At first, the binding was eliminated, but within 2 weeks, I was back at the same point once again., Not as bad as before, but I still find myself "fiddling" with the ignition switch/key.
There are two separate issues with the binding ignition lock on a Ford Ranger.
1. The ignition lock cylinder is bad, and is easily DIY replaced at a cost of around $80-$100 on-line from a Mazda/Ford dealer.
2. There is something binding/worn in the steering column linkage separate from the ignition cylinder lock and is much, much, more expensive to repair.
I have HEAVILY lubed the lock cylinder and without removing the steering column, plastic, face plates, there remained a binding of the ignition switch.
So, I ordered a brand new, OEM, Mazda ignition switch cylinder and replaced it. However, the binding is still occurring which now points to the steering column linkage itself.
So, before you spend money replacing the ignition lock cylinder on the steering column, have a expert/mechanic look at the linkage within the steering column first.
I have at least a 75% improvement over when I bought the truck earlier this year, but I have not 100% resolved the problem.
It is NOT the ignition switch but some linkage within the steering column itself.