Changing Ignition Locks

ign_lock_logo.jpgThis is how to swap a lock cylinder from one lock housing to another. Mine had a couple of stripped screws, making the car honk when the highbeams were turned on. This technote also shows how to remove the steering wheel, turn signal, and wiper switches.

We have a steering wheel here. Use a screwdriver to remove the cover, pry from both sides, not the top and bottom. Remove your key, and lock your steering wheel. Then use a 24mm socket and an extension to remove the steering wheel nut. Remove the wheel, being careful to note where it was turned. Use a matchmark if you need to.

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Here’s the turn signal switches. That thing at the bottom is the horn ring contactor. Remove the three screws with a flat bladed screwdriver. At this point, remove the plastic trim around the end of the column if you have it. It is 3 phillips screws from underneath. Mine is gone.

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Now, remove the plugs from the switches. There’s three plugs, one for highbeams on the top left, one for wipers, and one for turn signals. Then remove the switches and set them aside.

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Remove the black collar from the center of the column with a pair of channel-locks or pliers. Remove the 6mm allen screw from the left side to release the ignition housing. Pull the housing away.

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I didn’t take a picture of it, but you need to remove the ignition switch from the housing by loosening the small phillips screw in there looking from the back. If yours is old, replace it with a new one now, these go bad a lot. (photos here are from the ignition switch technote 😉 )

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Here’s two housings. I need my old lock to go to the new housing because those small screw places are stripped out. Here’s my work area: I needed a drill, drillbits (1/8″ size), the Bentley, a ruler, and a pencil. The Bentley says annoying things like “Installation is the reverse of removal”. Yeah. Sure it is. Thanks, Bentley. :roll:

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I just made a t-shirt out of that phrase: Click the picture to visit the t-shirt site. :mrgreen:

Installation is the Reverse of Removal T-shirt

Now, measure twice, drill once! 😉 You need to be 10mm from the line near the part number, and 12mm from the end of the aluminum housing. Mark it with a pencil. Get out your 1/8″ drillbit.

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Drill! Be careful to not walk the drill around the housing.


See that in there? It’s a sort of leaf spring that holds the lock in the housing. You need to push it down and pull the lock out. I used another drillbit to do it. Use the key to pull the lock out while you are pusing the spring in. Once you have it released, the lock will pull out about 1/8″. Remove the key to release the steering locker mechanism. Careful not to let it slide back in. Once you remove the key, the cylinder should come out easily. I put a picture there of what the spring looks like.

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To re-assemble, “Simply” re-insert the lock. (actually, it’s not bad) 😀 You’ll feel it click when it’s back in. Test out your key now.

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You’re done!

Installation is the reverse of removal! 😀  Heh heh heh.

Be careful not to overtighten the three screws. Make sure you plug in all three plugs, and the ignition switch plug.

My car died while I was working on it. Onto the charger! :mrgreen: