The steering columns in BA to BF (2002 – 2008) falcons and TX/SX and SY Territories (2004-2008) are made by Bosch for Ford and they suffer from a couple of different failures.
Either the Bakelite backplate will come off and spray ball bearings and springs out, or alternatively the metal tab that the starter return spring presses against snaps off and the ignition key will stay in the start position as a result. The later results in a car that starts fine, but will have auxiliary devices powered until you manually turn the key back to the ignition position.
Because these columns are one part with one part number, Ford and most repair centers will only replace the column as a whole with a new one. The downside of this is the price for a new column fitted ranges from 1200 up to 2400+ dollars depending on things like key barrels and keys that need to be changed, PATS security resets etc.
The news isn’t all bad though, I found myself in the position of owning a BA Falcon with a faulty column and a potentially expensive bill ahead of me. Worse because my car is a BA and they don’t make BA columns anymore so I was going to need a FG column fitted and new FG style locks and keys fitted along with PATS resets to make it all work together. My bill was going to be well over 2000 dollars which I found to be quite unacceptable. I’d already spent many years installing car alarms onto ignition circuits for various companies, so I have a very strong understanding of how the systems work together. I decided to see what I could do to save myself some money. I was able to buy a big heap of old broken columns very cheaply and I undertook to destroy them in a variety of ways so that I might familiarise myself with the entire internal structure of the columns. I then worked out the best way of permanently fixing them and started testing the solutions in my own car. My first repaired column sat on my lap for 2 nights while I simulated 500 days of twice a day car starts, after which it was installed in my car and driven for most of a year before I offered to do any others. To this day that column still works fine and I sold it as second hard to somebody when I upgraded my car to FG falcon ignition system and steering column. (for much less than the 2400 dollars a dealer quoted me)
I’ve done a great many repairs now as it’s become a favorite hobby of mine and I’m happy to say that not a single one has come back again. I’ve a habit of over-engineering my repairs so the spring stop that was 1/2 a millimeter thick and die cast alloy is now 1.5mm thick and made of steel. I also modify the back plate and the spring housing to make sure the mechanism moves smoothly and never comes out again. Since none of have ever come back, I offer an 18 month warranty on any column I’ve replaced the spring stop on.
The columns fit in an Australia Post, $25 express bag and as such they can be sent Australia wide cheaply and fast. The service is exchange though so I expect the old one back to use for parts.
I also offer a couple of rescue leads that will allow you to start your car and bring it to me or take it home if the back comes out of the column and the car won’t start and you get stuck somewhere. I don’t charge for the leads, but since a guy called Jared kept my last one, I now charge a 50 dollar deposit before I’ll loan you one.
If the problem is just the back coming off your Falcon or Territory ignition I can loan you a lead to get to me, and I can repair it in car for $150. If the spring stop has snapped entirely, the steering column and ignition loom needs to be removed and repaired and that takes somewhat longer. The cost of a replacement column with a refurbished spring stop and reshaped back with warranty for either Ford Falcon BA / BF or TX / SX / SY Territory is $299 exchange. I can put it in for an additional $70 if you are close enough to bring the vehicle over.
Keep in mind that I have a full time job (and 3 young children) already and the columns are just something I got into to help out people who would otherwise get slugged big dollars by dealers and some unscrupulous types that are out there. As a hobby the hours must work around my already busy life. So most mornings up to 10-10.30am I can do column work and Saturdays usually also. I keep several already refurbished columns to provide an instant changeover service if required also.
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Hope you can help me out. I have a BA with a crook switch, I have had a look and see that someone has tried to repair it using two grub screws and not a very good job at that. Could you please advise if you can send me an upgraded column please? Is there an easy way to get these columns in and out? Any advise will be most welcome.
Hi Steve, I have a doc that details how to get the columns out, but I need to know where you are first. Are you in Perth?
hi frank where are you located pls.we had a territory 3 days FROM A DEALER with a stuffed steering collom and a cracked head which they refused to pay for grrrrr.head is done but now need the barrel fixed.i hope yr in vic.
I’m afraid not. I’m in western Australia, but that isn’t a show stopper as I have sent columns all over Australia (they fit in a 25 dollar express post bag and can be anywhere in Australia in a couple of days. What problem does your column have as there are a couple of common ones.
have got column out franky but I;m northern nsw.
That isn’t a show stopper, I’ve had 3 or 4 columns express posted to be for repair from over east this week. Express post is air freight so it gets here in a day or two normally and the same return. Cheap, easy and fast.
If you want to discuss Steve, Give me a call or txt, the number is in any of the Gumtree ads listed above.
BF Wagon. In Townsville, Qld. Ignition barrel needs repairs. My local locksmith can do it for $88, plus parts. I’m handy enough with mechanical work but I am impatient… should I pay a mobile mechanic to remove the steering column and then put it back in after the repair. Or, should I do it myself?
