BMW E36 Ignition Tumbler Removal (for Pre-10/95 Production BMWs)

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Lora Mattal: Thank you so much for posting this. It is 100 percent on the mark. I am able to drive my car thanks to your help! YOU ROCK!!!

Sam Carpenter: What the hell is that rattling noise?

Good guide.

enjtoool: Possible see how open the lock in order to change the key the first new one ...... and how to change engrave Ida was Quff Astasa when Adoran   ( thank)

theuniqueldy: 1st. my wheels locked & I couldn't drive. So I took housing off & drilled a hole in silver box thing and was able to drive in garage. I ordered a ignition lock cylinder and it came in yesterday. So, TY, this helped, after 1 more cup of coffee I am going to get to it before it gets hot (107 today in AZ.). TY again

John Kyle: Elliot hi there Hopefully you can help, My problem my  94 BMW 325IS   5 speed just wont crank, I turn the key to start and nothing, luckily its a manual, I live on a hill and kick start everyday.  So it runs that way but I'm frustrated I turn the key everything comes like it should radio,lights,etc but it  just don't turn over it's just nothing... Eliot would that be something you might have information on please....

Dante Pantuso: this is a serious question I need help removing the tumbler with the key its a 325i 93 I getting ready to call bmw. my mother lost my key while my leg was broken

Eliot Hood: Unfortunately I've never found a part number for the 'ignition shaft' because I believe is it considered part of the ignition housing and therefore the shaft falls under the part number of the entire housing or: 32321161551. I found this information at: (see link in description). The best ways I've seen this part purchased is by people on forums with surplus parts or at "you-pull-it" junkyards. Try a post on a popular bmw forum, someone may have an extra part laying around for you.

Eliot Hood: pull the tumbler out, and get to the shaft. If you have the right drill and can get a good angle on the ignition housing, this above method can be accomplished while keeping the ignition housing mounted to the steering column. If you can't get a good angle, you'll have to remove the entire ignition housing. This involves removing the two saucer shaped security bolts underneath the ignition housing. I did this by using a chisel to chisel a notch in the bolt head used to unscrew the bolt.

Eliot Hood: The easiest way to do it is to release the tumbler, and then you can pull the shaft out with needle nose pliers. You can get lucky at rays and find the keys in the car and use the method in the video to get the tumbler out. If there's no keys (most likely the case), you'll have to get the tumbler out a different way. I used a power drill to drill the back of the ignition housing in the location of the copper colored pin on the tumbler (in the video). i was then able to push the latch down,

Eric Rupert: Eliot - I live right by Rays. I just got a full housing there the other day. Several nice 325 just came in, anyway, I need to know how to extract the shaft, mine is broken, got the tumbler out of the donor unit and can fig out how to release the shaft.

javier m: Do you have a video on how you replaced the ignition shaft?. i am having trouble installing mine. i got a replacement part and already broke it.. let me now thanx

Eliot Hood: Option 3: Basically the same as option 2 but without removing the security bolts (which were a bear in my case). It's possible to get a small power drill on the back side of the ignition housing where the copper latch is located. You can then drill a hole in the exact location of the latch and like in option 2 use a nail to press down the copper latch. I'm not familiar with any other ways so if neither work let me know and I can see what I can come up with. Good luck.

Eliot Hood: You'll have to use this piece of metal to essentially press the latch down. It's very difficult but with some wd-40 and a little "finagaling" you can get the copper latch down.Option 2 would be: with the ignition housing out you'll drill a small hole in the housing in the exact location of where the copper latch is on the inside. With this hole you can use a small nail to press the copper latch down and pull the tumbler out.

Eliot Hood: The two bolts are on either side of the steering column. To remove these i used a nice sharp chisel and carefully (but also with some force) chiseled the security screws in the counter clockwise, loosening direction (left, loosy). This gives you eas(ier) access to the tumbler. There's a way to use a thin piece of metal to (shaped like a popsicle stick) in between the inside of the ignition housing and the outside of the tumbler to reach the copper latch. That's option 1.

Eliot Hood: Unfortunately you're in for some trouble. I wouldn't say it's impossible, but you'll have to either remove the entire ignition housing or drill a hole in the ignition housing to be able to push down the copper colored latch in the video. To remove the ignition housing you'll have to remove all the plastic components under the steering column to exposed the ignition switch (blood orange color) and the bottom of the ignition housing. There's two security bolts that have dish/ufo like heads.

Dreamweaverdottv: Tanks Eliot, I'll wait for you! In a mean time my temporary resolution - drill a whole in to the stub and screw a bolt in to keep the two pieces together and aligned. The put a clamp covering the two pieces for strength and with pliers sort of molded around the stub profile an then grind out the part of the clamp that sticks out. Remove the safety cable and nut and bolt it in a pressed position. The several plastic and metal pieces that deal with the cable are not used since the clamp is there.

Eliot Hood: I just recently moved from the area so i don't frequent the place as much. I'll definitely be back there in the near future, but probably not until it warms up around here. How urgent is your need? If you can wait a couple months I can probably help you, if not I'd recommend looking into a different option.

Dreamweaverdottv: Hi Eliot - thank you for saving me the 2-3h frustration you had! My case is the same - the shaft. Can you help me with one from your local junk yard - 325i 94? Thanks a bunch!

famouslocz: Hey bro i learned a good amount from your video but i have a 96 318ti and it is stuck in the position before the engine is on and what i was wondering was can i fix the tumbler by taking it out and messing with it or do i need to get a new one?

Eliot Hood: Should have mentioned that...In order to buy the shaft you actually have to buy the entire ignition lock assembly with everything (shaft included) already in place. I got my shaft from a "you pull it" junkyard nearby my house [I frequent this place all the time (for those in the DMV area it's called Crazy Rays)]. If you can find a junkyard similar to this, that's what I recommend, but if you can't let me know and I can see about running to my junkyard and getting one for you.
BMW e36 Ignition Tumbler Removal (for pre-10/95 production BMWs) 5 out of 5

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