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You guys make this way too hard. I've just now gone and done same trick previously described to my '98 Contour which has virtually same design lock cylinder. It started acting up, key won't insert fully and then the dreaded lock up and no turn. Again, pull apart, clean in solvent, 13 more cents of Dremel grinding on the proper tab corner and presto this one now works like new too. Too easy.
Cleaning isn't an option on a lot of these as the main cause of failure is a lack of lubrication which causes the cylinder to wear out, it's not just sticky, it's worn out.

I've had good luck with the one in my SVT by simply greasing the cylinder every couple years, it doesn't even require removal and at almost 10 years and 113,000 miles I'm on the original ignition cylinder.
 

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The long bar lifted by the keys simply does not drop as far as before to slide past the groove in outside housing. Grinding a slight angle on the concerned side allows the bar to bump up and over the slot hard edge.

Even with the wear.
 

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The long bar lifted by the keys simply does not drop as far as before to slide past the groove in outside housing. Grinding a slight angle on the concerned side allows the bar to bump up and over the slot hard edge.

Even with the wear.
I realize that but that still doesn't fix a cylinder that's jammed with metal shavings.

I don't know how many of these you've seen personally but I've seen a lot and if the cylinder physically will not turn because it's full of powdered lock cylinder/tumbler it doesn't really matter what else you do to try to improve things.

The cylinder will need to be replaced if it's let go long enough.




.
 

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NVM, i just went ahead and got one. So for those of you who are wondering, the retail price is 135, Steve sells them to us for 85 + 30 bucks if you want them to put the tumblers in it to match your key. Mine came with the "dummy" key which will unlock the car, and turn the ignition, but since it doesnt have the PATS chip in it, it wont actually start the car. SO, 85+30+TAX=just shy of 120. I live local so I didnt have to pay shipping.
So theres the current pricing for those who are curious.
 

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Like others here, this thread saved my arse! I'll be contacting one of the 2 guys mentioned here for a cylinder the first part of Sept...Steering wheel locked. The whack the key with a hammer thing didn't not work for me, but I found a twist on it that did...I removed the upper and lower column covers and set the PATS ring to the side. Then with the key out, did the "whacking" on the cylinder face itself. the part around where the key goes in...And it worked...Took 4-6 good straight on hits, but it worked....Took the key out and started to work on depressing the button. Took a while to get the angle on the tool I was using just right but once I did, it didn't take much for the button to go in enough for me to slide the cylinder out...During the whole process of removing the cylinder, I had to play around with key position and a couple times the key came out enough for the cylinder to jam again...No problem. More whacking without the key as mentioned and it turned again.Didn't have the instructions from this thread with me on how to gut the cylinder but I managed and as of right now everything is back together and the cars runs...Which was the goal...Get my butt to work.....So no tumblers or springs or even the end clip, but I am back on the road and can't thank you guys enough!
 

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OK,

I have the same problem, my mom has a 2004 ford focus. Car cranked fine this morning...turned it off NOTHING... key would not turn at all... hit with the palm of my hand a few times...jiggled the gear shift...NOTHING...now I find this thread, few quick questions, the rubber mallet thing...will this help? What is the actual failure? And I can just order the package from Steve and be up and running? She is worried sick about the dreaded 500 dollar fever fixer... I dig google...and google brought me to you...and how hard should the rubber mallet strike the key? thanks in advance!
 

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The mallet idea is similar to the palm idea...hit it hard enough to make the broken parts inside jump about so you CAN turn it. so thump, try it, thump, try it. Don't hit it 'too' hard...I think you get the point...

As for ordering from Steve, sure you can, but unless you can get the key to turn, you will need to drill out the lock following the instructions posted earlier in the thread. And as you've read, you can order one built to your key be giving the VIN number, or do the tumbler work yourself, which is quite simple.
 

