Ignition is not removable unless you can turn it over.
There is a pin (hardened beyond belief) riding on a cam inside the cylinder that protrudes into the column body, only way to retract that pin is to turn the cylinder over to run and push the pin back into its pocket.
When the cylinder is turned to the off position the cam is jammed against the pin preventing any possibility of removal.
The pin has a collar and will not pull out of the lock cylinder either.
Drill it, gut it, retract the pin and pull the cylinder body out.
To install the new lock you just push the lock into the column in the run position and turn to the off position to extend the pin.
But the newer xj with the immobilizer key had some cut backs in physical security and the pin is a square pin that is not even hardened a bit, more like pot metal.
It drills like butter.
But beware if your drilling opens up the hole in the column any your lock will not sit flush in the column and will trigger the key reminder “bell” and even cause the immobilizer to trip out.
so just to make sure, the hardened pin stuff doesnt apply to my 1999, right? in the second pict. on the right in post #3 there is this square pin. thats the one you say is soft, right? it just seems so easy to drill this one out. should i not?
everybody sais to drill axially, i asked on "just answer" and thats what he said to do as well. will do it today, probably.
btw, iv been driving xj cherokees for over 30 jears now, we have the fourth and fifth now. great vehicles, dependable and no "service" needed. everybody thinks im crazy, but they virtually cost nothing. the first one (dont remember the year) was modded for offroad, air controlled shock, procomp light, big roo-bar, winch etc. but then the front bars became illegal, which took most fun out of it. they usually last 500'000 km and then go to africa because of rust.