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308 Ignition key turning problem

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by branko, Feb 14, 2004.

  1. branko

    branko F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Mar 17, 2003
    3,710
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Full Name:
    Branko Medenica
    I did a search in the archives and found nothing on this problem. I was out for a drive, when I was stopped by the Police for a "tag check". Everything was OK, so he left. When I went to turn the ignition key on, it would only turn enough to unlock the steering wheel (about 8:00). It would not turn enough to start the engine. I tried everything, from turning the steering wheel, to jiggling the key in the slot, nothing would get the key to turn. So, after an hour of trying, I had to call a wrecker and have my '85' Euro 308 towed home. Anybody ever have this happen to you?
     
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  3. jbrosseau

    jbrosseau Karting

    Nov 26, 2003
    182
    kirkland,wa
    Full Name:
    joe brosseau
    my 308 had this as a problem when i bought it. the only way it would fully turn was to turn the key hard and fast. i insisted that the dealer i bought the car from (not a ferrari dealer) have the ignition rebuilt at no charge to me. the happily agreed and in a day i had the car back with a perfectly working ignition. i think if you call around you can find a place that will rebuild your ignition for you. im sure you can replace it but at 10X the price of rebuilding it.
     
  4. branko

    branko F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Mar 17, 2003
    3,710
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Full Name:
    Branko Medenica
    I don't think that is my problem. Once you get to 8:00, the key simply will not turn any further. I think it might be a tumbler problem.
     
  5. rivee

    rivee F1 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2002
    3,725
    Nowhere important, USA
    Full Name:
    John
    Right after I bought my 308 I had 2 duplicate keys made for it. Last Christmas I went shopping and when I returned to my car and put the key in and turned it, it broke off in the lock. After I hot wired it and got it home I then toar the ignition apart to get the piece of key out. The second duplicate key, about a month later, bent after turning to start it. I think that the lock gets dirty and needs to be cleaned or lubricated periodically because after spraying some silicone into the lock it turned a lot easier.
     
  6. cavallo_nero

    cavallo_nero Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    1,656
    colorado
    Full Name:
    Giovanni Pasquale
    buy a tube of graphite powder for locks and occasionally work some into the lock by coating the key with the powder and slipping it into the lock and also put some powder directly into the lock. its a messy job, so put some towels around. i would not use any liquid lubricant such as silicone or wd40 as the greasey substances seem to bind over time, and/or may freeze with cold weather.
    john
     
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  8. ChrisfromRI

    ChrisfromRI Karting

    Jan 28, 2003
    230
    Foster, RI
    Full Name:
    Chris F
    I agree with cavallo_nero, don't put any WD-40 in there. It is only a water displacement oil and gets really sticky in the cold. The graphite works well.

    I have also had good luck with Remington Gun Oil (Rem-Oil) as it is a very fine weight lubricant, and is the only oil that keeps my trusty Model 1100 working properly in the cold weather.

    I had this problem with one of the extra keys that I had made as spares. I ended up touching up that key with a small set of needle files, and it has been fine ever since. I would carefully try one of your other keys, and see if it works differently before taking apart the car. If one key works better, then try more closely matching that key.

    Kind Regards, Chris
     
  9. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    149
    had a similar problem with spares. they wouldn't turn all the way unless I turned it all the way immediately. the original works fine. the spares are a bit different at the tip.
     
  10. Ksullender

    Ksullender Formula Junior

    Sep 3, 2003
    886
    USA
    I had the exact same problem with my 85 Euro 308. Fortunately I was in my garage and couldn't start the car to leave. I contacted Martin at Cavallino Motors and after spraying the lock with lock lube & graphite and working the key in and out of the ignition for several minutes it worked and I never had a problem after that.
     
  11. branko

    branko F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Mar 17, 2003
    3,710
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Full Name:
    Branko Medenica
    Update;
    Thanks to Alabama Chapter President, Tommy Cosgrove, we were at least able to raise my driver side window, which had been down due to the ignition switch problem.
    Thank you for all your suggestions (which I have tried) but it looks like we may have to take the switch off, unless someone has a new suggestion.
     
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  13. branko

    branko F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Mar 17, 2003
    3,710
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Full Name:
    Branko Medenica
    Final update:
    Thanks again to Tommy Cosgrove and his many contacts. He knew an excellent locksmith who was able to take apart the lock and repair it. (The shop said since it was a sealed unit, it could not be taken apart) I will have it installed on Monday.
     

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