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OK,

I have the same problem, my mom has a 2004 ford focus. Car cranked fine this morning...turned it off NOTHING... key would not turn at all... hit with the palm of my hand a few times...jiggled the gear shift...NOTHING...now I find this thread, few quick questions, the rubber mallet thing...will this help? What is the actual failure? And I can just order the package from Steve and be up and running? She is worried sick about the dreaded 500 dollar fever fixer... I dig google...and google brought me to you...and how hard should the rubber mallet strike the key? thanks in advance!

Get the new cylinder and THEN try to get the old one freed up, no point doing it if you don't have a new cylinder because it could leave you stranded if it really locks up again.

Worst case you drill out the old one in which case you'll want a new cylinder handy so you can put it right in.
 

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Help.

My ignition was jammed, so having not yet found this forum, I bought an ignition cylinder for my 2003 SE from a large online retailer. I then went through the process of drilling out my lock cylinder (dang, but that's a lot of shavings...). The new cylinder came with what I now realize are 'dummy' keys and no instructions for setting the tumblers. I realize I could probably get a locksmith to set things for my key, but at this point, I'm irritated enough to return the darn thing and buy one from Steve.

The question is this. There are indications in this forum and elsewhere, that once the cylinder is drilled out, a screwdriver should start the car, provided the original key is the vicinity of the PATS sensor. Doesn't work for me. The new cylinder also won't start the car, even with the original key nearby, and when it's in the column, that cylinder won't turn backwards far enough to remove the key (sitting in my hand, you can turn it counter-clockwise and remove the key -- just not once the cylinder is inserted).

The A/T also wants to be locked (you can release it by putting a key or screwdriver in the hole to the right of the shifter).

Is there a starting interlock with the airbag (which is still removed, along with the steering wheel)? Or do I have some additional PATS problem which isn't going to be solved with a pre-keyed cylinder? Does the fact I had the battery ground disconnected for 24 hours before I put it back to try starting the car have anything to do with this?

Getting a bit perturbed with this car -- had it less than 6 months and already had the water pump choke on its own impeller, lock up and take the timing belt with it.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

RG
 

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Replace the steering wheel and airbag....not that I know there is a lockout (it would kinda make sense), but at least until you know for certain, it out of the equation.

The key 'in the vicinity' has to be very close to where the original one was. I assume you have the covers off, so you should be able to see the ring that goes around the lock case, which has wires attached to it. That's the antennae for the pats, and the key needs to be close.

Also sounds like you might not have quite the right cylinder if the key wont come out when installed. Are the tumblers in it actually 'settable'?

Oh, and welcome to FJ!
 

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Just so everyone knows Ford only stores key codes by VIN for ten years so we can no longer get codes for 2000-2001 and a lot of 2002 model year cars.

There are still ways for us to get you a cylinder if you need one but it's not as easy as just getting the key code by VIN.
 

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Hi guys I'm new to this forum. But I'm having a different problem with my daughters 2008 Focus. Her key turns ok and removes ok, but the car won't start. You turn the key like normal and it goes to the start mode but you have to wiggle and push in on the key and after about 10 or 15 minutes the car will start like normal. I was told to replace the ignition swith, so that's what I have ordered at the moment. I just hope this fixes the problem. Any suggestions?
 

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I doubt very much it's the switch. all the switch barrel does is connect to the electrical 'circuit', turning it and making a circuit to start etc. When you take the switch out, there is nothing electrical connected to it...you can actually start the car with a screwdriver once the switch it out, as long as you have the key near the barrel.

I'd suspect the key she is using, or some other pats issue. Try another key first. Also, you might want to remove the shroud around the column, and check the wiring connections, especially to the pats antenna (a ring type thing going around the ignition barrel). Seems to me that by wiggling you are making a connection somewhere. Does it happen all the time?
 

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Scorpion, what you are referring to is the lock cylinder. What T-Panic is describing sounds exactly like an ignition switch problem. The ignition lock cylinder (which is what this thread is about) only pushes the ignition switch to its different electrical positions, it does NOT provide any or complete any electrical connection. That is why you can start the car with a screwdriver when the cylinder is out. You could do it with yoir finger if you could fit it in there. The screwdriver doesn't complete any connection, it simply pushes the ignition switch mechanically. Check your facts before you give bad advice that will send someone into a wild goose chase looking for a non existant problem!

