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Thread: Push button start

  1. #1
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    Push button start

    Good afternoon everyone! Just picked up my 90 SC. Automatic trans. I’m pretty sure the actuator in the colum is shot. Ignition just turns with no “click” to accessory or “start”. Can this be bypassed by a toggle and push button? The push button is easy. But what about “powering” the car up?

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted90 View Post
    Ignition just turns with no “click” to accessory or “start”.
    Can you shift the trans without needing to turn the key from off? Can you turn it without the key?

    The mechanism up on the column is just the lock cylinder for the key - it turns and pushes on a rod that moves the contacts inside the actual switch. Easy enough to remove by inserting the key, then turning, then pressing in on the small round pin from below...the lock assy. should then just pull out. You can check it to make sure the tab on the end isn't busted, etc. It is also easy to buy/replace, but doing so may include juggling bits if you want to keep the same key.

    The actual switch is down on the right side of the steering column. These tend to come apart and don't cost that much to replace. Requires a security torx to remove. I'd check it too right away too....they tend to fail often on our cars.

    If you decide to DIY any wiring, the first thing for any new SC owner is to grab an EVTM for that year 'bird, usually found used on eBay for not too much $$.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Can you shift the trans without needing to turn the key from off? Can you turn it without the key?

    The mechanism up on the column is just the lock cylinder for the key - it turns and pushes on a rod that moves the contacts inside the actual switch. Easy enough to remove by inserting the key, then turning, then pressing in on the small round pin from below...the lock assy. should then just pull out. You can check it to make sure the tab on the end isn't busted, etc. It is also easy to buy/replace, but doing so may include juggling bits if you want to keep the same key.

    The actual switch is down on the right side of the steering column. These tend to come apart and don't cost that much to replace. Requires a security torx to remove. I'd check it too right away too....they tend to fail often on our cars.

    If you decide to DIY any wiring, the first thing for any new SC owner is to grab an EVTM for that year 'bird, usually found used on eBay for not too much $$.
    Too be honest, I didn’t even think to check....... I don’t have the car at my house yet. From what I’ve read I anticipated the actuator being bad. If it is the switch itself it’d be easier to replace that. I don’t want to have to pull the steering wheel and stuff....

  4. #4
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    The dreaded "actuator rod failure" isn't in the first gen MN12s like your 1990; that came with the revised column for ... 1994 for sure, maybe for 1993, not sure.

    OTOH, the switch failing WILL yield the results you mention ...

    So I'd crawl under and look at the switch first. And if in doubt, replace it.

    (That pretty much describes how Ruby Jean, our 1991 Cougar, did when I tried to pick it up at the sheriff's office after buying it at a sheriff's auction. New ignition switch and I drove it 100 miles home.)

    RwP

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
    The dreaded "actuator rod failure" isn't in the first gen MN12s like your 1990; that came with the revised column for ... 1994 for sure, maybe for 1993, not sure.

    OTOH, the switch failing WILL yield the results you mention ...

    So I'd crawl under and look at the switch first. And if in doubt, replace it.

    (That pretty much describes how Ruby Jean, our 1991 Cougar, did when I tried to pick it up at the sheriff's office after buying it at a sheriff's auction. New ignition switch and I drove it 100 miles home.)

    RwP
    Looks like I can get one on eBay for $20... does it have to be for a SC or will a 90 tbird work?

  6. #6
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    eBay should let you confirm the application in any case, right down to super coupe. Don't forget the right bit.
    Last edited by KMT; 02-01-2019 at 10:03 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    It'll work. eBay should let you confirm the application in any case, right down to super coupe. Don't forget the right bit.
    Awesome. Looks like that’s what I’ll order

  8. #8
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    AutoZone wants $16 (DuraLast w/lifetime warranty) - check the image here: https://www.autozone.com/batteries-s...tch/368100_0_0
    Last edited by KMT; 02-02-2019 at 11:23 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    AutoZone wants $16 - check the image here: https://www.autozone.com/batteries-s...tch/368100_0_0
    Advanced auto has one for the same price. I pick it up tomorrow!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted90 View Post
    Advanced auto has one for the same price. I pick it up tomorrow!
    After you get it up and running, order yourself a Motorcraft switch.

    I've had bad luck out of the Wells brand switches most of the big box stores sell.

    Heck, the Motorcraft switches are a crap design, but they're not as crappy as the Wells are IME.

    (It's the basic DESIGN sucks, alas. Keep a spare if you can.)

    Side note: If anyone ever feels vigorous in designing something, a much better "box" that doesn't rely on bending pot metal to captivate the top would be a WONDERFUL thing to make. However, that would be tempered by the fact the ~~~ design can be had for $16, and a properly machined billet design would be, what, $150 or so?

    RwP

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
    Keep a spare if you can.
    Autozone's lifetime warranty means they do that for you. I've already used it.

    Quote Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
    If anyone ever feels vigorous in designing something, a much better "box" that doesn't rely on bending pot metal
    That 'box' would be better if it contained electronics, instead, I think. Something along the lines of a proximity detect that locks/unlocks when you walk up to/away from the vehicle w/a fob or smartphone, and uses a push-to-start button instead of a key. Those system already exist now - and I've seen start buttons that replace the key cylinder in the column so you wouldn't have to hole the dash.
    Last edited by KMT; 02-02-2019 at 11:28 AM.

  12. #12
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    So I got a new ignition switch. Haven’t installed it yet but I did see that with the key turned the wheel unlocks and I can shift to neutral. That rules out ignition cylinder and actuator rod doesn’t it?

  13. #13
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    Yep.

    Want to see some real fail, wait 'till you get a look at the old switch

    Should be installation instructions w/the new switch about indexing it when it goes in, BTW.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KMT View Post
    Yep.

    Want to see some real fail, wait 'till you get a look at the old switch

    Should be installation instructions w/the new switch about indexing it when it goes in, BTW.
    There were no instructions...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boosted90 View Post
    There were no instructions...
    Is there a (temporary) wire keeper on the switch itself?

    IIRC, there should be small piece of paper, like what we oft find in a fortune cookie...if it's not hiding down inside the box, maybe someone's been in there before.

    See: http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/engine/5657/ - note the shipping wire that keeps it in the right place for install. Have the key cylinder in the 'off' position. When the rod/pin in the column, and the switch guts are both in the right position, bolt that sucker down. Don't force it. If it doesn't act properly when tested, take it back out and verify indexing.

    Do you have the correct torx bit? Security T-27, I think. See that link for details.
    Last edited by KMT; 02-06-2019 at 10:19 PM.

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