Today I got busy replacing my ignition switch and key cylinder. Because last month, I had set aside my lone RETROvan key for duplication and then promptly lost it.
I first ordered a replacement cylinder (only) but I couldn’t get the old one out of the switch because it was a slightly older design. Then I ordered a complete switch with a cylinder after finding the original Ford part for a 1961 P-400. But that one was completely different and didn’t fit the instrument panel. (I’m keeping it just in case.) So I finally figured out the rig didn’t have the original part, it had a universal Calterm part that may have been swapped in sometime later.So I ordered that since it looked the same. And you can see it comes with two matching keys.
Step One was to disconnect the starter battery. This involved simply lifting off my floor’s rubber puzzle tiles, removing my marine plywood hatch, then removing the steel diamond floor plate to access the battery shelf. Then I disconnected the Negative terminal.
Here’s the old ignition switch, which I removed from the instrument panel. Note that the instrument panel and all of its wiring hasn’t been restored yet. That’s an epic task for later this year, as part of Phase 3.
Taking careful note of the wiring on the old switch’s four terminal posts, I began transferring each group to the new switch.
And finally, I mounted the new switch into position through its hole. Then I noticed the nut you can see here is not the same as the original. It’s plastic—not metal, and it’s smaller. And worse, it doesn’t hold the switch as securely. So I’m not happy about that, considering that the photo on Amazon clearly showed a matching metal nut. But even my old nut doesn’t fit onto this switch’s threads. So, I’ll be following up with Amazon and Calterm to complain about false advertising.
But the good news for now is, the RETROvan started right up and the old Ford 3.6-liter 223-cubic inch inline six cylinder engine is now purring like a kitten on steroids.