Ford Truck ignition won't stay in on position


Asked by Apr 17, 2015 at 10:36 PM about the 1986 Ford F-250 XL Standard Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an 86 Ford and it purrs like a kitten when running. I have an issue with the ignition switch and can't figure out the problem. When I start it and kick it into gear it dies, if I hold the ignition in the on position it will stay running and as long as I am holding it forward it runs perfectly. The second I let go of the ignition it shuts off. I know it needs an adjustment somewhere I just don't know where to begin. I already switched out the ignition switch and it was better for about a week and then went back to crap. I have also greased it up good. Any help would be appreciated.

7 Answers


I am asumming when you say switch,you mean key switch,did you replace the igntion control switch?Or may can adjust it ,but if it is acting like this,it may need replacing.Here is a picture of it.

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It is the control module ,it has rod running to it from switch.

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I found the rod and there is a bit too much play in it, if I could keep it forward just a bit it would stay running like a champ. Is there an adjustment on that control module and do I need to take out the dash to adjust. I appreciate your help... thanks

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Did you ever figure this out? i have a 85 f250 and i am having the exact same problem. I dont have the tilt wheel and cant find the actuator everyone is talking about that wears out. I think that is for the tilt wheel only.


Guru98BJ6. The switch lies on top of your steering column regardless of tilt steering or not. If you take your cover off to expose the column, it’s held up by a bracket with four bolts. Take the bracket off and the column will drop enough to expose and get to the switch. It sometimes unplugs or the connector gets brittle, in any case it’s not that expensive to get a new one. I replaced mine, the trick is when you install it, it actually adjusts the ignition timing by the actual placement on the column. Meaning you adjust the rod positing when you turn the key by actually sliding the switch up or down on the column before you tighten it down.


The actuator is another story, in order to change that out, you’re talking removing the steering wheel and everything that comes with it. Doable with little car experience, I did mine, it’s just a pain in the ass.


This is how it starts.

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