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  #1  
Old August 18th, 2017, 17:56
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

1988 XJ 4.0, auto.

The steering column has been invaded by the previous owner's young son. So it's messed up badly. Can't start it with a key, yet. I cleaned up and soldered the main wiring connectors to the ignition electrical switch using vinegar/salt. The brown wire had over heated the housing. Now it's good. The remaining wires were soldered as a cya measure.

What's left is the ignition actuator rod. The end that's nearest to the key, has had the aluminum end broken off. The junkyard had 5 steering columns gone out of 6 Cherokees on site. Not sure what that means. The 6th Cherokee's rod did not match mine. But for now no replacements found locally or online, even at auto parts stores.

Today I just picked up a bar of aluminum so that I can whittle out a replacement aluminum part. A few days ago I found the broken off part still in the steering column.

Here's a quick video of the ignition actuator rod removed from the column and the aluminum parts on the end that I need to make from scratch.

https://youtu.be/C3_O2R6QKfE
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  #2  
Old August 18th, 2017, 18:24
trippled trippled is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

Have you tried looking at any gm columns of that era? These we're all gm based but I have no idea if something would work or not. I do know most of the switches are available thru ac delco. If you're close to a yard it might be easier than making something.
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  #3  
Old August 18th, 2017, 19:43
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

5-90 told me a decade ago the AMC Jeep columns in that era were made by GM, all GM parts. So there may be other columns he could get it from, but how many GMs lasted till 1988, like the jeeps did?

I doubt he will ever find a new one, but who knows, if he looks up the oem part online it might be a slower move NOS item at a dealer.

Cruiser54 may have some in his stash (complete Column in Az).

I doubt any one will sell a used one off a good column? Any one with a parts column would probably sell him one including an online junk yard, but from reading his recent posts I suspect he is going to build his own.

I'd probably use a steel coat hanger for the material to make one. I'd have no faith in aluminum having the strength and stiffness with out bending. Its a critical tolerance part, and with the right good part its still pain getting the switch bolted down in the sweet spot so it works right all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trippled View Post
Have you tried looking at any gm columns of that era? These we're all gm based but I have no idea if something would work or not. I do know most of the switches are available thru ac delco. If you're close to a yard it might be easier than making something.
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  #4  
Old August 18th, 2017, 23:22
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

I'll check the junkyard tomorrow while I'm in town for GM columns.

The aircraft aluminum I'm using is better than the cast stuff GM used.
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  #5  
Old August 19th, 2017, 08:45
Green XJ Jeep Green XJ Jeep is online now
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

You can get new rods for el caminos from Eckler's el camino store or opgi
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  #6  
Old August 20th, 2017, 12:01
Afireinside Afireinside is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

That rod was used in literally millions of vehicles and is not a failure prone part. If you wanna re-invent the wheel have fun?
Good luck
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  #7  
Old August 20th, 2017, 13:38
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

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Originally Posted by Afireinside View Post
That rod was used in literally millions of vehicles and is not a failure prone part. If you wanna re-invent the wheel have fun?
Good luck
We live outside of a town of 25k people. Very limited resources out here.

I'm very good at reinventing the wheel if I have too.
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  #8  
Old August 20th, 2017, 16:05
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

I remember the same thing EcoMike remembers - the pre-airbag columns were the standard GM Saginaw type.

Try haunting the boneyards for a Chevy/GM S-10 series pickup or SUV - I'd give good odds on you spotting the exact same column. You could also hit up LMC Truck, come to think of it, I'd bet, if you wanted new.
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Old August 20th, 2017, 17:03
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

Like everyone else said, literally hundreds of millions of those columns out there. Short of finding what you need...I'd make it out of an old door actuator rod. Little thicker than a coat hangar and more forgiving to work with than aluminum.

Good luck either way.
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  #10  
Old August 21st, 2017, 21:57
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnX View Post
Like everyone else said, literally hundreds of millions of those columns out there. Short of finding what you need...I'd make it out of an old door actuator rod. Little thicker than a coat hangar and more forgiving to work with than aluminum.

Good luck either way.
We'll find out if any are out here.
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  #11  
Old August 27th, 2017, 03:59
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

The junkyards around here, 2 of 3, want $82-$100 for a steering column because they won't part them out.

Found another piece of broken aluminum from the same part of the column, laying on the lower valence.

I'll get back to making that aluminum part.
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  #12  
Old September 4th, 2017, 21:10
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch. Prototype.

Got the first prototype started. Needs a few more features carved into it. One big flaw I'll catch on the next one. At least it's a straight part to work from. The original is badly bent and may be missing a piece.

1988 Jeep XJ ignition Actuator Rod Rebuild. Part 2. Found the Broken Piece !!
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  #13  
Old September 4th, 2017, 23:26
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch. Prototype.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikep_86441 View Post
Got the first prototype started. Needs a few more features carved into it. One big flaw I'll catch on the next one. At least it's a straight part to work from. The original is badly bent and may be missing a piece.

1988 Jeep XJ ignition Actuator Rod Rebuild. Part 2. Found the Broken Piece !!
Bad/Wrong link!! Try this one: https://youtu.be/yM4WPrBaILs

Last edited by Mikep_86441; September 4th, 2017 at 23:34.
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  #14  
Old September 5th, 2017, 15:36
Mikep_86441 Mikep_86441 is offline
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch. #2 Prototype Finished !!

The second prototype was done today. Just needs a little touch up. I made one error, but that won't interfere with testing inside the steering column.

Made from 2024 aircraft aluminum.

Looks nice !!

https://youtu.be/BYnK0ua479g
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  #15  
Old September 5th, 2017, 17:51
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Re: Ignition Actuator Rod End Making From Scratch.

Nice work.

I can appreciate the lengths you are going to in order to accomplish your goal.
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