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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm buying my first Mercedes Benz today. Its a 1989 MB 300TE station wagon with 138,000 miles on it. It seems to run strong but is very difficult to get started because the key doesn't seat all the way into the ignition tumbler, and even when it finally does seat, it is still locked (meaning the key won't turn in the tumbler). Jiggling this way or that, or pulling the key out and putting it back in, or turning the steering wheel a bit doesn't seem to help, so there seems to be no predictable method for finally getting the key to turn...it just kind of eventually turns and the car starts.

1) Is this a tumbler issue only, or something deeper inside the ignition?

2) I'm not a mechanic but can replace stuff. Is replacing the tumbler with a new one easy or a major pain in the arse to do on this car?

3) Can anyone please direct me to instructions for how to replace the tumbler?

4) If I don't care that my door key and ignition key don't match, is there a substantial savings on buying the generic tumbler over the one at the dealer?

5) Any best sources for buying generic MB parts?


Thank you very much. :)

Steve
 

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2001 E55 AMG
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It's the tumbler...as long as you can turn the key it's an easy job,if you can't you have to do a lot more.....Do a search and it will all be explained in great detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you mean that as long as I can *sometimes* turn the key then its a tumbler problem?

Haven't searched for how to replace a tumbler yet, but is that something that is explained on this forum?

Thank you!

Steve


It's the tumbler...as long as you can turn the key it's an easy job,if you can't you have to do a lot more.....Do a search and it will all be explained in great detail.
 

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2001 E55 AMG
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Best thing to do is not touch it, the next time you can turn the key might be the last!!.....search the forum get a new tumbler then do the job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)

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About a dozen 1988, 1989, 1990, and 1991 sedans, wagons, 4Matics and 1 coupe
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It's *somewhat* similar for a 124.

For the 124 you *do* need a u-shaped too because there are *2* release slots/holes.

On the 124 you don't unscrew the lock cylinder collar. It just pops off the ignition switch and the tumbler comes out of the switch with the collar.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I bought the tumbler at Carquest for $50 and made the 'U' shaped thang out of a wire hanger and had the tumbler installed in about 5 minutes - thanks to everyones help here. :)

Thank you!

Steve
 

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1982 Mercedes Benz 240D
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excellent work catching that in time. I went through the same chain of events however I bought my car after the point of no return. The previous owner was junking the car because the tumbler set was too expencive from the dealer.

I unfortunately had to attack mine with a drill, a screw driver, and a hammer. Then rewired the ignition with a universal ignition set from Advance auto. I think my next adventure will be to rewire it on an early 70's datsun truck ignition which is much of the same design.
 
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