Did the new cylinder come with a new key? I'm assuming your 97 Ranger has some sort of passive antitheft (chip in the key), so perhaps you used the original key in the new lock cylinder without having a locksmith change the tumblers in it to match your old key...
If you used a new key that may have come with this ignition cylinder, it has to be programmed to the passive antitheft (PATS) system of your truck, and that requires two keys already programmed in order for you to do it. But first it obviously has to be able to turn in its ignition switch.
In googling "how to install a new ignition switch in a ford ranger", I found several youtube vids and articles on how to install. Seems like you already know this though, as you have removed the cylinder a few times from the sounds of you post. Perhaps the cylinder sleeve itself is bad/worn in the steering column?
Last edited by bucko; 09-05-2014 at 05:30 AM.