International Full Size Jeep Association
Home Forums Reader's Rigs Tech Library Trail Stories FSJ-List
International Full Size Jeep Association  

Go Back   International Full Size Jeep Association > Tire Kickin' > General FSJ Tech

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-07-2006, 10:41 PM
Jeepster226's Avatar
Jeepster226 Jeepster226 is offline
Join Date: Oct 25, 2005
Location: Springfield, Illinois
Posts: 91
Repairing the tailgate switch - You can do it too!

Just so others don't waste their money on new switches... This is specific to 1988 GW's. I know 76's are different as far as wiring, but repairing the switches should be the same principle.

One day I put the tailgate window down and it wouldn't go back up, either from the tailgate or the dash mounted switch. Of course it started raining just about then. I stuck a coat hanger down inside, fished out the connector, disconnected it and used a battery jumper directly to the motor to roll it back up. (This will not work for all GW's! I know my 76 is wired completely different, applying power to that one will short something out).

I could roll the window down with the tailgate switch, so the wiring had to still be good. A break in the wiring would have prevented movement in either direction. (The same two wires provide pos and neg to the motor, regardless of the direction the motor turns). So I was pretty sure it was the tailgate switch.

Start by removing the keyed switch from the outside of the tailgate. There are two #25 (I think) torx head screws that hold the face plate on, and three standard phillips under that. Just pull the cylinder straight. You will notice the square tailpiece fits into the square hole in the switch. Turing your key simply turns the tailpiece which then turns the switch.

Next, roll the window down, open the tailgate and remove the tailgate access panel. Roll the window out far enough to get to the two studs on either end of the glass. My glass was held on by two "push washers" on a stud that went through holes on either end of the metal slide the glass is mounted to. Just pry them off (or... stand there for awhile trying to figure out what size wrench fits those nuts, like I did before I figured out they weren't nuts).

Use the battery jumper to move the gears (by turning the motor) to a place there you can get to all 5 screws that hold that assemble to the tailgate. DO NOT remove the motor from that assembly - the gears are spring loaded and you could very easily lose a finger. There are threaded spacers under the gear assembly. There is no need to remove the spacers, just unscrew the screws until they are all free and move the whole assembly down to clear the tailgate switch.

There are two small bolts that hold the tailgate switch. Remove the bolts and pull the switch out to the left. You will see a metal bracket that holds a plastic switch. There is a white connector attached to the plastic switch. There is a spring clip holding the white connector at both ends. Gently pry the clip away from the connector and pull the connector lose. At this point you can take that tailgate wsitch to a clean workbench with good lighting.

You will see a black plastic switch held in that metal bracket. There are six "posts" on the bottom of the switch. On top of the switch is a white "toggle" Use a black marker to mark the direction this switch goes into the bracket. I put a mark ion the switch and a mark on the bracket.

I used a needle nose pliar to move the arms of the metal bracket back just far enough to pull the black plastic switch out of the bracket.

The switch is actually two pieces held together by a clip on either end. Remove these clips and separate the two halves. Now you will see the white toggle has two spring loaded pins in it. On the switchplate there are six pins and two brass "rocker" connectors. Pushing the toggle forces the pins to move the "rocker" to one side or the other, connecting with the pins there.

The tops of all my pins were very dirty, as well as the bottoms of the brass rocker connectors. I also found that two of the pins had actually come free from the board and would move back and forth.

I glued the pins in place and cleaned the pins and brass rockers with very fine sand paper. This does not take much - just enough to allow a good connection!

Lightly lubricate the pins where they move on the rockers.

Then reassemble everything in reverse order, and wa-la! Just like new.

The cheapest I could find these switches was $75.00 at BJ's (I think). Another place had them for $150.00.

Hope this helps those of you saving up for a new tailgate switch.

