Ignition Lock and/or Actuator and/or Switch Binding

1997ThunderbirdLXV6

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This is not a major issue, but one I'd like to address before it gets worse.

The key moves in and out of the lock completely freely.

Turning the key, I can feel some mild binding. Instead of a smooth turn, I feel a sort of bid by bid turn. It's not excessively heavy, except for the turn to Start, which requires positive force. The spring return from Start to Run works fine.

Generally speaking, where is the cause for this kind of binding to be found? The lock and the switch are fairly easily accessible. The actuator/linkage on the other hand is pretty well hidden.

Can these components be taken apart and lubricated? With what? Where should I start?
 
It’s the linkage in the column. There’s a pin that connects the two sections of the ignition linkage for the tilt steering to work. It will work its way loose and/or fall out over time causing binding. Remove the steering column cover cover and look around, you’ll see it. Make sure that pin is in place and fully seated.

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I believe it’s viewable from the top of the column. It’s white plastic that’s probably yellow by now. Should have a light coat of grease on it.
 
I don't remember if I was laying in th floor or not. Take it apart, you'll see it. The eyelet will be cracked. I melted mine back together.

This is one part that would be excellent 3d printed out of something durable.

The other end is at the switch; if it gets really hung, you might have to dink with both ends.
EDIT: the actual switch is at the firewall end of the column, bolted to something.
 
So just to understand the mechanism, where are the detents located for Aux-Lock-Off-Run-Start? And where is the spring that pushes the key back out of Start?

Is all that inside the ignition switch (that white box)?
 
Yes, the detents for the switch are part of it. The spring is inside the housing, iirc. Usually the pin falls out, the linkage comes out of place, and then lodges in place, keeping the key from turning off. :) I think these pose-es are on most ford cars.
 

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