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96 XJ sport won't start after attempted theft

Old 07-20-2016, 04:17 PM
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Default 96 XJ sport won't start after attempted theft

Hi,

Last week someone tried to steal my 1996 XJ sport. They broke a window and tore the ignition apart, and left a chisel, a putty knife, a jumper wire, and a Slim Jim (a Slim Jim beef stick, not door unlocking lock tool).

I have replaced all the parts that I could see which were physically damaged which included the ignition lock cylinder & the ignition starter switch unit.

I also recharged the battery. They left a little jumper in one of the wiring harnesses that had been connected to the starter switch unit, which I assume drained the battery - it was down to 9.6V but tested good at Advance Auto. It is a relatively new battery, less than 1yr old and recharged fully to 12.6V.

All the lights work, the horn works, the turn signals work, and the key is recognized in the ignition. When I turn it to the run position I can shift gears, but the gear shift locks when it's in the off position.

The door buzzer also goes off when you open the driver's side door with the key in the ignition.

The only thing that doesn't work is that it won't start, which I believe is related to the steering wheel not locking. The wheel locked correctly every time before this incident. I've watched a lot of youtube clips and looked at a lot of diagrams, but I can't find info about where the actual locking of the steering wheel takes place on this vehicle.

I do have the air bag removed and I am planning to take the wheel off and keep working down the steering column until I can find another clue.

Any advice, tips, or input is greatly appreciated!


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Old 07-20-2016, 04:44 PM
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Does starter engage and turn over engine ?
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by freegdr View Post
Does starter engage and turn over engine ?
No, it does not turn over at all. The only difference when I turn the key is that the gear shift unlocks and the accessories (wipers, radio) gain power.
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:49 PM
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Have you tried wiggling shifter while trying to start ?
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by freegdr View Post
Have you tried wiggling shifter while trying to start ?
Yes, and I've tried starting in neutral; I've given it several aggressive wiggles in park, ran it through all the gears a few times, and tried starting it in neutral, without any different results.

I would like to try putting the key in the "run" position and shorting out the starter with a screwdriver to see if it will start, but I haven't had a chance to try that trick yet.

Last edited by Lucasparker; 07-20-2016 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:01 PM
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Seeing they had a jumper checking all fuse would be a good idea maybe they touched the jumper to ground and blew one.n
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:05 PM
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Another possibility is Neutral Saftey Switch issue turn key to run position then shift into reverse and see if reverse light work. Do this with either holding brake or hand brake applied...Dont need a run away xj...
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by freegdr View Post
Another possibility is Neutral Saftey Switch issue turn key to run position then shift into reverse and see if reverse light work. Do this with either holding brake or hand brake applied...Dont need a run away xj...
Yeah, I thought of this, starting it in N instead of P usually gets past this. I'll test out the reverse lights and update the thread. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucasparker View Post
Yeah, I thought of this, starting it in N instead of P usually gets past this. I'll test out the reverse lights and update the thread. Thanks!
Check fuse also.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by freegdr View Post
Check fuse also.
Ok, I checked the starter relay which seemed fine, which fuse would it be?

Would this effect the steering wheel locking mechanism? It's still not locking at all, and I'm wondering if they broke some kind of lock pin.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucasparker View Post
Ok, I checked the starter relay which seemed fine, which fuse would it be?

Would this effect the steering wheel locking mechanism? It's still not locking at all, and I'm wondering if they broke some kind of lock pin.
Check all fuses. Its possible some thing could be broke affecting this. I own a 89 so my columns completely different.
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Old 07-20-2016, 05:38 PM
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With switch removed if you move park lock slider see if coloumn locks. Maybe switch is not contacting lever correctly.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by freegdr View Post
With switch removed if you move park lock slider see if coloumn locks. Maybe switch is not contacting lever correctly.
This diagram is helpful, something is definitely not right with my park lock slider. Here are a few pics and a video of what happens when i move the slider. I'm not sure how it's supposed to operate, but it appears that it isn't functioning correctly. Here is a video of fiddling around with the various parts.








What is this? I think it is the ignition key position sensor. It is connected to the cable that goes up to the slide lock.
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:05 PM
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A few more notes:

The key does not register any positions. When in accessory position no cd player. Also no wipers or turn signals in run.

The ignition does register the door with lights and noise when the key is in.

I put the ignition in run position and jumped the starter with a screwdriver. It cranked but didn't start.

All interior fuses checked, none blown. Have not yet checked relays.

Steering wheel still does not lock, even if I move that slider back and forth.

Where does the steering wheel lock engage? I can't seem to locate the spot where it physically locks the wheel. I'd like to inspect this area since it is not functioning.
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:00 AM
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