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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again friends,

My ignition switch is busted (you have to use a flathead screw driver to start it) so I bought an ignition switch panel from Joe's Racing to replace it with.

Car is: 96 2dr 4wd Tracker, 1.6 16v, 3spd auto. Bought it used last week for $800. It has manual locks and windows in case that matters here. Also has a transmission problem, but that's for another thread entirely.

I have poured over the various wiring diagrams, and none of them seem to spell out in plain English which wires go where, and the ones that do have different colored wires than I have. I've looked all over, and even other posts in this forum share my same frustration.

My wire colors and their corresponding labeled terminals on the lock cylinder are:

Black/white: IG1

Black/white (separate connector, doesn't go into the harness with other wires): IG1

Yellow/black: IG2 (mainly yellow)

White/ Yellow: B

Black/yellow: S (mainly black)

Blue: ACC

Black: E

Black: L

Pictured is my current (broken) lock cylinder wiring for reference. Also pictured is the front and back of the switch panel that I purchased for reference.

Not pictured is the tiny burn mark on my finger from where I very ignorantly forgot to disconnect the battery and melted one of the small black ("L" or "E") wires because the wiring diagram I tried to follow definitely didn't lead me down the path to success. It melted all the way down to the switch before I got the battery disconnected. I'm hoping it wasn't for anything super important and that it didn't take any other wires with it when it perished. I don't know if it was the "L" or the "E" but I reckon we'll find out soon enough.

Any help with how I should wire this thing up would be fantastic.

Thank you.
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1996 Geo tracker 1.6l 2dr 5speed 4wd A/c Softop
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My 96 has a bad switch also. I currently have too many other things that have to be done first so I'm using a remote starter switch and my key temporarily, I routed mine through the glove box and I put it back in and close it when I'm done driving, seem like a cheap easy temp fix.
You might want to try cleaning the contacts and relubing them with dielectric grease there's a bunch of YouTube how to videos you can look up
Link to the 96 FSM for the wire diagram
 

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1996 Geo tracker 1.6l 2dr 5speed 4wd A/c Softop
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Looks like your new switch is probably for the starter, one positive wire one negative wire and you push the switch to connect them. You should have used a fuse, that keeps things from getting burned-out if connected incorrectly. Test your switch and see what wires are working correctly. On my switch it's only the signal wire to the starter so I use the key and the remote to start,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've done some further research on the diagrams, and I've also watched probably 10 videos on wiring similar switch panels.

From what I've been able to gather "L" and "E" wires don't show up on any wiring diagrams, and most likely they're for a key sensor or something similarly useless.

Here's what (I'm pretty sure) each of these wires runs to:

Blk/Wht "IG1":

IG Coil
Turn signals
Back up light
Wipers/washer

Yel/Blk "IG2":

Power windows (NA)
Rear defogger (NA)
Heater
Sliding roof (NA)
Seat heater (NA)

Blk/Yel "S":

Starter

Wht/Yel "B":

Battery (12v constant)

Blue "ACC":

Radio
Cigarette lighter

Blk "L":

?????

Blk "E":

?????

This is the configuration I've come up with. Does this seem like it would work? Left is the back of the start button, right is the back of the ignition switch.
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Whilst that should work, I would suggest three relays (the common bosch style 30A), one each for IG1, IG2 & ACC - feed the relay coils from the switch panel and use the relays to power the loads - that switch is probably rated at something like 3A, which is not enough for the loads you'll be supplying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Whilst that should work, I would suggest three relays (the common bosch style 30A), one each for IG1, IG2 & ACC - feed the relay coils from the switch panel and use the relays to power the loads - that switch is probably rated at something like 3A, which is not enough for the loads you'll be supplying.

Thanks for the reply, Fordem.

This is the switch in question:


The description says it's rated for 40amps at 12v. Would that still require a relay(s)?
 

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if it's rated at 40A you should be good - just doesn't look it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if it's rated at 40A you should be good - just doesn't look it.
All the ones I looked at on Amazon seemed to be very cheaply made, and these ones seemed to be of much higher quality. They look similar, but I think that the ones from Joe's Racing are designed for relatively serious use.

I will email them to confirm if it needs or does not need relay(s).

Thank you again.
 

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I'm looking at the physical size of the switch, I can't see the internal contacts - that switch appears the same size as the commonly available switches - flowing a 40A DC current without burning requires beefy contacts, breaking a 40A DC current requires more contact spacing (to break the arc) - it just looks too small to handle 40A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Alright, I got everything wired up last night and it works perfectly. The car starts right up, and all of my accessories, lights...etc work as they should.

