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Old 12-06-2007, 02:10 PM   #1
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TJ ignition switch woes

Have an 05 wrangler, 4.0, standard trans with 57k miles. About one year ago replaced ignition switch under warranty - wouldn't start or even click. Now (unfortunately beyond warranty) have the same problem, although the non start is now intermittent. Have it in a local shop, as closest dealer 100 plus miles, estimate for R & R of switch $635.

Wondering if anyone has had similar problem, and is anyone aware of a recall, TSB, etc. I haven't seen anything on the net in this regard. Any advice, commiseration appreciated.

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Old 04-16-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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I am currently experiencing a similar problem with my 99 TJ. Today, after re-fueling. I parked my Jeep. Returning to head out somewhere else I went to start it and nothing, no click click click. Absolutely nothing. Did some research on line and found many others have has a similar experience however I could not find a rock solid solution. So far today I have replaced the starter, the starter relay in the PDC and the battery cable leads. Still no luck. I have ordered an ignition switch from the local auto parts store for $38.99. Short of there being a short in the physical wire that goes between the ignition and the relay I don't know what to make of it. I'll let you know if the $40 fix works. One thing that you can do to see if your starter is working is jumper from the positive to the tab where the smaller wire attaches to your starter. Make sure you are safe about doing it though for the obvious reasons.

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Old 04-16-2010, 10:05 PM   #3
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same thing happend to me....ive drivin around for two years like this...

dissasemble the dash under ur steering collom

pull the ignition switch (black plastic on the left) off and unscrew the gear/steering lock

put the key in the jammed ignition and turn the switch with a screwdriver like u would turn the key


should fire right up.....drive ur rig to the nearest shop =]
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ARiley15 View Post
I am currently experiencing a similar problem with my 99 TJ. Today, after re-fueling. I parked my Jeep. Returning to head out somewhere else I went to start it and nothing, no click click click. Absolutely nothing. Did some research on line and found many others have has a similar experience however I could not find a rock solid solution. So far today I have replaced the starter, the starter relay in the PDC and the battery cable leads. Still no luck. I have ordered an ignition switch from the local auto parts store for $38.99. Short of there being a short in the physical wire that goes between the ignition and the relay I don't know what to make of it. I'll let you know if the $40 fix works. One thing that you can do to see if your starter is working is jumper from the positive to the tab where the smaller wire attaches to your starter. Make sure you are safe about doing it though for the obvious reasons.

Any luck? What did you find?
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:06 AM   #5
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Still waiting on Autozone to get the part in........ Said it'd be here by 10 am, now it's 11 am and I'm pulling my hair out. If all else fails. I'm going to get a momentary toggle type switch and "jumper" from the positive post of the battery to the actuator on the starter. I've got things to do today!!!!

On another note..... Does any one know how to defeat the safety type torx screw? I need to remove one to replace the ingintion switch.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:33 PM   #6
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I say check the "F11" fuse in the big fuse box under the hood first. I decided to keep my toggle switch set up, and by pass the ignition switch? Have a wire running from the F11 fuse in the box under the hood, and a wire coming from the hole that a starter relay switch would normaly go in in that same box on the bottom right, both running to the switch I mounted discreetly on the right side of my steering colomn on the vacant piece of gray dash. Have had it like this for over 3 years and no problems wiith it starting anymore.

After typign all this out and explaing how my wires are routed (mechanic friend showed how to rout them a while back), I wonder if my problem isn't the starter relay switch in that big fuse box since i don't have one in there, and instead have that wire running from that spot.

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On another note..... Does any one know how to defeat the safety type torx screw? I need to remove one to replace the ingintion switch.
Do you mean "defeat the screw" as in, the bolt is stripped and you can't get the bit to grab it? Autozone or any other parts store should have that torx bit you need with the saftey pin in the head of it
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:22 PM   #7
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OK here's what I've found so far:

I've disassembled the the steering column per the Hayne's manual. Upon removel of the ignition switch I found a broken peice of cast aluminum. It's the square stock stem that comes through the body of the lock cyl that actually turns the switch. I'm attempting to epoxy it and replace the switch. My suspision is that the broken peice was not allowing the switch to go full forward to engage the switch 100%.

By the way, I did find a set of allen style torx with the tamper style head at autozone for $10. It's a T10 to remove the switch.

