No start: Engine cranks, but position 2 on ignition switch is a dead zone!

My ’86 XJS V12—running and driving as of Monday—yesterday developed the following issue:

Upon turning the key in the ignition, the engine will crank (at position 3 on the switch) but upon returning to position 2 everything will cut out very suddenly.

I also noticed that accessories that should operate in position 2, such as the power windows, are not working at all, though headlights, flashers, etc. all still operate.

Lastly, the fuel pump is not priming when the key is turned to position 2.

Does this sound like a relay issue, an ignition switch issue, or something else entirely?

Based on your description of what is not coming to life, I would suspect the ignition switch.

I agree with Dave, ignition switch sounds like the culprit.

Yes indeed, Ignition switch

Here’s a link to a pdf that shows how to disassemble the switch and clean it. Not sure who the author is:

Ignition switch refresh

Thank you to all who replied! Looks like Moss Motors carries this part; I suppose I’ll order it from them unless someone has a different recommendation (though considering the cost, attempting to disassemble and clean the original switch is tempting).

Any ideas as to how many hours an ignition switch replacement might reasonably take? Looking at my Haynes manual I see there are quite a few steps involved.

I overhauled my ign. switch several years ago, and it has given me no more trouble. It is a “fiddly” job, and I hope you are patient. A couple of hours should be enough, and repair is always better than replace, IMHO! Go for it.

I just did mine a few months ago. Much easier than i thought, once you figure out where the screws are to remove from dash.

I ended up not replacing mine, just cleaning it. There was some corrosion. You may not need a new one either.

Make sure to study how it comes apart, a bit fiddly with tiny parts. And if i recall, you have to bend tabs to take apart, hammer them back to secure.