Ignition switch and Lock cylinder question


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Dec 10, 2017
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My Car
1973 Mach 1 "Q Code"
I changed out both of these recently because of a "while I am at it" syndrome that I always go through and the fact that the ignition lock cylinder would not go counter-clockwise to the accessory position. Quick question, I have performed a search here and found the procedures for correctly installing the ignition switch on the lower column and installing the a new lock cylinder. The new lock cylinder now goes into the counter clockwise accessory position, lock, forward accessory, and run position as it should. The key only removes in the lock position. My question is: When I go to crank the car, if I barely turn the key position to start position and release it, it will spring back to the run position as it should but if I turn the key a little further, it doesn't spring back like it should.  I have sprayed some WD-40 and it feels a little better, is this just a "it needs to be worked" more thing or is a different type of lube recommended or further adjustment required? The ignition lock cylinder came from a local O'Reilly's Auto Parts store.  Thanks for any and all advice.


Did you lubricate the gears when you had the lock cylinder out? is the lock rod hanging up on anything on the column, like wiring?

It's possible your lock cylinder has some debris or a rough spot in it.

Thanks for the reply Don, no, I didn't think to lube the cylinder when it was out. I am pretty sure that the wiring is not close to the rod and it is not hanging up, it looks like it moves freely but I will take another look at it to make sure it is not hanging up anywhere. More to follow when I look at it tomorrow night. Thanks.


Pulled the lock cylinder out and sprayed some more WD-40 on it and the gear and rod and it does spring back a little better. I think working it a little more will definitely help. 


Pulled the column to repair a missing ignition cylinder assembly. Last time the car was started (20 years ago), it was with a screwdriver to turn the gear inside the column.
It was so stiff it wouldn't move. I removed the retaining lock clip and washer to get the gear out and clean it up.
I turned the column upside down and sprayed with WD40 to clean it then saturated it with grease. Here is a video of the pin that moves back and forth that was dragging. Make sure you use dielectric grease on the copper contacts. IMG 1772

The ignition switch was also stiff and needed to be lubed up with electrical contact cleaner. IMG 1769


  • IMG_1772.mov
    34.9 MB
  • IMG_1769.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 1

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