Ziptide August 2011

July 15, 2011


Got a technical question for our Locksmith Ledger editors or a tip to share with your fellow locksmiths? Check out online discussion forums at At our Ask the Experts forum, post a question for editors Gale Johnson and Jerry Levine. Discuss Automotive, Safe Servicing, Electronics or General Locksmithing with colleagues in these four forums. The following recent discussions are exerpts from the forums.



I have a customer with a 1983 300d and the key quit working. How do you disassemble these ignition locks for service? I forgot to mention I have Locksmith Ledger magazines from the 80's if you could direct me to an article.

First try duplicating a new key. The new square edges of the blank may catch the worn tumblers and operate. There are either one or two poke holes in the face of the ignition lock. To remove, the lock must be turned to the accessory position and wires must be inserted in each hole to depress the retainer(s). Next, the hardened ring around the ignition must either be unscrewed, or a second design allows you to just pull outward to remove the ring and cylinder together. If you cannot get the cylinder to turn, the hardened ring must be removed with a hole saw especially made for the purpose. The ignition cylinder cannot be easily disassembled even if you have it out of the car. Replacement is recommended. Roll pins hold the hardened face on and there is no easy way to remove the roll pins. This is probably the most secure lock system you will find on a car. Unless you can get the cylinder to turn once, this may be a job for your Mercedes dealer.


I was called out to make primary key for GM 10-cut on a 02 Chevy Malibu. I was succesful making the door key with 7 of the 10 cuts. But I just cannot get the other cuts to work the ignition. I have cut five keys and usually I can get it in two or three keys with progression. Which cuts operate the ignition only? Any help would be much appreciated.

Here are the tumbler locations:

Ignition: 1 through 9

Doors: 3 through 9

Trunk: 4 through 10

Glove Box: 7 through 10

As an afterthought:On a vehicle of that vintage, in our area it is common to find that the steering column or the ignition lock has been replaced. If this is the case, of course, a key fitted to the doors will have long odds of it fitting the ignition!


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