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GM Ignition Lock Cylinder removal tips
Posted to Technical Tips Forum on 2/22/2011 2 Replies

[impala lock cylinder with trim bezel] [impala lock cylinder with trim plate removed and flashing removed] [lock cylinder lockbar] [lock cylinder housing relationship] I have recently been blessed with two different GM vehicles with the dreaded no turn stuck in the off position and needing a new lock cylinder. The two that I ran into had keys that were unworn and gave no indication to the owners of an upcoming issue. The two vehicles were a 2005 Avalanche and a 2004 Impala. Here are some of my tips that worked for both units allowing me the ease to rotate and install new cylinders. The first steps involve pulling the covers off the key lock cylinder on the exterior where the key enters the lock, this also requires pulling the upper and lower covers on the Avalanche, and removing the dash face on the impala. The next step is to use a pair of long handle side cutting pliers my choice is Snap-On 312cp. I use these to cut the exterior face flashing off, this is the area the plastic or black cover snaps onto. Once this is cut away you can see the area where the lock bar gets stuck in the housing not allowing it to rotate to the on position which is where it needs to be to remove the housing from the column/dash mount. As long as you have a key that belongs in the cylinder the next step is to put the key in the lock cylinder. Get a cotter pin and straighten it, I believe that a 3/32 is what I used. After straightening it insert the flat portion into the gap between the lock bar and the housing grove and push gently into the housing. This effectively is pushing the lock bar back to the retracted state that should normally occur when the key is inserted into the tumblers. Once it is inserted try to rotate the key, this sometimes requires a few attempts but was very effective for me and allows you to salvage the tumblers so that the new lock cylinder can be keyed using the codes from the old tumblers since no damage is done from drills etc. I have enclosed some photos for you to look at and hope this helps someone. It worked great for me twice so give it a try. It may not work for all but for me I'll try it every time before I touch a drill.

James from Florida

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