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How to "dremel mod" your sticking/jamming VT-VZ ignition barrel

ConstantVelocity

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Noticed my key was a bit sticky to turn and required a jiggle sometimes, so I pulled the barrel out for a look before it jammed completely. Once it's out the problem can be seen. There's a spring-loaded pin which rides up a ramp in the housing when the key is turned. The ramp develops a ridge at the bottom which the pin jams on.

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Remove the key barrel from the housing by turning past the start position and depressing the pin - be careful it doesn't go flying. Then you can withdraw the barrel - there's a small black tab and spring at the front of the barrel too so be careful not to lose that.
Here's the ramp region once the barrel is removed.
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Dremel the ramp to smooth out the ridge, then wash out the junk and grease the ramp area.
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Put it back together, don't forget the back tab. You will need to hold the black tab down with a flathead screwdriver while putting the key barrel back in the housing. Put the pin back in, and make sure it all turns smoothly and freely. Buy a slab of beer with the $50 you saved on a new ignition barrel.:beer chug:

Note: don't remove too much metal from the ramp, and don't forget to put the black tab back in. If you grind away the entire ramp and/or forget the black tab, the steering column lock will engage as soon as the key is turned off (rather than when key is removed) - this would be a safety hazard! The steering lock engages when the key pops back out, have a play with it and you will see how it all works. Much easier to understand when it's in your hand.
 

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Nut Kracker

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Well done......It needs to be put in the "How to" section.
 

goose202

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Well done.
But for the sake of $50 for a new barrel instead, I know what I'd be doing. They fail often enough that by the time you're having trouble with it I'd just replace it as a preventative measure. Plus, as you say, if something goes wrong with that pin the steering lock engages.

This is what happened to mine. Went to pull the key one time and it all jammed up.
 

ConstantVelocity

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Ouch - did the pin snap or somehow come out of the housing? It does worry me a bit knowing that the steering would lock if that pin snapped while driving down the road... it gets slammed every time you pull the key out and could fatigue over time. Poor design IMO.
 

goose202

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I think what happened is the outer barrel fatigued and failed where the pin strikes it when you disengage the steering lock.
The pin then got jammed in the broken outer barrel. The bent pin I think was as a result of the amount of force I had to use to turn the lock after that, since it jammed in the off but not locked position, and you need to get it to the on position to remove the barrel.
 
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