busted ignition

scottm

 
 
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Mar 27, 2003
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Below the bridge
I saw pics of your creation- impressive i must say. Mine is a 2000 with a manual tilt steering wheel - would your invention work on mine? If so i’m happy to provide reasonable consideration for one.
I don't know if different 100s had different lock mechanisms...? Perhaps a question for @beno or other gurus.

As far as making more, I'm no machinist, it took me a lot of the night to make that with a lot of test-fitting and sanding to fit. If I made one to my specs it would probably still take some sanding and fussing to make it fit. I'd be better to take mine apart and hand it to machinist to duplicate. Life has gotten in the way lately, I haven't turned a wrench in a while, just paid to have the timing belt, front bearings, ball-joints, sway-bar ends replaced. I hoped my write-up would be enough for someone to make their own, doesn't sound like it was.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2013
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Colorado
Sorry to disagree... strongly.
I was a graphite/lock believer until fairly recently. Over the years, I would use an appropriate amount on Bubbles' ignition key to lube the lock mechanism.
Maybe once a year at most. Yet after 15 years the key would occasionally not turn the ignition.
Depending upon who was in the driver's seat and where they happened to be, it could be quite alarming. Like the wrong key was in the ignition. Then, after trying to turn the key twice, thrice... or maybe 20 times, the key would suddenly realize its mistake and turn the ignition, whereupon Bubbles would spring to life.
When the shaft went south, I used the opportunity to take lock mechanism to a familiar locksmith for a professional clean & lube.
First thing after cracking it open, the locksmith said to NEVER USE GRAPHITE in an automobile ignition. That over time, it cakes-up and gums-up the works. He blamed the intermittent "bad key" issue solely on the graphic gumming up the works.
Said it's fine for regular locks, doors, etc. Didn't ask him about automobile door locks. But he was adamant that graphite and ignitions mechanisms are bad juju...
Ideally one could clean the key up with a wire brush and keep going. I wouldn't recommend maintaining an ignition with graphite, but if already having issues.... what is better?
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2012
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379
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Phoenix
@DuckLN The ignition shaft has a lobe to retract the steering wheel lock pin. So instead of cutting something off you’ll need to add something to hold the lock pin away from the steering column.

If the large lobe at the bottom was a full circle it would always keep the lock pin retracted. If you’re handy you could make a Delrin piece and add it to the lobe to complete the circle.
I'm having a hard time understanding that. The steering column is to the left of the ignition housing. The locking pin has to move from right to left to engage the steering lock, and then back from left to right to disengage. The key turns counterclockwise (to "off") to engage the steering lock. It seems like it would be a lobe on the cam that engaged the locking pin, rather than a lobe that retracted it. Can you elaborate, or maybe post a little diagram. I'm getting ready to install a cam and I'm interested in disabling the steering lock, hopefully without dropping the steering wheel and removing the ignition housing. Thanks.
 

Ayune

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Feb 12, 2017
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Portland, OR
I'm having a hard time understanding that. The steering column is to the left of the ignition housing. The locking pin has to move from right to left to engage the steering lock, and then back from left to right to disengage. The key turns counterclockwise (to "off") to engage the steering lock. It seems like it would be a lobe on the cam that engaged the locking pin, rather than a lobe that retracted it. Can you elaborate, or maybe post a little diagram. I'm getting ready to install a cam and I'm interested in disabling the steering lock, hopefully without dropping the steering wheel and removing the ignition housing. Thanks.
The locking pin that engages the steering column (circled below) is spring-loaded towards the column so if you turn your steering wheel with the key removed, the pin will automatically engage. The cam on the ignition shaft inhibits the pin’s leftward movement when the key is turned clockwise. From what I remember the locking pin does have a funny shape to it that sort of wraps around to the right side of the ignition shaft cavity. That’s where the cam acts on it and moves it to the right.
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Another way to do this is to disassemble the upper steering shaft and modify the recess that the locking pin engages on the shaft itself. I’ve been in there too and it was obvious where the pin engages. Pulling & modifying the steering shaft would be easier than modifying the ignition housing I think. You don’t need to crack open the ignition housing for this.
 
