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  #1  
Old 01-10-2002, 01:20 PM
David Hunter
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Stuck Key

The car is a 92 190e. My key is stuck in the ignition switch. I think the safety switch on the gear selector that indicates when you are in park has gone bad. Yesterday I could not get the car to start; the engine would not turn over. I moved the gear selector from park to drive several times and finally got it to start. Today it will start, but I can't get the key cylinder to turn all the way off to get the key out. The key turns freely and will turn to the 1 & 2 positions and almost to the 0 position, just not all the way off to remove the key.

Do you think my diagnosis is correct? If so, can someone tell me where the switch is located? I looked in the console under the gear selector but did not see it.


Thanks, David

Last edited by David Hunter; 01-10-2002 at 02:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2002, 02:41 PM
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The 190's are prone to ignition switch failure, actually its the tumbler. Usually they give some warning. If they are replaced before failure such that the switch won't turn its a $70 part with minimul labor. If its after it fails and it won't turn (and unlock itself) its ten times that in labor to get it out

Don't know about a "park" switch, I have a standard trans. The car may be warning you its after your wallet.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2002, 04:51 PM
agupta
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what warning do they give before failing?
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2002, 06:20 PM
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They start not turning easly, then not turning occisionally, then not turning often...

Sometimes they won't let you put the key in, sometimes they won't let you take out.

Adding lubricant will help for a little while, something like WD40 or even motor oil.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2002, 01:33 AM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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The standard procedure for replacing the ignition switch requires the ability to insert the key and turn the switch (along with a special tool). If that fails, they'll probably have to drill down the center of the mechanism (or something else similarly drastic).

recommend replacing the switch while it's still easy...

anthony
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2002, 11:03 AM
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If you search this site you'll find examples of it being replaced by force. It takes a long time and many hundreds of dollars.
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  #7  
Old 01-11-2002, 01:55 PM
David Hunter
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Are you guys sure it's the ignition switch and not the park/neutral safety switch?
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2002, 02:17 PM
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Neutral safety switch

Greetings David,

The neutral safety switch would just prevent your car from starting if it has gone bad or is out of adjustment. If you can't get the key out of the ignition, this safety switch should have nothing to do with that problem. It should be possible to adjust your safety switch from under the car left side, where the selector rod enters the transmission.

Charles
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  #9  
Old 04-15-2004, 08:57 PM
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Hey guys can you give me an idea of what special tool is need to replace the tumbler on the 201's because i replaced the tumbler on my 123 with just an allen key. I tried the same method on the 201 but no luck ne info would be appreciated
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2004, 12:49 PM
tvpierce's Avatar
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Do a search, there's lots of info on the subject. I just went through this.

Here's some of the info I gathered from this site: (I copied and pasted this to a word doc -- now I'm pasting it back)

The image at the bottom shows you what the tool needs to look like (you can make it out of 12-guage wire) You only need one side of it for a 201, there's nothing in the bottom hole of the face of the tumbler.)

126 frozen steering lock/tumbler removal (fairly easy, but long)

After reading of the dreaded stuck tumbler/steering lock over the years, and the need for a particle beam blaster or $700 to fix it, I went to start my car and moved the steering wheel ever so slightly as I sidled into the seat. I was treated to the Fort Knox-like sound of the steering lock bolt finding it's mate in the column, ka-lunk!! Having had no tumbler problems, ever, I figured it had just slammed home a little firmer than usual. Two hours later with Lock-Ease, vibrators, prayer and really sore index finger and thumb, I realized the tumbler was NOT going to turn to position #2.

