Ignition Stuck, Key wont turn, 1987 Ford Ranger, Stuck at 711 store!?

1987 Ford Ranger - 5 speed, v6. 221,000 miles.

I pulled into 711 after work, turning the wheel to the right, as sharp as it could go, to park my truck.

I shut it off, pushed the unlock button to remove my keys (as always in that part of town). Everything was normal, went in to buy a six pack, came back out and put the key in ignition but wouldn't turn, it's locked.

I tried wiggling it every which way, turning the wheels every which way, pushing the unlock button, but nothing. I did hear some clicking noises while turning the wheel and jiggling the ignition, like the lock or something is stuck. I tried for half hour til the store manager came out and helped me push it to a safe place over night til I can figure out what to do. I've never had this problem before and I'm no mechanic, unfortunately.

Any ideas? Does it sound like I need to replace the ignition, how much could it cost? Is it something that I could do myself with my basic toolbox in the parking lot of 711? Please help.

I appreciate any ideas/answers. Thanks.


Thanks "Dale D" and "not 2 B fooled"

The steering wheel is not locked, it does turn freely but the key is in the "lock" position. I did think of getting a push start but didn't think i could if the key was in locked position.

Update 2:

Thanks Jack,

Yes I did exactly that, I tried it all. I even tried inserting the key at different depths and using my knee while turning the wheel and pushing the unlock at the same time, haha. I heard clicking at certain times so I know something just isn't lining up right.

Thanks Billy,

so you are pretty sure it is the "ignition switch"? Who should I call? Just a basic mechanic from the yellow pages?

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Its possible that you might just have a really sticky ignition, at any auto parts store you can buy ignition lube you might try that. Although from what you describe I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't break the ignition switch actuator. When you turned the wheel hard and locked the ignition you had to force the key hard to get the lock pin to pull out of the lock plate, that's how the steering wheel locks after you remove the key. They are a cheap pot metal and break easily. I have replaced close to 100 actuators in Fords. They can be bought at any auto parts store for around 12 bucks. The only problem is the tools required to change the part. Unless your a mechanic you most likely wont have the set to do the job.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You said you had the wheel turned hard to the right when you shut it off and pulled the key out..you tried turning the wheel to the left as much as you can and at the same time turning the ignition?

    Replacing the ignition isn't too expensive, I had it done on my 95 F250, but it's been a few years ago, I don't remember exactly what it cost.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not clear by your question - did the steering wheel unlock or not ? What position is the key cylinder in now - the "lock" position, "acc" or what??If the steering wheel is free, you can get a push start to get home then work on it...sorry can't help more :{

  • 1 decade ago

    lol had to pull the entire steering wheel column out to change the ignition, i had to change the ignition switch in my 1984 dodge van easiest thing i did to it lol, just had to rent a steering wheel puller then push this little black piece on the ignition inside the steering wheel popped right out and slid the new one in and it was good to go

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    That could be a real bear of a job right there, I would get a professional to look at it.

    Source(s): I once helped a friend change his ignition in his Taurus and we wound up pulling the entire steering column out!!
  • 1 decade ago

    check your key if not bend. you said u have 5 speed and its manual right? try to step the clultch and break hard and put in nutral.

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