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  #1  
Old 07-25-2002, 10:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Oakdale, CA
Posts: 28
ready to cut ignition tumbler

Well, to keep the story short: key broke off in tumbler, locksmith could not extract key and broke his drill trying to drill out the center, wheel in locked position but radio comes on, I read exhaustedly all previous posts and advice, tried drilling center myself, tried putting in bent hanger to release the tumbler, even tried drilling new holes in different positions to put in hanger tool to release tumbler. No luck, and no money to tow to my usual shop and pay four hours for them to remove and put on a new tumbler (6-700 bucks). So it is DIY time. I do have a dremel with assorted bits, will that be enough to saw the tumbler apart? and where should I cut it along the tumbler? What happens then? I have a 93 300e 2.8 the mechanism is a tumbler surrounded by a black cylinder and some sort of space age steel (psycho cobalt bit ((8 of them!!)) eating steel) on the face plate with the key slot. I already have the dash apart but seek experienced advice before the next step.
Thanks for anything,
Desperate,
Brooke
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2002, 02:34 AM
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Location: Seattle
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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
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1986 300E Anthracite + ECodes + MB Mileage Award
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2002, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saugus, CA USA
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Plan A: get some plyable plastic explosive, C4 works good, and press as much as you can into the tumbler, then stand back, real far...

Plan B: Be patient with the dremmeu and use grinding stones, not drills. They make a chain saw sharpening bit that I've used for removing broken ez-outs
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2002, 09:02 PM
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Location: Evansville WI
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In a case like this, I usually either totally remove or at least unbolt the upper steering jacket tube to allow it to drop down to get access to where the lock cylinder/steering lock enter the jacket tube. Then there are a few approaches. The "high and snooty" way ("more" proper way, although MB doesn't really spell out a proper way to do this with a seized lock cylinder) is to use a micro-torch or an acetylene torch with the smallest tip available, and heat up the locking pin to a bright red, and allow it to air cool, (do not quench with water, you are trying to remove the hardness), then drill or grind it down to allow removal. You will find the locking pin under the clamp that is bolted to the steering jacket where the steering lock enters, just unbolt and use a pair of pliers to remove the clamp, you should be able to reuse it no problem.
A "dirtier" method is to do the above (drop down or remove the upper steering jacket tube) and remove the clamp, and at that point use a small chisel or maybe even a "beater" screwdriver wedged between the steering jacket tube and steering lock to give enough clearance to allow the steering lock to be removed, by allowing the locking pin to slip under the locking hole. After removal you will need to reshape the side part on the jacket, as you want the locking pin to lock into the hole again, although the previously mentioned clamp will in fact hold the steering lock in place just fine.

Gilly
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2002, 01:47 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Oakdale, CA
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Gilly,
Is it totally necessary to remove the steerwheel lock shaft or destroy any part of it or the locking pin if I can remove the tumbler and black cover via cutting? The wheel and the tranny are locked now, but the radio works, though not any other accessories. If I put on a new tumbler will I be able to line it up and turn the key to unlock the wheel, or am I screwed because it is not in the right position to install the tumbler correctly?
Thanks to all,
Brooke
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2002, 12:26 AM
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Brook:
Although I know you feel certain the tumbler is locked up, it's actually hard to determine if it's the tumbler or the lock housing (the part the tumbler goes into) that's locked up. i would recommend replacing both at the same time. You could even consider doing the ignition switch also while you're in there.
It's normal for the radio to work with the key off, that's how it's designed, it has a constant power source for this feature.
Just for conversation's sake, yes, if the tumbler is locked up and you could cut it out of there and remove it, I believe it may be possible to use a tool and rotate the lock housing to position 1 and install a new tumber aka lock cylinder. More than likely in the process the lock housing, (the part that the lock cylinder goes into and also the steering lock), will be damaged. I'd order them both and remove the whole assembly as I described.
Gilly
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2002, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 43
Hey guys,

