How to Install an Ignition Switch in a 1965-1966 Mustang

How to Install an Ignition Switch in a 1965-1966 Mustang

Last Updated January 17, 2024 | Bill Tumas

If you're having problems with the ignition switch cylinder in your 1965-1966 Mustang, consider replacing it with an aftermarket ignition switch. The ignition cylinders in many classic Mustangs are prone to falling into the off position after start-up. This causes your Mustang to abruptly turn off while driving. A new ignition switch assembly not only fixes that problem, but it's one of the best quality-of-life upgrades you can do to your classic Mustang.

If you're interested in a visual guide on how to replace the ignition switch in your 1965-1966 Mustang, check out the video below.

How to Install a 1965-1966 Mustang Ignition Switch

In this article, we're going to show you how to replace the ignition switch in your 1965-1966 Mustang. It's a relatively simple job that can be done by most home mechanics in under an hour. If you want to know how how to install an ignition switch on a 1979-1993 Mustang, check out our Fox Body ignition switch installation guide.

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Tools Needed

  • Small Pick
  • Socket Set
  • Socket Wrench
  • Small Flathead Screwdriver

Step 1: Disconnect Your Battery

Before doing anything that involves electronics on your Mustang, disconnect your battery to ensure you don't damage anything or hurt yourself.

Step 2: Remove Ignition Switch Cylinder

Using your ignition key and a small pick, insert your key into the cylinder and then turn it to the accessory position. Then, insert the pick into the small hole and turn the ignition cylinder counter-clockwise past the accessory position. Finally, pull the ignition cylinder out of the ignition bezel.

A close up of a key in the ignition cylinder of a Mustang in the accessory position

Tip: Don't turn the ignition cylinder after you remove it. This makes reinstallation much easier.

Step 3: Separate the Ignition Switch from the Ignition Bezel

Reach up behind and grab the back of the ignition switch from underneath the dashboard. Push the ignition switch in and turn it counterclockwise to separate it from the ignition bezel.

A mechanic separating the ignition switch from the bezel underneath the dash of a Mustang

Step 4: Remove the Ignition Bezel

Remove the ignition bezel. It should slide out of the housing easily.

A mechanic removing the ignition bezel from the dashboard

Step 5: Remove the Ignition Switch

Pull the ignition switch out from underneath the dash.

A mechanic pulling the ignition switch from underneath the dash to access it

Step 6: Remove the Retaining Nut

Now that you have access to the back of the ignition switch, use your socket wrench to remove the retaining nut found on the back of the switch. Then, slide the wire off the back of the rubber plug.

A mechanic removing a nut with a long socket and socket wrench

Step 7: Disconnect the Plug

Using your flathead screwdriver, carefully separate the rubber plug from the back of the ignition switch.

A mechanic carefully disconnecting the rubber plug from the ignition switch with a flathead screwdriver

Step 8: Plug in the New Switch

Plug in the new switch by connecting it to the rubber plug you just removed the old ignition switch from.

A mechanic carefully reconnecting the rubber plug with the new ignition switch

Step 9: Reinstall the Retaining Nut

Reinstall the retaining nut with the socket wrench. Remember to reconnect the wire that you removed originally before tightening down the nut.

A mechanic reinstalling the retaining nut on the back of the new ignition switch

Step 10: Install the Spacer

Slide the spacer onto the new ignition switch to install it.

A mechanic reinstalling the spacer onto the end of the ignition switch

Step 11: Reconnect the Ignition Switch to the Ignition Bezel

Move the ignition switch back into place behind the dash and slide it into the bezel. Then, turn the ignition switch to lock it into place.

A close up of the ignition switch connected to the ignition bezel outside of the car

Step 12: Reinstall the Ignition Cylinder

Slide the ignition switch into the ignition bezel while making sure that it's in the same position it was in when you removed it originally.

A close up of a mechanic sliding the ignition cylinder back into place

Push it into place until it's properly seated and then turn it until it locks into place.

Step 13: Reconnect Your Battery

Now, reconnect your battery.

Mechanic removing the engine cover on a Ford Focus ST

Congratulations, you're all done!

Ride around in Your 1965-1966 Mustang without Worry

After you've reconnected your battery, check to make sure you're car starts up okay, and then you're good to go! Installing a new ignition switch on your 1965-1966 Mustang is a great way to improve your driving experience. You'll never have to worry about your ride abruptly turning off while you're riding around enjoying yourself.

This process is simple and doesn't require any expensive tools. If you think installing a new ignition switch is right for you, don't be scared and try the installation yourself.


This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.