Key Stuck in Tumbler - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 03, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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My key is stuck in the tumbler and it won't release it. The car turns over and runs fine but I can't remove the key? Any tricks on getting the key out?

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 03, 01:16 PM
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Are you sure the ignition switch is fully returned to the off position? Try wiggling the ignition switch back and forth while pulling on the key- use two hands!

If that doesn't work you could try shooting some of that powdered graphite into the lock. Wiggle the key around after you get some in and it might pop loose.

Alternatively you could try to grip it with some flat jaw pliers and pull it out, just don't get too rough with it and try to apply force on the same plane as the key.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 03, 06:59 AM
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My GMC S15 had the same problem. I don't know how the dealer got the key out because I was afraid of breaking it off but the cause was a worn key.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 03, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by choptop:
Are you sure the ignition switch is fully returned to the off position? Try wiggling the ignition switch back and forth while pulling on the key- use two hands!

If that doesn't work you could try shooting some of that powdered graphite into the lock. Wiggle the key around after you get some in and it might pop loose.

Alternatively you could try to grip it with some flat jaw pliers and pull it out, just don't get too rough with it and try to apply force on the same plane as the key.
Chop,

You are correct. It won't return all the way back to the "off" position. It stops about an 1/8" of an inch where is should release the key... Yet, all of the accesories turn on and off as normal.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 03, 09:31 AM
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What year and model car? Your '69 project or? There is linkage between the automatic trans and steering colume that gets activated when the car is is park (only lets the steering lock in park I believe). You can see it under the master cyl. If it isn't moving all the way up it might be causing the problem. If you have headers the linkage is most likely removed and you can move the piece on the steering colume up and down. Make sure it's all the way up.

...Dennis

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 03, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by DjD:
What year and model car? Your '69 project or? There is linkage between the automatic trans and steering colume that gets activated when the car is is park (only lets the steering lock in park I believe). You can see it under the master cyl. If it isn't moving all the way up it might be causing the problem. If you have headers the linkage is most likely removed and you can move the piece on the steering colume up and down. Make sure it's all the way up.
I'll check it out tonight. Thanks for the help.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 03, 06:09 AM
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Look at your steering column, behind the steering wheel, grab it and turn it counter clock wise until it stops, now pull out your key!
I have the same problem...
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 03, 06:25 AM
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Sounds like the linkage that makes sure your car is in park OR on a manual trans is in reverse. Anyways it wont allow you to pull the key out unless it is in the proper position. Like above, if you reach down and turn the lower part of your steering column counter clockwise, it will stop in the position to allow the key to come out. If you look at your steering column from the engine compartment you will see where the rod is supposed to be connected to the column.

Is is originally an automatic or manual trans car??

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 03, 05:23 AM
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Mo - did you get the key out? Brian, Jonesy and I are all basically talking the same thing here... Let us know!

...Dennis

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 03, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Lewis:
Look at your steering column, behind the steering wheel, grab it and turn it counter clock wise until it stops, now pull out your key!
I have the same problem...
Yep! it might be worn linkage not returning the colar fully. If you have headers the linkage might of been removed and you just bumped or tinkered with something that rotated the colar clockwise. The steering colar twisting trick is the way to turn on and off your reverse lights if the linkage is disconnected. If the linkage is removed your reverse lights will always be on untill you rotate the colar. You have to rotate back counter clockwise to remove the key.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 03, 07:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help guys...

Here's the deal. Its a 350/Turbo 350 car, with
center console factory shifter, PS, and factory tilt.

I think I found the problem. The shifter needs to be adjusted. When I put the "horseshoe" in the "PARK" or all the way forward position, the car is actually in reverse. This corresponds as I shift downward through the gears.

So basically I'm unable to get the tranny into the park position. I assume there is a cable adjustment that realigns the shifter into the correct points.

I imagine if I adjust the shifter cable and put the car into park the key will then release.

Here's another thing I didn't think about.... [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img]

I did replace the horse shoe handle when this problem started to happen. I didn't touch the base or any of the swiches. I just unbolted the old cracked shifter handle, and bolted the new one in the same place. Before that the gears appeared to line up (I'm not 100% sure), and the key definately worked corretly. Maybe installing the horseshoe handle misaligned the tranny linkage. I took my time and everything bolted up without any issues, but perhaps something is out of whack..

I'm I on the right path here? Any tips on making the cable adjustment...

Mo West<br />
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 03, 08:15 AM
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The only real adjustment is on the base of the horseshoe shifter. Look down the base of the left leg of the shifter and you will see the adjustment nut. The best way to make the adjustment is to disconnect the cable from the trans shift arm, click the trans shift arm to neutral then shift the shifter to neutral and make the adjustment at the base of the shifter so the cable can be put back on pin on the shift arm without pulling or pushing on the cable. If you can't adjust the cable to line up properly then your cable has streched and needs to be replaced.

...Dennis

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 03, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the help guys I got the key out.

Sure enough the steering column would only return about 90% to its orignal position when I shifted back into park. I manually rotated the column and the key comes right out.

I also adjusted my shifter and noted when I installed the new handle where the cable attaches has about 1/4" of play that way causing the shifter to be misaligned.

I owe you guys a beer...

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 03, 08:01 AM
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I'll settle for a nice 4 channel Phoenix Gold Amplifier [img]smile.gif[/img] j/k

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old Apr 23rd, 03, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm always looking to trade got any decent camaro parts...

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