Can't turn key in ignition on '86 190d

Does anyone have experience replacing the ignition switch (actually the ignition lock cylinder) on a mid-80's Mercedes? I understand most eventually lock up due to wear and tear and it is not a rare
occurance. Mine locked up yesterday without warning. I need to make some fast calls tomorrow to find out where it can be repaired and what the cost will be.
I've heard it can be anywhere from $400 to $1,000. Can anybody confirm? or offer some helpful info.
Thanks.
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Tom wrote:

I heard that lubing it up and applying vibration to it (e.g. from a sanding machine) may help to get it to turn one more time.
You have to turn the key a little to be able to remove the cylinder and replace it. If you can't turn it it has to be drilled out.
Ximinez
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snipped-for-privacy@myown.mailcan.com says...

Unfortunately, yes. Stopped to pick up a passenger on one of Manhattan's busiest streets during morning rush hour. Key had worked leaving home ten minutes earlier. Now it would not work for love nor money. (There had been signs of increasing recalcitrance.) Had to call a tow truck to take the car to a Mercedes shop near home. The new setup cost about $800, with a different key. So now I have to have two keys, one for the ignition and one for everything else. Car is a 1981 300 SD.
I understand most

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You are right on the cost of drilling that out and replacing it. Let the dealer do it so they can match your original key.
In the meantime, you can try to get it to on position to save money and time and tow. Squirt some graphite lock lubricant in the hole... Then use your key and try to wiggle it in all direction and angle or circular motion while you are holding the steering wheel in the middle of the tension... if steering wheel is against the stop, it will be extremely difficult to get the ignition key switch loose.
Once you get it in on position, go direct to dealer to see if they can do a quick swap with a temp one...But never turn the key to off!... leave key in acc to avoid draining the battery.
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Tom wrote:

Check this out as well:
http://dieselgiant.com/repairignitionlock.htm
Ximinez
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My 85 300TD ignition locked up and I squirted powder graphite and it loosened it up. May have been a temporary fix, but got me out of a fix.
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I had the same problem with my trunk lock. A couple of squirts of WD40 fixed the problem.
RF
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