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Prob with steering wheel lock

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EBarnes45's picture
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I was at work at lunch about to come home to eat but the key wouldn't turn! So, I was guessing the prob was in the steering wheel lock after a few tests I did with the brake, put in park, and moving the steering wheel around to get the key to turn. Nothing was working so I got it to turn after 15min of playing around after work. I played with it at home because the same thing was happen again after I turned it off. I found out after if I then the wheel half left or half right as long as it's not center and locks the wheel the key turns just fine. I just wanted to know what you guys think. Has anyone replaced/fixed the steering wheel lock. I would just take it off it I could. I haven't messed with a steering lock before so any help would be nice. Thanks! :bowdown:

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Re: Prob with steering wheel lock

Well, consider this an emergency, because if it gets stuck again and can't be turned, it'll cost more than the car;s worth to repair it.

If you get it to turn, leave it turned in position 1. You are taking a significant risk if you do otherwise.

Visit any dealer with your license & registration to order a new lock cylinder. It will come in next day if you order by lunch; be sure they understand your expectation.

Installation is not difficult, but I'd have to look it up. Maybe someone else can comment?

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1987 300TDT
Re: Prob with steering wheel lock

Earnest,

If you'd like to save over $500 and avoid loss of use of your car while the lock is being drilled out, take Don's advice and I think go even further.

Replace the tumbler.

Replace the steering lock.

The problem could be either or both - replace BOTH to be sure you don't end up with that large repair bill.

Your car is giving you a signal that it needs to be fixed RIGHT NOW! You need to leave the key turned, because the tumbler cannot be removed unless the key is turned. If the key cannot be turned and the tumbler removed, the whole works needs to be drilled out at great expense.

If you have a local MB dealer, immediately take the car to them and have the tumbler removed. They may be able to install a loaner tumbler until a new VIN coded tumbler arrives. The VIN coded tumbler key will match your existing key (so it should work in your doors and trunk).

__________________

Max Dillon
Charleston SC
'87 300TD, 334k miles (head is off, getting ready to install a different used head...)
'95 E300 Diesel, 348k miles (daily driving duty)
'73 Balboa 20

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Re: Prob with steering wheel lock

Would you happen to know how or where I can find to remove and install myself?:confused:

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Re: Prob with steering wheel lock

The short version:
If you have the type with a push-on cap, pull the cap off with a cluster hook. Turn the key to position 1 and press the detent, the slug cylinder can be pulled out

If you have the type with the screw on cap, turn to position 1 and insert a 1.25 mm diameter wire, at least 60 mm long, into the hole in the cylinder. Push firmly to release the catch. Unscrew the cap. Remove the wire. Turn the key to position 0 and remove it.

The actual procedure is quite long, but that's the basics, it'll have to do.

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Re: Prob with steering wheel lock

I posted this on this forum 2.5 yrs ago. I have copied it below for convenience. Hope it helps a bit.

Adam

Broken/sticking Steering Lock

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I HAVE AN ANSWER for anyone who has a ignition-steering lock that sometimes gives them fits. (And threatens to leave you stranded wherever you may be)

This is for when you still have a sticking problem after replacing the $40.00 tumbler. I replaced mine from the MB dealer with original key hoping this would cure my locking problem...no luck on that one. Got stuck the first time I tested it.

I initially figured out that if I never allowed the steering wheel to turn to one of the positions that allows the pin from the locking mechanism to drop into the wheel therefore locking it, that i'd be OK. This worked well but always worried me that I could accidentally bump the wheel with my knee and inadvertendly lock it. I have accidentally locked it before and had a very hard time shaking the wheel and violently turning at the key to get it past the position where it stuck.

Anyway, if you understand the above then you'll appreciate this 35cent fix (if you don't mind disabling the steering locking mechanism and the annoying buzzer reminding you to remove your key.) If you want the steering lock to be operable then fork over the $150.00 + and get the new unit from MB before your old one leaves you trapped and having to to a lot of miserable work on your back in the driver floorboard.

OK...here goes...

Remove the ignition unit. First pull the tumbler out. Ask me if you need help doing this.

Then unhook all the wires (one pack at the back of the cylinder) and one small connection that powers the annoying buzzer.

Then remove the two vacuum lines to the shutoff valve.

Then loosen the clamp that holds the ignition unit

Then press in the little spring loaded button and pull out the unit from the steering unit. (Pulling the unit may require pushing out the instrument cluster a little and removing the two nuts that hold the steering wheel in place) These nuts are hard to get to but can be done with a 1/4 rachet and 13mm socket.

Once the unit is out, put it in a vice, reinstall the lock tumbler and lubricate everything like crazy to clean out the years of worn amuminum shavings. Turn the key back and forth over and over and work the shaft lubricating it.

This may cure your problem, but if not (if you have to put pressure on the locking pin to get the ignition key to turn) you'll have to either repair or replace this worn unit.

Push the locking pin in as far as it will go. Measure this distance. (roughly 1/2 inch)

Get a 1/2" diameter coarse thread bolt (an inch long is long enough) and mark it the same length.

Place the whole assembly in a vice and carefully thread the bolt right in the place where the locking pin is. (You'll have to push in the pin to start it) Thread the bolt (just like you are tapping) in to your mark...should be about half inch or more. The aluminum cast makes it easy to tap this.

Once you're in to your mark, make sure the key operates everything properly. Pull it in and out and turn it through its full range 5 or 6 times just to make sure everything works.

No turning back now!

Once you're confident it is operating properly, then cut off the remainder of your bolt flush with the end of the unit. (I used a die grinder, but a hacksaw would work well too) Just make sure that you finish off by smoothing the end of the bolt so it doesn't protrude any more than the original unit. (Again the die grinder made quick work of this)

Final step is to grind off the little push button pin off the side so you'll be able to reinstall. (With the locking pin now in its permanently retracted position, this little button will no longer push in like it should.) Grind this flush with the casing so it doesn't protrude.

Put everything back together and never worry about your steering lock rendering your car unusable.

This is a quick description but let me know if you have any questions about any part...I'll be happy to go into more detail.

Hope this helps someone.

Take care!

Adam

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