HELP! Key won't turn past 1st position - Defender Source
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 10:06 PM
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HELP! Key won't turn past 1st position

Tried lubricating the tumbler with graphite lube to no avail. Looks like I'm going to have to get it towed. It's in an alley with one window all the way down. It's not the steering wheel lock, probably the ignition switch right? It's stuck in park, do the flatbed tow trucks know how to get this onto the beds without damaging anything? Thanks guys
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 11:28 PM
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Don't these have a park sensor?
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Old June 24th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I tried moving the steering wheel but that didn't work. Got it towed to a shop on the dolly wheels. Will know later the cause.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 11:41 PM
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turned out to be something in the tumbler. took it out, replaced the whole assembly with a new LR one and voila! I have a new set of keys for only $600 parts and labor!
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Old June 24th, 2014, 11:47 PM
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What a bargain.
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Old June 24th, 2014, 11:50 PM
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HC! hope the blood was minimal!
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Old June 25th, 2014, 09:21 AM
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Lightbulb

I had the exact same problem a few weeks ago. Had to tow my Defender as well.

After all, it turned to be a problem inside the barrel. I wanted to avoid buying an entire new set of lockers and new keys (very expensive!), so my first option was trying to remove the barrel and fix it.

This picture shows the screws that need to be removed in order to loose the entire barrel.

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Notice they have no place to attach the screwdriver. This is because they are made to break when installed. supposedly to avoid thieving. But - as I read somewhere else - if a thief is able to remove the entire dash and get to that incredibly inaccessible place, he/she deserves to take my 110.

Well, to remove this screw, I had to drill it until I could fit a screwdriver there. It is hard to remove, but, once it starts turning, it comes out easily.

That done, barrel in hands, I noticed it is closed not to be reopened. See the picture:

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It has to be punched with care in order to open.

Inside, I found out one of the lock pins was loosen and I removed it. Closed everything and now I got my keys working again. One could say it is less safe, since I removed one of the pins, but I think is not that bad.

Altogether, it costed me less than $30 to get it done. And I only had to pay for the help of a mechanic in order to drill the screw and open/close the barrel, since I didn't have the appropriated tools. I think it was a good deal.
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Old June 25th, 2014, 02:16 PM
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A new lock cyl complete with keys runs about $90 from multiple sources on the web. Couple that a little labor of your own (which ALL Defender should be, that is, your own mechanic) the whole job can be done on the side of the road in < 1 hour.

Even if you don't have the lock assmb, and your're miles off road. those headless screws are not that tough to remove, then pull the switch off the back, & start 'er with a screw driver & be on your way.

These vehicles are now 17+ years old so small things are going to start happening. So a little knowledge and maybe a LR shop manual tucked into a cubby may go a long way to rescue your butt a long way from no where.

In the past 6 months I have had the ign switch, oil sending unit, head light switch, high/low switch, fuel level sender (actually the float), my "P" gasket, rear window washer check valve, antenna, steering column cover crack, vacuum pump, fuel vent hose leak, .... all have gone bad. None were show stoppers, but going down the freeway and having all your lights go suddenly off can be disturbing. Upgrading the headlamp wiring made a HUGE difference in lighting output !!

Oh yea, I was pulling a trailer full of straw bales when my vacuum pump failed in city traffic (which equals VERY hard braking) fortunately I know how to use my "E" brake and the trailer had brakes too that I could manually operate.

Don't let these small things go, maintain your "D" like an F-18 fighter !!

PS, do you look to make sure your oil light comes on before starting ??
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Old June 25th, 2014, 02:44 PM
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The keys get worn down over time and don't fully set the tumbler pins where they need to be to make the tumbler turn easily. The solution, as Dennis said, is a new tumbler. Given what a pain in the ass it is to pull a tumbler, I would just replace it instead of fixing it like Alexandre did.

On a side note, I found out that the ignitions on the ex-MODs are different from the rest of the ROW trucks and don't have the steering wheel lock mechanism. I would imagine that you'd have to go to a mil surplus supplier to get a new ignition set. The tumbler, however, is available through normal channels. Brian Hall at Defenders Northwest found me one. While I was waiting for it to arrive, here's how we started my truck:

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