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Ignition Switch Removal??


Old 10-05-2009, 07:02 PM
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mudbogginjeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tipp City, Ohio
Posts: 138
Year: 1987
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 6 Cylindar 4.0L

Originally Posted by Howler_GT View Post
There are TWO "special" tools you will need.

First is a steering wheel puller...thats a given. I will not go into detail on the use of it. Its pretty straight forward.

Second is a lock plate removal tool. This tool will push down on the lock-plate.
BOTH of these specialty tools can be acquired from any auto parts store with a loaner tool program.

If you do not know...A lock plate is what causes your steering wheel to CLICK into a locked position. A rod is pushed up into it. There are a series of notches along the edge that the rod catches...locking the steering.

This plate will be what you see when you remove the steering wheel.

Its big, black and covers the entire top of the column.
This plate is retained by a small wire c-clip. Its small.
There is a huge spring on the backside that presses this plate to the retaining clip.

Screw the Removal tool onto the top of the column where the steering wheel nut was. Twist the wing nut on the tool and this will push the lock plate down.
Now you have access to the lockplate retaining clip.

This is where the "fun" starts.
You need to get two itty-bitty screwdrivers in there and TRY to get this clip ou. I have done it hundreds of times and I can clearly say: Its a ROYAL PITA. But it can be done.

Now after you have used every word in the book and then some, take the removal tool off.
Place the clip somewhere it won't get lost.

Pull off: Lock Plate/BLACK
Horn actuator housing/ GREEN or WHITE
Tension spring/ BIG and often GREASY.

Now you are looking at your turn signal assembly. You are almost there.

The assembly is held in with 3-4 Phillips head screws.They are big and black and reside in little holes under the first layer of the assembly.
Have no idea what I mean????
Signal a right turn.
The piece of plastic that moves is the first layer. Under it you will see a stationary piece. In that piece you will find the mounting screws.

You will have to "signal left" and "signal right" to get access to these screws.
Before you go and yank that puppy out....You need to unscrew your "hazard signal" ****.
Also you will need to remove the screw that is to the far left. This attaches the turn signal lever to the assembly. This screw holds in a small metal clip....don't lose this either.

The only thing left that is keeping you from accessing the tumbler is the turn signal assembly wires.
CAREFULLY pull up on the assembly.
If the wires give resistence...don't pull. You will only damage the wires and you will be replacing the turn signal assembly.
Sometimes there is enough wire to get it over the end of the column shaft.
If not, the connector at the bottom is usually clipped to the underside of the column.
FLAT and wide. Just unclip it from its home and there should be enough wire.

TADA. You're where you want to be.
You need a needle nosed pliers to pull a set of copper contacts out from the back of the tumbler. Pull them straight up and note the direction they point.

Depending on the style of lock tumbler assembly you have its held in by one of two means.
Easiest is the retaining screw. Unscrew...remove old instal new and reverse everything.

They other way isw yet ANOTHER retaining clip. Simply push it in with a flat screwdriver while wiggling the old tumbler out. Install new and the clip should just pop into its slot.

Now its all a matter of reversing everything you've done up to this point.


1. Before removing steering wheel--make sure its straight. Makes for easier alignment during re-assembly.

2. Horn Actuator Hub and Lock Plate only go back in in a certain direction. There are prongs on the inside...one is missing. Has the same pattern on column shaft..you will see.

3. The Lock Plate Removal tool doubles as an INSTALLATION tool. Slide the spring/horn actuator hub and lockplate onto shaft. Slide lockplate retainer ring on NOW..trust me. Install the "removal" tool and compress the lockplate down. Cram that stupid little clip into its groove.

4. If your cell phone has a camera...USE IT. Snap as many pics of every step.This will aid greatly when it comes time for re-assembly.

DAYUM...My fingers are tired

Thank you for the help me and my dad would have not done it the right way or maybe even sucked at it, again thank you.

Daniel S.
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