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Thread: Ignition cylinder for E21

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    1976 E21 320

    Ignition cylinder for E21

    Apologies in advance for the drawn out post.

    I've recently purchased a 76 E21 320 auto here in aus. This forum has been invaluable in ironing out all the little issues, so thanks for that. Anyway, the current brain teaser is starting the little m10, which I've tracked down to the ignition switch and/or cylinder. Still waiting on a second hand switch to arrive, but it will start with a screwdriver in the current switch (that I know how to remove thanks to this forum) Thinking it just needs to be turned further than the key is able to, I'll have to wait for the new switch to see.

    I seem to have entered the game when parts are super expensive/sold out, that's my bad haha but I thought I'd share this for anyone who isn't aware (and sorry if it's common knowledge) but a substitute cylinder possibility is that of MAN commercial vehicles, Ignition Barrel 34077 Febi 81464336006 81464336011 81971006034 81971006095

    I can confirm this part will fit, and performs the same as the old one (that I know how to remove and install thanks to this forum) so I'm still waiting on the new switch to see if it truly is an alternative. The only physical difference is the outer cylinder is slightly shorter than that on the BMW part, but the inner cylinder that mates with the switch is the same.

    Thanks everyone, I'll update this post when i have a new switch to try.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2022
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    3
    My Cars
    1976 E21 320
    UPDATE

    Man cylinder doesn't work, it rotates to just shy of triggering the ignition. Bummer, cos then I'd have brand new tumbler and 2 new keys too. I'll keep it for spare parts anyway.

    On the plus side, the new second hand switch arrived, and that was the issue, car now starts from the old cylinder and key. It's plastic tho, which I'm not a fan of, and the plug is incorrect, has gone from spade female to male, so I'll have solder in the old plug wires, but then on to the next part!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Chicago, IL,United States
    Posts
    237
    My Cars
    1977 BMW 320i
    Before I got my car, it had been sitting in a shed for many years so many of the electrical contacts were slightly corroded and did not function as they should have. The ignition switch was the worst, it was intermittent for years after reviving the car. I thought that I needed to replace the switch but then I tried "TV Tuner Cleaner" (sprayed into the key slot) and the problem went away. Hopefully it is only corrosion that is causing your issue, then the fix will be as simple as it was for my switch.

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