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Project Rolla 2.0, Ignition Rekeying

One thing that bugged me since I got the Carib was that the ignition barrel had been damaged, both making it hard to accurately insert the key, and making it look somewhat dodgy.

I haven’t mentioned this previously, because I wanted to fix it before I bought it to attention, just in case it made it easier to steal. It didn’t look particularly good and my WOF guy had a good laugh when asking me where the rest of the barrel went.

As part of other work I was doing on the car, I had the column shrouds off so took this chance to fix it. I had previously picked up a replacement barrel from Pick A Part (which was a pain in its self due to having to find a car with a suitable barrel, that they had the key for).

With the shrouds off, it’s just a matter of inserting the key and turning it to ACC, pressing the button on the underside of the barrel and gently pulling on the key which will remove the barrel. The button cannot be pressed without the correct key inserted and turned to ACC.

I was then left with the pair of barrels. Thankfully I just needed the main tumbler, since the housings were slightly different. Replacement on the left, original on the right. The original has a smaller face to accommodate the illumination ring, which I guess the poverty pack Sprinter I got the replacement from didn’t have.

You can see the tumbler is well recessed in the barrel of the old one, with the wafers visible

I didn’t realise until now that the ignition lock had not been working. There is a lever on the top of the barrel that triggers it when the key is removed.

Steering lock engaged

Steering lock disengaged

This had been disabled in the old barrel by bending back the tab that actuates the lever. This was an issue for two reasons. First, I couldn’t withdraw the tumbler as normally you lift the tab with the lever to give clearance, and mine was jammed down. Second, It wouldn’t work with the replacement tumbler as it is. Careful use of a small spanner looped over it had a gently bent back into place.

Once the circlip on the back was removed, this allowed me to remove the tumbler. You do not need the correct key to remove the tumbler, so my key worked to remove both.

You can see how much of the tumbler is missing in the above photo. I suspect someone tried to steal the car and broke the end off as it is sheared off, not cut off.

With both barrels side by side, it was just a matter of carefully removing the wafers from the replacement tumbler with fine needle-nose pliers, leaving the springs in place

You can see the third wafer is made up of two pieces. This is what is called a split wafer, and as long as it works it’s fine, but they’re well known to fail and jam, stopping the lock from working and causing a whole lot of issues to fix it. The general advice is to remove them and leave them out. There are enough standard wafers to keep the lock secure.

So with all the replacement tumblers wafers removed, I carefully moved the original wafers to the replacement tumbler. Refitting into the same position is crucial, and make sure you do not let the wafers drop out when handling the tumbler.

The damaged tumbler was actually missing a whole wafer as it had broken through the slot the wafer sits in. Some trial and error found one of the spares from the replacement tumbler a perfect fit, so that was fitted.

The tumbler was then refitted to the barrel, and it works perfectly. Even the steering lock arm is working as it should.

And refitted to the car. Much better.

That was quite an easy job at the end of the day, just a pain you need the steering wheel off to remove the shrouds.

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