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Tim Basham
Tim Basham, ASE Certified Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 743
Experience:  30 year multi line tech ASE cert master tech ASE engine machinist. Specializing in 4WD +++
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1993 MERCURY: IGNITION LOCK CYLINDER..IT HAS TO BE IN THE RUN POSITION

Customer Question

I HAVE A 1993 MERCURY GRAND MARQUIS. THE IGNITION LOCK CYLINDER IS BROKEN , BUT I HAVE LOST THE KEY . I HAVE A NEW LOCK CYLINDER REPLACEMENT, BUT I KNOW IT HAS TO BE IN THE RUN POSITION WHICH I CANNOT DO. PLEASE HELP ME TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I CAN DO TO FIX THIS PROBLEM THANK YOU
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tim Basham replied 10 years ago.





Ignition Lock Cylinder


REMOVAL & INSTALLATION


Functional Lock


Fig. 1: Turn the ignition switch to the RUN position and push the lock cylinder release pin with a suitable punch . . .



Fig. 2: . . . then pull the lock cylinder from the steering column housing


The following procedure is for vehicles with functioning lock cylinders. Ignition keys are available for these vehicles or the ignition key numbers are known and the proper key can be made.


  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. If equipped, properly disarm the air bag system; refer to Section 6.
  2. On 1989 vehicles, remove the trim shroud halves by removing the attaching screws. Remove the electrical connector from the key warning switch.
  3. Turn the ignition to the RUN position.
  4. Place a 18 in. diameter wire pin or small drift punch in the hole in the casting surrounding the lock cylinder and depress the retaining pin while pulling out on the lock cylinder to remove it from the column housing.

    To install:


  5. To install the lock cylinder, turn it to the RUN position and depress the retaining pin. Insert the lock cylinder into its housing in the lock cylinder casting.
  6. Make sure the cylinder is fully seated and aligned in the interlocking washer before turning the key to the OFF position. This action will permit the cylinder retaining pin to extend into the hole in the lock cylinder housing.
  7. Using the ignition key, rotate the cylinder to ensure the correct mechanical operation in all positions.
  8. Check for proper start in P or N. Also make sure the start circuit cannot be actuated in D or R positions and that the column is locked in the LOCK position.
  9. Attach the key warning buzzer electrical connector and install the trim shrouds, if required.

Non-Functional Lock

The following procedure is for vehicles with non-functioning locks. On these vehicles, the lock cylinder cannot be rotated due to a lost or broken key, the key number is XXXXX known, or the lock cylinder cap is damaged and/or broken, preventing the lock cylinder from rotating.


  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2. If equipped, properly disarm the air bag system; refer to Section 6.
  3. Remove the steering wheel; refer to the procedure in this section.
  4. On 1989 vehicles, remove the trim shroud halves by removing the attaching screws.
  5. Remove the electrical connector from the key warning switch.
  6. On 1989–90 vehicles, drill out the retaining pin using a 18 in. diameter drill, being careful not to drill deeper than 12 in. Position a chisel at the base of the ignition lock cylinder. Strike the chisel with sharp blows, using a hammer, to break the cap away from the lock cylinder.
  7. On 1991–98 vehicles, use channel lock or vise grip type pliers to twist the lock cylinder cap until it separates from the lock cylinder.
  8. Drill approximately 1 34 in. down the middle of the ignition key slot, using a 38 in. diameter drill bit, until the lock cylinder breaks loose from the breakaway base of the lock cylinder. Remove the lock cylinder and drill shavings from the lock cylinder housing.
  9. Remove the snapring or retainer, washer and steering column lock gear. Thoroughly clean all drill shavings and other foreign materials from the casting.
  10. Inspect the lock cylinder housing for damage and replace, as necessary.

    To install:


  11. Install the ignition lock cylinder and check for smooth operation.
  12. Attach the electrical connector to the key warning switch and install the trim shrouds, if necessary.
  13. Install the steering wheel and connect the negative battery cable.



Tim Basham and 4 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
AFTER A FEW DAYS WORK I WAS ABLE TO DRILL OUT THE LOCK CYLINDER. I TOOK OUT THE PLASTIC RETAINER AND THEN THE RECTANGLER METAL RETAINER. I CANNOT GET THE METAL RETAINER BACK IN. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG? PLEASE HELP
Expert:  Tim Basham replied 10 years ago.

The ign lock cyl and the rectangular slot must both be in the run position for them to line up and slid all the way together. Verify this and that all remaining peices and debris is cleaned out and it should all go together and lock into place.


To install:


  • To install the lock cylinder, turn it to the RUN position and depress the retaining pin. Insert the lock cylinder into its housing in the lock cylinder casting.
  • Make sure the cylinder is fully seated and aligned in the interlocking washer before turning the key to the OFF position. This action will permit the cylinder retaining pin to extend into the hole in the lock cylinder housing.
  • Using the ignition key, rotate the cylinder to ensure the correct mechanical operation in all positions.
  • Check for proper start in P or N. Also make sure the start circuit cannot be actuated in D or R positions and that the column is locked in the LOCK position.
  • Attach the key warning buzzer electrical connector and install the trim shrouds, if required.