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Thread: Changing Ignition Cylinder (snapped key)

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    Member Hill185's Avatar
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    Default Changing Ignition Cylinder (snapped key)

    Hello all, the key (and only key) snapped off inside the ignition while in the off position. 1. Can the cylinder still be popped out? 2. Is changing the cylinder a nightmare IE does the whole column need to be disassembled? 3. Rockauto has like seven different cylinders listed, any recommendations, it lists two different Motorcraft styles. And yes I realize ill have to purchase new door lock cylinder as well. Thanks for any tips.

    1991 LTD Crown Victoria

  2. #2
    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    I don't know about your particular vehicle, but for the sake of giving you something to think about before others chime in, it's probably a matter of only removing the cover on the steering column and pressing a button to get the cylinder to slide out. It might become self-evident once the cover is removed.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
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    Member WagonMan's Avatar
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    You don't even have to remove the cover! There is a small hole that you can access the pin with an ice pick. The problem is you have to have the ignition switch in the run position, Hopefully the OP can use a screwdriver to turn the switch on. WagonMan.
    1990 Colony Park
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    Member Hill185's Avatar
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    ugh that's what I was afraid of...

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    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    So 1991 had one key for doors and ignition? Police model thing perhaps? I also dont know the specifics of the vehicle in question which does not help getting correct answers.
    ~David~

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    No mean-spiritedness here. IPreferDIY's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the broken part of the key is still in the cylinder, so wouldn't that be enough to get the cylinder to turn to the run position? If it's only partly in, what about using thin needlenose pliers to try to grab the end of it? Or otherwise push it in enough to be able to turn the cylinder? If you can get the broken piece out, you could try checking to see if that would be enough to get a copy cut.

    2000 Grand Marquis LS HPP, a hand-me-down in 2008 with 128,000 km; 175,000 km as of July 2014
    mods: air filter box "tuba" (in place of the "trumpet"), headlight relay harness, J-mod (around 186,350 km), 70mm throttle body, NKL4 PCM (from a 2000 CVPI, nothing great there apart from highway cruising), KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (after >202,000 km on originals)

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    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Can the ignition lock cylinder be turned with the broken piece of key in it, or can the rest of the key be inserted to form a full key to get it to turn?
    As long as you can get it to turn it can be removed as WagonMan described. (We're talking about the '91 LTD CV in your signature, right?)

    The question I have is why did it break? If it was really hard to get it to the off position you may have a shift tube bushing that has slid out of place. The bushing slides and blocks the lock mechanism ('90+ only). Messing with the shifter a bit while turning it to off can eventually move the bushing to a position that better allows the lock mechanism to engage. Replacing the shift tube bushings is not terribly difficult either. Heater core replacement driver side steps 1 + 7-10: http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...l=1#post741980, then t35(?) Torx to remove the bushing caps(?).
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - My rotting winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic


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    Member Hill185's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. The car in my sig is an ‘87. The ‘91 is at the bodyshop as a police car resto and I snapped the key off today when I went by to get a couple things done. I’ll take a look tomorrow to see if I can turn it with a pair of needle nose pliers.

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I think there is actually an instruction in the shop manual for getting the cylinder out when the key won't turn, but its kind of destructive. I want to say it has you destroy some part, then you can get the cylinder out as well as the piece of column it sits in. That might only be in the older style column though. Absolute worst case, you can change the column.

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    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought this was your signature, I see now that it is part of the original post. I couldn't tell on my phone screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hill185 View Post
    ...

    1991 LTD Crown Victoria
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - My rotting winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic


  11. #11
    fomoco panthers !
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    If your car is a police model, doesn't your trunk open by the button on the dash or in the glovebox ? Should not need the key on with the police model. If your locks use the same key, pull out the trunk lock, take it to the locksmith, have new keys made. Agree with the above posts too.
    If you get a new ignition switch, you can take it to the locksmith and have it re-keyed to match the others. If you get the old switch out and it is not damaged, take it also to the locksmith and have the broken key pulled out. I find it a pain to have two types of keys especially when two locks are cut from the square mold and not the square and round mold, like the civilian cars.

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    Member Hill185's Avatar
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    Got the other half of the key out of the ignition and brought the broken key to a locksmith. He was able to fashion another ignition key thank goodness.

    To answer your question, this car actually has a separate key for the trunk. I can only assume the trunk or lock was replaced at some point. My ‘87 P72 only has one key.

  13. #13
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    Most CV's the door and ignition key is the same on a regular CV to a cop P72 I know this for a fact my car is a P73 and the key does both jobs that is until I replaced the switch with a new key due to the key was not staying in the switch while my car was running totaly unsafe.

  14. #14
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I never cared for the Ford keying method. One key for ignition, and one for all other locks. Lincoln's method makes more sense IMO. Square key does the door and ignition, round does the trunk and glove box. Its basically for valet service, you leave the square key so they can move the car but not get into your stuff. Assuming you lock the glovebox of course, the trunk release is inside. My Conti is keyed like a Ford for reasons I do not understand.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  15. #15
    fomoco panthers !
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    When a police car is ordered there is an option for the single key for all locks. Many departments order that. Part of that reason is officer safety and people misplacing keys. Some departments key all their cars the same. I think keying all cars the same is really stupid.
    Hill185, Glad that the key issue is solved. Hopefully you had a couple spares made.

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    GMN Regular slack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    I never cared for the Ford keying method. One key for ignition, and one for all other locks. Lincoln's method makes more sense IMO. Square key does the door and ignition, round does the trunk and glove box. Its basically for valet service, you leave the square key so they can move the car but not get into your stuff. Assuming you lock the glovebox of course, the trunk release is inside. My Conti is keyed like a Ford for reasons I do not understand.
    The Lincoln style you mention is exactly how my '78 is. Square key for doors and ignition. Round key is for the trunk. I guess once the panthers came about Ford decided that they should have one key for locks/trunk and one for ignition like I've noticed 80s GMs do as well. I replaced the trunk lock on my Olds and now I have three keys. One for the ignition, one for the doors and one for the trunk.... ugh.

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    Approaching 2 decades of DDing Box Panthers VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    They changed it in '90 and went to one [square] key for ignition and doors and one (round) key for trunk and glovebox.

    edit: This is for civi cars. The police cars could probably still be ordered special like Mainemaintom mentioned.
    Last edited by VicCrownVic; 06-27-2019 at 09:33 AM.
    Vic

    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis LS "The Scab" - plenty of rot, summer DD
    ~ 1997 GMC Yukon - wannabe winter DD - returning summer 2020, I finally have an engine
    ~ 1991 Mercury Grand Marquis GS "The Ice Car" - My rotting winter DD
    ~ 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis GS - Rotting Retired DD
    Gone but not forgotten:
    ~ 1988 Country Squire ~ 1987 Ford Crown Vic


  18. #18
    I post a lot... knucklehead0202's Avatar
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    Yep both my '90s had the square key for doors/ignition and the roundy for trunk/glovebox.

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    Later on they went to a single key. They provided a valet key (won't work the Trunk & Glove) for limited access. How many people still have the valet key, not many.
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    Road Warrior Kodachrome Wolf's Avatar
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    I think single key started around 1995. I've seen early Aeros with the two key system.

    I've still got the valet key for the '97. It's just legitimately a little thicker than the normal keys and won't go into the glove box lock or trunk lock cylinders.

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