In a message dated 1/30/2006 9:15:12 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,  

This  past weekend I replaced the ignition tumbler in my 82 300TD.  I was  
surprised that the write-ups that I found on the Internet were almost all for  
the w124, the series after mine, which use a different tool and has a  
different process.  It is really very easy.

I used a hair pin, one  of those symmetrical ones with all the plastic 
removed from the tip, or you  could use a pin, but you need very stiff wire.  
w123's have a single  hole on the face of the tumbler where the key goes in.  
inserting the  wire in there, after turning the key to position 1 you release 
a protrusion  from the tumbler.  You can find this hole by putting the key in 
and  turning while gently pushing the hair pin in towards the tumbler.  After 
 you push the pin in you can pull on the key which will release the  tumbler. 
 The tumbler will come out about an 1/8th of an inch.  At  this point you 
will be able to unscrew the black cover that goes around the  tumbler.  There 
a special tool that is used to get good friction on  this heavy metal cover as 
it is smooth and can be hard to get started.  I  did not use this tool.  
After this cover is unscrewed both the black  cover piece and the tumbler will 
come completely out. You basically just  reverse the process to get it all back 
together.  Taking your new tumbler  and putting the black cover over it with 
the pin in place then inserting this  all into the ignition assembly. You then 
screw the black cover back on until  it finally is far enough in that the 
spring loaded protrusion pops out and  stops the cover from turning. Finished.

Hope this helps someone with  this job.  If you wait too long to do this, 
until the tumbler fails it is  very expensive and time consuming to have to 
out the  lock.

Right on, Dan,  I used the very same procedure to replace the tumbler  on my 
116 car, which was cracked and still working.  The new key, and  copies made 
from it, also made opening the trunk much easier.
Thanks for the writeup.  

Jim  Friesen
Phoenix AZ
79 300SD, 262 K miles 
98 ML 320, 140 K  miles

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