Author Topic: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116  (Read 611 times)

OLDGOLD

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Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« on: 14 January 2019, 08:41 PM »
So my ignition is starting to stick and I know what that means. After hours of searching for the correct lock cylinder (1164620079) and coming up with nothing besides the one from MS, I've decided to get creative. My only questions is.... if I can somehow manage to shave a small amount of material off of a W123 lock cylinder and get it to fit into the ignition area, would it work? They seem so close in size, but I couldn't get the W123 to fit all the way in. Has this been tried before?

There has to be something we can do to keep these old beasts on the road!

I took a photo of the cylinders in my technicians hands today, but I'll take a better one tomorrow to show a scaled comparison.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #1 on: 14 January 2019, 09:57 PM »
You can simply file some material off of the pins and continue using your original tumbler. This is what I did when mine started to stick:

The ignition switch had been difficult to turn for a while, and when this happens, one day the key won't turn and then you can't start you car and can't remove the switch without drilling out the steering column. So, I removed it before this happened and used a screwdriver for a while. I had to bust open the switch, take it apart, and file the brass pins until they weren't sticking out anymore with the key inserted. It once again works like new!

To remove the steering tumbler from the steering lock, I had to install the key and turn it to the first position. As you can see, a small hole lines up in the channel so you can insert a paperclip.



Inserting the paperclip and using heavy pressure forces the square tab on the tumbler to sink down so the metal collar can be rotated off. Once the collar is removed from the threads, the whole assembly can be pulled off the steering lock.


The tumbler is held together by a tiny roll pin in a blind hole.


I suppose if there is a correct way to remove it, it's putting grease in the center and pushing a pin through it so it causes the grease to build pressure and push the pin up. I ended up just prying it apart opposite of the pin and then wiggling the cap off with the pin. Be careful as the pins are brittle!
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1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #2 on: 14 January 2019, 09:57 PM »
Now that the tumbler is apart, you can see how the brass pins stick out and prevent the lock from turning unless the key is just right. With the key inserted, some of the pins were still sticking out a little bit. Having multiple keys or items hanging off the keyring can accelerate wear.


The pins just slide out along with the springs. I cleaned the parts very well with biodiesel and then brake parts cleaner.


Make sure you keep the pins in order! I filed each pin until it was lower than the housing so it will take a very long time before they wear out and start grabbing again. I only lubricated the inside of the main housing, but not the pins or the pin housing. I think that as far as pins are concerned, cleanliness is more important than lubrication as they are a loose fit and any stickiness will cause issues. That's probably why locksmiths use WD-40 in locks--they are more concerned with cleaning out gunk than in lubricating the lock.


What's nice is the key turns smoothly and I've tried other W116 keys, and they won't unlock it, so it is secure. The key also won't just fall out as it would if I had just removed the pins entirely. In theory, I should be able to do the same thing with my door locks so I can use the ignition key on every lock on the car. At some point both front door handles were replaced, and neither of them match the ignition key, though I have a separate key that opens one of them.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

OLDGOLD

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #3 on: 15 January 2019, 07:45 PM »
I happened to come across used w116 ignition tumbler today from a friend. It's quite worn, but still turns well. Now that I have a spare, could any decent locksmith refurbish the tumbler and create a "refurbished" cylinder? I found a set of wafers on "Chinese fleabay" so I know their not impossible to track down.

 I'd like to keep this vehicle as close to original as possible in case the next owner doesn't like the idea of being able to start his car with a screw driver. I also currently have a big metal "Ilco" key, and would like to have a stock Mercedes key.

Thanks for your reply. I wish I were that handy!

OLDGOLD

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #4 on: 17 January 2019, 07:51 PM »
I called around to local locksmiths, and none of them had the lock wafers for the ignition cylinder. The Classic Center said they didn’t know of anyone that would have them either.

However, I was told by a locksmith that if I could bring him the wafers and open the tumbler up for him, he could rebuild my cylinder and make me a new key that would look very close to stock.

I went ahead and ordered these from China, they’ll be here in about 3 weeks. I’ll let you know if it works out the way I hope.

Squiggle Dog

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #5 on: 17 January 2019, 09:49 PM »
That is really neat that you can still get the wafers!
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

Harv

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #6 on: 18 January 2019, 08:53 AM »
Honestly, if I were in your shoes I would just take all the wafers out and make it so you can turn the key with no resistance at all. As long as the door lock works, that is all I would care about it. The chances of someone stealing our cars is very very low vs. the chances of the tumbler jamming up at the wrong time and leaving you stranded.

That is what I did in my old Land Rovers. I could start either one of them with either key. No one on the street knows what is going on with the tumblers inside our cars.
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Squiggle Dog

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #7 on: 18 January 2019, 01:45 PM »
I simply filed the wafers in my lock enough that the key would turn easily again, plus a slight bit more for future wear. Even doing so, other W116 keys of the same style I have tried will not turn the lock, even though they go all the way in.
Stop paying for animal cruelty and slaughter. Go vegan! https://tryveg.com/

1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Heated Seats, 346,000+ Miles

OLDGOLD

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #8 on: 18 January 2019, 06:32 PM »
If I planned on keeping her forever, I’d file them down as you stated. However, I have a pregnant wife and 4 children and I plan on buying a sprinter at some point as we outgrow the 212 wagon. I haven’t decided which to keep. Although, that decision is at least a few years away. I want to sell her on in the best condition possible, including security.

I also live in a nice part of Dallas, with sketch folks nearby and car theft is an issue. Although, I know it’s very rare for cars like these to be stolen since it’s not as “choppable” as a Civic or F250, I’m not taking any chances. I’ve spent more than I should’ve on this car and I’ll be damned if some POS steals her.

