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1985 380SE
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have a 1985 380SE, love the car. Just changed out the ignition lock yesterday as it was just having problems. Got the original from MB. Now after doing that the drivers side lock does not always lock/unlock as the tumbler seems to be hammered as well.

Does anyone know if the passenger side and driver side are interchangable? It does have that darn factory alarm. My mechanic says no way and just to take an old key, spray some WD40 in it, take vise grips with old key and work it back and forth. He says that this has worked with limited success.

Does anyone have any ideas besides ordering a new driver side door handle from MB? Switching drivers side and passenger sides handles? Any ideas I will try.

Thanks...
 

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Depends on the day!
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Left and right are diff. so no deal :-/ Don't use WD40, you don't have a water issues in your tumbler. Use liquid graphite (proper tumbler lubricant). I'd be leary about using the plyers on the key..make snaping the key too easy. If you don't mind using a different key I have an excellent drivers door handle available.

Jonathan
 

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1985 380SE
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Your door handle sounds good but it still leaves me with the original problem of not having all the tumblers the same. Called MB to see and they said 360 bucks to have another handle made.

So graphite eh? Wish I could just clean it out and start fresh.
 

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Ouch..Shoot me your VIN and let me see what I can do for you on new.

Jonathan
 

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1984 280SEL AMG
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701 Posts
Take the car to a Pro locksmith that deals with primaraly car locks, they could posably re-key or repair your current lock.. You door handle is fine...If you have the locksmith do the job you get a warrenty with it incase somthing doesn't work right...

GOOD LUCK ON YOUR QUEST!!!!
 

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84 300TD, 2005 CDI, 2006 CLS55
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1,041 Posts
the lock mechanism on both side are identical- the rest of the handle are mirrored to each other. You can take the interior lock from the passenger side and use it for the drivers side- I've just done this, and on most cars it's a good trick as the drivers side lock is used many times more than the passenger side- so the passenger side is usually in much better shape.
 

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I assumed he was talking about swapping the whole handle... Never gave swapping the tumblers a go; I'll keep that in mind in the future!

Jonathan
 

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1985 380SE
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, took a bunch of advice from many sources and this is what I did to remedy the issue. The key is still a bit stickey going in but just a push and it goes in. Here are the steps I took.

1. Get a big can of WD40 and stick the red nozzle in the lock cylinder and having many shop rags under it spray into the cylinder for about 30 seconds, yes 30.

2. Insert and remove the key several times but don't turn it yet. Make sure it goes in and out reasonably smooth.

3. Repeat the WD40 step 1.

4. Now at this point insert the key and see if it turns. Now if it does, great you just saved 380 bucks. If not, go to step 5.

5. With an original STEEL MB key, insert it, take a pair of vise grips or in my case the MB plier and force it back and forth. In my case the lock would unlock without an issue but would not lock. Turned it CW hard and heard a "Snap" and then all of a sudden it worked as smooth as a babies, well you know.

I then took the Valet key to test and it worked fine. Took the other "Brass" keys and those worked fine. From my findings I will no longer use the brass keys and only use the steel keys from MB from now on as the brass wears away and causes chips and shavings to fall into the cylinder causing it to hang.

So from several boards and the help from above and my mechanic, the one who told me about the vise grip, my lock is now in working order albit not smooth going in but I can live with that.

Thanks to all for the ideas and the assistance.

Now it's time to tackle the 126 right front wheel balance/shaking problem and my leaky AC hose in the front.
 

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1985 300sd
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445 Posts
MTUpower - 4/27/2005 8:05 PM

the lock mechanism on both side are identical- the rest of the handle are mirrored to each other. You can take the interior lock from the passenger side and use it for the drivers side- I've just done this, and on most cars it's a good trick as the drivers side lock is used many times more than the passenger side- so the passenger side is usually in much better shape.
Yep, my mechanic swapped mine out YEARS ago. It's funny because if you try to lock or unlock the car from the passenger's side, the key just turns about 90 degrees either direction, but nothing happens.
 

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1985 380SE
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Discussion Starter #10
So the actual cylinder can be swapped out. I guess that would be the way to go. How do you remove those 126 door handles. Tried the screw on the side and turning the key 45 even 60 degrees in both directions but it still would not come out. Anyone know how to pull the door handles out?
 

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1991 560SEL
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34 Posts
Does anybody have a diagram of the lock mechanism? It sounds like quite a few of us have this same issue... maybe we could all find a locksmith who is familiar with this issue and get a group rate.[:)]
 

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1985 380SE
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Discussion Starter #12
Just ordered the 380SE repair manual on CD. It's supposed to be the factory manual from the original microfiche (forgive my spelling if it's wrong). If it has the instructions on how to remove the handle I will pull mine, photograph the removal, and then see if the cylinder can be swapped somehow. Hope it's just a bolt or three that needs to be undone and the lock mechanisim would come right out but it's a Benz so we all know how it really is.
 
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