How-To: Rebuild 97+ XJ fog lamp switch

Old 11-10-2009, 11:35 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
Posts: 164
Year: 1997
Model: Cherokee
Engine: 4.0L
Default How-To: Rebuild 97+ XJ fog lamp switch

How to rebuild a 97+ XJ Cherokee fog lamp switch
PDF Version can be found here - [URL]
Disclaimer – Performing this or any modification to your vehicle is done at your own risk. There is no warranty expressed or implied, this information is provided as-is and free of charge. The author will not be held liable should you damage your vehicle or should any adverse affects occur from the information or methods provided in this document.
A common failure item on the 97+ XJ is the fog lamp switch. The switch shown is Mopar part number 56007247. The switch is located below the radio beside the rear defroster and rear wiper switches. The switch is provided power by the fog lamp relay and is a simple direct connection switch for the relay’s output to the lamps. The fog lamp relay (although it is counter-intuitive) is controlled by the multi-function switch. As a result the fog lamp switch’s contact heats up and will eventually melt the carrier that holds the contact and the spring will not function. This write-up will show you how to clean up the plastic carrier it rides in and install a longer spring to keep the contact against the circuit board. I will say at the outset that if your spring has ruptured though the carrier on the front side of the switch the switch cannot be repaired and will need to be replaced or bypassed. This will be discussed in further detail later.
Tools Needed

You will need two small files, one round and one with a flat edge and a small common screwdriver. I show a tapered file here, you need a ROUND file to fix the hole the spring goes into. Also a #2 Phillips screwdriver is needed to remove the switch panel from the dash.


The obvious first step is to remove the switch panel from the dash. This is done by snapping out the bezel that surrounds the radio, switch panel, and HVAC controls. This is held in with clips. Once it is out of the way remove the 3 #2 Phillips screws to take the switch panel free of the dash. The electrical connections must then be disconnected. Remove the panel to the work bench and disengage the clips that hold the switch in the panel with the small common screwdriver.


Now that we have the switch itself on the bench we need to open it up. First turn out the light bulbs with the common screwdriver. They turn about ¼ turn and then drop out.

Disengage the clips that hold the body together.

Open up the switch and view the internal parts. Take care, note its construction.

In the above picture you see the workings of the switch. The spring keeps the U-shaped contact against the circuit board that is connected to the back of the switch. The carrier (with the spring in it) moves up and down with the switch to move the contact. Note that the spring is sticking out sideways; it is in a bind due to the melted plastic around it.

Let’s get a better look…

The melted hole on the left side of the carrier is the spring’s hole (blue arrow). NOTE: If the plastic at the bottom of this hole is melted out then it is time for a new switch, no need to proceed further. The flat (now melted) areas on each side of it are the sliders for the contact (red arrows). At this point you will file out the hole for the spring with your round file and your sides with the flat file. So the u-shaped contact fits over the area with the red arrows and moves freely.

Once you file the melted parts so it all fits together I suggest adding a new spring. Reusing the old spring for me only lasted about 3 months before it got stopped up again. Make sure it all fits together well.

The new spring is as easy as taking a part a click type ball point pen. A slightly smaller diameter spring is a good thing. You might not need to file the hole if the spring fits past the melted bits.

Old spring is on the bottom.

So install your new spring on your fitted carrier and get ready to reassemble. I’m sure you noted as you took it apart that the “flipper” that comes out of the back of the switch needs to fit into the slot on the carrier. You can see where the contacts go on the circuit board. Make sure you add some dielectric grease to the contact point on the circuit board.

Assembly and Testing
Assembly is the reverse of the disassembly. Do not force anything. Make sure the contact is in the right place and the flipper is in the slot on the front of the carrier. Install the carrier in the front of the switch then snap the back on to it. The lights only go in the switch one way. Make sure to test the switch before you go to the trouble of putting everything else back together.

Last edited by XJ Stryker; 11-11-2009 at 07:49 AM.
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