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Discussion Starter #1
Ignition cyl disassembly/clean/rebuild info needed.

My ignition got a little tight the last couple days. Figured I needed to lube it as usual. Yada, yada, didn't get to it. But, it really tightened up today... then it locked tight when I went to start the car. As I'd just come out of WallyMart, I headed back in and bought a car of WD-40 to flush and lube it emergency style. Didn't help at all... then all of a sudden it started working fine. FWIW, I have no reverse lock mechanism at all in my short shifter setup so that was not the issue.

I think it might had had a stuck pin that freed up. But, I'm a bit worried that it might have a bent pin. I want to get in there and clean it out properly as well as look for something amiss.

SO, brings me to question: What do I need to know to disassemble it and avoid parts springing all over the place? I know how to remove it from the shifter, but I've never gone past that point to pull the center unit out of the shell. Will the pins & springs all stay in place if I keep a key in there while pulling it apart?
 

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Well, I wouldn't use a sharp knife to pry the nylon cap off, it looks like a good way to stab yourself.

You may find that on reassembly, the key won't turn. Happened on my NG900. I tried removing wafers until I determined that one particular wafer type was binding. I removed them all. You don't need all that many in there, unless you're afraid someone's going to pick the ignition cylinder. Reducing the number of wafers also reduces the friction in inserting or removing the key.

I didn't watch the entire video, but check the outer barrel where the spring-loaded pin at the bottom of the cylinder moves. If it's wallowed out the track, you probably should get a better outer cylinder. Also if the opening in the inner cylinder does not hold the pin tightly, it can bind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good points. I was sort of figuring on a bent pin or one in a worn groove that is now binding or perhaps the key just a little too worn and not pulling it enough. Oddly, it worked fine today... better than ever. It was locked tight yesterday when I started flushing it (as in firmly stopped, not just slowed by dirt and old grease). Perhaps it was the usual dirt/grease but completely stopping a pin from moving. I'll get in there and see if there's something obvious and worn.

I agree on the wafers. They're unneeded with the electronically keyed ignition. No one is going to start a T7 without a key and/or a lot of time on their hands. Newer cars, Saab or otherwise, rely entirely on the transponder (i.e. push-to-start) for security.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
SO, all done. Repairs below. A few hints on disassembly/assembly even with the video:
  • The spring under that end cap is fairly strong. Be holding on to it when you unclip the cap on the end
  • The pins don't hop out when you pull the cylinder then remove the key. They just extend a little.
  • There's a tiny pin-type spring behind the little latch that you take out near the top of the cylinder. It's not obvious in the video, but it's there. It just sits on the little shelf you see in the outer cylinder. Use a little grease to hold it in place for assembly.

As for my issue, many of my pins were extending too far for the cylinder to turn properly. I'm surprised it worked at all. Even my fairly original key didn't pull them back fully. I think the old grease holding them in place was the only thing letting the cylinder turn. I removed the ones that were extending too far... just filing them didn't work out well. I figure it's still more secure than a push-to-start car... no one is going anywhere in it without a coded key. Turns well now and the key cylinder and I are good friends again.
 

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SO, all done. Repairs below. A few hints on disassembly/assembly even with the video:
  • The spring under that end cap is fairly strong. Be holding on to it when you unclip the cap on the end
  • The pins don't hop out when you pull the cylinder then remove the key. They just extend a little.
  • There's a tiny pin-type spring behind the little latch that you take out near the top of the cylinder. It's not obvious in the video, but it's there. It just sits on the little shelf you see in the outer cylinder. Use a little grease to hold it in place for assembly.
As for my issue, many of my pins were extending too far for the cylinder to turn properly. I'm surprised it worked at all. Even my fairly original key didn't pull them back fully. I think the old grease holding them in place was the only thing letting the cylinder turn. I removed the ones that were extending too far... just filing them didn't work out well. I figure it's still more secure than a push-to-start car... no one is going anywhere in it without a coded key. Turns well now and the key cylinder and I are good friends again.
Yes, I have a spring sitting somewhere in my back yard. Never could find the thing, even dragging a magnet around.

Was there a systematic problem with one particular type of wafer? In my case, none of the wafers stamped "A" worked properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Was there a systematic problem with one particular type of wafer? In my case, none of the wafers stamped "A" worked properly.
It was odd. FYI - I didn't check the labels on the wafers.

I started out thinking it was just the higher couple as I could see a couple nicks in the edge of the recess in the cylinder. After cleaning and lubing (hadn't even pulled the pins, just solvent cleaned), I found it didn't want to turn at all when inserted in the cylinder. Only the wafer pins with springs were in there, no upper lock, no securing pin. It would turn if I inserted it in the "full" part of the cylinder, but as soon as the pins got to the recess, they locked (key in). I tested and checked repeatedly but I couldn't find any reason for it. Even just inserting it to the first pin point locked it from turning.

Eventually I pulled out a spare cylinder I had in storage to compare. All of the pins on that one were nearly flush with the edge of the turning unit. Mine were nearly all slightly elevated. One of my keys was fresh cut by VIN about 40K miles back, the other is a relatively unused original. Some minor variation in how they held the pins but not a lot.

With enough time, I could carefully file them to work, but I haven't got the time or patience. A couple.... yeah. a slew, no :)
 
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