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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Somebody give me the low-down...

Hassle?
Piece of cake?
Slicing needed or is it plug and play?
Recommended dealer purchase or is aftermarket acceptable?
 

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I think he's referring to replacing a faulty unit, not "modding" the switch by installing a pushbutton.

I would think it would be plug and play, provided you can get the thing apart.
 

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You can do it that way sixsick6, or the best way is to use both keys and the start button.

If you twist the key to the start position, nothing will happen. The button replaces that phase. Same with just pushing the button, nothing again! You need the key in the on position than push the button for the car to start. Now all you gotta do is find a good place for your start button.

I have the wiring diagram in a mag, so tell me if you want it.
 

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The idea of this button is for security. Sort a like a kill switch, but with a different method in starting the car. Most thieves wouldn't know how the system works so it takes them longer to get the car going and most likely disourage them from persuing many attempts. I know to some people it may sound pointless and thats why i havent done it myself but i thought i was on the right track reguarding the question.

You have me confused also.... Are you after a new ignition barrel?
 

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IMO, the push button would be ideal. You just hide the button under the dash or in the console, wired like Yodo is saying. This would make it almost impossible to steal the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Guy, guys, guys...

Thanks for the pointers and opinions but I'm not after a modification here. I'm asking about replacement of the key activated ignition switch in the steering column. It's exhibiting symptoms of impending failure.

Assuming I get one from Mazda, Ford, or a parts store that can give me the correct unit, is the replacement procedure as simple as I am assuming or is there some complication associated with installing a new mechanism.

After reading yall's responses somehow I've become unsure of exactly what needs to be replaced. Are there separate parts to overall switch mechanism that can be replaced separately?

My symptom is this... Upon turning the key to the START position, periodically, the car will not crank - all of the dash and idiot lights come on as normal, but I get no reponse from the starter - no click, no nothing, silence. If I then return the key to the ON position and give it a giggle, then turn to the start position, bam...fireup.

Based on this, it's my diagnosis that it's the switch or a part of the switch. I have not ruled out the the neutral safety switch but it doesn't seem like that's a player here. Also, based on tha fact that I'm getting no clicking sounds, I don't think it's the starter solenoid.
 

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Well, I had to replace my ignition switch last year after my car was stolen because they destroyed the keycylinder, and since you can't just buy a replacement keycylinder for our car...anyway..

I bought a replacement switch from the dealer, it was about $185 or so. Not cheap, but better than starting my car with a screwdriver. :) You'll get a pair of new keys, and the switch which mounts directly to the steering column, and it will have a series of connectors which are very obvious.

It isn't hard to replace. Basically all you have to do is take the steering wheel off, and remove all the cowling/covering on the steering column, along with all of the switches. One thing that is a little tricky is removing the old switch, because it has special break-away bolts, so you'll need a hammer and chisel (or dremel tool) to make a notch in tops of the bolt heads so that you can use a screw driver to take them out. Alternatively you could drill them out, but just using a hammer and chisel is faster and easier.


Oh, and since I've actually taken apart the whole ignition switch, I wouldn't be too surprised that your diagnoses is correct(although I wouldn't rule out the starter solenoid so quickly....), but,
Your key goes into the keycylinder, the keycylinder connects to the steering column lock, and a small tab which connects to the switch itself. The switch is basically a small piece of plastic with two copper springs in the back. Unfortunately the piece of plastic is not particularly robust and it can crack or chip if you turn it too hard ori if you try to force it. But once it breaks, or the keycylinder is unable to turn it, then you can't change the position of the copper springs, which actually make the contact which either engages the starter or turns the car on. It is fairly simple to understand, but difficult to describe without pictures (i threw away the switch a long time ago).

I hope that helps.
 
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I can get you the ignition switch/key cylinder, anything you want out of the ignition system in the column and two keys to go to the new lock cylinder. PM me. It will be cheap.
 

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Get a friend to help you check the voltage at the starter solenoid while the key is turned to "START". If it is battery voltage, the starter is at fault. If it is below 10 volts or so, the ignition switch, interlock, or wiring is at fault.

These starter solenoids do fail, so I wouldn't be surprised if it was that.
 

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get a car alarm -- easiest thing to do, will cut the engine when set off so no one can steal the car and will even save u a bit on insurance, no push button starter is gonna do that
 

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Man.. I read this thread and completely understood the question. I don't understand how you guyz got "push button start" out of that. Where did that come from?

If you plan to change the switch AND THE LOCK CYLINDER, then Moebius's info is correct. But, if I understand the question correctly, your key works just fine, so there is no need to remove the cylinder

In just changing the ignition switch, there is no need to remove the steering wheel or stick cluster (blinkers/ windshield wiper sticks). You will need to remove the collar and the lower dash panel (for added room and access). Find the back of the key cylinder (left side, opposite of where the key goes). If you have troubles with the wiring being in your way (I didn't) to the stick cluster, simply disconnect the wires running to it and move them to the top of the steering rod out of your way. There is only one phillips head screw (at 12 o clock position) holding the switch on. Unscrew it and pull it from the back of the cylinder lock. At this point, you'll notice two wires (I think one green and another red) still attached the back of the cylinder lock. Follow these as far down as possible toward the firewall (leaving as much wire as possible still attached) and clip them. You'll be re-mating these with the the wires from the new switch. (Of course the avoid the re-mating of wires, Mobius's way is the way around this)

Then follow the rest of the ignition switch wires to their connectors (located above the lower dash panel, under the dashboard) and disconnect them. At this point, you'll have an ignition switch and it's wiring harness in yer hand. Installation is reverse of removal. Connect the two wires securely and their ya go.

All in all, to answer the question, I thik it's very easy. Have fun.
 
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