Crankshaft/Camshaft Pick-up Plate FIXED, PLEASE READ. -
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-05-2010, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Crankshaft/Camshaft Pick-up Plate FIXED, PLEASE READ.

I wanted to post this for anyone else who is or had the same problems I had today, which turned into an all day problem that involved fixing the jeep on the side of the road and mulitple trips to the auto parts store.

I'm not an expert so this infomation my be pointless to some but for people on my level of expertise, it might save them a headache and allow for a nice sunny day crusing around in your jeep like I had planned.

I'm going to cut to the chase and just put the info out there...

My jeep was pulling codes 12,11,54,55 after it stalled Sat afternoon.

11- Crankshaft Sensor

54- Camshaft sensor

I got it home and cleaned all the connectors and tighen everything I could. It started right up and ran beautifully without any codes.

The next morning I took it out and within 10 miles it stalled again. At this point I was only getting 12,54,55 codes.

I had a lot of misunderstanding with the crankshaft and camshaft and as a result I replaced the crankshaft and also bought come connector wiring cleaner and cleaned all the connectors again. I replaced the crankshaft sensor hoping that would fix my problems even though i felt like it was the camshaft sensor but any part store I called said they didnt even have the part in stock and/or I would have to go directly to the dealer, so i took a gamble. I finally figured out what the Camshaft sensor was as before I was not sure and couldnt find any direct answers. I took the camshaft sensor apart and cleaned everything very well. It started right up. I drove around and was good to go, until 10 mins into it, the jeep died again. I thought it was the crankshaft but it wasnt. So I took apart the camshaft senor and cleaned again, It started right up again, then died again. I notcied that everytime I would clean the part, it would run for a few mins then die. I finnaly called the dealer parts dept. He said they call the part a distributor switch plate but had to special order. I called a local parts place and after telling them what I needed, they called it a Pick-Up plate.

I replaced the part for 41.99 and the jeep runs perfect.

I guess I'm just trying to throw out the other terms for this part because if I had known, It could have saved me an 80 dollar crankshaft sensor and 10 hours of my day.

I attached a picture for those who would like to actually see the part.

If you remove the distributor cap, remove the rotor, then left up the plate that sits between the cap and base. Thats it. Five min install. Mine didnt look bad but the silver plate had plenty of tarnish on it.

I hope if any of the info is wrong or misleading, please feel free to correct or remove if completely wrong.

Like I said, I'm not an expert so please bare with me, I'm learning a lot!


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post #2 of 9 Old 07-05-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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One other quick question... When I replaced the crankshaft sensor I noticed that someone must have lost one of the screws that hold it in with a plain generic screw... Just one of the two... Its in tight but will this be ok or should I try and replace that one screw?
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-05-2010, 07:12 PM
Jerry Bransford
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Nice writeup, good job on getting that problem resolved. And if that generic screw is holding the crankshaft position sensor ok, I'd leave it. So long as it's not already rusty from being poor quality, a screw is a screw if it fits.

When you have a choice, buy American made.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 02:57 AM
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
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Thanks for posting this. I have been having some problems with my jeep and I kept getting pointed to a camshaft position sensor, but couldn't find one. Even in the FSM, it referred to a camshaft position sensor however when I looked in the parts manual, one was nowhere to be found. I finally stumbled on the distributor switch plate, but couldn't tell if that was the same part. This post confirms what I thought all along. Thanks.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 03:42 AM
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We used to have a 94 cherokee that would die while we were driving down the road at random times. It ran perfectly fine other than that. After finding the code from the computer (don't remember what it was), I was able to pin the problem down to that same part. It's been many years so I can't remember where I got it from but I ordered it online. It's like a 5 minute job and it was running perfect again. I had almost forgotten about that until I saw this post.

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post #6 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 04:49 AM
Jonny Jeep
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I came across somebody in the past who was looking for a new cam position sensor and had the same problem not being able to find it. I had nothing better to do at the time so I went through a few US auto parts store sites and found their descriptions, which I listed in the thread. They can also be called ignition pickup too.

Edit here's the post I made. Links updated so they work.

Originally Posted by Jonny Jeep
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 05:37 AM
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Rockauto calls it a 'Distributor Ignition Pickup'

2000 - Sahara
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-06-2012, 05:56 AM
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It is great to get the different terminology on this. I have ran into this issue with other parts where it has different names at different places. Thanks for the information.

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post #9 of 9 Old 11-11-2016, 12:30 PM
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Oh, I just love this forum. I have been looking for this information! Thanks for the great post and information!!! I threw one 1391 code, the jeep was running like crap with what I think was surging... the tach looked like it was literally bouncing from idle to 2-2500 RPM, then would slow down and die. I replaced the crankshaft position sensor and all seemed well, until I was driving for about an hour, then it just started cutting out, would feather the pedal to no avail, start to pull off road, then downshifted and got it to fire up. It did this several times and the last time, I rolled to a complete stop, turned the key off, then it fired right back up. I'm going to replace this part for 40$, the way I see it, I have 245K miles on it and have never replaced either of those sensors... this can't be wrong.

this is a link to another explanation for those two damned sensors and how to fix!
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crankshaft , camshaft , write-up , write up , pick up plate , fix , code

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