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  #1  
Old 1st June 2009
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Default Tricks to turn a stuck ignition key?

I know, the correct solution to my problem is replace the ignition cylinder and gear set. i know. but the only money I have is the money i just got from graduation! who wants to spend that merely on keeping a car running? i'd rather buy new tires or lowering springs or something

I just finished replacing timing chain guides, with the car parked outside. I left the sun roof open once and it rained inside. Also, when I parked the car I left the keys in the ignition (in ON position) and never took them out (what was the point, not like anyone was gonna drive it away!). So, I was thinking maybe the key rusted in there a bit?

I eventually managed to turn the key back to the OFF position, but it was VERY stiff, as if turning a rusty bolt (and now it won't turn at all). I then cleaned the key off, sprayed some carb cleaner in the cylinder followed immediately with a can of compressed air, and finally followed it all up with a bit of graphite powder. All to no avail. The key slides in and out very easily but does not turn. Before I pulled the key out, the shifter went beautifully into all gears and I'm pretty darn sure it was perfectly aligned.

So, anyone know some handy tricks to get this thing unstuck? All suggestions much appreciated!

David
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Old 1st June 2009
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WD-40 followed by old guppy engine oil or clean engine oil...
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Old 1st June 2009
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Originally Posted by 900t View Post
WD-40 followed by old guppy engine oil or clean engine oil...
and spray it in the key hole or somewhere else? (i've remove all the plastic coverings around the gear lever housing since my last post. don't have the tool to disassemble the actual housing though.)
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Old 1st June 2009
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and spray it in the key hole or somewhere else? (i've remove all the plastic coverings around the gear lever housing since my last post. don't have the tool to disassemble the actual housing though.)
Yep just in the keyhole

I've never had one that was actually SEIZED but I have had several where it started to get hard to turn, I just put some oil and freed it up very well.

Speaking of which I have to do that on my convertible as I found out the other day If you put too much oil you will have to wipe off the end of the key for a week or so to avoid messing your pants...
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Old 1st June 2009
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Before the lubes, try half a cup of boiling hot water- to loosen or melt any salt, sugar, soda syrup, etc. that may be binding the key. It's a preliminary step in the Bentley's and should be done before the other steps you have read here.
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Old 1st June 2009
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I have heard that pouring a little antifreeze in the keyhole and letting it soak for a bit before relubing (with motor oil as my first choice) will help dissolve the gunk that builds up in there. I have not tried it myself though.
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i'm going to disconnect the shift rod again. thought it was difficult to turn the key out of the ON position, it now wiggles around in the OFF position quite easily. it just won't actually turn on (just like last time when realigning the shift rod helped. the reason i thought this wasn't the problem was because of how amazingly well the gear lever went through the pattern. hopefully i can align it this well again *crosses fingers*
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Old 3rd June 2009
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got it the cylinder out. life is good.
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Old 3rd June 2009
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OK tell us- what did you finally do- inquiring minds want to know....
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Old 4th June 2009
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i used the method described in the bentley if you don't have a key. drill a hole where the pin is and then drive a bunch into the cylinder. came right out then.

there was a LOT of frustration in between my last post and when that darned thing finally came out, but that's the short of it lol
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Old 4th June 2009
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Sorry- thought your key wouldn't turn- didn't realize you were trying to remove the cylinder.
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Old 4th June 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwimDude0614 View Post
don't have the tool to disassemble the actual housing though.)
Shure you do, you just need to get creative. This was a six point 10mm socket until I changed it with a hacksaw.

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Old 4th June 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crwchf01 View Post
Sorry- thought your key wouldn't turn- didn't realize you were trying to remove the cylinder.
i was. i gave up though. this is not the first time its given me problems.

hacksaw... hadn't though of that one. i'd read something somewhere that suggested cutting down an 11mm socket, but couldn't think of anything that would do it in a reasonable time frame. wish i'd thought of hacksaw. i ended up using a combination of a punch, a srewdriver (as pry par) and needle nose pliers.
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