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Steering Column Repair/small piece unable to remove


Piece in question
Piece in question  
QUESTION: I am trying to replace a ignition lock cylinder on a 96 Ford F350 with out a airbag. After a attempted theft I was able to remove the damaged cylinder. They attempted to pull it with a dent puller which the screw broke. The small pin on the end of the lock  cylinder broke off in the column. It is pot metal. I know it has to be in the ON position to come out but I cant figure a way to retrieve it out.

Igniton actuator tip from steering column
Igniton actuator tip f  
ANSWER: Hi Jason

Sorry about your truck.
The easiest way to remove that piece is to grab what little bit you can with a needle nose vise grip pliers and turn it, just like it was the key, to the "On" position.  If you cannot do that, the you need to remove the steering wheel and you will see the very end of the white plastic actuator facing you.  (Photo attached).  With a screwdriver, push it and you will feel the detents just like they key was moving it.  2 clicks towards the dash and your piece should be in position to simply pull out.

That should do it.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes. Can the plastic gear be removed with out dissembling the steering column? The piece is wedged in there pretty good.

The white gear cannot be removed until you disassemble the column and don't want to go that way.  Let's focus on the gear inside the lock cylinder hole.  All you need to do is get it to move to the "On" position.  If you cannot do that, then remove the green plastic retainer inside the lock cylinder snaps out of place with a right angle pick.  Then rotate the steel thrust washer 1/4 turn clockwise and remove that piece.  Then you can get the broken tip out.

Steering Column Repair

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Douglas Gan


My specialties are stolen vehicles, steering column and ignition locks repair, airbag service and installation and diagnosis. My work includes both domestic (USA) vehicles and foreign designs.


30 years owning a company that specializes in steering columns, ignition & airbag related problems

GM certified, ASE certified, 4 yrs college, Mech Tech degree
I own multiple auto repair companies and can help you professionally through any of our websites at: ---- we stock many older steering column parts and can rebuild your column if you ship it to us --- we sell airbag replacement information (no parts) -- we perform investigations for many types of vehicle claims
Please feel free to contact us through any of our websites for more information or help

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