Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place
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Thread: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    June 14th, 2018
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    Lake Tahoe, CA
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    Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    This Rover is unbelievable. Once I get one thing sorted, another thing goes wrong.

    It has always done this, but nowhere near as bad as now.
    It used to fire every time the key got to about 95% of the way around.
    Now I need to turn the key 10-20 times before I can find the sweet spot where the connection meet (if that makes sense)
    Now it is usually about 75% turn before connection and typically the windows do not work until after it is running, I turn the key back about a hair, literally.
    I have been under the dash a few times lately fixing the steering coupler and then the speedo. Did I do something in the wiring, or is the ignition switch toast or....?

    Anyone else ever have this problem?

    Thank you all for any help. You all have been great on this site
    1989 Classic

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  3. #2
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Sorry, I need to reference that it is an 89 Classic
    1989 Classic

  4. #3
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Lanark, Scotland, UK
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Rotary switch screwed to the back of the ignition barrel would be my starting point of investigation


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    1985 3.5 V8, Converted to Serpentine and 14CUX. EAS and BW Tbox

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  6. #4
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    You got it spot on.

    Although now the key is having a really hard time going in and if it does go in, it is really hard to get out
    1989 Classic

  7. #5
    NEWBIE
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    January 31st, 2019
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Mine did the same thing when the switch in the back started going out. Use powdered Graphite and it will be good as new. Whatever you do, do not use a liquid lubricant in the key barrel.

  8. #6
    SENIOR ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    older rovers ignition used to develop internal short and eventually contact burn, which would lead to failure of the ignition switch. the solution was to replace the switch, some replaced the whole assembly with tumbler and new ignition key not sure if it was corrected by 89 but definitively year 90 and on models by addition and wide use of relays.
    2k p38 4.6
    95 lwb 4.6
    01 d2 4.0

  9. #7
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerk View Post
    You got it spot on.

    Although now the key is having a really hard time going in and if it does go in, it is really hard to get out
    Could try some graphite lube to see if it helps.
    Kevin
    88 RRC "Audrey"

  10. #8
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Using a wet lubricant in the ignition barrel on mine.

    I can't find a supply now as it's an old can, but it's labelled "master lube with PTFE " from a UK landrover dealer, the can has official LR branding and advises use in locks. The ignition on mine was getting so recalcitrant that sometimes you couldn't even turn it on! But since this, as smooth as silk.

    Searches for it got me some "obscure" areas of, ahem, lubricant. So I stopped that.

    It smells of carbon tetrachloride as propellant when sprayed and drys to slightly sticky clear film. But it's been perfect since applying once about two years ago.

    It seems most like a clear motorcycle chain lube is nearest I can estimate it.

  11. #9
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    I think the ignition needs to be replaced.
    Has anyone done this? The bolts that hold it in place look difficult to remove. The ones that shows for the new ones look like a just need some sockets.
    The old one in there looks to be a different story
    1989 Classic

  12. #10
    SENIOR ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    you don't need to replace the whole tumbler and key, just the rear part which is held by one or two phillips screws. in case you want to replace tumbler assembly there is an internal clip that can be released so the housing stays on the column.

    the shear bolts securing the housing to the column can be removed in several ways, by drilling a hole in the center and using a bolt extractor, by mode of a punch or chisel to turn bolts.

    I have seen where a slash has been made on bolt head to allow for a flat head screw driver be used and on one occasion someone welded nuts to the top of the shear bolt. new bolts come with housing they have adrive head which breaks or shears as the bolt tightens, it is a theft security device.
    2k p38 4.6
    95 lwb 4.6
    01 d2 4.0

  13. #11
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Should I just try to take apart, clean, and lube and see if that works?
    It is definitely better, but I just don't want to get stuck out somewhere and can't get the key in or out.
    1989 Classic

  14. #12
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Classic only starts when key is in a VERY specific place

    Quote Originally Posted by 95classiclwb View Post
    you don't need to replace the whole tumbler and key, just the rear part which is held by one or two phillips screws. in case you want to replace tumbler assembly there is an internal clip that can be released so the housing stays on the column.

    the shear bolts securing the housing to the column can be removed in several ways, by drilling a hole in the center and using a bolt extractor, by mode of a punch or chisel to turn bolts.

    I have seen where a slash has been made on bolt head to allow for a flat head screw driver be used and on one occasion someone welded nuts to the top of the shear bolt. new bolts come with housing they have adrive head which breaks or shears as the bolt tightens, it is a theft security device.
    When I got my 84 it had no key and the steering lock was on. To move it off the trailer (was placed on with the help of a forklift) I removed the plastic and used a punch and hammer to remove the shear bolts and then the whole lock assembly. Took maybe 3 minutes in total.

    So then later on I removed the internals (very carefully to avoid the gates from flying around) and actually measured the key profile from the individual gates and recreated the key from a blank. So now I have keys that work in the door as well as the ignition.

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