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Unread 04-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
kcolivier
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2
2008 Liberty Shift Interlock Cable

I have a 2008 4WD Auto Transmission Liberty that is used for 4 wheels down towing behind my motorhome. I have used this configuration for 3 years with no problems. However, I discovered recently that I can remove the ignition key when in Drive, which led my mechanic to find that the shift interlock cable was disconnected. He assumed that it was part of the tow package installation. I tend to disagree. The owners manual makes no mention of needing to disconnect the shift interlock cable for recreational towing. With the interlock cable removed, it is possible to turn off the ignition and remove the key when in Drive, which makes it possible for the Jeep to roll unless the parking brake is applied. Not only possible, but it has happened with both me and my son.

Questions: For 4 wheels down towing, is there any reason that the shift interlock cable needs to be disconnected? When the transfer case is in Neutral, the transmission in Park and the key removed, do the front wheels turn right and left following the direction of the motorhome?

I am new to the forum, but had searched around here and did not see anything pertinent.

Ken

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Unread 04-25-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
JeepCares
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: MOPAR World Headquarters, Chrysler Group LLC
Posts: 2,407
I'm not sure what the shift interlock cable being disconnected would have to do with towing. Have you always been able to remove the ignition key when in Drive, or is the first time you've noticed it?

Here's what the 2008 Liberty Owner Manual says:

RECREATIONAL TOWING (BEHIND
MOTORHOME, ETC.)
Towing – 2WD Models
Recreational towing is not allowed.
CAUTION!
Towing with the rear wheels on the ground can result
in severe transmission damage.

Towing — 4WD Models
The transfer case must be shifted into Neutral (N) for
recreational towing. The Neutral (N) selection button is
located at the top of the 4WD Control Switch. Shifts into
and out of transfer case Neutral (N) can take place with
the selector switch in any mode position.
CAUTION!
- The Automatic Transmission must be in “P” (Park)
position for recreational towing. The Manual
Transmission (if equipped) must be in gear (for
example, 4th gear) for recreational towing. Failure
to follow these procedures can cause severe transmission
and/or transfer case damage.
- Internal damage to the transmission or transfer
case will occur if a front or rear wheel lift is used
when recreational towing.
- Before recreational towing, perform the procedure
outlined under “Shifting into Neutral” to be certain
that the transfer case is fully in Neutral (N).
Otherwise, internal damage will result.
- Do not use a bumper mounted clamp-on tow bar
on your vehicle. The bumper face bar will be
damaged.
WARNING!
You or others could be injured if you leave the
vehicle unattended with the transfer case in the
Neutral (N) position without first fully engaging the
parking brake. The transfer case Neutral (N) position
disengages both the front driveshaft and rear driveshaft
from the powertrain and it will allow the
vehicle to move despite the transmission position.
The parking brake should always be applied when
the driver is not in the vehicle.

Shifting into Neutral (N)
Perform the following procedure to prepare your vehicle
for recreational towing:
1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
2. Shut OFF the engine.
3. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position.
4. Depress the brake pedal.
5. Shift the transmission to “N” (Neutral) (automatic
transmission), or depress the clutch pedal (manual transmission).
6. Use the point of a ballpoint pen or similar object to
depress the recessed transfer case Neutral (N) button for
4 seconds. After the shift is complete, and the Neutral (N)
light turns on, release the Neutral (N) button.
7. Start the engine.
8. Shift the automatic transmission into “R” (Reverse).
9. Release the brake pedal for five seconds and ensure
that there is no vehicle movement.
10. Repeat Steps 8 and 9 with the transmission in “D”
(Drive) (automatic transmission) or 1st gear (manual
transmission).
11. Shut OFF the engine.
12. Turn the ignition switch to the unlocked OFF position.
13. Shift the transmission into “P” (Park) (automatic
transmission), or shift into 4th gear (manual transmission).
14. Attach the vehicle to a tow vehicle with a tow bar.
15. Disconnect the battery negative cable.
NOTE:
- Steps 1 through 5 are requirements for shifting the
transfer case. If these requirements are not met prior to
depressing the Neutral (N) selection button or while
the shift attempt is in process, then the Neutral (N)
indicator light will flash continuously until all requirements
are met or until the Neutral (N) button is
released.
- The ignition switch must be in the ON position for a
shift to take place and for the position indicator lights
to be operable. If the ignition switch is not in the ON
position, the shift will not take place and no position
indicator lights will be on or flashing.
- Flashing Neutral (N) position indicator light indicates
that shift requirements have not been met.

CAUTION!
Damage to the transmission may occur if the transmission
is shifted into “P” (Park) with the transfer
case in Neutral (N) and the engine RUNNING. With
the transfer case in Neutral (N), ensure that the
engine is OFF prior to shifting the transmission into
“P” (Park).

Shifting Out of Neutral (N)
Perform the following procedure to prepare your vehicle
for normal usage:
1. Bring the vehicle to a complete stop.
2. Reconnect the battery negative cable.
3. Place the ignition switch in the LOCK position (if it
has been moved or the engine has been started).
4. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position, but do not
start the engine.
5. Depress the brake pedal.
6. Shift the transmission into “N” (Neutral) (automatic
transmission), or depress the clutch pedal (manual transmission).
7. Use the point of a ballpoint pen or similar object to
depress the recessed transfer case Neutral (N) button.
Release the Neutral (N) button after the Neutral (N)
indicator light turns off (approximately 1 second). After
the Neutral (N) button is released, the transfer case will
shift to the position identified by the selector switch.
8. Start the engine.
9. Shift the transmission into “D” (Drive) (automatic
transmission) or into 1st gear and momentarily release
the clutch (manual transmission) to verify that the transfer
case has engaged.
10. Set the parking brake.
11. Shift the transmission into “P” (Park) (automatic
transmission), or into “N” (Neutral) (manual transmission).
NOTE:
- Steps 1 through 6 are requirements for shifting the
transfer case. If these requirements not met prior to
depressing the Neutral (N) selection button or while
the shift attempt is in process, then all of the mode
position indicator lights will flash continuously until
all requirements are met or until the Neutral (N)
button is released.
- The ignition switch must be in the ON position for a
shift to take place and for the position indicator lights
to be operable. If the ignition switch in not in the ON
position, the shift will not take place and no position
indicator lights will be on or flashing.
- Flashing Neutral (N) position indicator light indicates
that shift requirements have not been met.
__________________
Lee
U.S. Top Care
Chrysler Group LLC
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Unread 04-25-2013, 08:29 AM   #3
kcolivier
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2
I just noticed recently that I could turn off the engine, remove the key and after forgetting to set the parking brake, the Jeep rolled since I inadvertently left the transmission in Drive. My son did the same thing last week. When I first noticed it, I was at my mechanic and added it to the service items. He worked with the extended warranty people and replaced the steering column first, then the ignition lock, neither of which resolved the problem. It was at that time he noticed the ignition interlock cable coiled neatly and tie wrapped. When he attached the shift interlock cable, then he found that the steering wheel locked when turned, so this was a no go for towing, since the front wheels have to track the direction of the motorhome turn. So he again disconnected the shift interlock cable. I don't know whether it was initially disconnected during manufacture or when the tow package was first installed 3 years ago.

So apparently, I need the shift interlock cable disconnected to prevent the front wheels from locking, BUT with the shift interlock cable disconnected, the key is not prevented from being removed except in Park. Catch 22.

Ken

Last edited by kcolivier; 04-25-2013 at 09:10 AM..
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