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  #1  
Old 12-17-2003, 09:21 PM
explore
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Exclamation Ignition Key Will Not Turn - Help

I need help... my ignition key will no longer turn. My '84 300DT now is stuck. I had few problems with getting a "sticky" key before, but now I think that my Ignition tumbler are worn out completely.
Is there a way I can remove the lock without taking the whole car apart? or am I here for the bad news?
If I do have to take steering column out, etc. does anyone have an experience at it, as I have no idea what to do there.
I did some search, but I still do not understand on how to get the tumbler out if your steering locked and key will not turn.

Last edited by explore; 12-17-2003 at 09:43 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2003, 01:42 AM
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Do a search. Is the key stuck in the ignition, or will it just not turn? If you can get the key out, go to a dealer or independent shop and get a new key, this may buy you a couple more times with the tumbler so you can get it out.

Otherwise, you have to take the lower dash cover off and grind off the holding pin, the remove the lock assembly from the steering column complete. You will need a new lock assembly, new tumbler, new key, and probably some plastic bits that break.

My friend Hans charges four hours labor for this job.

Try the new key if you can, you may get lucky. Bouncing the steering wheel agains the lock pin sometimes gets you another time, too.

Peter
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2003, 07:57 AM
glmoy
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This happened in my Chev truck. The ignition would not turn. The remedy was to use tri-flow in the lock to free up the tumblers, using the key on a small set of vice grips and wiggling and turning for about an hour. Apparently, the tumblers had accumulated some dust over time an caused the pins to get stuck.

Eventually, the lock freed up and was able to turn. I used a liberal amount of tri-flow in the tumblers until when wiped off with a cloth it looked free of debris.
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Old 12-18-2003, 10:26 AM
explore
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No, I tried 4 different keys, I had 2 originals that have not been used......the tumbler pins are worn out completely!?....tried wigling and jigling for hours no luck there. I did a search on tumbler and ignition key, found info, but I still do not understand what do I need to drill out or grind out under steering column. My manual books only show how to get it out if you can turn key to position 1.
After wigling for a long time, something craked inside tumbler and the front part now turnes without the rest of it. I can line up the hole , but I'm unable to push the pin all the way in or can't find a release clip..... and the steering weel is still locked..
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2003, 10:44 AM
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That is the point Peter was trying to make. If you can get one more turn, you can remove the tumbler per the manual and operate the car with a screw driver. If you can't get one more turn, you'll have to go to plan B which is remove the whole assembly from under the dash.

Good luck,
Peter
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2003, 10:55 AM
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the front part of the lock assembly turnes now all the way 360* ether way but the tumbler is still not turning and I can't put a key in anymore as something is blocking inside tumbler....i can see pieces of metal. Can I remove it this way, because the top/front part turnes and I can align the hole, but is the whole tumbler needs to be turning or the front part is enogh?
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  #7  
Old 12-18-2003, 11:16 AM
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No you can't rmove it this way. the whole tumbler must turn to position 1 so you can stick a wire deep into the hole to move a little latch out of the way to allow the case hardened anti-theft collar to be unscrewed. The front part of the lock breaking off is a classic failure of these tumblers. Also once you get the lock out under plan B, you are still faced with the removal of the steel collar. I use a die grinder with a cutting disc and make two cuts. I have done this job many many times and never look forward to it. Have fun.

Peter
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:52 AM
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ok, can someone give me a very good direction for plan B....... I realy do not understand it all the way. I removed under dash panel, also removed steering weel, and instrument panel. I unbolted the separation of steerinf column in the middle. But what do I do next? how do I remove plastic steering cover (the part where the multifunction switches conected to steering column), do I need to remove it, or can I do it without removing that part.
Also Peter you said that you had to make to cuts in the steel black colar around the lock......was it before you got the whole assembly out or you cut from the front???
Thanks so much
Alex
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  #9  
Old 12-18-2003, 12:08 PM
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Alex,

It's sort of difficult to explain the procedure with a key board. Yes, the cuts are made after the assembly is out. At least that is how I do it. I don't understand what plastic thing you are talking about.

Peter
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  #10  
Old 12-18-2003, 12:27 PM
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plastic thing- after you take the steering weel out, the part that that covers the wires and stuff between the dashboard and steering weel. The turn signal switch is conected insed of it somewhere. I hope that makes sence.
Do I need to take the steering column out first or do I drill the pin out first. (where does that pin located).
What do I do next after I open the under the dashboard cover and remove steering weel?
I cant find any good direction in the manuals I have.
Thanks
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  #11  
Old 12-18-2003, 01:37 PM
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Might help; might not. FWIW.


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".
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2003, 02:24 PM
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Thanks for the instruction, I will try them today. I do have couple of question..... is the pinch clump located under the dash board and you can see it after the kick panel has been removed? and how do you remove turn signal/multi switch and cruise control stalk from the steering weel column?
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2003, 04:11 PM
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Pinch clamp can be seen from below with the kick panel off, or more easily from above thru the IP opening, when it's out.

Stalks removal is pretty intuitive (meaning that I don't remember exactly ) once steering wheel and plastic fascia on column is off.
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2003, 06:11 PM
explore
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OK, I got to the pin......now the driling it out part starts......
thanks guy for all your help
I will let you know when I get this thing out
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2003, 11:21 PM
explore
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Project Finished!!!!!!

Finaly , after couple of hours got the tumbler out. I had to cu the black steel cover, as it did not want to turn even after I got the whole thing out.
I'm ordering a whole new lock assemnbly and for now I took the pins out of the tumbler, took the steering locking mechanism out and the the tumbler back in, so I can start the car with any key or a screwdriver.
Thanks all for the help.
Now I know what to do and when it will come in will be able to put a new locking assy in no time.
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