Disconnected rear door sensor/switch on '97 FZJ80? (1 Viewer)

Oct 27, 2020
Alexandria, VA
Hi all-
First post here. I've got a '97 FZJ80 with about 140k miles. I'm the third owner.

Here's the TL;DR: The wire coming from my driver rear door ajar sensor switch is disconnected from whatever harness it's supposed to be connected to. I need to get inside that C-pillar door frame to see what the heck it was supposed to be connected to and reconnect it. How do I get into that space?

Here's the story for those interested

I had been having issues with the doors automatically unlocking while driving, along with a flickery door ajar light, so I did some searching on the forums, and found that the solution is often that the fasteners holding the door strikers are loose,and once tightened the problem is solved.

I tightened all the door striker fasteners as tight as I could get them with a large Phillips screwdriver (front) or a 12mm nutdriver (rear). This made things *much* better. But the doors will unlock maybe once every 10 or 15 minutes of driving now (used to be every 30 seconds, so this is an improvement).

Anyway, I next figured it must be one of the door sensor switches not grounding properly to the body. Checking them over, I noticed that the driver side rear door switch appeared to be a little loose, so I figured I'd start with that one. Took out the bolt to clean the threads and coat them with copper anti-seize.

When I bolted it back up and went to test it out, I discovered that the rear driver door sensor now doesn't work at all. The door ajar light doesn't come on whether that door is open or closed. So I took the bolt fastening it in place back out, and went to carefully remove the sensor from the C pillar and see if I could see if I'd screwed something up. When I started pulling it away from the C pillar I could feel that it was coming way too easy and with none of the tension I should have felt if that red wire was connected to something. Sure enough, with zero effort I was able to pull the wire all the way out, and found myself looking at a wire with a plastic splice sort of connector (or maybe some kind of small plug) on the end of it, connected to nothing.


So now I have some questions:

1. How do I get into the space inside the C pillar to find the other end of that wire so I can reconnect it? Do I remove that plastic trim that runs along the inside of the pillar? If so, how do I do that [in a way that won't damage the trim]? Is that all I need to do or is there something behind that as well? I'm assuming there must be some way to get into that space.

2. How come the result of the switch being disconnected is no door ajar light instead of the door ajar light being on all the time? I assumed the switch was open when the door is open and closed when the door is closed. So how does the truck distinguish between an open switch and a disconnected switch?

Thanks for any help you can offer!


Apr 6, 2020
Knoxville, TN
1. The easiest thing to do in my opinion is getting one of these and reach through the hole in the door jamb to pull out the loose wire. It’s saved my butt more than once. No need to pry any panels off. FYI, if that switch is bad, @Delta VS sells them new on their website.

2. The light probably only comes on when the circuit is complete. Once you fish the wire out and plug it back up, it should come on.
Feb 8, 2015
Eastern Washington
If I am thinking of the spot your trying to reach the trim can be removed by removing the two plastic trim parts on the door sills and the lower seat belt bolt. Then I believe the trim slides upwards until the trim is wider than the pillar and you can take it out. I don't recall there being any clips on that piece but there are several clips on the door sill trim you need to be careful of. A interior trim removal set helps to make sure you're prying up near the clips and avoid breakage.

If it's the larger trim that extends into the rear cargo area then you just need to pry off the dozen or so clips that hold it on and the whole thing comes off. These can be easy to break but at least you can normally find suitable replacements at the local parts store.

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