Key switch problem-HELP! - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Technical Forum > Key switch problem-HELP!

FS: 2007-2013 Jeep Wrangler "HALO" Angel Eye KitFS: Wranger BRIGHT License Plate LED! Just $3! Great valueRough Country Lift Kits and Parts!

Reply
Unread 10-30-2012, 08:24 AM   #1
LWechterPA
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 20
Key switch problem-HELP!

I have a 99 Jeep Cherokee with a 4.0, auto, a/c & 128,000 miles on the clock.
Recently I'm having trouble with the key not turning when inserted. I have to play with it before it finally turns and I can start the engine. Is there a site showing how to remove the key switch? If the switch is defective is this part available from the after market? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

LWechterPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
jjshbetz11
Registered User
2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: the once burning river, ohio
Posts: 368
I would get a new key first if that doesn't work then a new tumbler witch is a dealer only part I believe

sent from a flat black thingie
__________________
R.I.P 96 xj aka. War Queen

Hello 2000xj
jjshbetz11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2012, 06:00 PM   #3
CJ7-Tim
Real Jeeps have dents.
 
CJ7-Tim's Avatar
2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: out in the garage - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 21,308
Search JeepForum or the GOOGLE and find the often posted instructions for removing the Ignition Key Cylinder. Clean and lubricate the cylinder and make sure the Ignition Switch Actuator Pin is not broken. If you continue to have issues, have a locksmith look at the cylinder, lock tumblers, and key. It is rather unlikely that the ignition switch itself is faulty.
__________________
.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, AR-15 sporting rifles account for nearly 20% of all U.S. firearms sales.

Progressive Liberalism: Bringing you new Healthcare ideas so wonderful, they have to include mandatory participation ......

Originally Posted by Ronald W. Reagan: Government is not the solution to our problem; Government is the problem.
CJ7-Tim is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 10-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
Planetcat
Registered User
2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: West of the Mississippi
Posts: 1,410
I just put a new tumbler w/new key assembly in my 90. It was like $13 at pep boys. The installation was a pita, but now it works great. No jiggling to get it started.
__________________
2004 WJ 4.7L, 1959 CJ-5, 1990 XJ Limited, 1996 XJ (sold), 1989 YJ Wrangler 4.2L (Sold)
Planetcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-15-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
SBRambler
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 4
It's never one thing...

My ignition trouble started when the key turn started feeling a little soft. Then, it would not start. I thought at first it was neutral safety switch, so I cleaned, inspected and lubed that (info on that from this forum). No Luck.

Then I went after the clutch safety switch jumper (have an auto tranny) since I could not get 12V activation to the starter relay, although all the other electronics turned on when the key was in the RUN pos. That jumper is too far up under the dash to get access w/o removing the dash, and I did not want to remove the dash. I am so glad I did not do that.

So I installed a push button ignition, and that worked for a while, then one day the Jeep would not turn OFF! Had to pull the 12V connector off the coil to shut her down. Note: Do not pull the hot cable that goes to the distributor while the engine is on - it can shock the hell out of you!

So then I bought a new ignition switch, but when I pulled the old one out noticed that the metal part of the key pin actuator had sheared off in it. So, I bought one of those, too. Carefully followed the directions and installed that along with the ignition switch. Not too difficult. Now everything worked, but the key turning was a little stiff and the "key in" bell would not stop ringing, even when the key was removed.

Took the lock barrel out and sprayed some WD-40 in and on it, worked the key back and forth and re-installed. Now I can get the bell to turn off if I jiggle the key a little bit while removing. I guess I will be buying a lock barrel and will have two different keys (ignition and doors). I'm leaving the push-button ignition in place for now.

These are great trucks, but the electrical system is a constant pita. The automatic door locks work sometimes, the passenger electric window works only from the driver's control switch, and I have replaced a few sensors. The A/C and vent fan system are a total mystery, and may never be solved.
SBRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-15-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
GetLifted
Registered User
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,193
So happy i have manual windows and aftermarket power locks. The a/c and vent fan is all vacuum driven. So you have a vacuum leak. And the "key in bell/door chime/headlight warning" relay can be removed completely. Mine has been since day 1.



Oh and the key jiggle is priceless
GetLifted is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-19-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
Reptile
Web Wheeler
1991 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 1,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBRambler View Post
Took the lock barrel out and sprayed some WD-40 in and on it, worked the key back and forth and re-installed.
WD-40 is the wrong product for this application. It is petroleum based and will collect all the dirt. Use a dry graphite lubricant in powder form (not spray).

Quote:
Originally Posted by GetLifted View Post
the "key in bell/door chime/headlight warning" relay can be removed completely. Mine has been since day 1.
GetLifted, the key in bell is an important feature that shall not be removed, per CA law. It is part of a state mandated road rage prevention program. Its sole intended purpose is to irritate the driver in order to mentally prepare him for dealing with all those as$holes on the road, including the ones driving slow on the fast lane.

Thanks for the video . I've seen this dude before, he's installed my cable at home.
Reptile is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-21-2012, 10:02 AM   #8
SBRambler
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 4
Okay, I'm glad you guys are online. Here's the latest development: The whole car goes DEAD.
It started out, as usual, as an intermittent. I'd put the key in, turn it, press the starter button (custom!) and the starter would start to turn the engine over then quit, along with all the dash lights. Then next try, it would start like normal. This happened a few times, then last night it happened again: electricity cut off to everything after the first kick to the starter. Dead car, no dome light, no headlights, no bell.
Then, on the third try, everything lights up and the motor starts and I drive it home. On the way, the "Check Gauges" light goes on and the volt meter is pegged at 19. When I get home, I turn it off and the headlights go off with the motor, and the car is dead. Now it won't start again, and I can't get the dome lights, or the headlights or any response electrically.
I thought this must be a loose a battery cable, but the battery cables/terminals are all good and tight.
So then I disassemble the ignition switch, actuator shaft assembly and look for problems, but I can't see anything wrong and the switch seems to ring out okay on the multimeter. Anyway, I don't think that switch could kill power to the dome light and the headlights, right?
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
SBRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #9
SBRambler
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 4
I found the answer on another thread - bad grounding. Replaced the (-) terminal ground wire that bolts to the fender well, cleaned all ground connections to bare metal (firewall and block gnd's as well) and evrything works fine now. I have to find the author post and thank him. He has 3 jeeps including a 99 XJ.

None of the grounds I cleaned showed open circuit before the cleaning.
SBRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
SBRambler
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Posts: 4
Found him! TJWalker on the CherokeeForum.
SBRambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 11-21-2012, 10:18 PM   #11
Reptile
Web Wheeler
1991 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 1,297
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBRambler View Post
Found him! TJWalker on the CherokeeForum.
You mean the LEGENDARY TJWalker.
Reptile is offline   Reply With Quote




Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.