T-Panic, good luck, and, again, I'm pretty sure you are correct in thinking it is the ignition switch
 

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Hey everybody, i had some ignition troubles yesterday where i could insert the key but couldnt turn it either way. Now while I own a 2000 mustang and not a focus, i know that the ignition cylinders are identical in design. i tried everything from lubricating the keyway to jiggling the wheel and even hitting the key with a hammer. so after several methods tried with no avail, untill somthing dawned on me while hitting the head of the key with a rubber mallet. i realized that hitting the head of they key will sometimes work. but i myself found a surefire way of unjamming the cylinder. 1ST- you remove anything in the way of the locking pin hole so you can gain easy access to it. 2nd- insert the key in the ignition. 3rd- is to take a flat or cupped face pin punch the size of the pin face(about 1/16 of an inch or so) and place the end on the pin. 4th- firmly holding the punch in place, sharply strike the end of the punch several times and try turning the key. (The purpose of this is to apply a parallel shock to the springloaded pins in the cylinder. unlike striking the end of the key which imposes a perpendicular shock to the pins) At this point try turning the key. if it doesnt work just give it a couple more trys. this trick i came up with saved me a trip to ford and all the hassles of ordering new cylinders along with repinning the new cylinders. Hey trust me its worth a shot and mine hasn't jammed since :) also heres a quick note while wd-40 is a fine lubricant and repells water it also attracts and traps dirt therefore making the problem worse over time so try using a silicone based lubricant such as triflow. i use it on nearly everything i hope this information helps many people avoid costly trips to the dealer or anything like it.
 

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'The key quits turning when enough key and tumbler wear happen so that the lock bar does not lift quite clear of groove. If you can get it apart without destroying cylinder you can slightly grind a 45 degree angle on cylinder lock bar edge that causes the trouble to make the whole thing to go back to working as normal. The angle enables the lock bar to bump up and go over the groove edge without locking up. I did mine for like 13 cents of electricity and dremel with a flat ended rock in it. Took maybe 30 seconds to do it. Has been working flawlessly now for over a year. '

Me-a year ago. That car now on two years with no cylinder trouble since it originally locked up. Just this week forced to do my '02, it seems to be working as well now as the other two ('98, '00) still are. Hasn't even tried to lock up again. Grind a 45 degree bevel on the bar edge and soak lock cylinder then for 1 hour in acetone to remove powdered metal and what I just ground off the key. Assemble with powdered graphite. The beveled radius even allows cylinder to turn with virtually no lift on bar at all from dead tumblers.
 

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'The key quits turning when enough key and tumbler wear happen so that the lock bar does not lift quite clear of groove. If you can get it apart without destroying cylinder you can slightly grind a 45 degree angle on cylinder lock bar edge that causes the trouble to make the whole thing to go back to working as normal. The angle enables the lock bar to bump up and go over the groove edge without locking up. I did mine for like 13 cents of electricity and dremel with a flat ended rock in it. Took maybe 30 seconds to do it. Has been working flawlessly now for over a year. '

Me-a year ago. That car now on two years with no cylinder trouble since it originally locked up. Just this week forced to do my '02, it seems to be working as well now as the other two ('98, '00) still are. Hasn't even tried to lock up again. Grind a 45 degree bevel on the bar edge and soak lock cylinder then for 1 hour in acetone to remove powdered metal and what I just ground off the key. Assemble with powdered graphite. The beveled radius even allows cylinder to turn with virtually no lift on bar at all from dead tumblers.
The biggest cause of failure in the Focus cylinders isn't wear, it's a simple lack of lubrication which prevents the tumblers from moving.

If the cylinder is kept properly lubricated it'll last virtually forever or until it does actually, eventually wear out.
 

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Yes indeedy. Me again. All my cars are STILL working perfectly as far as the mod I detailed above. I still have original lock cylinders and they work just fine and I haven't spent a cent on them. Well, maybe the thirteen cents I previously mentioned.
 
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