View Full Version : E24 Lock Cylinder Replacement

12-21-2017, 07:10 AM
After nearly 40 years of service, my 79 633 lock cylinder is on its last legs. I can start the car, but often it takes several minutes of key jiggling and manipulation. I see that a new cylinder with keys is about $58.

Can anyone who has replaced theirs tell me if this is an easy job or are there any special considerations or snags that you encountered during the process. Thanks!

12-21-2017, 10:36 PM
This is a timely post. My 79 633 is acting similarly and I am wondering how difficult this task is.

Bert Poliakoff
12-21-2017, 10:56 PM
Replacing the cylinder and/or the switch is not difficult. The main thing will be getting the fracture bolt out that holds everything in.. I used a small cold chisel and tapped it out. I replaced it with a button head,allen drive, screw from Ace hardware.Looks as if original There is a good probability it is the switch itself. look on realoem under steering and then steering colomn and you will see what's involved

12-22-2017, 07:46 PM
update. met with the parts manager at my local BMW dealer (Walser - BMW of Wichita). Very knowledgeable guy. He is going to see if we can order a keyed lock cylinder for my VIN. Since doors, trunk, glovebox and ignition are the same - I don't want to have a separate ignition key. His contact at BMW NA was already gone for Christmas weekend.

I will post another update next week. If I have to order a lock cylinder with a key, I will.

12-24-2017, 09:31 AM

My recent experience, if it helps at all. I am not sure how your year-model steering column is put together, but on my '84 I found it is not a DIY-friendly design, and I had a locksmith just come replace the tumbler.

12-26-2017, 07:24 PM
Could be, your lock cylinder is just fine, but a little bit of metal on the ignition shaft broke off, fell down, and jams the works. That's what happened with my '90 E34, and once the broken bit was removed, all worked fine.

Use a small Allen wrench or bent paper clip to remove the lock cylinder, once you get it where the key tuns 60 degrees so you can insert the removal tool...

As for the shear bolt--just cut a slot into it with a Dremel tool and disk, then use flat blade screwdriver to remove and then recycle the old bolt.

01-02-2018, 01:39 AM
I think that I drilled out the fracture bolt. Other than that - EZ. Stupidly, I didn't order a matching key to my VIN.