HELP!Removal of Ignition Cylinder, Key Cylinder, or thing your key turns to start - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Angry HELP!Removal of Ignition Cylinder, Key Cylinder, or thing your key turns to start

I have a broken off key in the ignition of a 2011 jk. I had a locksmith come out and try to fix it but he could not get the key out or remove the cylinder. He said the release tang was not there. I have conducted an exhaustive search online to no avail. I have also referenced the 2007 jk factory service manual and it gave the same steps that the locksmith discussed. Anyone have any suggestions? My next idea is to drill the hole that looks like it is the release tang ....

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:28 PM   #2
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Will it still start. If so just drive it like that and no one will know it's in there. Or drive it to dealer and it may be covered under warranty. Keys don't usually break off in the cylinder. It may be defective. If it runs just use the fob to lock or get another key.

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Old 03-06-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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PLASTI-DIP!!!

Can you see the broken end? Did you try super glueing the other end or a thin rod to it inside the cylinder? Women's thin tweezers.

In older jeeps there's a hole in the bottom of the steering column that you could stick a rod up and depress the spring and the whole cylinder would come out. No idea about these new ones.

How do you break a key off in this day and age anyway?

p.s. spray plasti-dip in/on it and then peel it all off, hopefully it will have adhered to the broken key as well and pull out along with everything else.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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You might try cutting the end off of a coping saw blade. Then see if you can slide it in to the keyhole next to the key. If you can get it in there twist it so as to put tension from the saw teeth on the broken key and then pull out. Just make sure you have the saw teeth pointing back toward you. If you can even get one tooth to bite the key, you may be able to pull it out. Just throwing this out there, I've used this before on other type locks but not an ignition. Good Luck!!
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by positrak View Post
PLASTI-DIP!!!

Can you see the broken end? Did you try super glueing the other end or a thin rod to it inside the cylinder? Women's thin tweezers.

In older jeeps there's a hole in the bottom of the steering column that you could stick a rod up and depress the spring and the whole cylinder would come out. No idea about these new ones.

How do you break a key off in this day and age anyway?

p.s. spray plasti-dip in/on it and then peel it all off, hopefully it will have adhered to the broken key as well and pull out along with everything else.


Um...I'm not sure about putting Krazy Glue or Plasti-Dip in the ignition cylinder.

I dunno. Maybe it's just me.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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I think plasti-dip is the 21st century equivilent to duct tape.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
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The do-all plasti dip was originally a joke until I actually thought about . Thereafter don't see why not.

Otherwise you should be able to go through the steering column itself, removing the steering wheel, then a whole series of plates to access the cylinder from inside the column. There's a step by step for older models

1980 CJ7 ignition problems - Jeep-CJ Forums
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by damndirtyog View Post
I think plasti-dip is the 21st century equivilent to duct tape.
why not. duct tape, if there is enough key visible stick it in/on and give it a good pull. OP needs to state of it's the tip broken off deep inside or the whole key at the fob.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #9
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A locksmith who has been in the business forever with proper tools could not get the key out. He also did not know how to remove the cylinder because the release tang is no where to be seen. He said take it to dealer but we all know where that leads...$$$...
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:17 PM   #10
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Then it's bolted in, go through the steering colomun as indicated. A proper auto locksmith should know this.

Why not try some of the suggestions yourself while you wait?


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Old 03-07-2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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There are no bolts going through the column holding it in. I will post pictures. I am not putting adhesive into the cylinder. If a locksmith cannot get it out with tools then all the adhesive will do is make it worse. Someone has the knowledge surely!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #12
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bottom view and front view

Here are the pictures of the cylinder....
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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i also removed the torx screw seen in the black plastic and also inserted a punch to see if the release was behind the screw....no luck
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Here's a pic of the 2011 Wrangler ignition cylinder from the parts catalogue. Difficult to determine what;s going on exactly but it would appear the cylinder itself is removed from its housing.

Looks like two springs and it looks like a big thread on the cylinder, those two springs appear to correspond with two pins. Do you see anything there that can access those pins, two tiny holes maybe? Very difficult if you depress the two pins, maybe the cylinder unscrews from the housing. Does that silver plate guard remove where there might be access to two holes?

What are the instructions for the 2007 you found?

1. In order to break like that was the key bent thus jambing that broken piece inside? If you stuck a probe in there does that piece of the key move or is it wedged in solid?

