Daf Ignition Lock repair

This job was done for a Daf Owners Club member. The ignition switch on his car had failed, with a broken internal spindle. Most of the internals of these are die-cast alloy and as brittle as you'd expect. The main "cage" is also quite thin as it has to work its way round all the other bits inside to reach the switch at the back. Although it's fairly unlikely this particular job will come up again, actually stripping the lock for anything beyond replacing the switch block takes a little thought, so I decided it was worth a page on here.

To start, the switch block is removed from the end by undoing a single grub-screw and simply pulling away:

To remove the lock barrel is a little trickier as it's held by a roll-pin for security. This pin goes into a blind hole so it can't be pushed out. To remove it you can either drill it out carefully and replace on assembly or, as I did, drill the centre to take a tap (about 2.5mm thread)and use the tap as an extractor. The pin isn't tight and the grip offered by a couple of threads should be enough to remove it. Be careful, though, as a tap broken off in the pin will make it very difficult to remove!

Note that, once the barrel is removed, the key number can be found stamped on its side (not visible in the photos). This may not be much use nowadays but is there if required for reference"


The steering lock mechanism includes two return springs. One (nearest the key end) is held by a headed pin that can be pushed out using a screwdriver. The other (nearest the switch end) is held by a roll-pin that must be drilled and replaced. This pin is too tight to extract safely any other way:

Once all the pins are out, the lock will dismantle. Start by removing the cage. Use long-nose pliers to carefully turn it fully anti-clockwise (as you look from the "key barrel" end of the lock)and pull out. The steering lock parts will then simply lift out of their slots:

Reassembly is a straightforward reversal of the above, but remember that any retaining pins that were drilled out will need replacement. For this barrel I only drilled the spring retaining pin, which was replaced with a solid brass one as that's what I had available! The next part deals with this specific repair so may not be applicable depending on your reason for stripping the lock.

In this particular lock, the cage had snapped towards the back end where it engages with the switch unit. Because of the shape, it wasn't possible to simply drill and pin the end so a complete new endpiece had to be made.

The way I decided to proceed at this point was to make up a brass replacement for the end, then file flats on it and the cage and rivet them together. First step was to turn some brass to the smaller diameter of the cage end, then cut it longitudinally to make a slightly-more-than half-round piece:

Next, using the wonderful invention that is the diamond-coated cutting disk, cut the end to form the "T" shape that fits the switch:

The new piece is then filed to form a slanted face, and the cage filed to match. The slant is to avoid thinning the die-cast original more than is needed to make a neat joint. The two parts are then drilled and rivetted together:

Finally, it's just a case of reassembly (reverse of disassembly) and refit to the car. Another job jobbed!

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