Upgrading Ignition System HELP - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-08-2013, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgetown
Posts: 17
Upgrading Ignition System HELP

Been rebuilding a CJ7 my grandparents gave me to be my first car; Just got my license a few weeks ago. I want to remove the whole ignition switch and mount a push button starter switch and heavy toggle on off switch on the dash (I have a really cool on/off switch from an old airplane). Can I just remove all of the internals from the key? And How do I rewire the switch on the column. I have the column all take apart right now because I had to remove the ignition key switch because the barrel was corroded (it had the older style Ford system- had to punch a whole in the thin metal wall to release key barrel). I accidentally broke the connecting rod that connects the barrel to the rod that goes to the electrical switch that is on teh bottom of the console. Sorry that might sound confusing- basically can I remove the key lockout barrel, the linkage down to the switch, and rewire all of a hand switch? If so, can I have a diagram with description of which wires need to connect when on or off. And which parts can i remove out of the column, like what do I not need

I don't think I can get the linkage in the column that I broke.

btw- 1978 CJ7 with 258, turbo400, and quadratrac

sorry this is so jumbled- I'm tired

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-08-2013, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgetown
Posts: 17
Basically guys, can I remove all of the key linkages and such from the column and put dash mounted switches? If so can I have an electrical diagram of how to wire a few on off switches and anything I can't remove from the column.

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post #3 of 6 Old 03-09-2013, 10:21 AM
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1979 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Clarks Summit
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Get yourself a Haynes/Chilton/Factory manual. For what you want to do now, and I see where you're going (all good)...you'll need one w/a schematic (sp?). It's really hard to walk somebody through what you want here. Wire colors change by year, connector pins are moved around inside a plug etc..
Good Luck. Sounds cool!.

I've also learned that sometimes... when people don't agree with you .... its best to hold them down and kidney punch them till they agree with you
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-15-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgetown
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ok so I rebuilt the entire console- I have three books, still found the best schematic online and just took it apart like I would anything else- memory and just common sense. Here's a new issue! Put the console in with a new tumbler, plugged all in- got nothing. tried to start iwth a push button harness I made on the solenoid- starts spent an hour checking every connection- a connector in the firewall was pushed in from wear- so I pulled out- little epoxy and grease- she starts now she has an issue she will start when I turn the key and she'll run, but as soon as I let off the ignition, she dies essentially the coil is getting power and running when the solenoid is open, as expected, but not getting power as soon as I close the solenoid, and my ignition module is good so loose connection I guess. my condensor had a wire pull out of it, which I shall have to replace, but it should run wihtout a condenser that should be used for interference for teh radio as I remember
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-16-2013, 03:52 AM
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1981 CJ7 
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You need to step back a minute and look at what you have done.

Have you reinstalled the steering column with the right lock cylinder, sector, connecting rack and ignition switch? Are you now as Jeep intended?

If so your ignition switch may not be operating in ON (though it sound sliek it does in START). The reasons for this can be several but one is that you have not put it back together in the same way and the rack is not operating the switch. You can loosen the switch and see if you can adjust it but first you need to check if it is working.

Operating the solenoid feeds 12V to the I tab on the solenoid. That is connected to the coil to feed 12V in Start. When you stop the I tab does not get 12V any more and the coil gets nothing. Before you start hot wiring you need to go back to basiscs. Check what you have at the fuse box.

If you have the standard fuse box you can check what voltage you have on whcih circuits. Some of those are permanently live, others only in ON etc. diagram attached.

Best way to check is to get a 12V test bulb and some long leads. Hook one end up to the battery negative and use the other to search for voltage. Very simple, easy and cheap.

See what power you have at the fuse box in OFF, ON etc. IF it is wired as per the factory you coudl tell if the ignition was live just by whether the fuel gauge and temperature gauge came on.

Now look closely at the red with tracer line going to the coil (you see it on the left of the fuse box diagram?). Has it got power in Run / ON? If not look back down the line until you come to the ballast resistor. These burn out sometimes. Have you got voltage the other side? If not follow it back to the bulkhead connector and then the fuse box.
Attached Thumbnails
84-86FuseBoxSch - Copy.jpg   schematic ignition layout.png  

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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
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1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-16-2013, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgetown
Posts: 17
one important fact I forgot- I have tried using the original ignition switch, adn teh newer one both obtain same result- I can cycle through everything withh teh switches, even make the jeep start, and when it starts it runs as long as that coil gets power(through solenoid), but as soon as the ignition is let off on the switch, it shuts off. I got her started once successfully but she ran very rough. Can't get her to run now
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