Aerostart Starting

OK - We have a '96 for aerostar mini-van; I went to the store the other day, no issues, just like it has been for the 4 years who have owened it, when I can back out - turned the key, and van did not start
- it felt like their was nothing on the other end of the key that was moving - like the rod had came unhooked from the switch or something. Got to looking around, tore apart the steering column, and figured out that their a plastic push rod that goes from the tumbler assembly, down to the switch - and inside the column, just below where the tilt steering wheel pivots, it is broken. So we have the started switch hanging below the dash, and we just do it by hand - so does anyone out their know first, what that rod thing is called, are they prone to breaking, where can get one, and how do I replace the thing? I have also been able to see it through a couple of holes at this point.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, my wife can't even start the van - so this needs get fixed ASAP.
Scott
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Scott, you didn't say whether or not you can remove the broken part. If you can and feel you can do the repair, take the broken part to your local Ford dealer or to a breakers yard and match the part. If not (can't remove it) take the vehicle to either of the two previously mentioned places and get it fixed.
DaveD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I can only see that part through a couple of holes on the metal casting making up the steering column assembly, I can't actuall touch or - or even know how to get to it, so maybe taking it in would be the only option, but then I don't a have fortune to spend on getting it fixed either
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

It will likely cost less to have an experienced mechanic, familiar with the vehicle, replace the part than it will cost to fix what you can easily screw up if you don't know what you are doing. And it WILL be a dealer only part - putting in a used one is false economy because the labour to replace it (or even get the used one out) is much more than the value of the part.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.