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E36General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.
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Your Ride: 1997 328is
New Member, Ing. Switch Problems
I have a '97 328 is with the Dreaded Spining Key Syndrome, I ordered an NEw Ing. Tumbler from my local BMW Dealer, went to change it out but the Ing. Switch is locked in the Off Position. I can't turn it to release the keeper and remove the switch. Anyone have an idea and where to start ?
I am confused, you said that you have spinning key syndrome, but you cannot turn the lock?
I cut the following text from another forum where I posted it a year or two ago.
If your ignition lock cylinder has worn out, you have probably discovered that using a stiff wire to release the lock from the the housing works only with a brand new lock and housing. After 10-15 years of use, if you can get the lock cylinder to release from the housing using the stiff wire method described in the manual, you win the ignition lock lottery.
Since life is not like that, you are replacing the lock AND the housing. The housing is not hard to remove if you have a dremel tool and a small closed-end ratcheting box-end wrench. After removing the plastic housing around the steering column, you cut straight slots in the heads of the two security bolts with your dremel. Then use a short straight-blade screwdriver bit and your small ratcheting box end wrench to turn it, and you can crank those security bolts right out.
Don't forget to take careful note of the positions and orientations of the two bushings between the steering wheel and the bearing in the lock housing. Put them back the way you found them or the steering wheel won't fit properly.
The HARD part of this job is putting back that stiff wire circlip that goes between the bushings. You have to pull out on the steering shaft while pressing down on the inner bushing to center the bearing while opening the circlip with duck-bill snap ring pliers (which you don't have). That takes three or four of your hands, your tail swishes off the flies, and there you are!
Since you don't have the correct snap ring pliers, you can try to use multiple flat blade screwdrivers to force the circlip up its taper and into its groove. Odds are good that you will end up stabbing a screwdriver through your instrument cluster.
OR THE EASY WAY which I discovered last weekend, is you can cut a short piece of the 3/4" PVC pipe that you have laying around the garage from the last time you repaired the lawn sprinklers.
After installing the new housing, lube the bearing and tap it into the housing. Then slip the inner (plain) bushing down the shaft. Then place the circlip on the shaft, then your piece of PVC pipe. Now take the steering wheel center bolt and screw it in. Screwing down that bolt forces the PVC pipe to push the circlip up its taper and into its groove, while simultaneously pulling on the steering shaft and compressing the bearing. You can do this by yourself while holding a beer in the other hand!
You just tighten the bolt until you hear the sweet "click" of the circlip snapping into its groove.
Now remove the bolt and PVC and slide the outer bushing down over the circlip, replace the steering column covers if you haven't already, put the steering wheel back on. Reconnect the battery which you remembered to disconnect several minutes before you removed the air bag, and you have it!