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Old 07-12-2006, 09:47 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
300e Ignition Cylinder Tumbler replacement HELP

I have read all of the threads about this tumbler replacement, some times is litle confusing, looks like w123, w124, w126, are always, DIFERENT methods.
My key is stuck on the lock, I cannot remove it, but yes I still been able to move it, to position 1 and 2 (I assume position 0 exist, and is when you remove the key).
1) in some model I read you have to put the home made tool, on BOTH oriffices, and then EUREKA , you remove both : TUMBLER AND BLACK COVER.
2)on other models you first put a clip o tool, on the orifice, then you UNSCREW the black cover, and tumbler is free.
3) IN my case 300e 1991, I keep trying for 4 days, every morning before go to work, every night after work, and always i finished frustrated, I have the tumbler a new keys to replace, but I cannot remove, I can see on the new tumbler, only one hole is important, when i put the WIRE, I hear the click, but nothing, nothing, gives .....
what do you recomend guys????

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Old 07-12-2006, 10:11 AM
dkveuro's Avatar
Sword of Damocles
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Here an' there.
Posts: 2,548
Welcome to the MBF group.

The face is armored...the black bezel is too. So drilling it out is not on.
If you can turn it to the II position then you can insert a paper clip in the tiny hole to press down the spring finger.
Turning the key to position II aligns the face hole with the hole in the tumbler.....any other position the tumbler hole is covered.

The tip of the paper clip should have a 45 degree bevel ground on the tip to allow it to climb on top of the spring finger to push it down into the tumbler so you can withdraw the tumbler. So when you insert the paper clip tip the bevel should face in to the tumbler because the pointed tip is going to have to ramp up on the spring finger.

As the tumbler is released so is the black cover and you unscrew it to remove, as you pull back on the key/tumbler.

If you cannot turn to II then you have to dismantle the steering upper shaft assembley.

[ ]

"A liberal is someone who feels they owe a great debt to their fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money."

Last edited by dkveuro; 07-12-2006 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:41 AM
MrCjames's Avatar
California Dreaming
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 599
Tumbler R&R for a 124


The 124 model tumbler should have two holes on the face of the tumbler, you need 2 paper clips to release the tumbler and the bezel. Once the 2 retaining springs have been released then the two items will be easily removed, simply pull them out.

Good luck
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:18 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
300e tumbler replace

ok , tonite I will try again ....
on position "1" (second mark) , 2 wires, and "unscrew and pull" , may be I need a big pliers to try to unscrew the black protection ...

best regards
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 56
I just got thru replacing the tumbler on my 92 300CE. I used a thin, white painted clothes hanger that laundries use for dress shirts. I bent it into a "U" shape and cut the ends at a 45 degree bevel. I think that if you use a paper clip, then it better be a very thick one.

I really think that on my car the only hole that mattered was the top one.
I had to really ram it in, but once it was in, the whole thing pulled out quite easily just by pulling on the key.
1994 E320 Cabriolet
1992 300CE (Sold)
1991 300SE (Sold)
1986 560SEL (Sold)
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:29 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 2,562
Many have done without it, but if you're into special tools, Baum Tools carries quite a few. Consider item # 126-0714 & 900-0059 on page 42. See URL:
Mike Murrell
1991 300-SEL - Model 126
M103 - SOHC
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:53 PM
glenmore's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 963
Originally Posted by pelapela76
I have the tumbler a new keys to replace

You have a new tumbler right in front of you! Practice with a piece of wire and see how it depresses the retaining clip. I used coat hanger wire. I think paper clip might be too thin.

1991 300CE
2000 C280
1990 LS400
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:38 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern Calif. (Fairfield Area)
Posts: 2,225
If you are only going to replace one switch, then the coat hangar will work with patience, but if you are doing more than one, Mike is right about the special tool.

Thoughts for the day: On the other hand you have different fingers.
Remember, half the people you know are below average.
Auto Zentral Ltd.
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Old 07-13-2006, 11:44 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Blue Point, NY
Posts: 25,396
Originally Posted by autozen
If you are only going to replace one switch, then the coat hangar will work with patience, but if you are doing more than one, Mike is right about the special tool.

On the SD, with one slot, I had very good success with a jeweler's screwdriver. It will slide in and you can get some levering action to easily force the pawl to retract.
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Johnson City, TN
Posts: 985
I can tell you that on my 300E I tried and tried. I bought the tool. Couldn't make it work. Solution.

I have ordered new tumbler from dealer. Went to the dealer and had them do it. It really wasn't much of an upcharge over the cost of the part. Done in 15 minutes.

Sometimes, you just hire it done.

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Old 07-13-2006, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6
no luck yet ..

I will keep trying and trying .......
looks like im not very good at removing stumblers ....

thanks to all for your replies ....

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Old 07-13-2006, 10:42 PM
Mark M's Avatar
1990 300te
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Orange Co, CA
Posts: 92
I just completed replacing the ignition key tumbler on my '90 300te. I read all the posts and decided that this was a project I could do despite Ezequiel's troubles above. I spent the better part of 1 hour jiggling with coat hanger wire, and then I did a few things that made the job go just like that. Man, was I surprised when it just came apart. Here is what I did:

1. I decided to remove the padded knee piece that is just under the steering column. I know this step is probably not necessary, but I was having trouble getting a feel for the black collar and I felt like I was depressing the little tumbler clip and then when I would go to reach for the collar, the clip would snap back into place. This took all of 5 minutes with a nut driver, pliers and a screwdriver.

2. I examined the new tumbler carefully and it seemed like all I would have to do was insert my wire into only the top hole to force the clip down. I decided to take the advice of many threads and bend the wire into a U shape with appropriate 45 degree bevels. Then I inserted into both holes with one hand and used the other hand to gently apply CCW pressure to the black collar. The thing unscrewed within 10 seconds using this method.

Hope that helps.

Let us know how you do.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Allentown, PA
Posts: 482
Go to my post #11 dated 5-26-04
190E Ignition lock broken - Help needed

NOTE The ends of the tool must be angled to push the lock pawes in.

PS Piks are from a previous post from "earossi"
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Old 07-19-2006, 03:19 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6

Hi , thanks to every one for helping here.

Finally y remove the whole piece to work more confortable .
I made the "perfect tool" , I feel how I push on the spring, but I cannot remove the tumbler or nothing .
Today I going to work with some cutting machine or something , to many days with no car .
My key is stuck on the tumbler, and I cannot remove it, I started the car one time, and now cannot start it again, until i remove the key and insert it again, may be the problem is the tumbler is in some "magic" lock something extra but the spring???

will see after today, with the heavy tools.

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Old 07-20-2006, 08:58 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 6

Hi Guys, finally done it .
Will post a lot of pics later ...
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