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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #1
1988 560SEL
I HAVE 3 keys and all do the same. It won't insert all the way unless I wiggle it around. Sometimes takes me a good 15 seconds of fiddling. Other door and trunk and ignition no problems. Does it need grease?
 

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1991 500SEC 50K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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Yes, I believe I'd do some MB Lock Grease as a first step... see how it goes.

I put some in the locks of my Mercedes, 2 Volvos & our front door lock..

What a difference!

MBL
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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249 Posts
I tried to fix that with penetrating oil, assume it removed the dirt. Driver side worked fine for awhile but then froze. At same time passenger side had already gone. Got a good deal on a complete set of front doors and trunk, but w/o the key. that will be the next step.
 

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'87 560 SEC, Pearl Grey/blue; 300,000+ mi; '07 CLS 550, Barolo/stone; 90,000+ mi
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I have the same situation with my driver's door lock, and the lube only lasted awhile-- it must need a new tumbler now. There are videos on how to remove the sedan handle assembly, and I think Mclare had a past thread in how to take out a coupe assembly which is more finicky (but those photos no longer show up last time I checked). I guess after 30 years, this is normal. Does your ignition tumbler work ok? You may want to consider getting all three changed at the same time at this point.
 

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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. I will try the tweak method when I have time.
 

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'87 560 SEC, Pearl Grey/blue; 300,000+ mi; '07 CLS 550, Barolo/stone; 90,000+ mi
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I would do this. or replace them .I used this method 5 yeas ago and to-day still like new after i tweeked them w View attachment 2621235 ith a file
Does the key stay vertical after insertion, and does any of it get treated with the sandpaper? I just wonder with worn keys that are rounded down along the zig-zag pattern, how much of the tumbler non-operation is due to worn keys vs just the tumbler.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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Does your ignition tumbler work ok? You may want to consider getting all three changed at the same time at this point.

Ignition is working fine now, but this has me thinking it may be good preventive to change also. Already have new (used) front doors and trunk. For them, need to get a key. Looks like I am going to be stuck with two keys no matter what I do.
 

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1991 560sec. 1969 280SL
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Does the key stay vertical after insertion, and does any of it get treated with the sandpaper? I just wonder with worn keys that are rounded down along the zig-zag pattern, how much of the tumbler non-operation is due to worn keys vs just the tumbler.
If the reason for non operation is a worn key, then Stew’s suggestion is ideal. The effect of a worn key is The tumblers not fully retracting after key is inserted thus not allowing key to turn in the housing. The tumblers have to be sanded down so that they sit level with the housing Withe the key inserted.
 

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W126 500 SEL 9/85 W124 E320T Brabus
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I recommend @MBL87560SEC method! Get the Mercedes lock grease and let it do its job.
Never use WD40 or something else, it washes out the stain and dirt in the lock and makes the single moving parts more shaky. As a result, the small parts get caught even faster and the decay of the lock is accelerated
 

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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #11
I will try the MB grease...I don't have problems turning the key in the door. I have problem inserting the key. Without it inserted all the way in I can't turn. I have to wiggle it around and it eventually goes all the way in. It goes in about 75% of the way but stops. I do not use excessive force but just light wiggling.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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recommend @MBL87560SEC method! Get the Mercedes lock grease and lte it do its job.
Never use WD40 or something else, it washes out the stain and dirt in the lock and makes the single moving parts more shaky. As a result, the small parts get caught even faster and the decay of the lock is accelerated
If it sounds too easy, it is. What Roland describes appears to be exactly what I did to my locks (this was before my mechanic came back). Also, I bought new front door handles and trunk set with locks. I think I jumped the gun when I apparently could just have replaced the lock cylinders (?), even if VIN defined are NLA. My bad.
 

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The tumblers are brass. There is a rectangular hole in it that the key passes through. The hole where it contacts the cut side of the key wears and the tumbler sits too high in the cylinder to unlock it. The key shouldn't wear enough to matter.

If you file on them, make sure you get all the grit out after.
 

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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #14
I'm affraid of locks. They have too many small pieces and they are all different. Has anybody had my symptom?
 