I’ll keep you posted on what happens. Thanks for the feedback!

marku

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #9 on: 20 January 2019, 07:40 AM »
I had a cylinder that the key would not turn and the previous owner had bent the key plate trying to force it. Thought of getting a replacement but tried cleaning it first. Took it apart and the reason was hard grease. Works perfectly now. Also had a lock cylinder but no key took it to a locksmith and he made a key for it with no problem. 
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OLDGOLD

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #10 on: 18 February 2019, 08:20 PM »
I received my new ignition wafers last week and after taking them to a local locksmith learned that they don't fit the tumbler I removed from my 1980 300SD. Here is a picture of the wafers that were pulled from my tumbler, mine are on the top and a random assortment from the wafer kit are below it. They are obviously different, and I'm wondering if the kit is for a "sidewinder" key as the current key pictured is not a sidewinder, but was used in my car when I bought it from the original owner.

Which brings me to my next question.... The keys for my doors, trunk and glovebox are all keyed for a sidewinder, but the ignition has the key pictured with the wafers. the previous owner must've changed the ignition at one point, but were there 2 different style ignitions for the W116? There has to have been since I have another cylinder in the car with yet a different style key (the one with the scrapes on the plastic handle is a different style than the Ilco pictured above), and yes, I have the metal jacket removed. I know what happens when it locks up.

This makes things even more confusing to think there may have been 3 different style cylinders that work for the W116. I would love to have a sidewinder cylinder for my ignition if possible. Also, I'm sure this horse has been thoroughly beat to death, but is there any interchangeability of cylinders between chassis or model years? If someone could shed some light on this, that would be great.

Update: I may have just answered one of my own questions.... after looking at Squiggle Dogs photos above, it looks like the wafers I have in my kit are similar in style that were pulled from your tumbler, notice the notched inner hole. Although, it looks like the notches on the side might be on different sides. If I can just get my hands on a similar tumbler, I can rekey it to my sidewinder so I will only need one key. If anyone has a cylinder in the style (minus the key) please let me know and I can either buy it from you or trade you for another used cylinder with key. I have two tumblers at the moment, none are for a sidewinder.
« Last Edit: 19 February 2019, 10:32 AM by OLDGOLD »

Diesel 617

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #11 on: 19 February 2019, 11:34 AM »
I have the same deal with the keys on my 280SE. I thought the non-sidewinders were from a w123, but it seems that the non-sidewinder is original as the back of the electrical connector on the ignition says made in w-Germany. The part number sticker is long gone.

Which set are you looking for?

I have one non-sidewinders exactly like you have pictured, that is a complete set (handles, truck, glove and ignition, from a w116.033 unfortunately only one key no spares

I have a second non-sidewinder, ignition only the rest of the locks have a regular sidewinder key (w116.024 Euro 280SE) again only one key per lock type

And if you need I can pull a set of original w116.120 complete set sidewinder keys. The driver door handle lock flap has is bent and the ignition is starting to stick. The still function normally.


Here is my question, can I still get the original ignition tumblers keyed to my specific vin? I think the ignition key may have been switched out on my 280SE and I would very much like to keep the original locks on the car, seeing as It came with a locking fuel cap.
I have a final set of all sidewinder complete set (w116.120) multiple new keys
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OLDGOLD

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #12 on: 19 February 2019, 04:47 PM »
I work for an MB dealer and can say with certainty that you can still get the keys cut by VIN, but not the cylinders. Those are NLA, even the random ones with 2 keys are no longer offered.

I would love to purchase the ignition tumbler, if you would sell me just that part with a key. I plan on finding a way to rekey the cylinder to work with my VIN specific sidewinder.

I wonder if I could cannibalize the passenger door handle or the glovebox for the required wafers if my Chinese ones don't work?
« Last Edit: 19 February 2019, 05:03 PM by OLDGOLD »

Diesel 617

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #13 on: 19 February 2019, 06:18 PM »
This friday, is my dedicated car day. I should be able to pull it out then.

Is it possible to have a machine shop cut new wafers? Seems like it should be a walk in the park for them, even though they are very small.
1980 300SD Retired
1979 280SE Euro Spec Import Crank Windows and Cloth Seats


Inventory Price
1980 450SEL/SE 722.004 Trans 150kmi ($50)
1978-1980 300SD Trans 260k mi $50
-2 450 Pairs + 300SD pair bad boots Axles $25/45
-3.07 450/300SD Differential $30

Diesel 617

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Re: Modifying W123 Lock Cylinder to fit W116
« Reply #14 on: 23 February 2019, 08:40 AM »
Tumbler is out!

However, I ran into a slight bump. The 2pin electrical connector is unique on this tumbler. Do you know how I can swap them over? I took off the big round electric connector on the back, but I am stuck at this point. The 280SE lock is the only one with round pin connectors, all of the others are rectangle.

Update: To bad I didn't reread squiggle dogs post, could have figure it out... Anyway we have success found this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2kAIA2-sZ8 and http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Mercedes-190E/45-BODY-Replacing_the_Ignition_Tumbler/ (then I read squiggle dogs post again, and realized he did exactly what I was attempting to do.)
« Last Edit: 23 February 2019, 09:57 AM by Diesel 617 »
1980 300SD Retired
1979 280SE Euro Spec Import Crank Windows and Cloth Seats


Inventory Price
1980 450SEL/SE 722.004 Trans 150kmi ($50)
1978-1980 300SD Trans 260k mi $50
-2 450 Pairs + 300SD pair bad boots Axles $25/45
-3.07 450/300SD Differential $30