I didn't hear back from Joe's Racing, but I got in contact with an Automotive Electrician who explained that since I'm using the stock wiring harness with the stock relays still intact, that the switch would be fine. What I did was simply unplug the lock cylinder from the harness under the dash, cut the wires on the lock cylinder end, and put those wires into the new switch. I then plugged the old harness with the new switches back in. Therefore the relays in the vehicle are still intact and being used by the new switch.

I left out the "E" and "L" wires entirely and absolutely nothing has seemingly been affected by leaving them out. I'm sure that their only purpose was for a key presence sensor or something like that, thus making them not necessary for my application.

Pictured is the way I wired my switch panel.
 

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I didn't hear back from Joe's Racing, but I got in contact with an Automotive Electrician who explained that since I'm using the stock wiring harness with the stock relays still intact, that the switch would be fine. What I did was simply unplug the lock cylinder from the harness under the dash, cut the wires on the lock cylinder end, and put those wires into the new switch. I then plugged the old harness with the new switches back in. Therefore the relays in the vehicle are still intact and being used by the new switch.
Stock the vehicle has TWO relays, EFI main relay which allows the ECU to switch power to the EFI system (injectors, fuel pump, all the various sensors, etc) and the fuel pump relay, which allows the ECU to switch the fuel pump on & off - and yes, I am aware that I've listed the fuel pump twice, that's because the fuel pump relay is powered from the EFI main relay.

ALL the loads you list in post #5 are being supplied DIRECTLY by that switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Stock the vehicle has TWO relays, EFI main relay which allows the ECU to switch power to the EFI system (injectors, fuel pump, all the various sensors, etc) and the fuel pump relay, which allows the ECU to switch the fuel pump on & off - and yes, I am aware that I've listed the fuel pump twice, that's because the fuel pump relay is powered from the EFI main relay.

ALL the loads you list in post #5 are being supplied DIRECTLY by that switch.

Does this mean that the stock lock cylinder that i replaced contains all of the required relays inside of it to handle the load? I'm genuinely confused by all of this, so I'm really curious. Electrician I am not, so I've got no problem wiring in some relays if they're necessary.

But if the switch is a direct replacement for the factory lock cylinder that presumably also does not have the relays in question then it makes me wonder why they are a necessary addition.

Another video I watched about wiring these switch panels referenced relays, and they said you know when the relay is working by listening for the clicking sound they make when they are activated. When I flip the switch I wired in, I can hear a relay clicking under the dash. Which relay would that be?
 

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The standard key lock switch does not carry any relays inside, just a rotating contact plate... if you have any high load (amps) accessories , they will require a relay..
 

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Does this mean that the stock lock cylinder that i replaced contains all of the required relays inside of it to handle the load? I'm genuinely confused by all of this, so I'm really curious. Electrician I am not, so I've got no problem wiring in some relays if they're necessary.

But if the switch is a direct replacement for the factory lock cylinder that presumably also does not have the relays in question then it makes me wonder why they are a necessary addition.
It's all about the ability of the switch to carry the required current and to "interrupt" it (switch it off) - just as you need a thicker wire to carry a larger current, a switch needs larger contacts - take a look at the physical connections on the back of the factory ignition switch, compare them to the new toggle switch - see how much larger the connections are?

Another video I watched about wiring these switch panels referenced relays, and they said you know when the relay is working by listening for the clicking sound they make when they are activated. When I flip the switch I wired in, I can hear a relay clicking under the dash. Which relay would that be?
A relay is essentially a switch - in this case, a switch that lets you control a high current device, with a smaller current - it contains a coil of wire (an electromagnet) that attracts an armature that closes electrical contacts - that's what you hear click - but that doesn't mean it's working, you can hear the click but the relay contacts can be burned or dirty (or I could slip a piece of paper between them) and they would not make proper contact so no current would flow.

The relay you're hearing is most likely the EFI main relay, but both the EFI main relay and the fuel pump relay are under the dash - depending on the year of production, the two relays might be in one physical enclosure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This makes sense, thank you.



I guess my confusion just revolves around my (very possibly incorrect) assumption that if the previous lock cylinder didn't need to have relays attached then my new switch shouldn't need them either. It's entirely possible, and actually likely that my assumption there is incorrect. I don't understand vehicle electrical systems nearly as much as I'd like to. Nearly 100% of what I know I've learned in the past 2 weeks. Lots of experience with electrical systems in heavy machinery like CNC machines, but little to none in vehicles.



I do plan on adding several things to the vehicle that would require a higher current draw such as auxiliary lights, compressor, and radio transmitter/receiver. So was planning on purchasing a pre-made relay and fuse box for all of that so that should be something that I can route the ignition and accessory wires into as well, correct?



I'm very new to all of this, like I said. I tend to pick up on things quickly but often it requires me to actually do them instead of reading how to do it.
 
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