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Guide to disassembling and fixing lock barrels on a 190E (W201)

Discussion in 'DIY: Bodywork, Wheels & Trim' started by Top Cat, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Top Cat

    Top Cat Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    (97) W202 C230 Elegance Estate
    I had a door lock that was playing up (it would turn one way but not the other), and I know I could have just swapped it for the passenger lock but that would just have transferred the problem rather than addressing it. Having found lots of little bits of information dotted around the internet and various MB forums, I’ve decided to write it all up in one place for future reference, with some pictures to help.

    Firstly, it is very easy to remove the lock, you just need a small allen key (from memory I think 3 or 4mm), remove the blanking plug in the door as shown, undo the grub screw, but as it starts to free up it is easier to leave it in place, just back it off until the lock is free. To free the lock, insert and turn the top of the key approximately 45 degrees towards the rear, then slide the lock towards the rear and pull outwards.

    [​IMG]

    Having spoken to a few locksmiths and read advice on here, I was advised next to soak the lock over night in either diesel, petrol or white spirits. The reason for this is that it might have just been gunged up internally and this would help dissolve the (in my case 19) years of crud. Whilst soaking, occasionally give the key a wiggle in the lock to get things freed up. Here is what came out of it, about 2mm deep of silt, swarf, gunge and small hardened bits of grease.

    [​IMG]

    This soaking did not work in my case, so I had to disassemble the lock now, here it is as removed from the car.

    [​IMG]

    Now you need to remove the pin as shown below, using a very small jewellers screwdriver as a punch and firm tapping pushed mine out. The whole end section that actually turns your lock in the door now simply slides off. Holding what remains of the lock, insert the key and turn 90 degrees anti clockwise (this was the drivers door, action may be reversed for passenger side) and pull the barrel out – you may also need A VERY LIGHT tap on the opposite end, or just press the end onto a work surface and apply light pressure (YOU REALLY DO NOT WANT THE BARREL TO FLY OUT AND EXTREMELY SMALL PARTS TO FIRE OFF IN ALL DIRECTIONS SO TAKE THIS PART SLOWLY).

    [​IMG]

    You will now have something looking like this, but maybe more corroded and manky.

    [​IMG]

    Before removing the barrel from the door part of the lock, I made this picking tool from a long sturdy paperclip, and worked it around in the lock to determine that most of the internal wafers were working fine, but I could definitely feel a few that did not push away and spring return, that gave me a clue what I was up against next.

    [​IMG]

    Whilst the key is in the lock, all of the 10 wafers (5 per side) that give your key and lock its combination will be held in place and fully retracted. If any are not retracted (as 3 were in my case) the lock will not turn in the cylinder. Each brass wafer is spring loaded so be VERY careful now. If you want to go further and remove each one slowly, lay the lock down in a tray and remove the key slowly. As each wafer comes out, place it in a position so you will remember where it came from, and note down the number/letter on each one (engraved on the surface), also keep the wafers on the side of the lock they originated.

    In my case, the 7 wafers that moved very freely were left in place in the barrel, and I held them there with a thumb and finger. Then I had to carefully (using the jewellers screwdriver) prise the 3 dodgy wafers out as they were corroded in, once they were out I re-inserted the key to keep the rest in place and put the barrel aside.

    Here is the worst one, it is coated in a limescale type build up that jammed it into place. It is from the position very nearest the outside of the lock where the key is inserted, I guess this made it more susceptible to rain water and external debris than the rest.

    [​IMG]

    The other 2 wafers were ok in themselves, but looking down the cylinder they had badly scored the edges of the wall that they engaged with to the point that they were sticking and catching randomly. Also, given that the really bad wafer (as shown above) was heavily coated in crud, and likely its slot would be in an equally bad state deep inside, I decided to leave these out of my barrel, but you could, if you had the time/patience/eyesight, rub them down and make each one work smoothly. I couldn’t do anything with the 2 that scored the barrel on mine though, the damage was deep inside where I could not reach. So now my lock has, effectively, only got 7/10ths the original locking combination, but at least it still works with my original key. I gently sprayed it with some WD40 before reinstalling everything I had disassembled (it is all I had but I’ve since squirted some PTFE spray in there).

