There have been lots of threads about the dreaded "locked ignition" and what to do about it. I had never been stranded but many times I would have to try several times to get my key to turn. After reading an excellent thread by ELP_JC: http://ls1gto.com/forums/showthread....light=ignition
(This is required reading if you want to fix this problem) I went at it and took pictures on the way. Ultimately my repair technique was slightly different than ELP_JC, but they both fix the same fundamental problem. Now that I understand what is going on, I have to break some bad news: It is very unlikely you will be able to fix this by lubricating the key or spraying some lubricant into the hole. It will never reach the parts that need it.
Disclaimer!!! This thread is for reference only!! I take no responsibility for any damage you cause if you try this!
So let's get started:
Remove lower dash panel and then remove the airbag fuse
Remove Negative Battery Connection
Remove Ignition trim cover screw. There is only 1.
Separate the upper and lower trim covers. This is done by pushing back on the bottom cover while pulling forward and up on the top. This step is a little tricky. There are tabs that catch on the front. You need to disconnect these by pushing the bottom back.
Remove the key FOB interface from the cylinder. Disconnect wires from the interface first. The unit just slides off the cylinder.
Remove the ignition cylinder. This is done by turning the key to the ON position and insert a small Allen or drill bit into the hole on top of the cylinder. When you push down the tab inside the cylinder, you will be able to turn the key slightly and remove the entire cylinder assembly.
Cylinder Disassembly. Turn the key until you are fully on. Push down the pin and turn the key further to release the pin. Be ready to catch it. It's pretty clear where it is going to become unretained. There is a small spring behind it, don't lose it. At this time, you can slide the tumbler assembly out from the cylinder. There is a small black guide that may or may not fall out. If it does, there is a tiny spring behind it. Don't lose that either.
Note: I have never removed my key from the tumbler assembly when it was out of the cylinder. If you remove your key, the tumblers may fall out, or they might not. I never tired. Try at your own risk.
Here you can see the previous step completed. You will see the black tab is removed. He fits in that slot on the top near the key. The spring goes along side. It's easy to put back together, just don't lose anything.
Now to understand the problem: This pin, shown below, fits into this slot when the key is off. Normally when you go to turn the key, it will follow the ramp out of the slot and onto the main track. The problem is that a rut has developed at the bottom of the ramp. The pin is hanging up in this rut.
My solution was to CAREFULLY smooth out this ramp with a Dremel tool to remove the rut. I basically changed the profile of the ramp so the pin would move nice and easy. Take your time, remove the smallest amount of material possible and then clean all the dust out. Once I had the entire assembly clean, I cleaned the tumblers the best I could as well. After applying a good coat of grease to all moving surfaces, especially where the pin slides on the ramp, I reassembled. Last, reinstall into the car and put everything back together.
At this time, my ignition is totally smooth and works like it's new. Granted my problem wasn't quite as advanced as some other people, but this fixed my sticking issue. If you are considering this project, take your time and understand what the problem is when you have the cylinder in your hand. Once you know what is causing the problem you will have a better chance fixing it.
By popular demand, I have added the cylinder replacement part numbers below. Replacing the cylinder is easier than doing the dremel modification, so if you can get your hands on a new style housing, that might be your best bet.
The old style housing is # 92172018
The new updated housing is # 92234035