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1970 Mark III Ignition Concerns

Bill -

I have a 1970 MK III, with a later model tilt steering wheel; Not sure what year.

Problem is that the ignition switch has gotten progressively harder and harder to turn. The key tumbler has been replaced. I had the steering column removed and thoroughly cleaned and a new igniting switch down on the lower column installed. Was a little better, but over time has gotten worse.

Oddly it gets much worse in very cold weather. Another clue is that it is a little easier to turn the key when I tilt the wheel all the way down.

Any ideas what may be the problem?

Thanks,

Paul

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Hi Paul -

Not knowing what steering column you have I would remove the key tumbler and operate the unit with a screw driver blade and check for binding. If it still binds I would then disconnect the ignition switch on lower part of the column and recheck the operation. If it still binds then you will know that you have a problem behind the tumbler area. The inside of the upper column would then need to be inspected. If the binding stops when either the tumbler or the ign. is disconnected you will have uncovered the problem location at that point. If it is easier to operate with the wheel tilted to another position as you have stated, I would think that the problem would be some sort of interference or damage inside the hub near the tilt mechanism or the locking pin that locks the steering wheel. In any case you would need to isolate the bind as I have suggested above and then examine that suspected area closely and repair as necessary. Sometimes a dab of grease in the right spot can correct the issue.

Sincerely,

Bill