Please Help !!!
I am having similar problems 93300E is having, but not quite as bad. With some luck, I am still able to remove the key and even turn the engine on. But now it has become increasingly difficult and I'm not sure what to do. Currently the key is not in the ignition. Is there a way to remove the tumbler and get it replaced without putting the key back in ? I'm afraid that if I fiddle around with the key long enough it's going to break on me. Please help.
Thanks.
Arnold
(my car is a 1995 C36)
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2002, 11:18 AM
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RUN to you dealer with the VIN and proof of ownership and order a new tumbler and replace it while you can still get the key in the proper position. Do a search on here to get instructions on how to change it. You DO NOT want to get into the position that 93300E is in.
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  #9  
Old 07-29-2002, 09:04 AM
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Location: Oakdale, CA
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lessons learned

Definetly run to the dealer and get a new tumbler then follow Gilly's advice on removing the tumbler.
Here is the lesson I learned if anyone is reading this post and having the same problems: If your key breaks in the ignition and the wheel is locked and you cant get the tumbler to turn to a place where you can get it removed via a tool, here is what to do: Do nothing to the tumbler or cover, you are wasting your time, just take of the lower dash, move the clamp on steering lock arm where it connects to the ignition part, grind away or drill out the pin that is holding the parts together. Then remove the entire wheel lock/igniton/tumbler assembly and replace it.
I was able to cut the black cover off of the tumbler and grind the inside to bits until I could unlock the wheel, but it took all day and I damaged the ignition, wheel lock part anyway. So it was a waste of time.
Better yet, when your key gets difficult replace the one part, the tumbler.
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  #10  
Old 07-29-2002, 11:52 PM
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I still maintain that you can't really tell which part is getting hard to turn. It could be either the lock cylinder, the housing, and even the ignition switch electrical part, any of these can cause a hard to turn or seized lock cylinder.
Gilly
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2004, 08:38 AM
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Location: Houston
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New Tumbler Assy

A late post to add some need info on this subject.
I installed a complete tumbler assy (incl new (old keyed) inner tumbler and the outter assy as well) When I installed the new tumbler into the outter assy, the key would not release. I played with it for two day, installing and removing the tumbler but no luck. Got frustrated as #e!!. Read some more tired somemore. Turns out the outter assy was bad. By outter assy, I mean the thing that the "tumbler/Black ring fit into. Anyway, I go back and get another, fit them togther right at the couther to ask for assistance if needed and the key popped right out.
The moral is, the key should easily come out of the assy just like it does when installed in the car. If it does not, I would suspect a faulty assy
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Albert
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2005, 01:24 PM
daguzman
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i need some help removing my Ignitions lock cylinder or tumbler!???

I got into my car (1986 300E) last night and the key did not turned at all!! afer several hours or trying the key broke inside!! i then tried to turn it with a screw driver in a moment of rage but that did not work!! my wheel is also locked and i have removed all the bottom dash to work better!! i have ordered a new tumbler but now i dont know how to take the old one off!! i cant turn the key or anything? i need to drill it out but dont know how!! can anyone help me in walking me through this? i really need the helpp cause i dont have the money to pay someone the 4hundred to do it!!
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2005, 01:25 PM
daguzman
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sorry about hte size being all huge!!!
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2005, 05:52 PM
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
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Take a look at this thread Ignition Key Will Not Turn - Help. Look for the post 11 in by jbaj007. He did a good writeup on drilling out the assembly. One of these days I am going to do it on my parts car and take plenty of pictures so I can add it to my page about ignition assembly troubleshooting. http://garnet.acns.fsu.edu/~jjs5772/W123/
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'84 300D Turbo 240k (Anthracite Grey) - Garage Queen
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I'm not a certified mechanic, but I did stay at a HolidayInn Express last night.
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2005, 08:15 PM
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Dremel

You're going to need a dremel my friend.
Get a good one, hopefully the car is near electricity so that you can use the power.
You'll need to use the cone drill bit so that you cn get inside that small hole
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