Master Locksmith / GSA Certified Safe Tech.
88 Grand Wagoneer -
TFI Upgrade, CS144 Upgrade, Headlight relay upgrade, New 4 Core Radiator, Electric Radiator Fans with thermostat, Rebuilding 76 360 for 88 Waggy
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 12:07 AM
andy d andy d is offline
Shade Tree Shaman
Join Date: May 06, 2000
Location: Marshfield,MA
Posts: 7,205
I jumped out the rear switch on both of my 88s. I just use the front switch . Its a lot less work to do this.
\'88 gwag,pure stock
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 12:49 AM
Tripwire's Avatar
Tripwire Tripwire is offline
hey,does anyone here know how to.......
Join Date: Jul 30, 2000
Location: WA State
Posts: 4,435
Nice write-up...That will surely come in handy.

Abort? Retry? Ignore? >

86 GrandWag. Howell fuel Injected 360. MSD Ignition + Dizzy. 727/229 swap BJ's 2" Lift and 31's

88 Wrangler 4.2, Howell TBI and MSD - Borla Headers w/ Cat-back + winch and 31's AND a M416 trailer (-:
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2006, 07:23 AM
GWChris GWChris is offline
Bleedin' Gasoline
Join Date: Jan 22, 2005
Posts: 1,798
Good write up - I did this too. The bolts on the outside of mine were tamper-proof Torx (the ones with the pin in the middle). I drilled them out and replaced them with SS #10-32 flatheads. I was able to do it WITHOUT removing the glass & pushpins. Also, I removed the moter so I could move the glass up and down without jumping the motor so much.

Cursing was required, as well as growing some new skin afterwards
Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2010, 07:07 PM
cfg7613's Avatar
cfg7613 cfg7613 is offline
258 I6
Join Date: Dec 11, 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 356
Originally Posted by andy d
I jumped out the rear switch on both of my 88s. I just use the front switch . Its a lot less work to do this.

AndyD...can you provide a little info on how you did this? My front switch doesn't work at all so I figure I need to do a little wire tracing...but what exactly did you do to jump out the rear switch?
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 10:48 AM
ThisGuyUKnow's Avatar
ThisGuyUKnow ThisGuyUKnow is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Mar 25, 2008
Location: Macomb,Il
Posts: 1,460
This is a good write up good job!

My switch works in both directions, but if I roll the window all the way down it wont roll up unless I open the gate about half way and use my hand to press the safety switch. THen the glass will extend out no problem. I just leave enough room and can close the gate and not break the glass.

I have yet to figure out why this happens
'85 CJ7 Laredo- Rebuilt 360, Tuned Port Injection, T-176, D300, W/T 3.31 w/Trac Loc, 31x10.5x15 BFGs

Last edited by ThisGuyUKnow : 08-09-2010 at 02:29 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2010, 02:21 PM
shimniok's Avatar
shimniok shimniok is offline
FSJ Maniac
Join Date: Jan 08, 2003
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Posts: 2,907
Great writeup! My switch keeps getting stuck in the up position draining my battery on several occasions.

Rather than actually fixing the switch I just put a disable switch just above the license plate so I can turn the tailgate motor off when not raising/lowering the tailgate.

I like your fix MUCH better.
Broken Photobucket image in my post? PM me.
1986 Grand Wagoneer "Troubled Child"tc.wagoneer.orgFacebook • KØFSJ
Stock 360, TBI, 727 with TransGo, NP208, 4" Skyjacker, 33" BFG MT, WT Axles, Lock Right & ARB, OBA
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2010, 11:05 PM
usmc_mwroseberry's Avatar
usmc_mwroseberry usmc_mwroseberry is offline
Join Date: Apr 10, 2010
Location: Urbana, OH
Posts: 55
Reply With Quote
Old 08-28-2010, 11:29 PM
jaber's Avatar
jaber jaber is offline
Dragin Az
Join Date: Oct 17, 2003
Location: Chino Valley, Arizona
Posts: 8,061
Just to put it into the right page, the switches in the rear passy doors( windows switches) are the exact same switch as the one inside the tailgate...

46 cj2a

51 Willys p/u
'51 Willys Parkway Conversion
'74 CJ5
'75 J-20 Wrecker
'75 J-20 Cummins service bed
'77 J-10 p/u
'79 Cherokee
'88 Grand Wagoneer
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin Version 3.5.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
corner corner