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From digest.v4.n812 Sat Jul 6 17:12:38 1996
From: (Paul R. Reitz)
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 1996 19:58:06 -0400
Subject: Re: <E30><Central locking> fixed!!

To follow up on my most recent incorrect post surmising how the key lock cylinder was supposed to work -

Based on the *snap-switch* theory, I pulled the door apart a third time, expecting to find a way to make the lock lever stay in the locked postion when the key was returned to 0 degrees. Instead, I found the lock lever is (mechanically) forced to return to the neutral position when the key is returned to 0 degrees. Man, was I stumped!

It was then that I noticed that the key was able to retract *slightly* when it was rotated 90 degrees. What's this???? I quickly realized that the driver's door would be double locked if the key could be extracted in this position, but *none* of the BMW literature - not the owner's manual, not the ETM, nor the factory shop manual - made mention of this little detail!! Kinda like being absent from school the day they taught left and right.

I swallowed hard and disassembled the whole lock cylinder right down to the tumblers and springs. Et viola! Someone had previously *modified* the lock, interchanging some tumblers (and then grinding them down when they weren't the right code!!) There's a sneaky subtlety in the width of the tumblers - a wide one was placed where a narrow one (of the same code) should have been, and that prevented the key from withdrawing in the rotated position. Removing the offending tumbler fixed it.

I'm bummed that it took so much time to figure out something that one little piece of information would have made obvious! On the other hand side, as my Italian friend Umberto would say, I am somewhat consoled in the knowledge that this is one problem *I* didn't create!!

So, many thanks to those of you who responded with this critical info, even if I had just figured it out the hard way.

  • --Paul Reitz BMW CCA #1167

325 iX with a 10 tumbler lock instead of 11 Want to try your key??? Can you say (1/4)^10? Sure you can...

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