Originally Posted by cacher
You should be able to unless the key had an electronic chip in it. If not heres how to do it.
If you have the key that came with the swapper.....YES. Put in the key, and turn approximately a quarter turn towards dash. Then look for the retaining pin under the steering column in a hole that you can best push up with a ice pick. This is the retaining pin from the lock that locks the igntion unit itself into place, in the column. Slowly pull it out and insert the other with it already in the 1/4 turned position, and then turn back towards you to lock it into place, and pull out the key. Now you have the used steering column with the other keyed ignition in place.
You can switch it out either way (if it is chipped or not). The explorer column came was chipped and my factory one is not. I all has to do with the anti-theft box behind the passenger side airbag. There is a sensor that wraps around the ignition cylinder (made by siemens), that is the receiver for the chip. I'm almost positive you can switch everything out, because your antitheft module takes care of everything. Since my truck wasn't chipped (on the key) it just had a cap on the dash harness for the chip receiver, aka no wires going through the column and no reciever for the chip.
I finally got my cylinder without a key. I just used a screwdriver and a hammer and just kept chiseling pieces out. The only part left was the bottom part that turns the rod for the ignition switch. Just unbolt the ignition switch and move that little pole to unlock this part stuck in the cylinder housing. I wished I took pictures.
I did a write up on switching out these columns.
Adding tilt column and cruise clock spring from Explorer