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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Looking for advice on how to proceed....

I have a 1998 ML320. 1/2" of the key broke off in the ignition switch. I didn't notice it broke off initially and reinserted the key into the switch. This pushed the broken half all the way into the key cylinder. After this the cylinder turned a few times. I think the broke part shifted further in and now I can't turn the key cylinder. I've recently read up on all the key cylinder removal procedure from 43sqd but I don't think this will work for me since I can't turn the cylinder to position 1. I had a locksmith come out and try to remove the broken half and they were not able to.

If I were to remove the steering column would I be able to disassemble things enough to be able to remove the broke key without being able to turn the key cylinder to position 1?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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That's not going to be easy you have to turn it to get it out. Try and get hold of a rare earth magnet and magnetise a piece of skinny metal that will fit like a flat needle file. Gently slide it in with the magnet on the file to get the maximum magnetism. It will depend on how stuck it is weather it comes out or not. I hope someone has a better idea for you other than replacing the column.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the input guys. I did try to magnetize the second key but I'll look into a way to make it more magnetic if that makes any sense...

What do you think if I just drilled the key cylinder out and bought a new matching one from the dealer?

Btw, I'm in no rush here. It's my winter car so as long as I have in running by November I'm good. Let your creative juices flow!

Thanks again!
 

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2000 ML55 sold? 2013 ML500,? 2017 C43 AMG,1929 Victory 6 roadster, 1927 Dodge 4 sedan, 1929 Dodge
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I think from memory it comes of when you turn the key so you will even have trouble doing that. It was a while ago when I took mine out so you might wait for some more input on that.
 

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Matt,

How do you get the black cap off to expose the key cylinder more? I think I read somewhere that someone cut theirs off... is that the only way?
You are only able to remove the black cap if you are able to turn the key cylinder.

If the locksmith couldn't remove it, you won't be able to.

You, or the registered owner, will have to appear at a M/B dealership, with license and registration in hand and order the following:

a. ignition lock housing, #163 462 00 30.

b. ignition lock cylinder, #163 462 00 79, cut to original key coding.

c. ignition lock cylinder cover, #163 462 00 23.

d. key blade, #210 766 01 06, cut to original key coding. Remove broken key blade from remote with tiny pin punch and install new key blade onto remote.

Below are the instructions for the R&I of the lock housing and and the key blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
43sqd, thanks for all the info. according to the local dealer, part number A listed in your reply is #163 462 00 30, does that sound right to you?

I'm going to let another locksmith have a go at it. If they can't get it I'm looking forward to following the procedure you provided. I'll keep you all posted. Thanks again for all the advice!
 

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Btw, I'm in no rush here. It's my winter car so as long as I have it running by November I'm good. Let your creative juices flow!
OK, you asked for it. Perhaps tip the car on its side and shake vigorously?
 

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Btw, I'm in no rush here. It's my winter car so as long as I have it running by November I'm good. Let your creative juices flow!
.... or perhaps place in large washing machine and set on spin cycle for 30 minutes ....
 

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On a side note....

How in the heck did you break the key off?! It seems pretty thick and sturdy to me, not at all flimsy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fair question. I bought the car used a few years ago. The previous owner must have used the key to open something because the key was always tweaked in the middle. I didn't think much of it and used the key like that for two years. One day I was in a hurry and pulled the key out on a weird angle and it snapped right were it was previously tweaked.
 

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Arent the keys made of brass? I dont think a magnet will attract them.

Many locks have a hole on the backside large enough to push a paperclip through to eject a broken key. Its not obvious its there unless you are looking for it. I dont know if cars follow this convention, but it has worked for me once in the past.

I have also has some luck putting the smallest dab of fast set epoxy on the end of a pokey-stick and holding it in place until it sets then pulling it out. Of course if you dribble the epoxy, you will end up drilling out the lock.

Good luck.
 

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Arent the keys made of brass? I dont think a magnet will attract them.

Many locks have a hole on the backside large enough to push a paperclip through to eject a broken key. Its not obvious its there unless you are looking for it. I dont know if cars follow this convention, but it has worked for me once in the past.

I have also has some luck putting the smallest dab of fast set epoxy on the end of a pokey-stick and holding it in place until it sets then pulling it out. Of course if you dribble the epoxy, you will end up drilling out the lock.

Good luck.

They are magnetic house keys are normally brass though. If you have a look at the pic with the tumbler out you can see where the key bottoms out and turns the ignition.
 

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I reckon you could bend the last mm of a paper clip at 90 degrees, pass it along the side of the broken key segment (past the sprung pins of the cylinder), then rotate it 1/4 turn and hook it out. Easy. (You might need to use another wire/pick to push away any opposing pins that are obstructing the way out.)

You don't need a new ignition lock housing, because even if you have to drill, you only have to replace the lock cylinder. Unless you damage the housing.
 

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Did you try shop air? Compressed air is pretty powerful. I remember using it to overhaul a set of brake caliper cylinders on my E39 M5. By hand I couldn't budge the things, but by adding shop air into the hydraulic line input, they popped out with a solid thud! Air is powerful and can do some strange things in tight spaces. If it is sent into the top of the cylinder key width, the escaping air at bottom creates a vacuum and *may* be enough to suck the piece of key out.
 

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You don't need a new ignition lock housing, because even if you have to drill, you only have to replace the lock cylinder. Unless you damage the housing.
DrX, you might have forgotten about the case hardened cap which has to be removed first before the lock cylinder can be removed.
 
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