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Ayune

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@97 AZ LC if you really want to disable the steering lock pulling the steering column is fairly easy and outlined in this thread: How To: Replace your own Upper Steering Column Shaft

Once you access the upper steering shaft I believe the section circled below is what engages the ignition lock pin. Remove this feature and bye bye steering lock. (The oval recess that the pin engages is just out of view to the top of the shaft... it’s not the thin slit facing the camera.)
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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
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Phoenix
The locking pin that engages the steering column (circled below) is spring-loaded towards the column so if you turn your steering wheel with the key removed, the pin will automatically engage. The cam on the ignition shaft inhibits the pin’s leftward movement when the key is turned clockwise. From what I remember the locking pin does have a funny shape to it that sort of wraps around to the right side of the ignition shaft cavity. That’s where the cam acts on it and moves it to the right.
Thanks, very thorough. It's obviously more complicated than I thought. I'll probably just live with the steering lock.
 

PDPerry

 
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Apr 11, 2006
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105
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Sacramento, CA
Ideally one could clean the key up with a wire brush and keep going. I wouldn't recommend maintaining an ignition with graphite, but if already having issues.... what is better?
Locksmith said any light oil would work. Even WD40 in a pinch is better than graphite on ignition locks.
Was news to me...
 
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Mar 26, 2012
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Phoenix
These locking clamp pliers work very nicely for removing the broken off piece. You still have to get the steering lock latch door out of the way. But you can get a pretty good grip on the broken piece with these pliers and then have good control over both turning it and pulling it out when you get it turned to the right spot.

 
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Feb 28, 2019
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Boston
didn't want to join this club. 240k 98LC. lucky it happened in the driveway. can't wait to hear what local dealer wants to fix this. I am waiting for the rust to get me and this aluminum part does.
 
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Oct 24, 2017
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CA
Anyone have tips pulling that broken piece? I am having the hardest time trying to get it to budge. I’ve got a hook/pick set but cannot get even close.

I did manage to get it to spin around but still stuck.
 
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Joined
Dec 23, 2018
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Has there been any documented consistency in terms of model year or mileage?

Seems like between this and the master cylinder issues there’s a lot of PM to do before trusting a 100-series on more remote trips...
 
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Feb 28, 2019
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Boston
didn't want to join this club. 240k 98LC. lucky it happened in the driveway. can't wait to hear what local dealer wants to fix this. I am waiting for the rust to get me and this aluminum part does.
Dealers and even local mechanic will only perform the full bracket installation and may replace other parts - looks to be at least $1000 in my area. I ordered the part ~$200 and will attempt the curated procedure described in the YT video and other postings.

I have 2005 LC with 140k: is PM to upgrade the rod recommended for that year?
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
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CA
Finally got piece removed with Harbor Freight 12" Locking Pliers. @97 AZ LC mentinoned these and should be brought up again! Pulled out within 5 min.

Also one thing to note, remember to back those screws in before testing. After I put cylinder rod in I wanted to test before putting all the other stuff back on. Couldn't figure out why car wasn't turning over. Once those screws tightened back up, I was good to go.

Good stuff MUD! Youtube vid was a big help too! I'm not too experienced working on cars but this wasn't too bad at all.
 
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Joined
Feb 28, 2016
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East Mesa, Az
FIrst, Thanks to Kelly Saad up in Flagstaff for loaning me a parking spot while I gathered the part and some handtools to get the job done.

I studied this post and tlcfaq page on this issue and I felt like I had a rough idea what i was doing.

step 1 ( top dash panel and under column plastic had been removed during diagnosis and so had the key tumbler portion and at least the 1st longer piece of the ignition rod that had broken.

step 2 battery had been disconnected because ignition rod had broken in power on position

step 3 (return to flagstaff with ignition bracket assembly purchased at Camelback toyota in phx)

Step 4 ( remove metal cover under steering column and remove ac duct

step 5 find rear sensor (white round thingus) and use a long philips to back the screws out a decent amount

step 6 the pain in the buttocks part.... the steering wheel obstructed my view as I used long forceps (harbor freight) and a screw driver, a headlamp helped a lot but I did have to get out of the rig and gather my wits a couple of times. Finally managed to make the broken piece turn sideways and was really worried. I was able to turn it back and grab it and pull it out using the forceps and screwdriver (screwdriver was used to push steering column lock thingus on right side of cylinder tunnel).

step 7 (uh oh Houston we have a problem): i laid out the broken rod and everything seemed right... until i noticed that the old pieces were a tiny bit shorter than the new piece... the little teat that slides into the white sensor at end of bracket... had broken off in the sensor.... that's not good

step 8 I laid back down on the floor of the rig and backed out the screws to the white sensor thingus and one screw fell out. The harder to get one stayed in. I managed to wiggle the sensor and disconnect most of the plugs. I could visibly see the little teat of the rod still in the slot of the sensor. The plan was to remove the sensor and tap it on the hood or flat surface to see if it could just fall out. I could not get all the sensors undone so I figured maybe I'd just tap on the sensor as I held over my face...
It worked and the little piece of broken rod.. fell to the floor mat and I was back in business.