Still waiting on the epoxy to set up good. I'll let you guys know what the results are in a bit. Thanks for your suggestions. AR
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Don't bother with the epoxy, it won't hold for very long. There is a lot of torque on that piece, even if it works for a while, when it lets go you will have to tear it apart again. Go to a junk yard and get another one. It will be cheaper in the long run.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Don't bother with the epoxy, it won't hold for very long. There is a lot of torque on that piece, even if it works for a while, when it lets go you will have to tear it apart again. Go to a junk yard and get another one. It will be cheaper in the long run.
You are right. Made several attempts, no dice. Wish there was a yard around here that had some out of service Jeeps. I don't want to go to the dealership and get hosed. Not sure what I'm going to do. At least for now I've got the switch out and I can start it with a screw driver! If anyone knows where I might find a new/used assembly for a reasonable price, I'd appreciate being pointed in the right direction!

What can I say? My Jeep is 11 years old it's bound to have some issues sooner or later. Still love it though. Don't think I could drive anything else.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:11 PM   #10
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You are right. Made several attempts, no dice. Wish there was a yard around here that had some out of service Jeeps. I don't want to go to the dealership and get hosed. Not sure what I'm going to do. At least for now I've got the switch out and I can start it with a screw driver! If anyone knows where I might find a new/used assembly for a reasonable price, I'd appreciate being pointed in the right direction!

What can I say? My Jeep is 11 years old it's bound to have some issues sooner or later. Still love it though. Don't think I could drive anything else.
Yeah, a junkyard that is going to have Jeep stuff you can use will be hard to fine. I had a similar (or same?) part break in mine a little while back and ended up just ordering a new steering colomn because the little part I was looking for was appartently unfindable. "www.daveysjeeps.com" had a new colomn at my front door the next day for a Very reasonable price. Just saying, if you can't find the part you need.....was quite easy installing the new colomn. In my case, I also had some problems with a blinker switch and one other thing (can't remember) so getting a new colomn with all the switches attached made it even more appealing.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:03 PM   #11
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It doesn't have to be Jeep!! All of these columns are made by Saginaw steering, any column that was built for Chrysler during the same time frame will have the parts you need. Think outside the box. (column) S.
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #12
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It doesn't have to be Jeep!! All of these columns are made by Saginaw steering, any column that was built for Chrysler during the same time frame will have the parts you need. Think outside the box. (column) S.
Thats the answer I was looking for! Here are some pictures of what I'm up against:
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:35 PM   #13
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Well, here's the latest. After much searching and endless phone calls turning up negative results (not mention MOPAR wanting $495 for a new steering column). I smacked myself up-side the head and called Unlimited Off Road Center by my house. The fine folks over there hooked me up with a steering column with the parts I needed to repair my ignition for $25. I was able to drop the plate that can be seen in the above photos below the stem that operates the ingintion switch itself. Slapped the new operating rod (for lack of a better description) in, put it back together and turned the key. Fired right up. Can't be happier and it only cost me 25 bucks to repair. Thanks for all of your help and suggestions!
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #14
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Really glad that worked out for you.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:30 AM   #15
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Has anyone else had this problem that ARiley15 had? It just happened to me and my mechanic is telling me that I need to get a whole steering column just to replace this small part. Are there any other ways?
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:48 PM   #16
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It is easier on the mechanic ( and more profitable) to replace the column. He will not do the legwork to find a small part. SHOP AROUND!! The parts are there to be had, either you do the work or the mechanic will at a price$$$$

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Old 06-24-2010, 10:21 PM   #17
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #18
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Thanks Tarby. I just order the part today. DaveysJeeps has been closed since 6/25.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:00 PM   #19
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Anyone know how long it would take to replace a part like this? Want to make sure my mechanic doesn't try to rip me off on the cost for the labor since I paid for the part already.
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:16 AM   #20
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A few years ago I had the same problem. I spent $175 for a junk steering column setup so I could remove the little actuating rod and then take mine back apart to install it. Lost money lost time.

This go 'round, I just mounted a starter button to the dash above the key switch. It also works well for solenoids that act up. Cost is about $15 if wire and loom are included. The bottom end (the two solenoid contacts) should have heat shrink insulation.