2. Since you're going to get a new one anyway, you sure you don't want to try to stick a dab of crazy glue on a thin rod make contact and let it dry then try to pull it out. Assuming it's not wedged in there and moves if you probe it as above.

3. I'd definitely try the plasti dip, maybe you're not familiar with it, if you spray it in there, build it up with a few coats, let it dry thoroughly then peel around key entry and pull straight out, if that piece is is free moving, it may very well come out. Have a look at all the threads in this forum referring to plasti dip, its sprayable plastic and removes once dried like this:

4. Can you call your service dept. at the dealer explain the whole assemply is dismantled and can they or a mechanic simply tell you what the next step is to remove it.


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Old 03-07-2012, 10:26 AM   #15
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So long as it's not wedged in there, again if you push it with a probe is there movement? All you need is to get something to adhere to it to pull it out. Piece of bubble gum pushed in there, dry it bit and pull, house hold caulking, I'd even try folding a piece of duct tape so the stick side is on the outside, as thin as need to fit in there and make firm contact and pull. So long its not wedged firm, there's got to be a way for you to get it out.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:03 AM   #16
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Look at this, it looks like you might be correct, it's a small bit of drilling the potmetal. (I'd try a small hole and an awl).

No, I haven't done it on a JK.

About 2 minutes in.

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Old 03-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #17
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Looking at the pictures and that piece of key, it sure looks like it can be pulled out of there with a bunch of patience and a couple of dental picks/O-ring picks. If you have a scroll saw, take one of the blades and cut the pin off of one end and try that. They are small and thin.

If you have one of those small screw starter rods with a magnet on the other end it might be worth a shot. I'd stay away from glue or any other stuff like that as it might cement the piece of key in there.

Like was mentioned above, if you can stick the piece of key on your key ring in there and turn the switch, I'd just leave it rather than paying big bucks at the dealer to get it out.

I used to have an old Chevy C10 pickup with the same issue. I used to start it with a screwdriver.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:12 PM   #18
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Figured it out!... The have hidden the release access behind the antitheft module....Here are the pictures with instructions...

1. Remove bottom three torx screws on lower cover
2. Seperate lower and upper cover and remove them
3. Remove the windshield wiper module by taking the phillips screw out on
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:06 PM   #19
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the vertical side facing the passenger door and slide it out of the holder. You may need to remove the wire connector (i did not).

4. Removal of the windshield wiper module will expose the torx screw for the black plastic anti theft module. Remove it.
5. Unplug the two connectors to the anti theft module
6. CAREFULLY push out the three clips around the ignition key cylinder housing on the anti theft modules black ring . Be very careful to not seperate the covers to the anti theft module!! I did this and broke the wire leads that go to the copper coil in the ring that surrounds the ignition key cylinder. The coil creates the EM field that powers the key electronics. Detangling and re-wrapping the rats nest of hair thin copper wire and some soldering fixed it but...
7. The slotted hole is now visible from the top of the steering column. The following steps may require trial and error.
8. Use a bright light to illuminate the hole. turn the ignition to acc or on and push the ignition key cylinder all the way in. This should expose the release pin on the cylinder.
9. Insert a small pick into the hole to depress the release pin. This is the tricky part. Gently pull on the cylinder while slowy removing the small pick from the hole....
10. The key cylinder should come out!

See attached pics....Remove neg battery terminal! Watch out for the AIRBAG!! I was nervous the entire time..you may want torx bits and pliers due to the tight space..
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #20
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Awesome! Well done!

And a good write up for future reference.

Bigger question is how did you break that key like that. That's usual the result of a fight amongst the opposite genders.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #21
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Funny Funny.....well the story is....after a long day boating and drinking down by the river my wife decides to slam the point of the key into the patio chair arm and ooopppss! It breaks about a quarter inch from the black casing.....and she also had lost the spare key....so.....i had to insert the broken part into the ignition to get anywhere.....needless to say she took a ride in the car with the cool flashing lights and won a two night stay at the county bed and breakfast (holiday weekend too)....
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:46 PM   #22
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Thanks for the write up on this. I need to do a swap on my JK and now have a renewed interest to try it again!
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:19 PM   #23
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2010 JK here and no holes in ignition cylinder cover to poke things in to .Any info that might help remove the ignition cylinder from it's housing?
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #24
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sorry found it

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