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Unread 06-21-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
DannyRoark89
Registered User
1995 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 266
89 XJ ignition issues......with pictures....help appreciated

hey there folks so here is my deal.....

the other day the ignition took a crap on me while the jeep was running, i wasnt able to turn it off at the store so i drove it home with out going in and finally after fiddeling with the key for a few minutes i got it to shut down...

first things first things first i pulled the lower dash panel and dropped the steering column to replace the ignition switch



after i got the ignition switch pulled out i noticed that part of the actual plastic plug on the wiring harness had melted due to a short or whatever kind of failure the switch encountered, i didnt get a photo of the plug and just ran outside to try and snap one and well im not dropping the steering column again at this second so just picture the top prong on the first plug (first being the one that must plug in first and the second one secures it in place) with a little melted plastic on it when i first saw it and completly cleaned and cleaned before the new switch went in, however part of the plastic plug remains melted and deformed.

i then pulled the switch apart to find that one of the strikes inside the switch had come out of the spring likely causing a short, and you can notice on a couple of the prongs there has been some unusual heat.....i put the strike back where it goes and put the switch back together and after running the switch through each position i was convinced the old one would work again ( this is the product of understanding how electricity works and the simplicity of the mechanics) however i bought a new switch before i even started messing with it. so i put the old switch in and put everything back together minus the dash and went to start it with no luck at all, i was surprised by this but had expected having to drop the column a second time to replace the switch with the new one anyone. i just wanted to see if what i had done actually worked....i then dropped the column a second time to replace the switch with the new one so that there would be no further questions and i could just walk away from this project....or so i thought....turns out the dip**** at the parts store assumed i had a fixed steering wheel when infact i have a tilt column. the switches are completely opposite in the way the function one moves to the left for the ignition and one to the right

what it looked light right after i opened it up....one can only assume this was the issue



then....


and then....


and finally back together and in working order so i thought.



so this morning i mossyed back up to the parts store and replaced the switch and made sure this one infact moves in the direction i need....i got home through the switch in with out any issues bolted everything back in place and bolted the struts and steering column back in place and just assuming everything would be cool went to start the jeep to make sure everything was good and to my surprise the engine would not crank over....

the ACC position of the lock tumbler does not power anything at all but it didnt power anything with the old switch either so i began to point my finger at the tumbler

the off and off-lock position seem to function properly and the ignition position of the switch before it enters the spring loaded portion of the switch functions normally too, i can hear the fuel pump my indicator lights and radio pop on and everything seems legit, but when the tumbler enters what should be the spring loaded position of the switch where the starter actually starts the engine nothing happens. and when i say nothing i mean nothing!!

so i began to suspect the tumbler was the culprit so i went and got a new tumbler this evening and came back to install it.

heres where i hit some road blocks, i tilted the steering wheel down to make it easier to pull off and it through the switch on the headlights. im assuming its the high beams since the switch is in the steering column but i truthfully dont know and havnt looked at the circuit diagrams yet dont blow my head off im wrong! so now thinking something else is going on i tilted down even farther and it activated the drivers side blinker as well.

so heres where im at i got the steering wheel off tonite and was detoured from pressing on with mission for the night because of this stupid snap ring. ill get it out tommorow and look at whats going on in their



But here is what i am asking you fine folks....has anybody ever ran into this same issue and if so what did you do to fix the problem? is it possible that the actual linkage between the tumbler and ignition switch has been bent or otherwise knocked out of its original position so that when the key turns its just not reaching the full stroke it should in the ignition switch? i taped the linkage down to the steering column along with the other two as well so that they wouldnt move out of the position they were in but no its looking like that may have not worked. but truthfully im new to these older Xjs my 95 was simple to mess with all that jazz just had to pull of the shroud. and with this 89 the steering wheel has to come off to get to anything!??! who the hell thought of it?! anyway any info is greatly appreciated

oh and one more question....has anyone ever pulled the steering column out of cherokee with the later style type set up with the shroud so that everything is easier to get to?

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cylinder , ignition , key , lock , switch

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