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Thread: Broken Key in Door Lock

  1. #1
    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
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    Broken Key in Door Lock

    This may be a contender for idiot-of-the-year award, but I broke a key off in my driver's side door and now I can't get it out, nor can I get it to turn 60 degrees to remove the tumbler.

    A few years back my wife broke this key while accidentally (negligently) slamming it in the door and, although I got new keys, I thought I would glue this one back together just in case of an emergency where I had no keys left I could carefully unlock the door. Well, fast forward a few years and I see this key in the drawer and I'm wondering which car it goes to. Well, I found out!

    I tried drilling it, but the surface area of the key is so small that I can't do it. Also tried superglue-ing the head of the key back on but it won't hold. I took it to a locksmith today and he couldn't even get it out with his extraction tools. Of course, I tried ordering this lock for my other car last month and discovered that they are NLA. In the mean time I can unlock it via the trunk or passenger side, but now it's on my to-do (to-fix) list.

    Question: If I take the door panel off, can I get this lock out without turning it 60-degrees? I think if I can get to the tumbler without having to go through the door handle I will be able to extract it.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  2. #2
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    A ridiculously strong magnet can't pull it out? The key should be magnetic, so maybe it can pull it.
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    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    There's limited space to fit it through the vertical key slot so you are 1/4" away from the key itself.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

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    E500E Guru Jlaa's Avatar
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Dang that sucks big time. Maybe try another locksmith? I mean the worst that could happen if you tried another locksmith is that you get no further?
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    I may do that. If I could get the lock off by taking the inside door panel out I'll try it, but I don't want to risk breaking any of those hooks off if it can't be done from the inside anyway. I think I had to glue that triangular window panel in last time I had the door panel off. Mercedes keys don't easily lend themselves to extraction by the rakes they use for conventional keys.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  8. #6

    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    I was recently able to remove a 190e lock mechanism without having the key.
    I didn't think it was possible, but I did it. Maybe it is possible on a W124.
    Quote Originally Posted by emerydc8 View Post
    I may do that. If I could get the lock off by taking the inside door panel out I'll try it, but I don't want to risk breaking any of those hooks off if it can't be done from the inside anyway. I think I had to glue that triangular window panel in last time I had the door panel off. Mercedes keys don't easily lend themselves to extraction by the rakes they use for conventional keys.

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  10. #7
    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    I was recently able to remove a 190e lock mechanism without having the key.
    I didn't think it was possible, but I did it. Maybe it is possible on a W124.
    Did you have to take the inside door panel off to do it?
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  11. #8

    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Yes.
    Door panel has to come off.
    I took out the tumbler, then the lock mechanism with the door lock actuator vacuum element.

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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Thanks. I guess I'll have to give this a try. It was 105 here today so it's not going to be fun.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  14. #10

    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    I am surprised that the locksmith couldn't get the broken key out.
    If there was a way to adhere a thin magnetic wire to the top of the key and the bottom of the key, then insert in and hope it attracts the broken piece inside.

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    E500E Guru emerydc8's Avatar
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    He couldn't get enough traction on the sides of the key with his extraction tools to overcome the tumbler spring tension. Plus it was hot outside, so I don't think he was interested in spending more than fifteen minutes on it.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  16. #12

    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    buy an inexpensive key extractor kit and give it a shot.
    https://www.google.com/search?q=brok...08319229909971

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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Already on order, just to have in my toolbox if nothing else. As a last-ditch effort, I just put a drop of JB Weld on the tip of the key head hoping that it will attach to the stuck half of the key. By tomorrow it should be dry. With my luck it will probably weld up the entire tumbler and make it more difficult to remove without breaking the whole thing.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

  19. #14
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    You may want to lubricate around the key to facilitate ease of removal. Of course over lubricating may work against using tools to pull it out. BTW, I do have a Neodymium N52 magnet which I would be happy to donate to the cause. Let me know.


    Robert

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  21. #15
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    It is possible to remove the endpiece from the door without the key. Copy and pasted from an MB mailing list:

    "Can't remember precisely what was involved, but iirc the issue is that to remove it normally, with the key, turning the key for cylinder removal both disengages the lock cylinder from the handle itself and from the lever that's inside the door that you actually pull with the tailpiece on the end of the cylinder in order to operate the door latch mechanism. Following the procedure in the fsm it is possible to loosen and maybe even completely remove the 3 screws that secure the handle to the bearing bracket without first removing the cylinder. Because you can't turn the key, it's necessary to rotate the door latch operating mechanism from the inside in order to disengage the tailpiece from the mechanism's operating lever, so obviously you've got to remove the liner and detach the mechanism from the inside. What isn't shown clearly in 72-250 in the fsm is the little electrical pigtail that I think is part of the alarm system - the wire that Sixto mentioned having broken. As I recall that thing tends to tangle things up somehow as you try to rotate the mechanism such that I had to remove the end of the pigtail completely from it's plug in the door and finagle it some to free things up. That's about all that I can recall. If you can determine that the pigtail isn't needed I suppose you could just cut it intentionally, but for some reason that I don't remember I either didn't want to do that or the possibility didn't occur to me at the time. I just remember that it was a bit of a struggle to get it out of the way"

    Once you have the endpiece removed, I suggest doing one of the following:

    Option A (easy): Install a "keyhole delete" piece on the front passenger door, and swap that endpiece over to the driver's door.

    Option B (harder): Remove the cylinder from the endpiece and have it rekeyed with a donor part. I'd leave this to a skilled locksmith, because getting the wafers in place and lined up can be a real chore.
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    BTW, I do have a Neodymium N52 magnet which I would be happy to donate to the cause. Let me know.
    Thanks, Robert. The JB Weld didn't work so it looks like I'll have to go in. Thanks for the post, Speedy.
    Jon D.
    1994 E420
    1995 E420

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  25. #17
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Sorry it didn't work.
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    Re: Broken Key in Door Lock

    Quote Originally Posted by Jlaa View Post
    Dang that sucks big time. Maybe try another locksmith? I mean the worst that could happen if you tried another locksmith is that you get no further?
    I tried another locksmith and got the job done , hiring one after another is a good option.

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