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Pelican Technical Article:

Ignition Tumbler Removal

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$25 to $175

Talent:

**

Tools:

Sharp thin piece of wire

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W123 (1977-85)

Parts Required:

New tumbler and key

Hot Tip:

Take your time

Performance Gain:

Working ignition

Complementary Modification:

Replace dash bulbs

If the tumbler on your ignition is starting to stick, not turning easily or is acting up in any way whatsoever you should replace it right away. The last thing you want is a broken tumbler that won't allow you to start the car. The tumbler can be easily and quickly replaced while you can still turn a key in it but once it will no longer turn you will need to remove the whole housing to drill it out. That's a chore you want to avoid.

Make sure that you disconnect the battery ground cable before you begin as you are going to be with the cars electronics.

Over the years your car may have been serviced by multiple people including previous owners and this can lead to parts replaced with different size fasteners and hardware. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. If something is different on your vehicle please let us know and share your info to help other users. If you have any questions or comments or even a different procedure you would like to share please leave it below and please leave your vehicle information.

We have removed the steering wheel so we could get pictures of the wiring but you do not need to remove your wheel to remove the ignition tumbler.

Disconnect the negative battery cable (red arrow).
Figure 1

Disconnect the negative battery cable (red arrow). Make sure it cannot make accidental contact with the battery while working.

Remove the plastic or rubber surround (red arrow) by simply pulling it away; on some models you may need to bend the tabs back that hold the surround in place.
Figure 2

Remove the plastic or rubber surround (red arrow) by simply pulling it away; on some models you may need to bend the tabs back that hold the surround in place.

You are going to need a thin strong piece of metal that should be less than 1.
Figure 3

You are going to need a thin strong piece of metal that should be less than 1.25mm in diameter. It is a good idea and will make removing the tumbler much easier if you file the end down to a beveled edge.

Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory or first position (red arrow).
Figure 4

Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory or first position (red arrow). The opening in the tumbler will be just before the first position; this is where you want to insert your wire (yellow arrow).

Press the wire in until it releases the lock on the theft prevention tube that surrounds the tumbler (red arrow).
Figure 5

Press the wire in until it releases the lock on the theft prevention tube that surrounds the tumbler (red arrow). This can be tricky the first time you do it so take you time and you will get it. Sometimes the black theft prevention tube will move forward when you release the lock, other times you just have to try and turn the tube by hand to discover if you have released the lock.

Once it is unlocked turn it counter-clockwise until it comes off the ignition housing.
Figure 6

Once it is unlocked turn it counter-clockwise until it comes off the ignition housing.

You can now remove the anti-theft tube from the old tumbler as you are going to re-install this piece over the new tumbler.
Figure 7

You can now remove the anti-theft tube from the old tumbler as you are going to re-install this piece over the new tumbler.

With the tumbler out of the ignition housing you can see how the wire enters through the opening in the tumble r (red arrow) and compresses the lock out (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

With the tumbler out of the ignition housing you can see how the wire enters through the opening in the tumble r (red arrow) and compresses the lock out (yellow arrow). This is what you are doing only without being able to see it while trying to release the anti-theft tube. Installation is the reverse of removal.

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Page last updated: Tue 6/27/2017 03:10:51 AM