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Unread 12-03-2002, 06:52 PM   #1
bowhunter
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Unlocking ignition switch w/o key

Does anyone know how to unlock the ignition switch in a 78 cj5? the PO didn't have a key and he never lock it. I was working on it tonight and somehow as I was getting in and out or moving around in the jeep it locked up.

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Unread 12-03-2002, 07:08 PM   #2
Mud Dobber
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a lock smith can unlock that switch for you and also remove it from the column. You can then either replace the entire lock assembly or have the lock smith cut you a new key for it. Short of that you do not have many options unless you do not mind causing damage to the jeep.
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Unread 12-03-2002, 07:45 PM   #3
bowhunter
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Dobber I was hoping that I could remove the steering wheel and be able to get numbers off it to have a key made or remove it and if I can remove it is there any wiring invovled?
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Unread 12-03-2002, 08:50 PM   #4
werewolf7111
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the complete switch with keys sells for about $16 in 4wd- its not worth a locksmith.

to remove it-- get a dent puller type of slide hammer and screw in and jerk out- it only has one plastic tab holding it in

then push the new switch assm in- youre done

Joe MSME PE
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Unread 12-03-2002, 08:55 PM   #5
werewolf7111
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afterthought

I worked as a locksmith when i was a teen

assuming the info is still available- the VIN could be used at a dealer to cut a key and locksmiths have books to look it up and remotely cut a key( assuming its the OEM switch)

also they used to sell key ring sets( a big ring with every combination of key depths on them- you keep trying till one fits)

prehaps an older locksmith may still have some

but yanking the switch is easier for the effort

Joe MSME PE
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Unread 12-04-2002, 10:02 AM   #6
bowhunter
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Wolf would pulling the cylinder out with slide hammer damage the "plastic tab" and not let the other cylinder lock in place
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Unread 12-04-2002, 02:19 PM   #7
werewolf7111
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no, the plastic tab is on the lock body proper- you are gonna trash the whole thing

you wont damage the recess that the tab locks in
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Unread 12-04-2002, 02:26 PM   #8
bowhunter
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Thanks wolf. Gonna get me uh slide hammer
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Unread 12-05-2002, 09:24 PM   #9
only in a jeep cj
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If you don't care about your Jeep, follow the above info! If you do, remove the horn button, steering wheel, compress lock ring and remove snap ring, unscrew turn signal cam and move it to the side. There are 2 types of ignition locks used in these GM type columns. If you see a black torx bolt, unscrew it and the cylinder will pull right out. If no screw, there is a thin slot that you insert a thin metal blade and push down the above mentioned tab. Then, go up to Autozone/Carquest/PepBoys, or whatever you have in your area and get a CJ lock set....15 to 25 bucks! reverse to install...NO SLIDE HAMMER (in case you have the screw type...you will damage the inside of the column if you have this type and use a slide hammer....the tab type might work this way, but why risk it)
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1975 CJ-6 304 T15 Dana20 30/44 3.73
1983 CJ-8 258 T5 300 30/44 3.31 Looking for full or half hardtop buy or trade
1986 CJ-7 Laredo 4.6 stroker T5 300 30/44 3.31
1986 TJ-7 Trail Jeep project in the works
2003 Inca Gold TJ Rubicon
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Unread 12-06-2002, 06:17 AM   #10
werewolf7111
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granted, youre right that thats the correct by the book way- but there are plenty of short cuts with minimal risk also that work too.( some not always in line with man. recommendations either)
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Unread 12-06-2002, 07:33 AM   #11
bowhunter
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Ed thanks the more info the better.
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Unread 12-06-2002, 06:03 PM   #12
only in a jeep cj
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Sorry about being harsh, Werewolf. I know there are times when we want to take a slide / sledge / and all other hammers to the problem to make it go faster! I do. My favorite "by the book" procedure is when they say disconnect the positive battery cable before you do ANYTHING! Wow
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1975 CJ-6 304 T15 Dana20 30/44 3.73
1983 CJ-8 258 T5 300 30/44 3.31 Looking for full or half hardtop buy or trade
1986 CJ-7 Laredo 4.6 stroker T5 300 30/44 3.31
1986 TJ-7 Trail Jeep project in the works
2003 Inca Gold TJ Rubicon
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Unread 12-06-2002, 07:01 PM   #13
werewolf7111
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thats fine "only", i accept your apology and offer one of my own

to who may read these presents:

"only" was 100% correct in correcting me because i failed to consider this forum is for viewers with varying skills and resources.

yes my "way" will work and has many times- BUT it is NOT the correct method and does have a risk factor.
I have put several 'techno" posts here and have gotten dozens of emails asking for more info which I have answered( either individually or "en masse")

I am a professional engineer who DOES know the value of the book( and the reason the book was written) as well as understanding an "experienced" person can combine/circumvent/alter steps, whereas a less experienced jeeper may not be advised to.

I posted my answer here(on this key issue) from a recent issue I did( on one of my own jeeps) WITHOUT advising the readers that there is a potential for other damage. ( although minimal- still there, regardless)- after re reading and thinking- I admit- that was the wrong approach and could be viewed as misleading to the lesser experienced.
In the future, i will be more careful and list potential risks with my posts

I offer my apology for my lack of forethought and i stand corrected.

Joe MSME PE
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Unread 12-06-2002, 07:16 PM   #14
bowhunter
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CJ, Wolf glad ya'll are here. Ed doing it your way but am having trouble finding out where to stick the thin piece of metal. May have to do wolf's idea
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Unread 12-06-2002, 09:13 PM   #15
bowhunter
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Ed, Joe cylinder IS OUT. Ed your idea was working until I could not get the tab to release. So Joe did the "slide hammer thing"but with a pair of channel locks and a hammer. Didn't take much force to release. Thanks to you both
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