And yes, this does eliminate the circuit that makes it necessary to depress the clutch to engage starter. But, you could wire through that and keep the feature if you like it.

I see one of the Korean manufacturers are highlighting starter buttons as advanced technology

good luck
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:20 PM   #21
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joined just to comment on this post as it solved a big problem for me. adding some more information in case anyone else comes across this via google (shows up searching for 'Jeep Wrangler ignition switch')

The part in the picture that is broken is called the 'ignition switch actuator' and is the link between the key cylinder and the ignition switch.

The only way to get that part is to get a junked steering column. You can't even order the part from Chrysler.

After removing the key lock cylinder and the ignition switch, remove the bottom plate from the steering column (2 Torx screws) and drop it out (be mindful of the spring). Then remove the white plastic part (your ignition switch attaches onto this) and replace with the one removed from another steering column.
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #22
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A few years ago I had the same problem. I spent $175 for a junk steering column setup so I could remove the little actuating rod and then take mine back apart to install it. Lost money lost time.

This go 'round, I just mounted a starter button to the dash above the key switch. It also works well for solenoids that act up. Cost is about $15 if wire and loom are included. The bottom end (the two solenoid contacts) should have heat shrink insulation.

And yes, this does eliminate the circuit that makes it necessary to depress the clutch to engage starter. But, you could wire through that and keep the feature if you like it.

I see one of the Korean manufacturers are highlighting starter buttons as advanced technology

good luck
I did this same mod with the push button on the dash and haven't had any problems ever since. Yes it does bypass the clutch circuit, doesn't bother me though.
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:01 PM   #23
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iv ran into the same exact problem, only thing is i have the part.... i just cant seem to get the Ignition Switch Actuator out.... any advice on how to get that out?
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:04 PM   #24
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also, another thing you can do if this happens to you, pop your hood. find the starter relay. and pop the cap off of it. now, touch the 2 metal pieces together and it will crank right up. (make sure its in neutral)
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:37 PM   #25
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I have exactly the same problem now (the piece broken off) . Dorman makes the ignition switch actuator and it can be ordered.

I would like to know which terminals on the connector to connect to in order to bypass the ignition switch.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:59 PM   #26
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The rod just keeps breaking if it's made from the same material as OEM. Periodic repair of a design defect isn't something I'm into.

Can't imagine why the starter button approach isn't more popular here. It's what the BA crawlers use to get out of the big potholes around Moab. Lug the engine until it dies and crank with a starter button to finish getting out.

Since the solenoid is actually a relay, you don't have to go heavy guage wire. #16 works fine.

I guess some things are just too simple.

good luck

PS I guess I could post some pics. . . just so you could see how cool it is. . . . and easy to do.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:38 PM   #27
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Well, this is my first time owning a jeep. I just got it two days ago. It wont start. NO click no nothing. Lights gauges and everything come on. I think it is the ignition switch but im not sure cause i cant get it off. The screw that holds the switch on is stipped badly. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:00 PM   #28
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I have exactly the same problem now (the piece broken off) . Dorman makes the ignition switch actuator and it can be ordered.

I would like to know which terminals on the connector to connect to in order to bypass the ignition switch.
The part number from Dorman is 924-704
Dorman Products - 924-704
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:39 PM   #29
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I went to start it and nothing, no click click click. Absolutely nothing.
Hey now, Folx!

My Heep is in the shop, as I type, for this exact issue. It is NOT the ignition switch, starter, relay or fuses. In my heep, the linkage between the key cylinder and the starter switch broke. The shop showed me the part taken out of the steering column. It is a simple linkage but it's made of a crap-tastic white metal alloy that broke. And FWIW, my ignition switch is still good but the shop initially thought it was bad and bought one from the stealer. It is NOT a returnable part.

Guess what? The stealership does NOT sell the individual part but they will sell you an entire steering column to fix it. Said steering column is back ordered overseas. Not available. Now we await a used steering column to cannibalize for the linkage. It won't arrive at the shop until next Wednesday.

If you have a local pick-n-pull, you might save yourself beau coup time and Euros. YMMV
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:22 PM   #30
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Yeller, Dorman, or I listed another supplier for your linkage, in your other no start thread. It's a place that specializes in theft recovery steering column parts.

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