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Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: seattle
Posts: 4
Question How to remove ignition switch lock cylinder?

Car - 1992 318is

I'm trying to remove the ignition cylinder but not having any luck. AFAIK, the removal method is to insert the key, turn it to the first position, insert a metal rod into the hole in the cylinder, and then slide it out.

My question is when you inset the rod, what are you trying to depress and where is it? Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks,
George
Old 09-24-2003, 05:58 PM
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this is NOT an easy one to explain via the internet. The cylinder must be turned to position one and then insert the rod. with your right hand, grab the rod and key, push towards the column and then wiggle outwards. you might have to ever-so-slightly rotate the key/cylinder while pulling and wiggling outwards. Does this make any sense??? Those things can be a real pain in the butt. Even with the dealer tool, it would sometimes take me 30 minutes or more to remove those things. Sometimes it would take 5 seconds. Good luck
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Old 09-25-2003, 11:52 AM
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EXtech, thanks for the reply. I will give it another shot.

The problem I'm having with the ignition switch is that when I put the key in position one nothing happens, then when I put the key in position two the car acts like the key is in position one and so on. So when the key is turned all the way the starter is not engaged.
Old 09-25-2003, 12:21 PM
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well, then I would have to say try in both positions. You may have put the rod in with the key all the way off and slowly turn the key until you feel the rod go into the cylinder. There's a spring loaded latch inside the column on the top of the cylinder that you have to depress in order to "unlock" the cylinder and slide it out. What sucks is that there is only one place the rod will fit in.
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Old 09-25-2003, 02:06 PM
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Yeah, it's not an easy job, just perservere and you'll get it out. Feel lucky that you can still rotate the cylinder to the No. 1 position. When my tumbler failed, I could not turn it at all, meaning I had to drill out the old cylinder. Not an easy job to do. I wore out about 3 drill bits and went through 4 battery charges on my Makita to get it out.
Old 09-25-2003, 04:23 PM
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Thanks for help. As it turned out, the key got stuck and stopped turning. I had to take it to the shop and they drilled it out. It was pricey($700)! It was replaced with an updated part so they also had to change the panels that were around the steering column or else it wouldn't fit.
Old 10-20-2003, 05:59 PM
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I have a 1995 E36 (1994 production date) and I needed to remove the ignition Lock Cylinder. After sticking in the paper clip ala Bentley book removal instructions, no joy. After trying a zillion times, I came back inside and searched the web and found this thread. I went back out with determination to keep trying. After a half hour and very sore fingers (Kept trying to Push on the paper clip) I gave up.

As I had my head defeatedly resting on my arm on the steering wheel, my right hand was by now just instinctively twitching on the key - paper clip combo. Next thing I know, the cylinder poped out!

Here's what I learned and can share:
Bentley's detail instructions say :

"
1. Insert master key into lock cylinder and turn
60 degrees to "radio" position. See Fig. 7.

2. Insert a thin piece of stiff wire into opening in
lock cylinder and pull lock cylinder out. See Fig. 8.

NOTE - On early cars (up to production date 10/95, turn
lock cylinder back 12 degrees to release.
"

The lock cyclinder (at least in my 1994 production date car) is held in place by a spring loaded rectangular metal "Tab" that sticks out of the side of the cylinder and keeps it from sliding out of its metal enclosure. When you stick in the paper clip, it only goes in an inch (24mm). You do not have to push hard at all. IN THEORY, When the paper clip goes in, it "sucks" the rectangular "Tab" into the cylinder, flush with the surface of the cylinder wall. When this happens, the cylinder POPs out. You do not need to pull.

The problem is that, with the cylinder out I could see that the metal "Tab" does not go all the way in, flush with the cylinder wall. Instead, the "Tab" still sticks out maybe a 32nd or a 16th of an inch. But, if you twist the paperclip around, you can see the "Tab" go in a little more or less, depending on the crookedness of the TIP of the paperclip and the rotation angle. Eventually, things line up and after a half hour of perseverence, you might luck out, and out pops the cylinder.

Finally ... the secret to getting this to work easily: Use the bigger type of paperclips (1 1/2 inch types). Take your paperclip and make a section of it straight (at least 2 inches worth). Then bend the rest into a loop so you can easily hold it and turn it (like a key). Now, go to the straight end, the very tip that goes into the hole. Bend the first 2 mm of it, ever so slightly. If you bend too much, the paper clip wont slide in the full inch. No problem, just bend it a little less. Now, once you insert the paperclip, turn it so that little bend goes round and round until it pushes sideways (towards the center of the lock cylinder) on whatever mysterious thing that it pushes on that makes the rectangular metal "Tab" go all-the-way flush with the cylinder ... and POP goes the cylinder into your hand.

A few notes:

- My production date 1994 E36 does not need a back turn of 12 degrees to release the lock cylinder. I don't know what Bentley was refering to.

- The paperclip will not go in the hole all the way until the ignition is turned to position #1 ("radio" position).

- If the ignition is turned to position #2 (normal "Run" position) the paperclip will go in, but not to the right place.

- To reinstall the lock cylinder, you need to have the guts of your ignition in the "radio" position, as well as the key on your cylinder in same position ... look at all the pieces, they won't go together right until you do this.

- With the lock cylinder out, you can use a large flatblade screw driver to turn your ignition inerds to Unlock the steering and to start the car. Kinda gives a fellow that Jethro Clampit feeling. (I'm a product of the 60s).

Spyro
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Old 03-06-2005, 05:23 PM
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Question

I have read this post and I wonder if I'm bound to run into the same issue. On my '96 328i, I run into a situation where I insert the key, turn it to the start postion, but it will "hang" for about a second in that I hit a dead zone. The key is in the start position, but no action on the starter, and then it starts. The next time I insert the key, it starts up fine with no indication of start hesitation.

This happens about once every 2 weeks. Is this what everyone else experienced?

Thanks
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:26 AM
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Not what I experienced. The problem I was having was that physically I could not turn the key and the steering would not unlock.

Sounds like you might have a bad ignition switch. from the pictures and discussion in the Bentley book, it looks like a doable job. Not as hard to remove as the lock cylinder(?)
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Old 03-07-2005, 12:58 PM
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This is without a doubt the most frustrating thing i have attempted. Two hours with various "tools" to release the lock cylinder, and its not even budging.

Any additional advice for doing this on a 1992 325?
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92 325i
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74 914 potential driver, or maybe parts car.
Old 03-08-2005, 10:25 AM
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I'm not sure that a 1992 cylinder lock would work the same way as a mine. But, a couple things to double check.

1) Make sure you are in switch position #1 (radio). You aren't allowed much slop on this point.

2) Mine POPPED out, but maybe some need to be helped along.

3) Make sure your paperclip is going in an inch.

4) Maybe the comment Bentley makes about turning back 12 degrees applies to your cyclinder more than it did to mine?

Good Luck,
Spyro
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:17 PM
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Old 03-08-2005, 02:17 PM
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