..Remove knee panel(s), steering wheel and instrument cluster with normal methods.
..Loosen (a lot, but don't remove)and slide upwards pinch clamp holding steering lock/tumbler to collar on steering column thru inst. opening. 10 mm. bolt.
..Remove turn signal/multi switch and cruise control stalk from steering column and unplug connectors (3 screws)
..Loosen steering column, two 13 mm. bolts staring at you on bottom of inst. cluster opening.
..Drop steering column a little (~1.5 inches?) and remove steering column plastic fascia (pulls out in one piece towards you)
..Locate the release button on the steering column collar. It will look a lot like the release buttons on vacuum cleaner hoses/attachments. It will be on the wider part of the collar, ~ halfway up, visible from where you removed the column fascia. Of course it won't release since you can't get the key in position #2 (or you wouldn't be doing this!)
.. Try the key once more after praying.
..Use a DIAMOND bit in your Dremel. I used a bit from eBay (30 for $10) and despite the fact everyone swore that this was "space age steel" I drilled the pin out in less than 5 minutes. Use a routering motion. A 30 cent bit! and it was still good when I was done.
..Disconnect the vacuum lines (diesel), warning buzzer lines from bottom of switch, lock out cable (if '89 or newer) from switch. You cannot remove the electrical plug from the back of the tumbler/lsteering lock because you still can't get key to #2.
..Slide the steering lock/tumbler out of the column collar (since you've obliterated the retaining pin with your diamond bit) and fish it thru the bottom, still attached to the electrical cable that you can't remove (yet).
..As per Steve Brotherton, cut the scews for the electrical part of the switch with a carbide disc (3 screws) at the junction of the steering lock/tumbler assy. and the electrical switch portion(aluminum)in the back. It will still be functional, just with slices in the retaining "humps".
.. What I did was push the locking bolt into the assy. with a few choice hammer blows and Viola!...the key worked. The offending pawl in the lock assy. had been released.
..Either way release electrical plug, using screwdriver to get position #2 on the electrical switch if you had to cut, or your key, if the "innards" freed up with the hammer.
..Remove the tumbler at this point if you can rotate key.
..Take the assy. away and put it in a vise and beat on the bolt area some for kicks. There is a aluminum window, peened in four places, opposite the bolt. Remove peens and pry (lustily) the window up only ~1/2". Try key , which should surely turn,remove tumbler.
..If by now the tumbler is still not turning, throw the whole thing away and put in new lock/tumbler assy. You've still saved a ton of money. Assembly is the reverse of before.
..If tumbler is now out, rotate the area behind where the tumbler was until parts start to fall out. This takes alot of tinkering and many will just want to get a new steering lock assy. at this point.
..If you want to continue, remove all of the "innards"(springs, pawls, cams) you can, and pry the window all the way out now.
..The locking bolt will fall thru the window and you'll never have to worry about it again.
..Reassemble assy with the part inside that turns the electrical switch, but leave out the bolt, springs, pawl and cam, and replace the "window" and repeen. Replace tumbler. THIS TAKES A REAL TINKERER TO GET RIGHT, but it is NOT difficult.
..Test the key in the tumbler and you'll see how easy it is to turn. No wonder so many go bad; they are turning a pound of steel in the steering lock with each key turn!
..Take the assy out to the car and spend some time aligning the electrical switch part (key position #2),screw it onto the assy. (with new screws if needed) then put pinch clamp over assy,reconnect electrical plug and fish it upwards and insert into steering column collar. The pinch clamp will hold it in position when tight, even with the retention button being blown away.
..The electrical switch portion will provide rebound for the key from the start position and all will work the same with the exception of no steering lock and no warning buzzer for key left in car. Only now, the tumbler will turn like "buttah".


If you can get the tumbler to position “1” the procedure to remove is simple, with a Key intact. If you are stuck in “1” DON”T MOVE IT!!! May be tough with a broken key in there (little or nothing to pull on) but can be done. I recently had my tumbler break. Those suckers are tough to drill out in order to keep the crooks out! Drilling is an ordeal. After about half an hour of finessing, I got mine to "1" and removed it quite easily with directions from the service Manual using "Self Made Tool" as follows (and I quote, with annotations.) It came out in 4 pieces. I got a new tumbler, including a key, to match my VIN and the other locks in the car for about $75 from Caliber Motors in CA. Order your new stuff now, whether you are drilling or removing, you'll need it. It takes about three days.

