1967 Mustang - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019 Thread Starter
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1967 Mustang

Trouble today with ignition switch. Put the key in and could not turn at all, tried several times, went back out a gave it a small shot of WD 40, still will not turn at all, tried the other 2 keys I have for ignition, no luck. Don't know where to go from here. Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks Ken

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019
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Sounds like the ignition tumblers are worn out or came apart.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019
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When they are so shot that they just fall apart inside the lock, sometimes all you can do is drill them so the guts all fall out, and then replace the tumbler. There are how-to's online, and it's not really that hard. Then you'd want to have a locksmith key the new one to match your existing keys. If you don't feel comfortable with drilling out your old one, you could always get a locksmith to do that part, too. It's also possible that the outer barrel (with the switch itself) may need to be replaced too, if your tumblers are that worn. It's a separate item, and unrelated to the tumblers, but having been turned on and off that many times it could be pretty worn out.


Also, it's probably a bad idea to use wet lubricants in a lock. WD-40 is especially ill-suited, because it doesn't provide much lubrication and may help hold dirt, metal, and other abrasives in place to create more wear. You should use dry lubricants like graphite. But in this case, it's not as if any lubricant is going to free up your damaged, jammed-up key cylinder, so don't waste money squirting more stuff in there now. =)
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019 Thread Starter
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Thank you for info and the time spent to help me. What size drill bit and how far in do you know to drill so you don't damage the switch it is housed in? Have been looking on web, but can't find a very detailed site. One site says forget the drilling and just drive a blade screwdriver in it and turn with force, it will come out. That sounds scary to me since I have never experinced this!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019
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Instead of drilling it out, why not try removing it using a pin in the hole, it may make the key turn so you can remove the barrel.

15/5/1964 260 Manual Coupe.
23/3/1965 289 Manual Fastback.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019
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He will *have* to drill it if the tumblers have fallen out and are all jammed up. Once they fall out, then you can use the paperclip in the hole to turn it and get it out properly.

I've spent about 10 minutes looking for a good picture, and to my shock and surprise, I can't find any useful ones either. But here's what I'd do:

1) Buy the new tumbler assembly. When you take it out of the box, it should have some paper instructions with it, hopefully including illustrations - but additionally, it will let you see exactly what the inner workings look like, and let you figure out how deep to drill. The length of your key will also give you an exact depth. No longer than the teeth on your key, basically. You could put a bit of tape on the drill bit so you know when to stop.

2) I'd start with a 1/4" drill bit, and run it down the 'top' of the hole, so it's chewing right through the already damaged tumblers and their holder assembly. With luck, they'll all fall out, which will then allow anything to freely turn the ignition switch, including a screwdriver. Once you can turn it, then you can use the paperclip to turn it to the 'removal' position and take it out without damaging the switch and "barrel" that holds your tumbler lock assembly. If it doesn't do the trick, you can go to a larger bit. Just be sure to go slow, don't press too hard, and have a good grip on the drill so it doesn't jerk out of your hand or wander around. You don't want to break off your bit in the lock.


Worst case scenario though - you buy a new lock AND barrel, and just replace them both. =)

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019
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Your going to need a complete ignition switch assy, I assure you both the body and barrel are worn out. The paper clip only works when the key will turn the barrel, remove the old one by whatever method you decide that won't harm the car and don't worry about destroying it. Take your new one to a locksmith with your ignition key and have it rekeyed, then reinstall it in the car.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019
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Instead of a locksmith, for $25 you can get a new ignition switch tumbler and both door locks, including new keys, so that all are new with matching keys.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019
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If you can't turn the key in the switch, yes, you will have to drill out the tumbler. And, most likely, you'll damage the switch in the process so you'll need both a new switch and ignition cylinder. The only way to get the switch out of the dash is to remove the tumbler with it's face plate.
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As this is a '67, what of unscrewing the bezel that holds the ignition switch to the dashboard and -- once you remove the ashtray assembly and maybe the radio -- there could be enough room to remove the entire switch assembly without drilling ... only problem could be if the key is too wide for the bezel to be completely removed
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