    Mods - hopefully this helps someone and is maybe worth keeping for future reference, and added to as necessary.


    A lot of thanks goes to Dec on here for his guidance and clear photos in his lock repair threads which spurred me on to tackle mine and to share it with others, and also the photo of the barrel is his as I forgot to photograph mine while I had it apart (but it is virtually the same design inside).
     
  2. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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    Very good TC, that’s worthy of the DIY section, hopefully the will put it in there.
    I had the same issues with the levers closest to the key entry but you would have been alright giving them a very light rub with sandpaper and cleaning the slots out with a sewing needle, you would have got them working again no problem.

    Dec
     
  3. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Top Cat an excellent post,,please PM blobcat or anyweb and ask them to pop it in the diy section please
     
  4. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat Senior Member

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    I guess with a few more hours and a lot more patience I could have done that Dec, but at the time I didn't fancy getting into microscopic detail to clean inside those slots (which as you know are very tiny, narrow and deep). I was happy at that point to have removed the troublesome components from the lock such that they don't wear and fail again on me any time soon.
     
  5. Some guy on the internet

    Some guy on the internet Senior Member

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    Greetings Mercedes lovers!

    I have a similar problem on the driver's door lock of a W201. The key doesn't turn at all.

    Do you think soaking the the bit with the ten brass(?) wafers in something gnarly like spirits of salts would do any damage? I know it would clean it up & make it all shiny & new looking but I wondered if it would harm it?

    TIA.
     
  6. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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    That’s hydrochloric acid and very corrosive, not a good idea.
    If your key is in daily use and that is the means by which the car is locked/unlocked then minute bits of dirt/fluff from your pocket would build up inside the lock barrel over the years as demonstrated by what came out of TC’s lock when he cleaned out the lock barrel. That’s just a theory but might be true.

    Try flushing it out with WD40 first, put the straw from the aerosol right into the lock and give it several 5 second bursts of oil, if that doesn’t work you may need to take it apart and give it a clean up .

    Dec
     
  7. Some guy on the internet

    Some guy on the internet Senior Member

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    Thanks Dec,

    I acquired the car a few months ago & the driver's side lock has never worked. Don't know when it gave up the ghost. I'll try the method described in the thread before getting biblical on it.
     
  8. OP
    Top Cat

    Top Cat Senior Member

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    All that black debris that I collected from mine came out even after spraying generous amounts of WD40 into the lock daily for the whole of the previous week, that gives you an indication of how filthy it might be inside.

    I was actually amazed at the sturdiness of the whole mechanism and how it had stood up to 19 years of use, and (relatively) how easy it was to get it stripped down to component level - my biggest hurdle was simply obtaining ALL of the correct methods and information for my specific lock as it differed enough to the W202 locks that were already very well documented on this site by Dec.
     
  9. Dec

    Dec Senior Member

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    The mechanisms differ alright but I think generally the barrels and how the work are all much the same.

    When I took the passenger door lock apart on mine it was very clean inside except for some, I presume, dead grease, all it needed was some WD40, however it rightly should have been clean as it was never used with a key because lock/unlock was always done with a key fob.

    Dec
     
  10. wireman

    wireman Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    nice 201 2.5D 1993 & very nice 129 SL500 1994
    This excellent post applies to 124 models as well, only the key type differs.

    Avoid the spirit of salts it may disolve the barrel and will crrode anything that it gets onto.

    Take care not the bash the parts of the barrel assy too hard since they are vulnerable to breaking up if hit too hard, especialy the roll pin and link bar.

    Try to avoid WD40, it goes gooey after a while and the black stuff that accumulates inside the barrel will become grinding paste that will destroy your locks.
    A dry lubricant is better, graphite or teflon being quite suited.
     

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