I tapped the column and a copper disc dropped out onto the floor.
I have a 2007 BF falcon 3 seater column shift one tonner with a tipper which I bought brand new and absoultley love and intend to keep . Around 2 years ago the key jammed in the ignition and wouldn’t turn, my mechanic spent days trying to find a replacement column at wreckers around the country. He found one in SA and had it sent to sydney. Yesterday the same thing problem happened again, this time I bought a replacement column from a wrecker ‘very lucky’ and will have it installed after Easter. I’m very hopeful after reading your add that maybe this expensive and stressfull problem won’t happen again. My question is should I do something to the column before it go’s in? Or just keep the old column and send it to you at some stage and then ill have it as a spare?
Hi Armando, I’d keep the other as a spare. You can’t stop the factory spring stop from snapping.. it always eventually happens. But if you have a refurbished one good to go it only takes an hour to swap it in and you’re off and running again.
Hi my car was stolen It was found on being returned by tow truck no key steering wheel locked and no immobiler remote can any one help please it’s a ba xr6 06 falcon my thanks Ma
I’m asking f there’s a way to unlock with my keys my steering in b a falcon 06 I can’t afford to take to auto sparky
Sorry that’s was without keys I no longer have them the thrives have them
Sorry I missed these comments as they were in the spam queue. yes, you can get the barrel out and put a new one in. but that’s only the first problem.. The PATS security system has a chip in the key and that chip is coded to the PCM. You will need a PATS reset to allow the computer to use the new keys. The remote you can get from ebay for less than 20 bucks and it takes seconds to program in once you have the other stuff done. (the remote can be programmed using the rear demister button.)
My son was convinced that he could refit a BF column into his BA Ute and the car would start with the BF key (not coded to BA) so long as the original key from the BA is close to the plastic reader attached to the top of the column..
Will the car start like this or does he have to recode the BF key…
yes, it will work as long, but you’ll either need to move the reader elsewhere or remove the chip from the BF key because the code will be sent from whatever has the strongest signal and by default that would probably be the key in the center of the ring. take the ring off the key barral, put the BA key inside it and tape up up under the dash somewhere and it will work. (I’ve done it that way in the past) but it might take some trial and error to get the best position of the key in the reader.
Hi Frank My son has an SX territory with the standard fault the ignition switch has collapsed but his mate has a repaired BA falcon one, can you tell me if these are interchangeable or do we have to get the SX one fixed the barrels appear to be of a different length which raises the question. Thank you in anticipation of your reply
Hi John, The columns are different I’m afraid. The mechanism that fails is the same but the Territory column is much shorter due to the steeper steering angle caused by the subframe.
I have a BA falcon that had the ignition switch stop working completely. I had a local auto electrician fix it using a second hand or reconditioned barrel. This ignition switch then stopped returning when turned on and had to be done manually. This was after only about 8 months. This ignition switch has now also failed completely less than 12 months after being fitted. Is there a way of overriding the ignition to be able to get the car to you and if so, how much to fix, is it likely to last and where abouts are you. Cheers
Yes, I have a lead that plugs into the bottom of the loom that bypasses the ignition switch altogether so the car starts and runs fine. Then you can bring it to me and I can fix it.
The problem with the second hand ones is that they have the same flaw that killed the first one. As for where, I’m in Carlisle near Victoria park. You can either express post the column to me to fix, or drive here if you are close enough and I can do it all. Cost is between 150 and 350 depending on what it needs, but I guarantee the column will never leave the car unable to start again once it’s done. If you are not close, I can provide a document that details exactly how to get the column out easily and quickly. I’ve done a complete swap in less than half an hour so it really is easy to do if you are reasonably handy. (or know someone that is.)
Thanks for your reply Frank. When am I able to pick the leads up and when are you able to fix the car please?
Thanks for your reply Frank. When am I able to pick the leads up and when are you able to fix the car please?
A couple of the leads are out on loan. let me check that there is one available and I’ll let you know. As for when any morning this week till Friday is good.
Thanks. I live down at Bunbury and I won’t be up in Perth again until Friday afternoon (might be late morning) then again on Tuesday Morning. Let me know how you go with the leads and we can work something out 🙂
I’ll email you with the email address you listed here.
Thank you for writing this. My husband is always into fixing cars and seems to struggle when it comes to the BA Falcon. I know he will love reading about what your experiences are. Thank you for the great information!
frank hope you can help we have a ba falcon column we removed the ignition barrel and now the steering column is locked and cant re align the barrel is there something we can do to fix this thanks bazz
Hi Frank, i have a ba falcon ute that I’m needing a new steering column for. I’ve lost the keys for it and now someone has tried stealing it where it was parked causing a lot of damage to the entire steering column. Also Its a column shift auto. Would you be able to post a reconditiond one to brisbane ???Thanks