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  #1  
Old 06-23-2001, 11:04 PM
wgstephen
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My 82 300 Turbo D startend and ran flawlessly on my way to work today (6/23). It was parked all day long. However, when I went to start it up, to myd consternation, the key would not turn in the ignition an the steering wheel is locked up. Has anyone experienced this problem and could you please advise. Is it the key, the cylinder or something else? Would my wife's spare key work? Would appreciate response before Monday morning so I can decide best course of action. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2001, 03:47 AM
Steve019
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My 76 300d has a similar problen. If I move the wheel back and forth while I am turning the key everything usually falls into place. I think it's a bit worn.
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2001, 08:52 AM
2.5 TURBO
 
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ignition

Is this a new key? If not try to get some graphite and put into cylinder.
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  #4  
Old 06-24-2001, 04:18 PM
wgstephen
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Thanks GA 123W Diesel. The graphite worked!
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2001, 12:46 PM
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Ignition locked

Your'e not out of the woods yet. This is a classic problem on the 123 and 126 models. You will probably experience the problem a few more times, then one day it won't turn again no matter how you hold your tongue. You will have to tow the car in for surgery. My advice is to go to the dealer with VIN#, production date, and registration in hand and order a replacement tumbler to the car. You need to be able to turn the key to position #1 as an antitheft deterrant to exchange tumblers easily. Once you can't turn the key, your'e dead meat. Trust me: as a Mercedes repair facility owner for over 25 years, I've done it many many times both ways. I prefer to be able to turn the key and remove the lock in a few minutes. Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2001, 02:02 PM
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Replace that tumbler!

It's a LOT cheaper to do this repair pro-actively. I'd change it.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2001, 10:50 PM
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Can anyone tell me exactly which part of the tumbler causing the problem? The pins, the steering locking mechanism (in Steve019's case), or something else?

David
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2001, 12:38 AM
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this wouldn't work if you live in a city ,but we live in the extreme boonies where people rarely lock there houses. Also we never go to the "big" city at night(Eugene Oregon).So when my ignition key started getting baulky I removed the tumbler unit ,took it apart and took all the tumblers and tiny springs out then put the unit back in sans tumblers .I then put a few drops of super glue on the key and inserted it . ( the super glue keeps the key from vibrating out while driving as there are no tumblers to hold it in ,and it would be embarassing to have steering wheel lock while underway, actualy had that happen in a 240 z Datsun ,was going slow on srtaight road)I can still lock the doors trunk and fuel door and will never loose my ignition key and it turns smooth as silk......
William rogers.....
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  #9  
Old 07-06-2001, 12:50 AM
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search and find

Change the tumbler AND the steering lock.
Use the search function.
I did the tumbler only but did the steering lock
a few days later cuz it still did not turn again.
I was lucky to get it to turn after
45 minutes of jiggling.
I left the key in the ignition to allow
tumbler removal again.
Do BOTH now and rest assured.

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1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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  #10  
Old 07-06-2001, 02:35 AM
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I have never worked on an ignition key. Based on the posts above, I theorize that there are two reasons for the key not turning:
(1) the pins inside the tumbler worn out, or
(2) the steering lock jammed.

Can anyone confirm my theory? If the problem is caused by a jammed steering lock, change the tumbler, as indicated by unkl300d, will not help. Is it easy to replace the the steering lock on 300D W123? I tried to search this forum for "steering lock" and found more than 300 topics. I did not have time to go thru each one of them.

David
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  #11  
Old 07-06-2001, 11:34 AM
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Ignition locks

In response to last two posts,the tumbler fails 99.5% of the time. Unkl300d, your are in the .5% group. I have replaced one steering lock assembly in 25 years of running a Mercedes shop. The tumbler actually breaks inside. I would replace the tumbler first based on the 99.5% figure, and then replace the lock assy if the persists.Don't feel you've wasted sixty bucks on the tumbler; you'va just done preventive maintenance. The procedure for both operations is listed in the W123 chassis shop manual under Group 46 which is steering.

Peter
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  #12  
Old 07-07-2001, 01:20 AM
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Peter,

Thank you very much for answering my questions. From what you tell me, I think my friend's 300D has a slightly jammed steering rather than a broken tumbler. It is because when the steering wheel is not in the locked position after the key is removed, the tumbler had no problem starting the engine next time. If the steering wheel is locked, I have to move the wheel back and forth while turning the key (as Steve019 stated). Do you agree with me or you have a different opinion?

David
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  #13  
Old 07-07-2001, 08:54 AM
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I seem to be having some of the same issues on my 300D. On occasion, if the steering wheel is in the locked position, I have to "work" with it to get the key to turn. The "feel" of the key turning seems to be ok - especially after putting some of that powered graphite in there. I personally don't really feel the need for the steering wheel "lock" function. Has anyone on here successfully defeated this function? Is so, what needs to be removed/modified to do it.
thanks,
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  #14  
Old 07-08-2001, 03:49 PM
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The W123 300D has a steering lock which locks when the steering wheel is moved a bit after
the ignition key is removed.
Yes you can remove the key and conscoiusly
avoid touching the steering wheel
enough to cause it to lock. By doing this the
the ignition key is easy to remove and
reinsert to turn on again, when you have
an ongoing "tumbler/steering lock "
problem.
The steering lock is NORMAL as is the
method of unlocking it so that the key can be turned.
Just move the steering wheel to one side
until the key turns (as per owner's manual).
You can try jiggling back and forth (but
not too aggressively-you don'y want to
exacerbate anything potentially negative).

Peter and I are both correct. Benzmac
in the past recommended BOTH tumbler and
steering lock to be replaced. Cheap insurance.
It costs alot more if the key can't be turned
and you have to drill into a tumbler
to remove the steering lock.
Every mechanic's statistics can be different.
I eventually followed Benzmac's advice and that
was the way to go. For me.
Do yourself a favor and search the topic.

A mechanic once told me that if you insert the ket with a slight downward tilt and try to keep that tilt as you
turn the ignition, it may unstick the tumbler.
Well it worked for me in my time of grief, may have been
coincidence but I share a tip F.Y.I.

If you are dealing with just normal steering lock behavior
then learn how it works, then determine whether you have a
sticky tumbler and or steering lock. If it takes forever
get the key to move, then take action on something!
Good Luck

p.s. eganwork I asked Benzmac bfore if the steering lock
could be mechanically defeated (tweaked). He said it can not.
__________________
1979 300D 199 K miles
1995 C280 95 K miles
1992 Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe 57K miles
********************
1979 240D 140Kmiles (bought for parents) *SOLD.
SAN FRANCISCO/(*San Diego)
1989 300SE 148 K miles *SOLD
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  #15  
Old 07-08-2001, 08:11 PM
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Ignition Lock

Be459

You may be bumping the stastistics from .5% to 1%. If you don't turn the wheel allowing the locking pin into steering column and the tumbler can be turned many times, it appears the lock assy is malfunctioning.From under the dash undo the 10mm nut that tightens the clamp that holds the lock assy in the steering column. Now is also where you need to be able to turn the key to retract another pin to allow you to slide the lock assy out of the steering column. You will need to pull the lower part of the dash away from the windshield with one hand and slide the lock out with the other. It usually clears without dropping the column. You can't just cut the locking pin off,because the mechanism itself is jamming. The locking of the wheel is incidental.

Peter
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