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urgent headlight issue /88 ranger


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In order to get the full scope of the problem/problems with my 88 ranger I think I need to start off talking about a different less immediate problem. a few months back I started having a problem with my windshield wipers, radio, and gas gauge simultaneously not working. It happened to me in a sudden rain storm and I had to pull over, didn't know what the issue was so I checked some fuses, that was not the problem. I didn't figure it out right away but noticed that sometimes when I started my truck those 3 functions I mentioned would work and sometimes they wouldn't so for a long time i just made sure to start my truck as many times as needed for them to come on and they would stay on. It wasn't til recently that my truck started having more severe issues sometimes turning off while i was driving it, it never had a problem starting though. Then I realized one day after my tuck would not stay on for more than a couple seconds after starting that it was simply just the position of the key, if I held the key in a certain position my truck would stay on and if in the perfect position my truck would stay on plus the windshield wipers,gas gauge and radio all worked too. During all this I have had intermittent issues with the headlights, I.E flickering,not coming on at all. Now that I got all that out of the way I can talk about what exactly is going on now and what I have tried that has not worked. For the truck dying/key problem I bought a new lock cylinder and replaced it, that was not the problem. So for the past couple weeks a shoelace tied tight to my headlight knob holding the key in a forward position keeps my truck on, take the shoelace off it dies immediately. I have replaced both headlights and the headlight switch and this has not fixed the headlight issue. I think it is worth noting that I noticed one day that punching my steering wheel turns off my truck, and on a few occasions giving the steering column a few hard bumps gets the headlights working, but not nearly reliable enough for me to drive and it is my only vehicle and need it to get me to work. So both issues seem tied to something in the steering column, but I have little to no experience working on vehicles. If anybody can help with any of these issues I would greatly appreciate it.
 
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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Elutheros

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Sounds like it is the ignition switch itself (not the key cylinder, but the part the key cylinder turns).
 

fyre82

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Check all your grounds, any shaky one will cause you electrical fits.

The multi switch in the column has a habit of burning connections. I have replaced that in both of the first gens I have owned. While you are there you can check the ignition switch as well.

Rich
 

AllanD

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The specific problem mentioned in the first post (Wipers, gas gauge and radio issues) are all clustered around one common cause...

A Disconnected or corroded grounding strap that runs from the back of the drivers side cylinder head and one of the mounting studs for the wiper motor.

Verifying that it is connected at both ends and that the connections are not corroded should correct the problems noted...

the ignition switch is mounted down the column...
 
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