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microtonal 07-29-2005 09:40 AM

How To: Drilling Out Ignition Cylinder Due To Key Won't Turn (Ford Focus ignition lock cylinder)
*Click here to see the original thread that started this discussion

Well, I couldn't get my key to turn in my ignition no matter how hard or persistant I tried so I had to drill it out.

I will tell you that this is no easy job. I broke 3 drill bits and my arms are sore as hell from drilling.

For anyone who runs into an ignition cylinder that will not turn with the key inserted, try this first:

Get a regular non-PATS key made at the lock smith.

Using the regular key in the ignition, tap lightly on the end of the key with a medium size screwdriver handle and try to turn the key as you're tapping. Be persistant. I did this for 30 minutes.

If the key still won't turn, try spraying a little WD-40 or some type of lubricant and try again.

If it still won't turn, call the locksmith or get ready for an enduring experience at some drilling.

I would suggest you get some titanium or HSS(High Speed Steal) drill bits because I had a set of the Black and Decker drill bits and broke 3 of them. Even a large one, which was only one size smaller than the 3/8. The IC is made of some very harded metal and it's gonna take some work to get it drilled out.

*Also, mark the drill bit with some tape 1 inch from the top so you know how far to drill. You don't want to go any further or you'll start going into the steering column. (See picture above for example)

Click here for drilling instructions

Click here for ignition cylinder removal instructions

*It's best to drill a little below the X in the instructions. I drilled at the same point and my drill rode up in to the tumbler area and you get this, a larger hole.

Here's what a properly drilled IC looks like.

Now, you will need to get the IC to turn to the Accessory position for 2 reasons.

To be able to push the little button on the side, the IC needs to be turned to the Accessory position. Mine would not push in if it was in the OFF position or in the RUN position. It had to be in the Accessory position in order for the button to push in.

There is a locking ring a the end of the IC that need to go in to a groove/slot in the steering wheel or the IC will not slide out.

So, if you can't turn the IC to the Accessory position, the IC isn't going to slide out even if you can push the little button on the side.

*I used an allen wrench to push the button. There's no way you are going to get a screwdriver to push the button unless you remove the steering wheel.

The new style IC definitely looks different. Looks more like the 2005 IC. It's got a center piece and looks more like a 2 piece IC whereas the old style IC seems to be a 1 peice.

Anyway, I want to say thanks to b16sir1991 (Mike) for getting me the IC for cheap with a regular key and tumblers setup. I basically had to just install it and it worked.
He also provided me with the tips I posted here and he was very helpful.

Anyone who needs an IC, I would suggest sending b16sir1991 a PM since he gets them from Ford and the IC is a new style Motorcraft part which should not have the lock up issue.

Ignition Lock Cylinder


1. Disconnect the battery ground cable. For additional information, refer to Section 414-01 .
2. Remove the instrument panel lower panel.
  • Remove the screws.
  • Release the fastener.

3. Detach the steering column upper shroud.
Using a thin bladed screwdriver, release the two clips (one each side).

4. Remove the audio control switch (if equipped).
  • Using a thin bladed screwdriver, release the locking tang.
  • Disconnect the electrical connector.

5. Remove the steering column lower shroud.
  • Release the steering column locking lever.
  • Remove the screws.
  • Remove the ignition key.

6. Remove the ignition lock cylinder.
  • Insert and turn the ignition key to position I (Accessory).
  • Using a thin bladed screwdriver, depress the detent.
  • Remove the lock cylinder.

1. To install, reverse the removal procedure.

keywords: ford focus ignition cylinder, ford focus stuck ignition, ford focus sticking ignition cylinder, ford focus ignition, ford focus ignition lock cylinder

Lil PZEV 07-29-2005 12:07 PM

Vote for Sticky status.

Locked ignition is a quasi-common issue on the previous Focus models, this looks very helpful if someone ran into the problem! Thanks Bob.

Also, does Ford still not have a recall or TSB out on this?

microtonal 07-29-2005 12:28 PM

No recall because I believe this is not a safety issue. More of a hassle because of a part that may become defective over time. I believe there is a TSB though.

b16sir1991 07-29-2005 12:53 PM

Thats right, no recall and there are ssm's on it, but Bob just covered everything you need to know. Working here at Ford im really suprised that they have not issued a recall though because there have been many other recalls that were not as big of a problem as this and didnt have anything at all to do with safty.

microtonal 10-17-2005 09:19 AM

^^^ bump for bacc231

nilskje 10-18-2005 02:37 PM

My god we are lucky in Europe, here they use a diffrent lock sylinder, the key is basically round, looks quite different 2 the ones you have .. Wonder why they dont use the same in the US area, i will try 2 finr the Ford p/n ...

ampedout 10-18-2005 02:52 PM

Ive had my key stuck in my cylinder for 5 months.. I will NOT spend the 320 bucks to have ford fix it. I would rather include a ignition start button located in a hidden place under the steering column.

microtonal 10-18-2005 04:30 PM

If you can turn the IC with the key, you can change the IC yourself for about $50.
It's not hard to remove the IC.
The instructions are in the first post.

microtonal 10-20-2005 09:00 PM

^^^ Bump for TheFoci01

vanace 10-20-2005 09:10 PM

micro.. why in the sam hell would you drill the igntion when you have an 05 under warantee?

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