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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I need help! I parked my '74 spider in front of my house to run in for something. I came back out and can no longer make the key turn in the cylinder. Luckily I got the top to latch but I have no idea what to do. I can't push the car into the garage bc the steering column is locked.

Anyone have this problem? What can I do??
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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Try wiggling the wheel a little as you turn the key. It may be jammed on the steering lock. If that doesn't work, spray a little WD40 or Triflow into the keyhole.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried wiggling the wheel. I tried a bit of wd40 and so far nothing...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK I lied, grabbed the straw for my wd40 and sprayed that in there. It turned. Its still pretty tight though. Anything I can do to stop this from happening in the future??

Thanks,
 

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graphite powder with a puffer applicator in the key slot
 

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I suspect the 'problem' is the steering lock gets jammed by the weight of the car. When you switch off the ignition and remove the key there is a steel lock tab that protrudes into a notch in the steering shaft. If the car rolls slightly & the steering wheel moves a little bit then the weight of the car is pressing on the locking tab.

Apply the hand brake to keep the car from rolling. Turning the steering wheel to remove the turning force/weight of the car before trying to turn the key to 'on' helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I always use the hand brake when I am parked. The ignition on this car has always been a bit rough for some reason, and I'm jus wondering what that reason might be since last night it obviously reached a new level.
 

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1966-2013
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Usually it would be the teeth on the key wearing down making tumbler action inadiquate, then over time the tumblers wear too as a result of the key not moving them enough.

Having a bunch of stuff on the keyring (fob, 8 zillion keys, rabbits feet, etc., etc.) can aggrivate the situation as all that extra stuff makes for a constant weight being applied to the lock cylinder in a direction it was never meant to carry weight in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The current key I have was a new OEM blank I had cut from the key the previous owner gave me which was a spare key. I think it might be from being a copy of a copy. Unfortunately, the key the owner gave me broke off in the ignition yesterday when I thought maybe it was all from my copy.. So what do I do to get a key that fits a bit better??
 

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1966-2013
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A good smith should be able to create a more~like~new key with good teeth, but it's a slightly higher art form than what you'd see in the typical hardware store key copy service.

Not neccisarily more expensive mind you, but utilizing a broader experience base than what someone who may only do a dozen or two keys a year, and then its prolly done in a hurry besides.
 

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I had the same problem on my '67. Turned out the ignition switch was loose in the column. I removed the cover, and used a punch, and a hammer to GENTLY tighten the theft proof attaching bolt that was loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another question about original blanks for a '74 - Anyone cut their hand on it? The edges arent nearly as smooth as my '84s key. Ouch!
 

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I had a similar problem a few months ago. The key was very hard to turn from the off position. For a while I left the key in the ignition and did not turn it all the way CCW when I parked it. I bit the bullet and bought a new ignition switch from Classic Alfa in the UK. My old switch felt threatened and started to work properly and I now have an expensive new spare. I suspect that the cold weather may have been part of the problem. I will find out for sure next winter.
 
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