Ignition Switch or Cylinder Problem

mikelikesbbq

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I did a search and found a lot of ignition switch problems, but mine is kind of opposite of most common failures so I'm hoping to get some advice before I tear it apart and break it more:). I have an 02 Liberty 3.7 limited 4x4. I noticed that the ignition switch was a bit finicky, sometimes you'd have to jiggle it a bit to get it to turn on and sometimes it would take a few tries to get it to where the accessories would turn off. Basically I'd shut it off and then the radio, etc. would turn back on, so I'd play with the key until I found the sweet spot that was "off". It didn't seem to have very solid clicks between positions as if it were worn out a bit. One day while I was out of town a neighbor texted me that the radio was playing in the KJ. Luckily they have a spare key to my house so they were able to go in and get the keys and get it to turn off, but it still had a dead battery when I got home so it likely came back on/off by itself while I was gone.

I'm kind of leaning toward thinking that they key cylinder is just worn out and not staying in position well, but also wondered if the switch mechanism might be the issue since it's unlikely that the key switch is turning by itself. Now there is really no way to keep it off for a long period of time. You can turn the radio off using the radio knob, but other things seem to be on and killing the battery so it's not a real solution, nor is having to remove the battery terminals when parked (current workaround). It's not a DD but I don't want to tear it apart without having everything on hand I may need to repair it considering the supply chain these days. This KJ is trying to drive me insane. I haven't driven it more than a few hundred miles since I bought it 2 years ago (trying to sort out transmission issues between work trips, did a Sonnax valve body/solenoid kit and still have issues between 2/3, think 3rd clutches are hurt) and it managed to drop a window open (regulator) and now this issue while parked and sitting. At least the AC still works:).

Has anyone experienced something like this?
 

KJowner

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I haven't, but if you search on here loads of people have had trouble with the ignition switches. You probably need to replace the switch like you said.
 

Billwill

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Remove the Actuator Pin Assembly from the Ignition switch....you need a Security Allen Key to remove it ie. an Allen key with a hole drilled down the inside of its tip!

My 2002 Export CRd does not need this Security Allen Key...a normal Allen Key does the job.....the change was probably made for Security reasons.

Check if the Actuator Pin is in good shape...if not obtain a Dorman replacement.

While this is all opened up you can insert the Ignition Key into its slot so as to enable the Skees Security and disable the Steering Lock.

Now use a small flat screwdriver to rotate the Ignition Switch to start the Jeep, turn on Radio etc. You can drive like this as long as the Ignition Key is in its slot and rotated to disable the Steering Lock....then you can switch it all off by using the small flat screwdriver and removing the Ignition Key....I would be very surprised if now your vehicle wakes up in the middle of the night!

I had an issue whereby my Export 2002 manual CRD would start when I depressed the clutch....before I touched the key in the Ignition slot.

I had to ream out the slot the that the Security Screw goes through so that I could r.e.t.ar.d the switch action a bit so that I would need to depress the Clutch and then turn On the ignition to get it to start as designed.

The tumblers in my Ignition switch are so worn out that the key does not stay in place....sometimes pops out when I am driving but as I have the disabled the Steering Lock it is not a major issue....I would need to get new Tumblers fitted with new keys and have the Jeep Agents program the SKEES....not a priority right now!;)
 
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KJowner

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Mine is the same Bill, I can pull the key out in any position.
 

Billwill

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Mine is the same Bill, I can pull the key out in any position.

Yep your keys and tumblers are worn!

I will leave it to the experts here on the Site to advise you as to the best way to get the keys and tumblers replaced..I think here in SA I will have no choice but to get the Stealers...I mean Dealers...to sort out my keys/tumblers etc.!:confused:
 
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