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Old 06-12-2001, 02:01 PM
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Can anybody tell me if it is possible to purchase new door tumblers with the key included for the '86' 420SEL? When I purchased the car, the previous owner claimed that a friend jammed the lock with the wrong key. When the key is entered into the drivers door, the tumbler turns to the right, but will not turn to the left. I have gone to a regular locksmith, but they could not help me. They could cut a duplicate key, but I think the tumbler is the problem, not the key. It was suggested that I purchase new door handles, which is very expensive, and it was not known how this would effect the alarm system. Also, the key does not come with new door handles. On rainy days I don't drive the benz because I get drenched having to open the passenger door in order to get into the drivers seat. Can anybody give me some more suggestions? The nearest dealership, (about 100 miles away), does not have user friendly hours for me, and I am sure this is going to cost a bundle if I could get to them. Please Help! Any suggestion is very welcomed!
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Old 06-12-2001, 03:05 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 18,745
On many other cars, it's possible to set a new tumbler to your existing key. That would be the way to go.

If a new tumbler can't be set, see if someone will cut a key with the old pattern on one side, and the new pattern on the other side. Worst case is that you have to flip the key 180-degrees. Don't forget spares of this unique key. Now, MB tumblers might read both sides of the key. I doubt it, but it's possible.

The alarm shouldn't care about the tumbler as long as you get the right kind of tumbler. The alarm is set/unset by using the key, not by the presence of the key.

91 300SE
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Old 06-12-2001, 04:12 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
I replaced mine. I went through the dealership. All the asked was my VIN number. It was close to $200 but, I got a new tumbler and a new key that can open all the doors and trunk. I called a couple of mail order dealerships (which I never did business with) but, they needed a copy of my license, title, etc for security reasons. No go.
I would try to call your dealership, specially if had business with them before, (you are in their computer) and see if they can mail it to you. You know, different business, different rules. I don't think Fastlane can help you with this one...
'86 300E
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Old 06-12-2001, 04:27 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 1999
Posts: 74
I had a similar problem with my drivers side door lock. The key would lock the door but would not open it. I removed the door handle and lubricated and turned the mechanism with the key when the door handle was removed. After I put it back the situation reversed, the door would open but not lock. I was told by the dealer to change the handle for a cost of somewhere around $400. I did not fix the problem but lived with it for months. Recently I had to replace the window regulator on the door and i did this job. After that my door lock works perfect. I was surprised and dont know what fixed it but saved me from changing the handle.

I would suggest as a first to remove the door handle and take a look at it and try to move the key both ways with lubrication. Give it a try.
89 300SEL
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Old 06-12-2001, 06:53 PM
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Call Tom Hansen, Caliber Motors, in CA. (800-252-6877).

He's helping me get new handle, cylinder, etc., for my 81 300D. They already sent me one - MB keyed it wrong, but Tom is in porocess of having them "do" another one properly keyed. My cost so far about $81.00.

Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2001, 10:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
I would sure do some serious cleaning and lubricating of those tumblers before I ordered new ones from the Dealer
I find spray ecectrical contact cleaner a good cleaner for many parts other tha ele....try one of the good grafite lock lubes.....
William Rogers...
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