engage the starter. If it does, then your ignition rod is probably bent, which can be remedied quite easily. & If it's an auto, try starting in neutral or while pulling up on the lever while it's in park. If that works, look to a park/neutral safety switch. If it's a stick, check the clutch switch. You could try jumping from hot to the small terminal on the solenoid to test it's operation. Sometimes new ones are bad out of the box.,,:

Removal & Installation in 87-91 (figure 1) (also applies to 80-91 w/Tilt; Non-Tilt do not have the Actuator Rod) Source: by Broncobill78 (Dave) at Bronco Zone Forums

Parts-Break-Out Diagram in 80-91 Tilt Source: by Steve83 (Steve, That dirty old truck) at

More repair & TS LINKs in my SITE @


Ford Motor Company has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in all 1988-90 Model ******; 1988 Model EXP; 1988-93 Model Mustang built through September 30, 1992; 1988-93 Model Tempo and Topaz built through September 30, 1992; 1988-93 Model Thunderbird and Cougar built through September 30, 1992; 1988-89 Model Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis; 1988-89 Model Lincoln Town Car; 1988-91 Model Aerostar; and 1988-91 Model Bronco and F-Series trucks.

Safety Defect

On a small number of the affected vehicles, a short circuit could develop in the ignition switch that could lead to overheating, smoke, and possibly fire in the steering column area of your vehicle. The condition may occur while the vehicle is in use or unattended.


At no charge to you, your Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealer will replace the ignition switch with a revised design switch. Dealers currently have instructions and parts ordering information.

The dealer will also check the wiring in the upper steering column area and will inspect for the installation of any aftermarket electrical accessories. If an improper installation is noted that is not part of this recall, you will be advised to have it corrected.

How Long Will It Take?

The time needed for this service is less than one hour. However, due to service scheduling times, your dealer may need your vehicle for a longer period.

Call your dealer without delay. Ask for a service date and whether parts are in stock for Safety Recall 95S28. If your dealer does not have the parts in stock, they can be ordered before scheduling your service date. Parts would be expected to arrive within a week.

When you bring your vehicle in, show the dealer this letter.

If you misplace this letter, your dealer will still do the work, free of charge.


If you paid to have this service done before the date of this letter, Ford is offering a full refund. For the refund, please give your paid original receipt to your Ford or Lincoln-Mercury dealer. To avoid delays, please do not send receipts to Ford Motor Company.

If the dealer doesn't make the repair promptly and without charge, you may contact the Ford Customer Assistance Center, 300 Renaissance Center, P.O. Box 43360, Detroit, Michigan 48243 or you may contact the Customer Ignition Switch Information Hotline toll free at 1-800-323-8400. This number will be active for a limited time. You also may send a complaint to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590 or call the toll free Auto Safety Hotline 1-800-424-9393 (Washington, D.C. area residents may call 366-0123).

Parts Usage & Dealer Cost

F29Z-11572-D (Motorcraft SW-2472) Ignition Switch $2.92 [This switch is used on approximately 70% of affected vehicles]

88-90 ******, 88 EXP, 88-93(a) Mustang, 88-93( B) T-Bird/Cougar, 88-89 Crown Vic./Grand Marq., 88-89 Town Car, 88-91 Aerostar, 88-93© Tempo/Topaz

F2TZ-11572-E (Motorcraft SW-2472) Ignition Switch $3.61 [This switch is used on approximately 30% of affected vehicles]

88-91 Bronco/F-Series(d)

(a) - Built through September 30, 1992

( B) - Built through September 30, 1992

© - Built through September 30, 1992

(d) - Excluding F53 and F59 models

Parts Purge

All of the ignition switches listed below are to be withdrawn from your inventory and immediately returned, freight prepaid using the least expensive transportation, to your facing PDC within 30 days:

E4UZ-11572-A (SW 1916)

E4TZ-11572-A (SW 1562A)

E6FZ-11572-A (SW 1744B)

E7TZ-11572-A (SW 2101)

F0LY-11572-A (SW 2219)

F2TZ-11572-A (SW 2300)

Safety Recall 95S28

Ignition Switch Replacement

1. Connect Rotunda Memory Saver 014-R1064 or equivalent.

2. Disconnect battery negative cable.

NOTE: Access to the ignition switch varies depending on the vehicle line. In all cases the switch is mounted on the steering column and certain items will need to be removed to gain access. Examine the components around the ignition switch to determine what may need to be removed or positioned out of the way. Refer to the appropriate service repair manual for removal and installation procedures. Once access is gained, proceed as follows.

NOTE: The new ignition switch is shipped in the LOCK position. Keep the ignition lock cylinder (ignition key) in the lock position during this procedure.

3. Disconnect electrical connector from the ignition switch.

4. Remove ignition switch retaining screws.

5. Disengage switch from the actuator pin and remove switch from vehicle.

6. Remove the positioning clip from the new ignition switch if so equipped, and install the switch onto the actuator pin. Align the switch mounting holes with the column lock housing threaded holes.

7. If supplied, install new retaining screws. If re-installing original screws, apply Ford Threadlock and Sealer E0AZ-19554-AA (CXC-70) or equivalent to the threads. Tighten to 6-8 N-m (53-70 in-lb).