Step 9
This is important... I had watched the video on youtube a bunch of times and I specifically watched the part about clocking the rod right. I mangaged to set it on the first shot, tightened up the bolts on the white sensor and then connected the battery.

step 10
crossed my fingers and turned the key... everything is good to go... left the dashboard apart because i just wanted to go home.
 
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Dealers and even local mechanic will only perform the full bracket installation and may replace other parts - looks to be at least $1000 in my area. I ordered the part ~$200 and will attempt the curated procedure described in the YT video and other postings.

I have 2005 LC with 140k: is PM to upgrade the rod recommended for that year?
Part arrived as well as Harbor Freight forceps. I do not see how it is possible to do this without the 12" forceps - for $5.99 it is a must have.

1998 TLC 240k broken off in ACC/ON, battery dead after a few days.

Using the improved procedure since Post #33 and YT Video...

I did not remove the seat. I put two boxes outside cab and just laid down into footwell.

Picture of my rod as broken

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I forgot to take picture of the broken piece's position but the steering lock pin was already pushed out to the right - it was not in the way.

I did not remove the black vent below steering wheel to get to the screws of the white round plastic sensor. I did not find it hard to reach with screw-driver from behind.

I first tried to back off the white round plastic sensor only 1/8th". This was not enough. My broken rod would not rotate counter-clockwise. I could rotate only clockwise 90 degrees (which also released the steering lock pin making it in the way). Versus the YT video, the 12" forceps have rounded tip and they pushed lock ping out of the way while grabbing rod. When I rotated rod back counter clockwise to found position - this also moved the steering lock ping back out. Shrug.


Even 3/16" wasn't enough.

I then carefully backed off the sensor by 1/4" inch. Only then could it rotate broken piece counter-clockwise 90 degrees and came out easily with the forceps.

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The steering lock pin was released again while removing the broken piece.

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I put the new rod in as described (12 oclock). I do not believe I was able to turn it counter clockwise to seat the slot of the rod end as described. This may have been a mistake. I then turned it clockwise and it felt solid - turned to 3-5 oclock'ish and settled on 4 oclock as prescribed.

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I found that tightening the screws was harder than I expected. I believe if you feel you may not have the rod slot seated correctly. At a point near fully tightened the sensor screws I heard a snap sound and a round white tab popped off the back of the sensor - about the size of paper hole punch-out. Ugh.

I think I had goofed and noticed that the brass tab was now at 3 to 3:30. I tested the play of the rod - it was not moveable. I decided to loosen the sensor again and once I had backed it off about 1/8th", with my finger on the rod, I felt/heard a click. Clearly the rod had now seated itself correctly in the sensor. I turned the rod back to 4 o'clock and tightened the sensor screws (which were also easier to tighten).

The rest of the procedure worked fine. Once I had the black/clear ring screwed in and plugged in I jump started and steering turned freely when ON.

I will do preventative fix on 05LC once my back feels better.

Very thankful for the procedure from this community.
 
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Joined
Apr 14, 2017
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122
Location
NoVA
Just did this preventatively to our 2004 with 133k on the clock. The shaft I removed looked the same (structurally) as the one I put in, and even had what appeared to be fresh grease on it, so it made me wonder if this had already been done and not noted in the Toyota database . . . good peace of mind anyway.

Some notes in addition to what are in post #246 (thanks, @Blackwater!) for post-O2 models:
-there is no screw holding the security bezel thingmo to the ignition--just remove the electrical connection and pull the assembly toward you.
-In addition to the switches, you will need to disconnect what I believe to be an air quality analyzer thing behind the lower RH dash.

And to supplement the video (thanks, @MaineLX470), yes, you will need to loosen up the white switch at the back even for a PM replacement--I couldn't get the shaft to turn far enough for removal until I'd loosened up that switch (two phillips screws) and pulled it rearward (toward the front bumper) a good bit.

Once I got the original shaft out, I put in the new one (which, thank goodness, had a different color ignition tumbler interface blade, or I'd have lost track of which was which), turned it so the brass tab was at 11:00, tightened up the switch at the back, put the security bezel back on, and fired her up.

Did NOT remove the seat and had no issues--suspect I could've done the job with the HVAC tube still in place and maybe even the steel face plate that's right beneath the dash cover.

Ordered my replacement part from partsouq. Ordered on a Saturday at about 11 p.m. Part arrived Tuesday afternoon. I'm sold.
 
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