Jump to content

Ignition switch NLA - what now ?


deschodt
 Share

Recommended Posts

I heard (and Blunt confirmed) that the ignition switch is NLA... Mine has started to lock up where it won't go to the sprung portion and "crank". So far if I take the key out and put it back in, it has worked the second time, but it's happening more frequently and not looking good... 

 

What's my plan ? Are those truly totally NLA ? Can they be repaired ? If so shoukl I source a bad one and send it for fixing / rekeying now ? Where ?
Or do you go with a push button starter ?  Or know a source ? 

 

Wondering what the collective workaround is... Thanks ! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i'd bet the ranch that your problem is the switch, pictured above...not the key tumbler...i've been there and done that on a couple of cars...the switch is preventing the key from turning because the steel ball and spring are not working

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah unfortunately these switches were also used in Ferraris from the same era as our 02's. To add insult to injury the Ferrari guys found they could buy the ones from BMW for a lot cheaper and have bought most of them. Sometimes NOS ones come up on Ebay for anywhere from $150 to $300+, and used ones for a lot less. I wouldn't buy a used one unless I can test it first, I've had two cheap used ones from ebay explode on me, one caused a short circuit and lots of smoke.

 

These switches are very fragile due to the crappy plastic of the times. I have taken apart a few and most failed due to the center plastic rotor breaking or melting. The other common failure is the spring that holds the ball in the detents.

 

I've been meaning to see if I could get someone to 3D print a center rotor out of stronger plastic, I'll have to get on it.

 

I've thought of adapting an e30 ignition switch to work, or maybe even an e30 steering column for tilt and better switches.

 

I think I saw a 2002 with a e21 320i steering column once, or you could go with an aftermarket column made for a hot rod.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Esty said, if it's the electrical portion of the switch, you can find them new or good used; they're a separate part from the locking portion of the switch.  What you describe may be the little diecast piece inside the locking switch that prevents you from turning the key from "ignition on" to "start" but once without having to turn the ignition off.  That little piece can break and jam the lock.  If it's the locking portion, I did a column on how to troubleshoot and repair 'em.  If it's broken you can remove it and reassemble the lock without it--it'll still work properly, just won't have the anti-repeat feature any more.  PM me for a copy of the column if you wish.

 

Cheers

mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do not know enough to determine which part it is. The symptom is they key turns in the ignition but not far enough - not on the sprung portion that cranks the starter. I take the key out and reinsert and I’m good. 
 

my mechanic is a fount of BMW knowledge and told me it was the metal bit - the cylinder - not the electrical part. Those he has but the lock is NLA.  That’s why I’m assuming I need the whole thing. I found one entire one and bought it from a member here. I’ll keep it ready and then disassemble mine to have the final answer 🙂
 

not doubting esty or my guy. I just don’t know so I got the whole thing in preparation for the inevitable failure. I’ll also check mike’s column !

Edited by deschodt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...