If all else fails read the manual. I found a 97 TJ FSM and downloaded it. The manual says to remove the lock cylinder after disconnecting negative battery terminal ( I think this disables the airbag for safety) My lock cylinder goes thru a hole in the lower steering column shroud which will not come off unless cylinder is removed so this makes sense.
DISCONNECT AND ISOLATE THE
BATTERY NEGATIVE (GROUND) CABLE FROM THE
VEHICLE BATTERY. THEN WAIT TWO MINUTES
FOR THE SYSTEM CAPACITOR TO DISCHARGE
BEFORE FURTHER SYSTEM SERVICE. THIS IS THE
ONLY SURE WAY TO DISABLE THE AIRBAG SYSTEM.
FAILURE TO DO THIS COULD RESULT IN
ACCIDENTAL AIRBAG DEPLOYMENT, AND POSSIBLE
(4) Insert the key in the ignition lock cylinder and
turn the ignition switch to the On position .
(5) Insert a small screwdriver or pin punch
through the access hole in the lower steering column
shroud and depress the ignition lock cylinder retaining
tumbler (Fig. 4).