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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 06-16-2013, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Spinning Key; Can I drill a hole to remove switch???

Hello, 1995 318i.
The ignition switch is bad, the key is spinning - Problemo Grande!

Can I drill a whole into the ignition switch cylinder so I can then (easily?) see the spot I need to push on so that
the raised metal tab will go down, which will cause the key switch cylinder will pop out?

I have the replacement new cylinder from the dealer ready to go. The steering wheel
is not locked.

Tried using a bobby pin for couple of hours, putting the key to the "2nd click" then putting one pin
of the bobby pin to the little hole right by the key, nothing worked. I tried to bypass the
switch but the bypass switch on the left side of the steering wheel would not work bec the power was not on.

Thank You in advance for anyone's consideration!
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you may have to drill the center out with ever larger bits. one should not wait for complete failure before repairing key cylinders. you may wind up replacing the entire housing as this can be a common failure as well.
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Do not drill anything! The existing barrel will be salvageable if you take it apart carefully.
read this Spinning Ignition barrel repair - United Bimmer Community - BMW Forum and PM me with an email address that will accept an enclosure for more help if you are still stuck.
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