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Salvage a spare ignition tumbler assembly with no key?

JC220

Active member
Hi all,


Yesterday I was at a parts yard and one c124 had a good ignition tumbler + the key worked in one door lock. So I went ahead and removed the ignition tumbler assembly from it. Then when trying to remove the door lock there wasn’t enough room to get at the grub screw since it was close to another car.


So I asked the guys in the yard to move the car out a little with a forklift. To my utter disbelief in seconds they somehow managed to snap the key clean off the door lock in the process :doh: So I have a lovely genuine MB working tumbler assembly dated 2000 with no key


What are the chances I could sacrifice the ignition tumbler and drill it out etc? Put it in a vice and hammer a screwdriver in to get it turning for removal?
Any tips are appreciated - I’d sure love to salvage it and install a generic tumbler key just for a spare.

20190210_180255.jpg 20190210_180303.jpg
 

gsxr

.036 Hoonigan™, E500E Boffin
Staff member
Joe, since the door lock had the key snapped off inside, can you now remove the door lock/tumbler? If the key was fully inserted, it might be possible. Then you could extract what's left of the key and have it copied.

:sawzall:
 

JC220

Active member
Joe, since the door lock had the key snapped off inside, can you now remove the door lock/tumbler? If the key was fully inserted, it might be possible. Then you could extract what's left of the key and have it copied.

:sawzall:
I did try to use the “stub” of key left to turn the door lock Dave but it was F’d. Plus the car is due to be scrapped this week so likely won’t even be there if I went back :rip:

It seems my only option is to try and somehow extract this tumbler without destroying the lock assembly
 

gsxr

.036 Hoonigan™, E500E Boffin
Staff member
It's possible to cut off the black collar with the proper tools (which I don't have)... but are you trying to save the tumbler, or the lock mechanism? I don't know if it's worth the hassle to save a tumbler without a key.

:seesaw:
 

JC220

Active member
It's possible to cut off the black collar with the proper tools (which I don't have)... but are you trying to save the tumbler, or the lock mechanism? I don't know if it's worth the hassle to save a tumbler without a key.
The lock mechanism Dave! I know the key tumbler itself is toast. I have every cutting tool under the sun so I guess I could have at it! If I could extract the key tumbler then I could fit in a new tumber with 2x keys from fleabay and give me a spare for the shelf.

I recall once seeing a tool for opening w124 or similar locks. It inserted into the cylinder and with some clicking eventually learns the key shape and opens the door. I really could do with something like that for this tumbler and for a variety of spare doors I have with no original key.

OR I need to learn how to pick a lock. Ebay has the tools and You Tube has the videos :)
 
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northNH

Member
I dealt with this several years ago when my ignition tumbler internally exploded and would not turn with the key...

Based on my experience I really doubt you can forcibly turn the tumbler without ruining the lock (as intended by MBz).
I did sucessfully drill out the tumbler in situ using a bunch of progressively larger hardened bits.
A real FknPITA...

Although the attacked lock has since functioned normally with a new tumbler, there was some unavoidable inconsequential minor damage that has made tumbler removal a bit more finicky...

Perhaps if I had to do it a second time I could avoid any internal scarring, but I'm never going to get caught with a non-turning tumbler again.
 

gsxr

.036 Hoonigan™, E500E Boffin
Staff member
I recall once seeing a tool for opening w124 or similar locks. It inserted into the cylinder and with some clicking eventually learns the key shape and opens the door. I really could do with something like that for this tumbler and for a variety of spare doors I have with no original key.
Oooo. Never seen anything like that... sounds nifty.


OR I need to learn how to pick a lock. Ebay has the tools and You Tube has the videos :)
That was my next suggestion. I've never done it myself, but in theory it should be possible to "pick" one wafer at a time until it turns.

Another long shot is trying every different 124 key you have. Push in & out rapidly while applying pressure to turn the lock. Sometimes you'll get lucky and it will turn enough to allow lock removal. I did this once successfully on a driver door lock, where it only had to turn part way for removal. It may be more difficult for ignition removal though.

