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W163 and General M Gremlin
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before it move forward to replace this cable, I would like some feedback on a possible fix to the existing cable, if any, by anyone that may be familiar with adjusting it (perhaps at the connector end).
I've pin-pointed the problem spot - the cable connector to the front of the gear shift, closer to the ps, has some back and forth slide movement while it's locked in place.
When I compress the connector end and hold it into the connection on the gear shift, the key in the ignition slides out freely, no issues.
If I release it and repeat this procedure without compressing the connector, the key remains stuck in the ignition.

Any thoughts on this?
I realize it's just a cable to replace.

Screen Shot 2021-05-03 at 4.50.40 PM.png
 

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2002 ml55
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628 Posts
Im just replying so I can tie your contributions/ posts this month.... I have nothing to add.. but I am sure someone will chime in ! :)

2690262
 

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Dallas, Texas
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Registered
2002 ml55
Joined
628 Posts
James, I have my cable exposed at the moment.. if you need any pictures from inside my car... let me know.. will post. (ps: still tied on post contributions ;) )
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
Joined
7,302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks Alfred!
Photo shot of the underside (if you can get in there, upside-down) of the cable location and spot.
It would be good to know, for the rest of the members too.

Cheers :)

edit:
Actually, dont need any underside photo shots- accessible from the steering column underside.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
Joined
7,302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Reference photos while I wait for the order to come in.

3 - T25 torx bolts, that hold the underside of the steering column cover. Recommend you pop the top cover off first for
easier access, and then removal of this bottom cover piece. Be mindful when disassembling these pieces. The edge areas of this lower cover, by both sides of the signal stalk and the wiper stalk, will catch/snag, so proceed carefully, starting on the signal stalk side first and alternating, if needed:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 3.31.53 PM.png



Underside backside view (if you want to see what it looks like). Note: one of two locking tabs (opposite sides of one another) - just above the top red arrow shown, underside of the ignition.
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 3.32.33 PM.png


Front side view - cable with the star shaped rubber protection (surmising) tube piece:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 3.32.25 PM.png



Front end of the control cable socket that the ignition lock control cable connects into:
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 3.32.12 PM.png



Self-note - virgin territory....
The 2 tabs on the backside of this front end look like a b*tch to get access to...
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
Joined
7,302 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
A quick update for those that may have to deal with key stuck in the ignition on these w163s and maybe other chassis'
It's never been explained on w163, on how-to address this as a permanent fix.

Got all my parts yesterday, including the replacement ignition cable. Delays due to covid order/shipment delays.
Part # for this has changed, for mine anyways, to part # 163270007364.
Apparently, there is only about 70 of these cables left in Germany. (Dont shoot the messenger, that's what I was told.
There was none here in the GWN.)


Had the SUV sitting with the old cable in place and center console assembly removed for quick access to start the replacement job. The cable still works (sort of) - key gets stuck, however the work around to this stuck key is, the white connector to the shifter needs to be pushed into (towards the shifter) while you turn back on the key to the '0' position and then you can slide the physical key out. Obviously a cable connection/communication issue of some sort on this shifter end.

This was my first time dealing with this ignition cable replacement.
Read all about other past posts on this very same issue - they all mention using lubricant in the ignition and then fiddling with the stuck key.
Imo, these were a bunch of hail mary fixes - not really a fix.

Cable replacement is the permanent fix.

Thanks to Witek's pdf post#3, I was able to figure out how-to access the ignition side of the connection.
Shifter side connection under the center console is straight forward DIY. Center console has to be removed.
Lots of DIY info on this pre-cursor work.
Ignition connection (under the ignition) is a bit of a pia.
Originally, I surmised, I'd have to address it from the underside. Wrong approach. Although you can try it, if you like.
It has to be addressed from the underside of steering wheel, under the ignition itself.
Strip and remove all the plastic in and around the steering wheel column and dash area. Instrument cluster removal is optional - not necessary. Also remove the under the steering column plastic shield so you can gain access to remove the ignition cable and reinstall the replacement. Again, lots of threads on how-to disassemble both these areas around and under.

Be warned, if you have fat fingers, (or even typical...) it's a tight access to pinch the backside of this rectangular connector under the ignition. I could not pinch both sides with one hand - it's just too tight. You might be able to use some sort of small c-clamp type pliers to pinch both sides, not sure of this.
To remove the connector on the underside of the ignition, you need to pinch both sides.
The pdf instructions don't clearly explain how-to remove the connector under the ignition. All it says, is to 'pinch' both ends and remove.
Unless you can physically reach under and behind in the footwell, or under this connector at the ignition, you ain't gonna pinch anything with one hand.


Your sitting in the driver's seat.....
What you have to do is pinch the ends using 2 hands --- a finger of the left hand on the left side and a finger of the right hand, on the right side of the connector. Then, as you are still pinching/squeezing the 2 sides together, you then pull this connector head towards you and it will move forward and pop out. Easy peesey, right?

To reconnect this rectangular connector is a bit weird too. It doesnt actually slide in (as there is a vertical tab on the topside of this connector. You have to place the connector into position on the underside of the channeled slot connector, with the end tabs (the 2 tabs you just pinched to remove it) slightly behind the channel connector.
As you are pushing it up, it will sort of snap into place.
I attempted this connection about 4 times before it finally clicked into place.
Because of the vertical tab on the topside of this rectangular connector, it was the only logical way to insert it back in.

Shifter connector:
Screen Shot 2021-05-28 at 7.17.05 PM.png

Ignition connector (Rectangular with vertical tab on top):
IMG_6923.jpg IMG_6924c.jpg

Under the ignition, the location of the rectangular connector end of the cable:
Not alot of room to get access to...
Photo 2021-05-04, 2 37 37 PM.jpg
 
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