5-Series Steering Lock Replacement

  A week ago, we got a call on Sunday morning from our Daughter, that her car wouldn't start. Being pretty close to her school (50 miles or so), we decided we would ride up and have a look. After spending a couple of hours looking for her on campus, we finally found her and the one and only key. Soon, I was having a look inside her 1995 BMW 525i (which we picked up for next to free). She was right it wouldn't start. I quickly diagnosed the problem - it wouldn't start cause the starter wouldn't turn. The starter wouldn't turn cause it received no electricity. No electricity was delivered since the ignition switch wasn't activated. The ignition switch wasn't activated cause the steering lock mechanism broke.

So I ordered a new one from Pelican Parts. I was able to confidently jump into the job due to the excellent write up on the situation by DavidC at BimmerBoard. Go there if you are looking for help. Stay here if you need to waste some time.

  Click for a Larger Image Here is how the car looked when I started. I had to remove the little covers over and under the steering column to unhook a cable that locks the car into Park when the key is out. I did this at the place where the tow truck picked up the car so we could get it to roll up onto the rollback. The guy delivered it right to the inside of our garage where I put it on a floor jack and rolled it into position.

  By the time I thought of documenting the event, I was pretty deep into it. At this point, I had the air bag off without blowing up, the steering wheel off, and all those little control things out of the way. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Now I have the steering lock off the steering column. This is what's left. Note all my little tools and parts for doing the job. Safety glasses for protecting my glasses while the dremel grinder grinds slots into unremoveable "security" screws. Extra long pliers for twisting the broken rod to take off the old lock. A magnetic dish for holding the one or two non-aluminum or plastic parts. And a bunch of screw drivers for prying.

  Here are the before and after parts. Before is on the right. See the little cylinder where the key will go on the right (broken) part? That is the broken shaft that goes from the key, turns the steering lock aparatus, and finally twists the ignition switch on the other end. The broken shards of shaft are there in the middle. Also note the plastic bushing I removed from the old and put on the new. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image This is what it looked like after I put it all back together and took out all the tools and junk. No extra parts - the writeup at BimmerBoard recommended that no extra parts should be left, considering the safety necessity of the steering system.

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