Jump to content

Key won't turn 1940 Lincoln Zephyr


Recommended Posts

Key can be inserted and removed.   Cannot turn clockwise to enable car start.  Added bummer is the wheel has been turned thinking the locking mechanism is to blame...well, now it is locked and the wheel is turned enough I cannot push car out of garage.  😞    Any suggestions besides trying various lubricants ?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely the right key.  It had worked somehow about a year ago after the same issue, got engine started, and run a bit, but i was too slow to think/say "do not turn it off again!".    So, it was intermittent, but now deteriorated to being more of a solid failure....    Seems this locking steering wheel is a thing...on a '41 at least :

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try gently moving the steering wheel side to side while turning the key. Sometimes this can free the locking mechanism if it is in a bind.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have not put in Lock-Ease yet?🤔

 

Wiggle and shake. Wiggle/jiggle the key and shake the steering wheel, after lubricating.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will try both a different lubricant, and the shake method next time I am at the car (3 hrs away).    

 

Q: There must be a way to "hot wire" the ignition, no ?   I just want to run the engine some since it has been quite a while (will probably swap out old gas for new as well). 


Then I will continue to try to free up the steering wheel / ignition key.   Thanks !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a key that would not turn and the locksmith cut what he called a TALLER key for me. By taller, that means the old key was worn, and also the disk tumblers in the lock cylinder were worn. So to compensate for this wear, they cut a key with teeth on it that are higher. The distance from the back edge of the key to the tips of the key teeth is adjusted to be greater, than if you were just to copy the current key. So I found it worked. The taller key turns easy in the cylinder.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you ever lubricate the lock? Oil can gum up a lock and prevent it working, a shot of graphite or special lock lubricant and wiggle the key around might free it. Or a shot of WD40, and once it is free, remove the lock cylinder and clean it then lubricate with graphite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, mike6024 said:

I had a key that would not turn and the locksmith cut what he called a TALLER key for me. By taller, that means the old key was worn, and also the disk tumblers in the lock cylinder were worn. So to compensate for this wear, they cut a key with teeth on it that are higher. The distance from the back edge of the key to the tips of the key teeth is adjusted to be greater, than if you were just to copy the current key. So I found it worked. The taller key turns easy in the cylinder.

This works. If the locksmith has a standard old key duplicator, they just put a shim under the old key and the new key is cut taller by the thickness of the shim!👍

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the comments so far !   I was using Fluid Film for lube....  

 

Key question (pun intended) :  Is it for sure on the 1940 Zephyr that the DOOR KEY is NOT the same as the IGNITION KEY ?   I have both, and the door locks and unlocks with the one key, but neither key turns in the ignition.   I also see a key slot for the glove box..... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I just located the REPAIR MANUAL LINCOLN V12 ENGINES H-SERIES 1936-1947 hardcopy.  It also has the 1947 LINCOLN MODEL 76H OPERATOR'S MANUAL in the same bind.  Within that it indicates that the door and steering lock keys are the one key and the glove and rear compartment keys are the other key !   OK, well, we have been tryin like hell with the key that does NOT fit the door.   Arghh...    Will look for the same document covering the owner's manual for the 1940 year and see what that says...

Edited by Devon1940 (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...