Ignition switch replacement procedure.

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Nov 29, 2014
Columbus, OH
I've searched, I've searched, I've searched......

Seriously though I've read through a few dozen threads and can't seem to find some info on how the ignition switch comes out and is replaced. No, I haven't started digging into it yet as I prefer to search and do as much research as possible before tackling a new job especially considering how complicated this switch looks.

I have most of the FSM printed out and have spent an hour looking through as much of it as I can online and the printed copy. I can't seem to find anywhere a replacement procedure.

After having some starting issues I tracked it down to the ignition switch and already have a brand new OEM one in my hands.

If anyone can send me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.


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New switch waiting.
I just opened my package from Beno with one. Subscribed.
Well that's the second one he's sold this week. Hopefully someone will chime in with some advice, info, or link. Either way I'm going to tackle this tomorrow and post a DIY if possible.
That's funny. I think he told me that I was the second that day.
IIRC, it's pretty easy, drop the column cover and the screw, it pops out, a couple more screws for the other switches. This was the trail setup for one of the Moab trips.:hillbilly:
ok, so why are we all buying these??? The rig I am working on will start no problem, but the radio, clock and a/c does not come on 4 out of 10 times.
Mine wasn't starting on cold mornings on the first try and eventually wouldn't at all. I of course suspected the starter until I wiggled the key while trying to start and it fired right up.
Will Toyota be discontinuing the switch soon?
Well this turned out to be a little more of a PITA than I thought.

I will try to briefly outline the procedure here using the mud app on my phone.

First remove the column cover by taking out the 3 machine screws and 2 self tapping screws out of the bottom.

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Then remove the lower knee panel. There were 4 or 5 self tapping screws, I can't remember. I did discover this random speaker. Nothing was hooked to it. Anyone know what it was originally for?

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Anyway take notice of that metal panel in the above photo. Well take a 10mm and remove the bolts holding it in. It will pretty much just fall right off and leave you with this...

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Next you'll need to remove the trim piece over the column that surrounds the key hole and also contains the mirror switch, dash dimmer, etc. no screws need to be removed at this point it basically just pops out. Disconnect the plugs from the back of the switches and set it aside.

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There are two extra switches wired in with the ignition switch harness. One get depressed when the key is on the ignition and is what causes the alarm to remind you when you open the door. That's on the top of the lock housing. There is another one on the bottom of the lock cylinder that's more substantial but I'm not sure what it's for exactly. You can see it mounted in the last picture above. They are each held in with two machine screws. The top one is sort of tucked in under the instrument cluster and I thus had to remove the cluster. I didn't really take a picture of removing it but it's basically four screws and then plenty of twisting to figure out how to get it out there is a fair amount of room in the wire harness to unplug it assuming you remove it towards the left as opposed to trying to get it out from behind the steering wheel by moving it to the right. Also I figured out why my check engine light wasn't coming on even though I could pull codes with my reader. Pretty sure it was the PO that did it.

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Once you have the 2 screws out of each of the switches then you have one final screw to get out. It holds the actual ignition switch to the back side of the lock cylinder. It was hard enough to see and access much less get a photo of. On your new switch you can see the tab that the screw goes though. It's on the top of the lock cylinder. You need to contort yourself and get your arm up behind everything to engage it with your screwdriver. Fortunately the tab is thick enough that once completely unthreaded the screw doesn't just fall out and you can reach up and grab it. It also helps when re-installing as you can place the screw in its spot and it will stay put until you can re contort yourself to retighten it. I also ended up removing the glow ring around the ignition as it's wiring was zip tied with the ignition wiring. Below you can see everything dangling and just needing the big plug disconnected.

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Well that's about it. Installation is the reverse procedure. It was tough to get too many photos of.

I hope my mini write up helps.

Let me know if I can answer any questions.g
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Very helpful. Thanks for writing this up. Also nice job figuring out the check engine light. What additional did you have to do to pull out the instrument cluster?
Once all those trim pieces were out it was really on 4 screws and the wiring on the back of the cluster and it was out. It took a little figuring to actually figure out how it was going to come out with out breaking off any of the tabs though. Once the four screws are out it's pretty straight forward.
Awesome. I read a thread where someone polished all the scratches off of the instrument cluster with headlight restoring stuff.
If you pull one screw, you can remove that air duct by sliding it over and down. This will give you lots of room behind the switch.
Good info. Thanks.
Thanks for all the info. Was able to swap mine out in about an hour!!

thanks @Dubbinchris and @blkprj80

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