8. Connect electrical connector to the ignition switch. Ensure that the connections are tight and fully seated.

9. Connect battery negative cable and remove Rotunda Memory Saver.

10. Check ignition switch for proper function, including START and ACC positions.

11. Check the wiring in the area of the upper steering column. If abrasion or exposure of bare wires is found, repair as necessary. If aftermarket accessory wiring is improperly connected, advise the vehicle owner. Advise also that repairs of such faults are at customer expense.

12. Install any components previously removed for access ensuring that no wires are pinched and the components are properly seated. Refer to appropriate service repair manual as required.

Dealers Questions and Answers

Q1. Is this a voluntary safety recall?

A. Yes. We have been working in cooperation with Transport Canada and NHTSA to investigate reported concerns with the subject switch.

Q2. How many vehicles are involved?

A. 8.5 million vehicles in the Unites States and Canada. The total when you add the previous Canadian recalled vehicles is 8.7 million vehicles.

Q3. What vehicles are involved?

A. 1988-1990 ******

1988 EXP

1988-1992 and early build 1993 Mustang

1988-1992 and early build 1993 Tempo/Topaz

1988-1992 and early build 1993 Thunderbird/Cougar

1988-1989 Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis

1988-1989 Lincoln Town Car

1988-1991 Aerostar

1988-1991 Bronco/F-Series Light Trucks

Q4. Why are vehicles NOT included in this recall?

A1. Many Ford and Lincoln-Mercury cars and trucks built between 1984 and 1993 are excluded from this action for the following three reasons:

1) Some were built prior to a supplier manufacturing process change;

2) Some vehicles have low electrical load through the switch; or

3) Other vehicles are equipped with ignition switches that are of a completely different design.

Q5. What do you mean by "electrical load?"

A. Electrical load is the amount of current that passes through the switch when the vehicle is started. Electrical load is impacted by standard and optional equipment, electrical circuitry, as well as cold weather operation.

Q6. What about vehicles built before 1988?

A. We believe that a manufacturing process change made by our switch supplier caused a change in internal switch dimensions. We have determined that as a result, a small number of switches are more susceptible to the potential for internal short circuits. Certain models with low electrical loads are not affected by the change. Vehicles produced prior to the 1988 model year are not included in the recall, because they are not equipped with ignition switches that are subject to this dimensional change. Ford has based this conclusion on an in-depth engineering analysis, and data supplied to us by our supplier.


Q7. What about people who have had a vehicle fire, their vehicle would be included in the recall population, but they no longer own the vehicle? Will they be compensated?

A. Fires happen in vehicles for a number of reasons. For example, a fire could be the result of an improper vehicle modification (aftermarket accessories), arson, prior accident damage, or a faulty repair. Generally, vehicle losses are covered by insurance.

Q8. What about people who had a vehicle fire, still own the car, but it isn't being recalled?

A. Fires happen in vehicles for a number of reasons. For example, a fire could be the result of an improper vehicle modification (aftermarket accessories), arson, prior accident damage, or a faulty repair. Generally, vehicle losses are covered by insurance.

Q9. What about people who have/had property damage -- how will they be compensated?

A. Fires happen in vehicles for a number of reasons. For example, a fire could be the result of an improper vehicle modification (aftermarket accessories), arson, prior accident damage, or a faulty repair. Generally, vehicle losses are covered by insurance.


Q10. When did you notify dealers? When will customers be notified? What can they do in the meantime?

A. Dealers have been notified via Combat on 4/25/96 and will receive a Recall Bulletin on 4/26/96 via FedEx. Customers will be notified through the mail. Should an owner wish to have the switch replaced in advance of being notified by mail, dealers have been provided instructions and can replace the switch at no cost.

pic in 89-91 Source: by




Mar 16, 2008
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The actuator rod on tilt columns is a culprit. The actual key turns a rod via a rack. the rod goes over the pin sticking out of the rod pictured above. That part wraps up over the column where yet another rod goes into it that travels down the top of the column to a remote mounted switch block. This block is was actually makes contacts. The Aluminum piece above breaks and you no longer can push that rod. The longer straight section going to the top right of that picture is there only for the ignition lock(that little lever under the column you need to use to get your key back:)).

At one point in time I had a push button rigged on my bronco but it was because my brother lost the key. I had to pull the steering wheel and block off the steering lock in that case.

The fact that you had power to the dash makes me think the rod isnt broken. When it breaks you would probably be able to turn power to the dash on BUT you probably couldnt turn it back off. If you pull off some of the dash pieces, remove the nuts holding the steering column up you can see this block. Its held in place by two nuts that are on the drivers side and i think they are 1/2" socket/wrench. maybe 7/16. If your lucky, that block may just be loose and you are not able to get to the "start" portion BUT a mechanic would have easily seen that since he had to tap into it to make that push button work( which is dangerous because a lot of current is going through there).

If it ends up being the rod you need to pull the steering wheel and column parts all the way past the pivot for the tilt column(kind of a pain but not hard if you take your time). That tilt spring is stout so be careful. To remove the pivot pins you can use 10-32 screws, and grab their heads with some vice grips. Keeping in mind the tilt spring will be preloading them and the column should be in the UP position. There will be a circlip holding the outer bearing down, you will need some torx bits and a ***** driver. steering wheel puller and so on. Before you get too far into, just by removing the fuse panel cover i think you will be able to reach your hand around to the top of the column and turn the key and be able to feel if the rod is moving or not.


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