1) Remove cover (black plastic one around key area, lift carefully from Steering column side)
2) Turn Key to “1”
3) Introduce releasing wire [Note:] through bores (two little holes in the silver part of the assembly) in the locking cylinder. Then push down on releasing wire and unlock the locking detents by overcoming the resilient resistance. (Push on that wire, hard, you may or may not feel a ‘pop’ and then pull in the cylinder at the same time!)
4) Remove Locking Cylinder including covering cap from steering lock by means of ignition key (or a hook you might have to make to get a purchase on the thing. Since you don’t have a full key in there, you may be able to get the cap off first, and then get a tool, like a needle nose vice grip, on the tumbler.)
5) Remove releasing wire from locking cylinder. Turn ignition key to “0” and pull off.
6) Remove cylinder from Covering (black) cap. (Keep this cap, order a new one if it is damaged)
Note: the releasing wire of 2 mm steel wire is self made according to the specified dimensions. Straight length of wire = 300 mm. (Make two bends 20 mm apart to form a ‘U’. Grind the tips to a 70 degree angle, inside angle (the tips of the angle grinds are on the outside of the ‘U’)(Stiff, but not too fat coat hanger wire might just work. If not, get some good stiff wire.)(Start car carefully with a screwdriver while the thing is off. DO NOT break anyting in there as you will have more to fix)

Installation (Here I am not direct quoting)
1) Insert Cylinder, make sure the elevated ridge lines up with the housing (about 10 o’clock)(it’s a good idea to lube all the parts on the car and cylinder while you have it open.)
2)Place black covering cap on and line up the little notch to the left (about 9:30)
3) Turn locking cylinder to “1”, then force cap and cylinder into steering lock while making sure that both parts are engaging. (Might have to wiggle the whole thing a bit while you push)(The key should point to the “1” notch on the black cap to indicate you are in alignment)
4) Make sure it all works
5) Install plastic cover
Attached Thumbnails
Stuck Key-tumbler.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2004, 02:07 PM
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Unless you cannot risk it due to high crime area, you can take the switch out and carefully use a screwdriver or needlenose pliers to start the car while you wait for the replacement switch.

DO NOT WAIT. Get the tumbler out before it totally fails. At a minimum, take it out now for an inspection. Mine is one of the posts pasted above -- the one which fell into 4 pieces as it came out, so my 'inspection' was rather telling.
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Last edited by d2bernhard; 04-16-2004 at 05:30 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2004, 03:22 PM
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Actually, with the tumbler out, you can still use the key to start the car. The tip of the key is what starts the car when it's all working properly. The rest of the key is just for security. Do be gentle though because leverage is working against you with the tumbler out.

And as d2bernhard said -- make the repair now before it's too late.

Good luck,

Jeff Pierce
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Jeff Pierce

Current Vehicles:
'92 Mercedes 190E/2.3 (247K miles/my daily driver)
'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon (263K miles/a family truckster with spunk)
'99 Kawasaki Concours
Gravely 8120
Previous Vehicles:
'85 Jeep CJ-7 w/ Fisher plow (226K miles)'93 Volvo 940 Turbo Wagon
'53 Willys-Overland Pickup
'85 Honda 750F Interceptor
'93 Nissan Quest
'89 Toyota Camry Wagon
'89 Dodge Raider
'81 Honda CB 750F Super Sport
'88 Toyota Celica
'95 Toyota Tacoma
'74 Honda CB 550F
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2004, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jugo Driver#1
... i replaced the tumbler on my 123 with just an allen key.
There's no way to do a W123 ignition switch with just an allen key. It uses the procedure with the wire described above. So I'm guessing he's talking about a door lock.
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2004, 06:30 PM
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I really did do a 123 tumbler with just an allen key it wasnt the original iginition/switch combination because it uses a laser cut key instead of the original regularly cut key. I did do it idk why you dont believe me.
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  #15  
Old 04-17-2004, 08:30 PM
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Actually it is possible to replace that tumbler with just an allen key. As it turns out, or as it did for me, the tumbler has only one sprign on it, at the top, the bottom does not have a spring, so there is no need to put anything in the slot. This was the story for me, I was quite dissapointed, but it sure made the job easier. I also used an allen key on my w201. The new tumbler also did not have the bottom spring.

xp
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