Ignition switch jammed (300E) - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ignition switch jammed (300E)

The ignition switch in my ’89 300E has seized up. Several months ago, I had a little trouble with my ignition key being reluctant to turn. But with a little jiggling, it worked, and I hadn’t had any trouble. Now, without any warning, the switch has locked up. (After reading the posts on this forum, I realize I should have fixed it when I first had the problem!) When I put the key in, it feels like there is sand in the slot, and there is no way to get it to turn. The mechanic worked on it and had a locksmith work on it, all to no avail. I’ve even tried the “vibrator� method, without success. So I guess I’m to the “drill it out� stage. My question is how does one “Drill It Out�? Do you simply start with a ¼� bit in the middle of the key slot and work up through larger bits? Do you use a die grinder to route it out? How big does the hole eventually have to be – as large as the face of the switch (approx. ¾�)? And how deep should the hole be? I don’t want to get into the electrical parts behind the switch. Or alternatively, can you put a large screwdriver in the slot and forcibly turn the switch to the first position so you can remove it as intended? Will I have to replace the whole housing with the steering wheel lock, or will I be able to get just the tumbler out and replace that? Advice and help appreciated (and sympathy accepted).
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-21-2005, 03:59 PM
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RE: Ignition switch jammed (300E)

I had the same issue last year. I believe it started because my mom had a giant thing of keys and it weighed a ton. Well what we did is get a new ignition, luckily it jammed as bad as yours the day we rolled into the dealership, just in time, got a new one and it works perfectly
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-22-2005, 01:26 AM
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RE: Ignition switch jammed (300E)

first of all the steering lock assembly should be taken out from the steering column , to do this remove the screw on the steering lock that clamps this on the holder then pry the shaft with a large screwdriver that you can remove the steering lock, then remove the sheet metal covering in the thumbler pry the cover with screw driver, then drill the thumbler on the center with a small drill bit up to 25-28mm deep. work your way till the hole is bigger and once it is big enough pry the side of it until you break it into pieces. the best way to do this is on the vise so you will have more force to pry the left over pieces.

the faster way is to replace both steering lock and thumbler P/N 124 462 35 30 steering lock, 126 460 06 04 thumbler (undefined, meaning diferent lock combination), but if you are not in a hurry you can order a thumbler 126 260 02 04 from the dealer and don't forget to mentioned the chassis number of your vehicle for them so you can still use the original keys.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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RE: Ignition switch jammed (300E)

Thanks, Benzboyz. Thats what I needed.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2005, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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RE: Ignition switch jammed (300E)

I finally got the steering lock off the column - had to grind off the locking pin with a carbide bit in the Dremel tool. But what's the trick to getting the main electrical cable off the back? It's like a big black plastic knob on the back of the steering lock assembly. It won't turn, and I can't seem to pull it straight off. It doesn't want to pry off with a screw driver, either. I don't want to use much more force, afraid I'll break something. Or am I just being a wimp?? thanks.
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