LX450 vs Toyota Ignition Cylinder

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May 6, 2016
I have looked through the forums and everywhere I can online as this is a common issue but cant seem to find a clear answer to my question....

I have a 97' LX450 and while the ignition works well at the moment, the key sits very loose in the cylinder at all times. I can easily remove the key while the truck is running. I went ahead and and ordered a fresh key hoping that would make a difference and sadly it made no change. I know once these go they tend to lock up and the repair & placement is quite pricey for these cars so I am trying to resolve the issue before I get to that point.

My questions are this:
1) Would a toyota cylinder work with the LX column? I know the keys are different but if I could swap the toyota cylinder for the lexus one I would do it. But I know if I went for a toyota cylinder I may have to replace the whole ignition column which seems to be a pain in the ass and would prefer not to if its an option.

2) Factory/OEM vs Aftermarket...I try to go OEM wherever possible, (since Im here asking a question Id figure Ill ask this one too) seems like a factory LX450 cylinder w/ keys is about $500 (found a few on sale from the normal $600 rate and $800 my local dealer quoted me at) where as aftermarket is about $200. Is the extra $$ really worth it?

At this point seems like my options are to replace the cylinder now before it goes, or roll the dice and deal with the bigger issue should it arise. My rig only has 140,000 mi on the odometer.....

Any input is appreciated. It seems like this is a fairly common situation.
Is your swap to the Toyota key, there's no reason you couldn't use the Toyota lock cylinder on the Lexus steering column.

I set a goal of 35% over aftermarket. I will buy OEM as long as it doesn't cost more than 35% more. Also that depends on the criticality and ease of replacement of the part. Purely arbitrary, but that's what I decided. Sometimes a lifetime warranty on aftermarket is better than a 1 year warranty.
Were both keys cut by a Toyota dealer or by a key shop?
Were both keys cut by a Toyota dealer or by a key shop?
I bought the truck this spring, the key looks to be the original Lexus key. I just ordered a fresh one direct from Lexus. Was hoping to notice a change but didn't. So I am back to looking at replacing the cylinder.

I have found there is pretty much two choices:
Direct from Lexus; CYLINDER & KEY SET, IGNITION SWITCH LOCK. CYLINDER & KEY SET,. LOCK made by Lexus. #6905760140

Or aftermarket;
97 1997 Lexus LX450 Ignition Lock Cylinder - Steering - Standard Motor Products - PartsGeek
And I realize my last post may have muddied the waters.
I posted above the Lexus specific cylinders wondering if there is a viable difference between the two.

My original question was could I find the same part for a 97 Toyota Land Cruiser and drop it into my LX450? Obviously it will require a new key as well, and no more Lexus lazered key.
If this is a DD then sure - get a new unit. 2nd rig / Home Depot hauler - used ignition all the way.

I'd be in the classifieds here & just get a used one, or the Cruiser vendors who break 80's here - save yourself a good few hundred.
I actually had pulled a used one from a 95' Cruiser at a local junkyard but the guy wanted too much for it and it was a shady outfit with a poor reputation. That combined with the fact I was unsure if a Toyota cylinder would work with the LX model I didn't do it.

Thanks all for the responses. I am leaning towards just putting in a new cylinder as it is my DD and will be for the next few years at least. But I do plan on keeping for the long term....unless I find a nicer one with less miles.....
Can anyone confirm whether a Landcruiser ignition lockset will work in a LX450? My ignition lockset decided to jam today so I ended up drilling it out. My key is now a pair of needle nose pliers. I know Landcruiser locksets are still available but looks like LX450 are discontinued.
I finally got smart and looked up the housing for the lockset. It's the same part number for both Toyota and Lexus so the locksets should be interchangeable. I ordered a Toyota lockset and will report back on installation.

The only issue you will have is the ignition key won't fit any of the doors.

Otherwise, a few folks have purchased used complete sets from parts trucks for their version.
Find someone parting out a rig.
get the lock cylindar, door tumblers & rear hatch tumbler.

I pulled all of those from a parts car in about an hour. It’s really easy.

I would advise getting new plastic mounting pieces for the lock tumbler bars that connect all the handle linkage. They get brittle over time.
I considered getting a used set of locks but decided against it. I really didn’t want to take the chance with a 20+ year old set of locks and the potential of the same thing happening again. All of the individual locks are available for the Landcruiser so I ordered everything new and will have all the others keyed to match the ignition. It will cost a little more but everything will be new.

Funny thing is, my 1996 Tacoma was down for the same problem when the LX450 went out. The Tacoma had been jamming on me for a while and every time it almost left me stranded I would finally get the key to turn. The last time it happen I was 15 minutes working it and thinking about how much the tow was going to cost versus the cost of a new lockset. The nice thing about the Tacoma is a full set of locks is still available. I replaced all the locks in the Tacoma after doing the LX450. About 2.5 hours for both trucks.
Funny thing is, my 1996 Tacoma was down for the same problem when the LX450 went out.
Don't take this the wrong way, but after taking out two of them you might want to figure out what you're doing that's trashing the ignition cylinder.
Don't take this the wrong way, but after taking out two of them you might want to figure out what you're doing that's trashing the ignition cylinder.

What do you think would cause a problem?

When I first bought the LX450 I couldn’t get the key to go all the way in on the driver side door lock. I took that lock apart and removed the last two tumblers because they were damaged. On the ignition the damage occurred because I didn’t get the key inserted all the way but was still able to start the truck. Again, on disassembly the last two tumblers were damaged. So my fault but I really wouldn’t expect the key to turn if it wasn’t all the way inserted.

If you do a Google search you’ll find it is a fairly common problem for the Tacoma. I assume it is just wear. My original key quit working a long time ago so I replaced it with the backup key. Both were original to the truck. Maybe I should have got a new key cut every five years or so.

The Landcruiser is still working fine. Maybe because my wife drives that one.
What do you think would cause a problem?
If anything, maybe trying to twist the key while the steering wheel is tensioned against the lock, or before it's fully inserted, or some other difference from the 'correct' way. It's very possible that having two cylinders go bad on you is a coincidence and you're not doing anything to cause it. That's just how my mind works- if something happens more than once, I try to figure out if I'm doing something to cause it.

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