Ignition switch and tumbler removal DIY - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Old 02-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
BenzWorld Member
Date registered: Jan 2009
Posts: 67
Ignition switch and tumbler removal DIY

Alright, here goes, as promised, my attempt at a DYI.
Removing the key tumbler and the ignition switch from my 1995 S320.

I found that (in hind site) I didn't really need to remove the instrument cluster. Eveything can be accessed from under the dash. I used this thread:http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w140...tion-lock.html
which was helpful.

The first thing you should do is remove the lower dash cover so you can access the ignition assembly from under the dash. You have to remove a few screws from under the dash and by the "disengage e-brake" handle to remove the lower dash cover. The lower dash cover won't fall. There are two spring loaded retaining hooks that keep the lower dash in place.

I was told to run a magnet over those two areas and that would disengage the hooks. I just squeezed a small screw driver in there and they disengaged.

Next, I removed the plastic ring that surrounds the ignition on the dash. It does not pry off you actually have to unscrew it. The front part of the ring screws into the back part behind the dash sandwiching the tumbler cover in place. I unscrewed it from the front and the front ring came off just fine.

I got into contortionist mode and went under the dash to remove the ignition assembly. You have to unscrew the ignition lock cable (I forgot what size open wrench I used) that is attacthed to the side of the ignition assembly. It unscrews easily. Then I had to depress two spring loaded locks on each side of the rear of the plastic ignition switch cover. This is demonstrated here:

I pulled the ignition assembly down from the dash and then unplugged the assembly.

Now the fun part, removing the tumbler.

Pic off separated components of ignition assembly

First I had to remove the damn metal tumbler cover. Some people actually had to cut the cover (which seems Mercedes made certain of that). I did not want to cut the cover so in frustration I just kept twisting and pulling on the cover and after a while it came off.
This ring is responsible for keeping the tumbler cover in place.

I then removed the iginition switch. First I put a key into the tumbler and turned it to position 1. Then I pushed on the button at the rear of the switch and it slid out of the plastic cover.

This pic shows the button to push to remove ignition switch from cover.

Lastly, removing the tumbler.

Tumbler in "off" position

Tumbler with key in "position 1" (notice how the key lines up with hole at the side of the tumbler. This is where you use a small screw driver).

Tumbler with key in position 1 and screw driver inserted in hole to depress spring locking mechanism to remove tumbler.

Tumbler removed showing spring locking mechanism

Remove key. Done.
shot of assembly taken apart... again

I hope this helps!

Last edited by likedatyall; 02-02-2010 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Date registered: Jul 2009
Vehicle: 1993 R129 SL320, 2003 Alfa Romeo 156 2.0JTS Selespeed
Location: Bucharest,
Posts: 13
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Before depressing the two spring locks for the ignition cover it's very important to turn key in position 1 and leave it like that until the cover is detached. Otherwise, the steering lock kicks in and, as far as I read, the only solution of removal is destroying the lock. I'm in this situation and I wish I knew this before I took the tumbler off. Now, I have to find a solution for removing the lock.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Date registered: Apr 2010
Vehicle: 1998 S600 LWB 2011 GLK 350 4matic
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Posts: 412
Great job. I use grafited "Lock-Ease" in my tumblers, To postpone lock failures as long as possible.
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Old 02-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Date registered: Apr 2005
Vehicle: 92 W140 300SD 97 VW Jetta TDI 89 VW Fox diesel
Location: Iowa
Posts: 990
How can you tell if your ign switch is getting close to being a problem? There's records for my car where it was replaced once already, is this problem a fairly frequent thing?

Also, is it exacerbated by certain things like heavy key chains etc?

Steve A
92 W140 300SD "Bender"
97 VW Jetta TDI
89 VW Fox diesel
94 Chevy K1500 6.5TD
82 Suzuki GS1100E
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Date registered: May 2012
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W140 tumbler replacement

The procedure provided by likedatyall looks great, but the pictures seem to have disappeared, at lest on my rig. Is it me, or can we get them back?
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