The ignition lock is one of the weakest areas of the F-series line of trucks, often wearing out well before the key itself. Symptoms of a worn ignition switch lock are difficulty in turning the key and severe misalignment in the lock position, making it difficult to remove the key. Replacing a worn ignition lock doesn't require any special tools and is well within the capabilities of even a novice handyperson.
Removing an F-250 Ignition Lock
Removing the ignition lock from a Ford F-250, or any F-series truck, requires only two things: the key and a tool, such as a punch, small Phillips screwdriver or long nail capable of fitting in a 1/8-inch diameter hole.
Insert the key and turn the switch to the "ON" position but don't start the engine.
Look for a small hole on the underside of the plastic trim around the steering column and ignition lock. This hole is directly in line with the key and is positioned about 2 inches back toward the center of the column, as measured from the lock bezel.
Insert the 1/8-inch punch through this hole and into the small hole in the metal part directly above the hole. The punch will contact a spring-loaded detent pin further inside the small hole in the ignition lock housing. Push the pin in with the punch while pulling the lock straight out of it's housing. Sometimes a slight jiggling of the key in the lock is necessary in order for the lock to release, which is due to wear in the lock.
Installing a New Ignition Lock
Insert the ignition key in the new ignition lock and rotate it to the "ON" position. Insert the lock into the housing, being careful to line it up in the proper grooves in the housing. Push the detent pin in and slide the lock in the housing until it seats.
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