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Old 07-08-2012, 02:14 PM
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Default '96 Discovery ignition switch loose and hot wire start

My daughter just picked up a '96 Discovery, and I'm just starting to learn the "finer points" of getting a Land Rover working.

The ignition switch is mounted on the steering column, but isn't bolted on very firmly. The switch had a pair of shear bolts that were finger tight, with the shear heads still intact...so someone has been there already. I'm probably going to replace the shear bolts with allen bolts, so I can take it apart whenever I need to.

The ignition switch just functions as an "on-off" switch at this point. To start it, someone has rigged up a hot wire, and I have to open the hood and touch one end of the hot wire to the hot battery post, and engage a remote starter switch that I assume goes to the starter solinoid. The truck satrs fine, fires up on the first crank, and then will run until I turn off the ignition switch. There is no "start" function via the ignition switch, and to get the key out I have to disconnect one of the battery cables. And since the switch is loosely attached to the column, I have no locking steering.

And as I said, this is actuallt my daughter's vehicle, and while she's probably game for opening the hood every time it needs to start, I'd like to get it a little more civilized. Can anyone recognize this "multitude of sins"?
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:00 PM
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In my signature you'll find links to the RAVE, the factory shop manual set. It has circuits manuals, electrical guides with pictures, and full shop manuals. You'll also want to look thru our tech section for DIY articles of interest.

I suspect that a previous owner may have installed all this to circumvent things, and one of those is possibly what is called immobilization.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:49 PM
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To be honest, I've had trouble with the RAVE download. It comes as a .zip file, and when I unzip it, I get what amounts to (for me) a lot of garbage. Sorry, but it unpacks to a lot of gibberish, loads of language pacs and .gif images and .jpegs that are not much help. I have mostly Linux operating systems, so I guess I could try it on my wife's Windows XP box and see if that makes a difference, but I haven't gotten anything out of the RAVE "big file."

The 96-97 Disco small Rave file works, but doesn't have anything specific to the ignition switch, and nothing about how the ignition/starter/security works. Or whether the spider has anyhing to do with the starter not working, but the fact that once the starter spins, it starts, so ignition works while the start circuit doesn't.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:23 PM
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These starter switch mechanism do tend to wear as well as the original key wearing as well. A lot of keys end up getting broken because people try to force them.

There is also an interlock circuit with a solenoid to prevent the key from releasing unless the tranny is in park. Sometimes that switch for the tranny being in park gets screwed up and will not de-energize the key release solenoid built into the steering column.

A third problem a lot of us see is that when the steering wheel is locked, that can make the key hardr to turn to the start position unless you ease the key from the first position to the second while slightly cocking the steering wheel to release that interlock. So there can be numerous issues associated with the key and the switch it fits into.

Sinc yours is hosed up like it is, the best and most economical fix is to call Paul Grant or Will Tillery and see which one of them has a replcaement available. They gut Rovers and sell the good parts. Paul almost always has a replacement switch with key and some blanks available.

Their phone numbers are in Disco Mke's Signature as well as other places on here. Also check in the For Sale section.
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:41 PM
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Go to alternate link in my signature and you can see sections of the RAVE online and download parts you want, takes longer.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:14 PM
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As far as I can tell, the switch itself is fine, and the problem is the perhaps a combination of the security system and the switch not being in (what looks to me like) a slot on the bottom of the steering column, for locking. I can turn the switch pretty easily, and while I have to disconnect the battery to remove the key, I have no problem with selecting any position (off/run/start) with the key.

The switch isn't in it's correct position on the steering column, it's just loosely attached, and the bolts are just finger tight. I haven't found any spot where the switch seems to "seat." And while it runs fine when jumped while the key is in the run position, nothing happens when I switch to the "start" position. When I turn the key to the "off" position, the engine stops and there are no dash lights, so that part works as it's supposed to. And there's the issue of not being able to remove the key without disconnecting the battery.

I have removed the shifter solenoid, so that's not the problem, although the computer may be looking for something from the shifter saying that it's in park or neutral. From what I've seen, I think the signal the shows park and nuetral comes from a wire from the transmission, not the shifter.

Last edited by pottzie; 07-09-2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:55 PM
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Forgot to mention that while the engine is running, I see no security lights, bells or buzzers. Evidently the computer(s) think everything is peachy keen.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:21 AM
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I would try to undo all that hinky wiring, you can remove the ignition assembly buy removing two tiny screws. You can then see how easy it is to steal a disco, cause you can start it by sticking nearly any key in the slot and turning. You will still have all key positions. If it still won't start i too suspect immobiliazation. And i don't know of any way to bypass/ disable that fault. BTW, the method for starting i described will not damage any thing, i started and drove my disco daily for 4 months till i found a ignition assembly with a key in the junkyard.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:23 AM
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sorry, i ment to say the that you need to remove the ignition coil. It is black, on the left hand side of the ignition assembly and held in with the two tiny screws i described
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:38 PM
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Look at the RAVE, there is on interlock for the key itself that is in the steering wheel/key mechanism in addition to the interlock for the transmission shifter that you already disabled.

The key interloick does requre that the shifter being fully in park. There is a switch that makes when the shifter is fully in park. It has nothing to do with the computer or the tranny itself. Check it out, I know from experience. When you disconnect the battery the solenoid for the key interlock de-energizes thereby releasing the key since that solenoid is staying energized awaiting the ground from the shifter switch.

You asked, I answered, but keep guessing and chasin ghosts if you rather.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:38 PM
 
 
 
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car, cylinder, discovery, hot, ii, key, land, loose, lose, remote, rover, start, steering, swtch, wire, yhe


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