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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 31348
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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My MB 1984 380 SL had a stuck ignition cylinder. I removed

Customer Question

My MB 1984 380 SL had a stuck ignition cylinder. I removed it and tried to order a new one from MercedesSource. they said i had to order the whole Steering lock assembly, which i did. However, the cylinder lock wasn't the same as the one I removed, and it didn't fit into the assembly. Can I take the pins from the new assembly and put them into the old assembly?
JA: Can you turn the steering wheel at all? And what about the key? Is it worn or damaged?
Customer: I bought a new key from MB for the old assembly. The steering wheel doesn't turn.
JA: Are you fixing your SL yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: A knlwledgable friend is helping me. We removed the old cylinder and tried to replace it with the new cylinder, but it isn't the same physical size, which is why we are thinking of putting the new (whatever the pins are called) into the old cylinder.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: The new Steering Lock assembly with tumbler and keys are supposed to fir the 380 SL, per MercedesSource.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Mercedes
Expert:  Eric replied 6 months ago.


First, have you tried spraying graphite into the cylinder, insert the key and tap on it with a hammer while trying to turn the key? If not, I would do this first as it can cure the sticking tumblers. If it will turn, then once a year, spray some graphite into the lock cylinder and insert the key and turn back and forth several times. This will prevent it from happening again.

If it doesnt work, then you can switch the tumblers from one cylinder to the other, provided they are the same diameter. But without seeing the inside of each, there is no way to tell you if they are interchangeable.