- Ignition Lock Cylinder DIY (MkIII/EuroVan)
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    1. 04-26-2008 01:07 AM #1
      There are already a couple of good posts on switch replacement (, but very little about drilling out an old cylinder and replacing it. The battery should be disconnected before beginning work (have that radio code handy) and of course, I am not liable for any damages as a result of use/misuse of this guide. All pictures are of a 2000 EuroVan MV.
      Disassembly of the lower dash (for the Mk3) is covered in the above guides so onto the EuroVan. There are three 13mm flange bolts holding the lower dash assembly on (two on the left under a plastic cover and one under the dash itself). Once these are removed the whole unit moves to the left and out (there is a locating lug near the third bolt).
      Switch Replacement Notes
      I did not find it necessary to remove the steering wheel/airbag/shaft but it might be easier for you depending on the application. The switch retaining screw can be accessed from under the dash and if replaced with an allen cap screw (of the same length/pitch), driven by a ball end allen driver, can be reinstalled easily (despite the awkward angle).
      Lock Replacement
      I've read that the hole should be 10mm in and 13mm down but rather that go by that, I looked at the new one and determined that the spring (based on orientation of the key in the off position) should be closer to the driver's seat but inside a small diamond shaped marking on the lock housing. I drilled the hole with a 1/8" bit and ended up enlarging it somewhat in order to compress the spring.

      Here is the spring that must be compressed with a small screwdriver, awl, stout pen, etc.... While the spring is compressed, the protruding portion of the lock should be grasped (with pliers/vicegrips) and worked loose. It takes a fair amount of force to dislodge it.

      The original lock failed at this point and it isn't surprising that it did. The replacement cylinder had a much larger crossection at this point. I don't see how the engineers (I'm a mechanical engineering student) expected a threadlike part of cast aluminum to withstand this kind of torsional load (especially on a critical part).

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    3. 03-19-2013 06:21 PM #2
      My problem is the ignition will only turn one click, it won't budge past the 1st click. I haven't finished the job yet, but the following might be helpful to someone.
      I removed my lock cylinder by following the above post and it came out fairly easy. I used a 8" long 1/4" drill bit (so the drill fit between the dash and the windshield) After the hole is drilled feel in the hole for the spring action.(push in and out) (I couldn't see the spring, as it was at the very edge of the hole) I pushed down on the spring with a small screwdriver in one hand with large vice grips around the barrel in the other hand. My friend tapped on the vice grips (just below the lock barrel) He hit it around 20-30 times (I tried alone and couldn't get it) and it eventually popped out. I have one question still, the cable with the ball on socket is missing hardware to attach it and the last owner had a zap strap on it. do I need it? What does it do?
      Last edited by solarjames; 03-21-2013 at 08:45 PM. Reason: spelling

    4. Member
      Join Date
      May 7th, 2011
      Various Variants
      10-13-2013 10:36 AM #3
      This thread was very helpful to me in getting my wife's EVC back on the road.

      EuroVV's photos were very helpful. Our EVC had a sheared shaft just as shown in these photos.

      There were three potential failures to consider: lock cylinder failure, failure internal to the lock cylinder housing, and ignition switch failure.

      The problem showed up when the EVC wasn't in park or neutral, but the car was off. The key initially would not quite go back to off. The car was put in Park and then the key would come out, but the car would not start and there was no resistance in the start position.

      I drilled out the lock cylinder housing as noted in this thread. The diamond position will work to access the flat retaining spring, but it's not exactly the best position because it's not where the spring bulges out the most.

      Don't forget to pop off the black immobilizer transponder trim off the lock cylinder before pulling the cylinder out of the housing.

      I discovered that the shaft on the lock cylinder was broken by its absence when I finally pulled the lock cylinder out of the housing. The broken bit was harder to get out than I imagined as it got wedged into the cylinder housing.

      Now that I knew the problem was the lock cylinder, I was left with a conundrum. Changing the lock cylinder is easy enough, but what about the immobilizer? And what would the wife say about having two different sets of keys? One of these was going to be expensive and the other unpleasant. Then I noticed that there was a roll pin on the rear (or bottom, if you prefer) of the lock cylinder housing.

      The broken shaft was part of a cam that was held in by the roll pin. With nothing to lose by experimenting on the broken part, I tapped out the roll pin and discovered that the cam was easily replaceable...and even had a part number.

      My dealer couldn't get the cam separately and his discounted lock cylinder was about $130. I started looking for an OEM part (either a whole cylinder or the cam) and discovered there were a lot of variations. I ended up buying an OEM lock cylinder from ECS for $65. When the ECS part came in, I popped the roll pin and moved the cam to my original lock. This saved me the cost and trouble of adapting new keys.

      I ended up switching out the ignition switch because it was a cheap, but vital part that will fail eventually. The screw that holds this in is a bear to get to. Because the switch is clipped in place with three plastic clips, I decided not to reinstall it. The old ignition switch now stays in the car as a spare.

      Time was the big casualty here...and it's also important to remember that a broken lock cylinder can result in a car that won't physically turn. This can be a very, very inconvenient failure.

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    6. n00b
      Join Date
      May 16th, 2019
      Solvang California
      2001 Eurovan, 85 Vanagon
      05-16-2019 08:08 PM #4
      For what it is worth ..If you have the wont start ignition swiitch problem there are 2 solutions .
      1. first is the plastic electrical switch itself is broke , that was first time I had problem . All the answers are on line .Remove knee guard, side panel , shrouds. Swear a lot and make a ground down 90 degree phillips head screwdriver and remove piddly little screw. Swear a little more . Replace switch part with $8.00 replacement , put it all back together rejoice and go on your way .
      2. Second option , this is what happened this last time. Lock cylinder itself is broken well at least the piddly little tab on the end of it . You will need to do the drill a hole routine but you do not need to remove the steering wheel .There is plent on room to drill with it in place. Remove immobilizer ring piece . Lock cylinder just slides out when you push retaining clip. Repalcement switch is horrendously expensive . Fear not..
      So go buy Lock cylinder part # 357 905 855B .Rock Auto ($6.00 or something ridiculous like that ). Think it is for lots of different VW's. It comes with keys etc but if you dont want to swap out all the car locks and all the door cylinders or you dont want too different sets of keys for your car. Immobilizer would not allow you to start car anyway...So just push the split pin out of the tab piece (the one that was broken ) Push out split pin on your broken one and swap them !!! Reinsert pin . reinstall . Remember Immobilzer collar / ring hook up new electrical switch part (as you are in there anyway)
      Reinstall assembly , mess with piddly little screw (or not as it stays in place with the clips on switch body ) Put everything back in place . Rejoice Turn switch and listen to it hum !!
      Actual job takes about 30 minutes . Internet research 2 hours (but now you dont have to do that ) .

      Another note , if cylinder is broken as above , you can just remove electrical portion of switch and use a spare key or screwdriver to start car. Just insert into openeing pushing pin in ans turn .. Original key is just inserted into ignition switch and turned to normal driving position . Key must be in to keep Immobilizer happy

      hope this helps someone else out of a jaqm


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