98; key stuck in LOCK, replaced ignition lock cylinder, now shifter won't leave Park - Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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98; key stuck in LOCK, replaced ignition lock cylinder, now shifter won't leave Park

The story so far:

1998 Sienna with 225K miles. Now a backup vehicle. Barely passed CA smog a few months ago (IOW, I expect it to fail next test 2 years hence, the repairs for which may cost more than the vehicle is worth, so for the next 2 years I'm trying to keep it running with minimal $$$ infusion). (Aside: though it uses a little oil, the powertrain feels as strong as when new; it's the various auxiliary systems that are failing...). Ignition lock/keys are NOT "chipped"; we drive it often with a bare-metal (valet?) key.

Last week, while away from home, driver reported being unable to turn ignition key; fortunately someone was able to assist and jiggle the key/steering wheel etc. to get the key to turn, allowing the van to start and be driven.

Watching various Youtube videos, I removed and disassembled the lock cylinder (see photo at AMZN link below: this is what I'm calling "lock cylinder"), removed & discarded the split wafers, tested before reinstalling, then reinstalled. All was well only momentarily, until I turned the key from ACC (where it needed to be positioned to allow the lock cylinder to be inserted with lock-pin on bottom retracted) to lock: at this point the key could not be turned out of the lock position. My theory is there are anti-theft bits inside the lock cylinder and one of them fell out during my disassembly of the lock cylinder.

Ordered a new Beck-Arney Lock Cylinder with 2 keys (37USD)

AMZN said this was definitely the correct part (and subsequent eyeball checking gave no reason to doubt this: AMZN parts compatibility checking has been reliable for me).

While waiting for new part to arrive, used brute-force (Cobalt drill bits) to drill out the old lock cylinder sufficient to allow it to be turned to ACC such that the lock-pin on bottom could be depressed and the lock cylinder assembly removed. Did my best to vacuum out all the metal chips this violence left behind.

New lock cylinder arrived. Used needle-nose pliers to move the tab deep inside the hole with which the lock cylinder mates, such that the latter could be installed with key in the ACC position. Installed new lock cylinder assembly (same way as old one); installed easily, fit seemed correct.

Test: (reattach ground cable to battery) turn ignition key, ... starts just fine! Victory (prematurely) declared.

[next day] driver reports: "it starts fine, but I can't shift it out of Park". Indeed this is true.

Remove and reinstall lock cylinder, but the problem remains. Brake lights are working (this seems to be the primary culprit of spontaneous "can't shift out of Park" problems, so I checked this even though I am fairly sure the problem relates to my lock surgery, not a coincidental fuse-blow in the brake light circuit).

Any ideas or suggestions?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2016, 12:25 PM
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Re: 98; key stuck in LOCK, replaced ignition lock cylinder, now shifter won't leave P

There might be something other than the lock cylinder that's faulty.
The thought that came to mind when I read your post was to completely swap another used column from a donor vehicle. In the year that I've had my 2000 Sienna I've seen a couple 1st generation Sienna's for free and several more blown ones for about $100. I've been tempted to pick one up in case something like this happens. Other than that if you're lucky you might get a column for $100 from a junkyard or there are often people parting them out on Craigslist here and I'd offer $100 max. I also wonder if you'd sprayed Tri-Flow in the lock every 6 mos if it ever would have failed. Tri-Flow is the only stuff I'd ever spray in a lock, WD40 is a disaster.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 98; key stuck in LOCK, replaced ignition lock cylinder, now shifter won't leave P

Well, today the problem was resolved (though not necessarily fully _solved_). I happen to also own a 2000 Sienna (in addition to the 1998 which is the subject of this thread), and today was mostly free to run some parts-swapping experiments (which mostly ruled out problem causes). By this process of elimination, and with a clue from this blog posting, to make a long story short, I decided to just disconnect the "cable junction box" (my term; the associated cable forms part of the "Shift Lock" system; it seems to route down to a junction with another cable (going to the shifter) which is bolted to the brake pedal arm) which is spring-clipped onto the bottom of the "column upper bracket" into which the lock cylinder slides, and this allowed the shifter to be moved out of Park (yay!). This "modification" also allows the shifter to be moved out of Park anytime the brake pedal is depressed (regardless of key insertion or lock position), so it's not a universally safe workaround. But I've briefed the current (resuming) drivers of this vehicle regarding the "relaxation" of the vehicle's automatic safety protections, so we should be OK.

My suspicion is that when I drilled out the lock cylinder, and then semi-forcibly removed it, that I damaged the mechanical connection (whatever it might be) between the lock cylinder and this Shift Lock System cable. In hindsight, I suspect that if I had detached this "cable junction box" and its appendage which is actually screwed into the bottom of the "column upper bracket", there would have been no need to drill out the original lock cylinder to remove it for replacement.

Anyway, "old paint" is now back in service to live out the last few years of its life being useful to its owners.
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Last edited by sloroller; 05-14-2017 at 11:52 PM.
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