Ford Focus, the worst case scenario

As you can see I have written on the Ford Focus ignition cylinders and their issue previously. I have recently found out just how bad the situation can be.
Recently while working on a Focus ignition cylinder I was having a lot of difficulty getting the cylinder to turn, in fact it was to the point where the retainer had to be completely drilled out. When the cylinder started to turn, it turned freely and a complete 360 degrees, around and around and around, I know that is not a good sign.
In this case the link at the bottom of the ignition switch was broken and turning freely. I started to investigate this for the client as I had not come across a Focus with such extensive damage. A quick trip to the Ford dealer opened my eyes a lot wider, the ignition switch is part of the steering column, in other words when the ignition switch is replaced so is the steering column, dealer price for the part $550.00 bigger surprise the dealer had the part on the shelf in stock, the parts persons comment “guess this is pretty common if we stock the part”.
As much as we try to be as accurate with out quotes as we can, there are times that the unforeseen happens, and as much as we want to be “right on the money” with quotes there is no crystal ball.
I guess the bottom line is no matter if we think we have seen it all, someone has seen more, I have a new one experience to add to my collection.

I would have added more pictures the date was off on my camera though.

This is where the side retainer was drilled

The large hole is all I normal have to drill, the smaller ones are to drill out the retainer

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