:sawzall:
 

JC220

Active member
I have bought a lock pick set and will attempt to pick it myself before any destructive methods :locked::pc1:
 

northNH

Member
With all the anti-theft engineering effort MBz has expended in the tumbler, ignition switch, steering wheel interlock, and transmission interlock I would be most surprised if the tumbler is easily pickable with what you just got.

What does the pick set look like?
 
Two pick sets for the W124 Huf HU39 lock. The first one is a traditional tension bar and wafer depressor. The more complex one (second picture) can decode the lock and pick multiple wafers at once. These locks are tricky to pick. It's easy to overlift a wafer and if you're not careful, you can get the pick jammed in the lock cylinder too.
 

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JC220

Active member
Two pick sets for the W124 Huf HU39 lock. The first one is a traditional tension bar and wafer depressor. The more complex one (second picture) can decode the lock and pick multiple wafers at once. These locks are tricky to pick. It's easy to overlift a wafer and if you're not careful, you can get the pick jammed in the lock cylinder too.
Thankyou very much for the suggestion! The second 2in1 pick looks like it might give me half a chance of success as a DIYr. There are You Tube tutorials on those Lishi tools too but off hand do you know if they come with instructions? Ie; from what I have seen on the videos some lock tumblers should be picked in a certain order.


NorthH- my plan now is to buy and use the Lishi tool above. The steering column lock isn’t an issue in this particular instance since I have the whole mech removed. The transmission interlock cable requires depressing inside the mech so I don’t think it will be a major issue either.


The good thing here is I know this tumbler is in full good working order. The problems I see with trying to pick any unknown spare w124 door lock etc (which is my intention!) would be that the lock may not even open if you had the proper key due to seizing up! So being gentle and not breaking the tool would be the “key” to success.

In any event I will not divulge exactly how the lock is picked - assuming I figure it out :doh: if any members feel more comfortable communicating such info by PM that is cool too.
 

500AMM

E500E explorer
Two pick sets for the W124 Huf HU39 lock. The first one is a traditional tension bar and wafer depressor. The more complex one (second picture) can decode the lock and pick multiple wafers at once. These locks are tricky to pick. It's easy to overlift a wafer and if you're not careful, you can get the pick jammed in the lock cylinder too.
Wow, thanks a lot!
This is really a must have in the tool box, especially for those having a W124 (sedan) with the IR remote locking. Those cars have two key locks - on the passenger door and for the trunk. But in case you end up with the delicate combo having a dead battery and a malfunctioning pass.door lock, you don't get into the car. You don't come inside via the trunk either on a sedan. Luckily does the V8 have the battery in the trunk, but the pedestrian W124 has it in the engine bay.

Guess how I know this....
https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=587

:givemebeer:
 
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JC220

Active member
Whose visage do you think is emblazoned on that diabolically clever tool shown? The mole inside the tumbler factory who got them made?

And what does it say below the portrait?
I believe the lettering should stand for Lishi. The brand name of the tool maker and from what I can see they are a pro quality tool. But also heavily knocked off so it’s wise to try and get from a proper vendor.

Speedy – thankyou for the link! And your site too Dave it looks good. Those “Turbo decoder” things were what I was referring to in my first post. But I cannot see any for MB cylinders this old.

As it happens I did spot one Lishi blind pick good used on ebay being sold by a locksmith this morning. So I bought it:

pick.jpg

Then I messaged him and asked in the off chance did he have one of the 2 in 1 MB types for w124 HU39. He came back and said no but that he would be willing to buy one for me at his cost and send it to me. Result! I asked him to do that so I will have both pretty soon I hope :)

EDIT: All sorted he is kind enough to go tomorrow and pick me this one up:
https://tradelocks.co.uk/genuine-lishi-t3-t11-hu39-3-in-1-pick-and-decoder.html
 
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There isn't much information out there about picking the Hu39 lock, but there's more info and tips about the Hu58. Hu58 is found on BMW E34, E36, and E39 and uses a similar 4-track system.
 

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