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Discussion Starter #1
Help! My 1983 300SD's ignition lock failed on me. I can turn it to unlock the steering wheel and turn on the electrical system but cannot turn it the rest of the way to start the car. Is this a do it yourselfer fix or should I leave it to the professionals? Any advice would be appreciated.[?]
 

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1984 280SEL AMG
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701 Posts
I would let a pro take care of it... That way you get a warente. Best place would be to take it to the dealership, expensive but worth it.
 

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Two '87 570SECs, one '87 560SEL
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If you can still turn it enough that you can get the paperclip into the little hole in the front (approximately the 2 o'clock position), you can do the job yourself in 20 minutes.
 

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Depends on the day!
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maybe, maybe not...they don't always let go like they're supposed to[xx(]

Jonathan
 

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Two '87 570SECs, one '87 560SEL
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So true. Did mine a week ago and it took about 30 minutes to get the steel ring off, then ten minutes to put it back together with the new ignition switch.

FYI, for anyone contemplating this reasonably simple job, do it before the key won't turn since the black steel cover over the ignition switch is hardened steel about 1/8" thick and is a MAJOR pain to get off if you can't put metal rod in the ignition switch to release the cover. I've heard removal occasionally required nuclear weapons to get that piece to move!!

Also, order the new ignition switch from the local stealership (or maybe Johnathan??). You give them your VIN number and you get back a switch "keyed" for your car with a new key in the switch. That allows still one key for the whole car rather than some aftermarket POS with a different key pattern than the rest of the car. This isn't a Chevy and it supposed to have one key to operate door/trunk locks as well as the ignition switch.
 

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BenzWorld W126 & W201 Host
1988 420SE, 2002 C180 Kompressor, 200 ML320
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1,159 Posts
This doesn't sound like a problem with the igintion barrel and key, but more like a bad ignition switch.

It's a bit tricky to get to, but with the under dash panel off or the dash clocks out, you can get to the switch.

With the key in position 1, you can pull the big wiring plug off the back (it won't come off in any other position).

There are then three flat headed screws holding the switch to the back of the ignition mechanism. Unscrew them and the switch falls off. Connect it back to the plug and turn it with a screw driver. That will confirm whether the problem is the switch or the barrel.
 

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1985 380SE
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Just went through this 2 weeks ago. Get the lock cylinder from the dealer. Take a small drill bit (hardened steel works better). Turn the key till the hole lines up with the lock release mechanisim.

BTW make sure you remove the bezel before you start.

Then turn the black barrel/cylinder cover CCW. Pull on the ignition key at the same time so both come out at the same time. Then the installation is the same as the removal.

It takes about 1/2 hour but trust me, it's worth it.

The dealer wil charge about 90 bucks for it, you get a new STEEL key (what benz originally gave out). The primary reason the locks fail is the cheap brass replacement keys that are lazer cut are brass. The brass shavings after years of use fall into the lock causing a ton of problems.

GET THE KEY FROM THE DEALER. Do yourself a favor.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for taking the time to help out with my ignition problem. I ended up having my mechanic take care of it because I couldn't turn the key far enough to the 2 o'clock position to get the tumbler out. Lesson learned! Beware! At the first sign of trouble with your ignition lock REPLACE IT! This cost me way more ($100 vs $700) than it would have if I had replaced it when I could have done it myself.[B)]
 
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