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  #1  
Old 01-22-2007, 02:12 PM
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W124 ignition key lockup

Car Stat: 1987 260E automatic 2.6L M103

Recently the ignition key has become rather hard to turn from the OFF position to the ON position. I had to do something about it so I bought some penetrating oil (similar to WD40) in the aerosol can type and spray it into the key hold of the ignition lock. It didn't help much, instead it is completely locked now, I can't even turn the key from the OFF to ON position. Is this some kind of alarm system that just kicked in? Or is my key lock tumbler gone for good and need to be replaced. I am gonna wait several hours to see if it revert back to the OK state? Any idea what's going on?

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  #2  
Old 01-22-2007, 02:20 PM
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Your tumbler is shot. The wafer tolerances on MB ignitions are extreme - the WD40 has probably worked loose years of grime and the wafers aren't moving. My good friend and locksmith has always said these products have made him a good living over the years. Order a new tumbler and view my thread on how to get the cylinder to the right position to replace the tumbler.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2007, 08:47 PM
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The only place you can get a tumbler is from MB...

They are not CHEAP either Fairly easy to replace yourself...
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2007, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
Your tumbler is shot. The wafer tolerances on MB ignitions are extreme - the WD40 has probably worked loose years of grime and the wafers aren't moving. My good friend and locksmith has always said these products have made him a good living over the years. Order a new tumbler and view my thread on how to get the cylinder to the right position to replace the tumbler.
Thanks TX76513
Last night I managed to get the lock mechanism to move into the 1 position after a lengthy wrestle with the steering wheel and cordless jigsaw. I left the key in the car this time away from the off position. Tape & Covered the whole thing up with black plastic bag to hopefully make it non-noticeable to prying eyes. While this morning I went to the dealer and ordered a new tumbler, that's a 3-5 days wait. Believe it or not, that costed me $210 Canadian when tax is factored in, not a cheap item.

Anyway, I need to make a prong with a piece of 2mm wire to remove the broken tumbler. Any idea what kind of easily obtainable piece of wire I can use? A coat hanger is too thick, I checked last night. Thx
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Old 01-23-2007, 09:21 AM
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I went to Harbor Freight and bought a cheap set of hex keys for $2 and used one that was best fit. It needs to be rigid
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2007, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by throne7 View Post
Thanks TX76513
Last night I managed to get the lock mechanism to move into the 1 position after a lengthy wrestle with the steering wheel and cordless jigsaw. I left the key in the car this time away from the off position. Tape & Covered the whole thing up with black plastic bag to hopefully make it non-noticeable to prying eyes. While this morning I went to the dealer and ordered a new tumbler, that's a 3-5 days wait. Believe it or not, that costed me $210 Canadian when tax is factored in, not a cheap item.

Anyway, I need to make a prong with a piece of 2mm wire to remove the broken tumbler. Any idea what kind of easily obtainable piece of wire I can use? A coat hanger is too thick, I checked last night. Thx
was in a similar position. read a lot of articles (do search), and wasted alot of time, to no avail. and if you break those self made wires, you will be totally screwed and will pay higher $$ to make it right.

with my key in the No. 1 position, had my car towed to the dealership. and in no time i was back on the road. with good public relations skills, it only cost me $20 and a bottle of vodka.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2007, 10:44 AM
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I fought mine with my home-made wires and finally gave up and took it to the dealer for R&R, not much of a charge for R&R.

You might want to delay trying to get the old one out until you pick up the new one. That way you will be able to see what you are trying to release on the installed unit.

Steve
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:24 AM
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I don't remember exactly what I used for a tool (big paper clip, maybe?) but I don't remember it being a problem or a big deal.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2007, 12:03 PM
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This happens to ALL W124s.

Solution is a new ignition tumbler--go to dealer with your proof of ownership to get one with matching key.

Do this ASAP or you'll eventually be stranded.

Some repair facilities may have a "loaner" tumber assy for you to use until your new one arrives.

It requires a special tool to remove/install the tumbler.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2007, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softconsult View Post
I fought mine with my home-made wires and finally gave up and took it to the dealer for R&R, not much of a charge for R&R.

You might want to delay trying to get the old one out until you pick up the new one. That way you will be able to see what you are trying to release on the installed unit.

Steve

Good idea Steve, never thought of that one. I was gonna go home tonight and fashion some tools and go at it. I will wait till the new tumbler comes.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2007, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
This happens to ALL W124s.

Solution is a new ignition tumbler--go to dealer with your proof of ownership to get one with matching key.

Do this ASAP or you'll eventually be stranded.

Some repair facilities may have a "loaner" tumber assy for you to use until your new one arrives.

It requires a special tool to remove/install the tumbler.
No loaner here. They did offer to sell me a universal one for $120 while i wait for the real one. However, the universal one has a different key. I said no thanks.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2007, 02:48 PM
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just use no tumbler until it comes in. be sure to keep your car locked
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2007, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnhef View Post
just use no tumbler until it comes in. be sure to keep your car locked

While we are on the right thread. Just out of curiosity. Are the older W124 compatible with those aftermarket remote starter units? I guess if you can operate the car without a tumbler, then you can probably hotwire it to start. Which mean you can have a remote starter install and all A nice backup system I would say, cause even if your tumbler lock up you always can start the car
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2007, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by throne7 View Post
While we are on the right thread. Just out of curiosity. Are the older W124 compatible with those aftermarket remote starter units? I guess if you can operate the car without a tumbler, then you can probably hotwire it to start. Which mean you can have a remote starter install and all A nice backup system I would say, cause even if your tumbler lock up you always can start the car
Just make sure you are going to drive in a straight line!
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2007, 06:51 PM
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yeah, you can wire a remote start to almost anything, the tumbler doesnt affect that. the steering lock behind it is what the tumbler turns.

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1981 500SEL Euro
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