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1991 500SEC 50K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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I'm affraid of locks. They have too many small pieces and they are all different. Has anybody had my symptom?
You may not need to perform a lot of 'heavy lifting' here at all.
A 002 989 06 51 for $15 - $20 and maybe 5 minutes of your time...
Lubricate first, then observe the lock action.

As others have noted, if there is a lot of wear, lubrication won't really do the job.
If worn excessively, at least you'll know where you are at, you know?

MBL

proxy-1.jpg
 

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1986/1990 W126
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13,771 Posts
Hopefully this thread will serve as good information on the reasons why the MB service schedule includes lubricating many things, locks included. For those of us who may be able to sort their locks before the wear sets in.
So many problems on the forum could have been avoided if the proper maintenance was done.
(Not directing this at anyone in particular, we've all been guilty of this at some point I'm sure.)
 

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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #17
You may not need to perform a lot of 'heavy lifting' here at all.
A 002 989 06 51 for $15 - $20 and maybe 5 minutes of your time...
Lubricate first, then observe the lock action.

As others have noted, if there is a lot of wear, lubrication won't really do the job.
If worn excessively, at least you'll know where you are at, you know?

MBL

View attachment 2621472
Is this just graphite lubricant like what you use on regular doors in the house?
 

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1991 500SEC 50K mi. 1987 560SEC Now 153K mi. 2020
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Is this just graphite lubricant like what you use on regular doors in the house?
I do know what you mean by the graphite lubricant.. usually a dry powder spray...

No, this is a liquid [under pressure] that goes right into the tumblers directly inserting either the specially designed 'blade' tip, or the included short thin nozzle. I used the 'blade' tip and got great results on the 12 locks I used it on. One short mini-blast into each key slot & no mess at all.

As part of my experiment several months ago, I had used it in our front door lock here at the house [used approximately a dozen times+ per day]. The lock operation is still silky smooth, no matter how cold it gets at night both inserting the key, and then turning it.. something not so in the years previous.

Our '98 Volvo is the same, even at single-digit temperatures.. Very smooth.
I haven't used the Mercedes locks in several months as its salt sanded roads here for the duration of Winter.

M.

P.S. Don't forget the trunk lock.. :)
 

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1988 560SEL
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Discussion Starter #19
Today I remembered I have Dri-lube from Remington. I did 2 short sprits of this stuff and the key slides in and out like butter. I'm guessing it loosened something up. Who knows maybe previous owner had this problem and used WD40 or grease to F it up more in the long run. I know some might say I shouldn't have done it but better to just try and see what happens. At least the other door and trunk can open and lock the doors. If it makes it worse I guess I have to take it apart and I'd just clean it all off again anyways.
 

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1985 MB 500sel (Euro)
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Here is a CAUTIONARY TALE. I thought I was doing the right thing, but this is what happens when you let a doofus fool around too much (see my previous posts above). My passenger side door lock was completely shot, key turns with no resistance. Instead of getting it fixed, I procrastinated, since it worked from driver side. Then the driver side got so it needed real fiddling to work and I still procrastinated. Then I listened to someone who said use penetrating oil, and I did. AND IT WORKED...for about two months. Then it froze completely one night. I figure all the goop inside was finally washed out. Roland was right (post 10 above). and i never got a chance to file the tumblers. Using trunk key did nothing although it should have opened others. but the driver door lock was closed permanently and I guess that froze the other. The police got it open with their slim jim but it broke the plastic insert funnel (about a dime in diameter and maybe 3/4 inch long) that guides a latch rod in the right direction.

So, now I have a new set of door handles and trunk lock from the same car, but no keys. Trunk lock is not yet on and we are going to use it to see if we can figure out how to make a set of keys. My questions are:
1. any suggestions on figuring out what keys I need?
2. Can that plastic part be found anywhere? or manufactured? (I have a used latch but also lacking the plastic)
3. Used driver front door lock actuators are hard to find (next time I'll ask the police to open the rear door with their slim jim)

Any comments/suggestions gratefully received.
 
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