Trouble shooting issues with the Steering Lock Housing and related components (e32/e34/e36), including the EWS Security Systems

Symptoms that will be addressed:

Inconsistencies in the steering wheel lock mechanism.

A lack of response when the key is rotated to various positions in the Ignition Barrel/Cylinder/Tumbler (the thing you stick the key in and turn to start the car).

Inconsistencies in the rotation of the Ignition Key.

Automatic transmission gear shift stuck in park.

EWS failure – electronics work, but engine won’t start.


If your Tumbler or Ignition shaft is broken, removing the Tumbler is the first step. Demonstration starts at 1:51 and contains instructions on how to remove the Security Ring and Ignition Barrel.

Ignition Barrel/Cylinder/Tumbler removal and replacement

At one point I attempted to remove a Tumbler with no key. Per one suggestion, I drilled a hole to the lock button through the Steering Lock Housing to compress it manually, but it did not work. After that, I drilled into the front to gain access to the mechanism, only to learn that a key has to be physically inserted and turned to the exact right position, or the lock button WILL NOT compress.


After you remove the Key Tumbler, you can look inside to see the groove on the end of the Ignition Shaft that the Tumbler inserts into.

Ignition Switch

The Ignition Shaft is a long (mostly metal) piece that when turned:

deactivates the Steering lock,

turns the plastic Ignition Switch mechanism to start the car and activate electronics,

(on the assembly for an automatic vehicle) it compresses the Interlock Cable Button to unlock the Automatic Gear Shift.

Interlock Cable screwed into the Lock Housing for an automatic:

Interlock Cable

You can see on this Lock Housing for a manual, the hole for the Interlock Cable is blocked:

Steering Lock Housing

I used long nosed pliers to remove the end of the Ignition Shaft that had broken off, and you can see that it broke in the middle of where the plastic assembly that compresses the Interlock Cable Button is located if it is automatic. You can see where part of the plastic assembly is still inside.

Broken Ignition Shaft

The next image is of the remaining piece of the Ignition Shaft with all of the loose components that broke off removed. (You can see the small metal button that the plastic assembly on the Ignition Shaft compresses when you turn the key from the off position If you have an automatic transmission.) The Interlock Cable only exists in automatic cars for the purpose of restricting the Gear Shift to Park when the Ignition is in the Off position.

Interlock Cable Button

I believe that the EWS II system uses the connection between the Ignition Shaft and the Gear Lock Cable to send a high frequency to the DME. This means that if the Interlock Cable isn’t plugged in, the EWS II Security System will not allow your engine to start. Please note, this also means that if you use a Steering Lock Housing or an Ignition shaft from or for a manual transmission vehicle in an automatic car, your car will not start unless you have the EWS II deactivated.

Information about the EWS Security System:

In many cars with the EWS Security Systems, using a delete chip is one of the only ways to disable it.

One example of a Delete Chip

I believe it is also possible to deactivate the EWS by altering or installing a compatible pre EWS DME and cutting certain wires. Information on the subject is cloudy due to varying combinations of DME and EWS systems in different years and models.


It is important to note that as far as I know, the only way to replace a broken Ignition Shaft is to replace the Steering Lock Housing which the Ignition Shaft is part of. The dealer offered to match the best price on EBay of about $150.

The other option would be to replace the Ignition Shaft itself, but I have not heard of anyone else attempting to do so. I made a personal attempt at removing and reinstalling a working and intact Ignition shaft on a Steering Lock Housing that had been removed from a manual transmission 1992 325i (e36). The following image is of the components of the Ignition Shaft assembly after forcefully removing them from the Steering Lock Housing with a pair if pliers. Note that the Ignition Shaft from a manual BMW does not have the plastic assembly found on the one for my automatic.

Disassembled Ignition Shaft

This includes the Ignition Shaft, a spring, and a tiny metal rod. When I looked inside the Housing where the Shaft came out, I can see the Steering Lock mechanism that the Shaft interacts with.

Steering Lock

At this point I concluded that the tiny metal rod probably fits into the tiny metal hole in the bottom portion of the L on the Steering Lock. I was unable to find information on reinserting the Gear Shaft assembly into the Housing, and I eventually gave up on the hope of ever having it properly reinstalled without more thorough understanding of the mechanism.

( WARNING: if you have a new or used Steering Lock Housing out of a vehicle with no Tumbler in it, DO NOT manually turn the internal Ignition Shaft too far clockwise. I did this, and it got permanently locked in the wrong position, rendering it useless. It would not turn back, and was clearly never made to be turn that far- and I warn you, it took very little pressure with very little resistance to turn it too far. The fact this happened is the only reason I risked forcefully removing the Ignition Shaft in the first place.)

This is an image of the position the a Shaft was in after it had been turned too far clockwise.

Rotated too far

Moving on, we have this useful Source for Steering Lock Assembly removal and replacement demonstrated on a ‘92 750iL (the e32, e34, and e36 all use the same Steering Lock Assembly) which contains in this order:

summery of required tools -

photo tutorials for the removal of the:

Steering Wheel and Airbag,

Turn Signal and Other Stalk Controls,

Ignition Switch and Ground Wires,

Lock Housing Bolts (how to create grooves with a Dremel tool for bolt removal) and Housing Cover,

Cap Ring,

Snap/Lock Ring (using Lock/Snap Ring Pliers,

Bushing and Plastic Guide Bearing,

Steering Lock Housing Assembly -

photo reference for the installation of the:

Steering Lock Assembly,

Column Lock Ring (using an Expanding Clamp)


In regards to the reinstallation of the Lock Ring on the Steering Column:

If you don’t have an expanding clamp, you will have to have someone hold the steering column out while you use the Lock Ring Pliers to put the Lock Ring back on. To get a good enough grip, we used a wrench and the center steering wheel bolt.



If your Steering Lock is acting up or sticking but the rest of your ignition, steering, and EWS system are fine, there is the option of permanent removal of Steering Lock function:

Video tutorial on how to drill into the underside of the Steering Lock Housing to remove the spring required for the Steering Lock to function.

Posted in: BMW by swmoore No Comments

Like A Boss

When I used to work as a cook at Steak n Egg during the night shift in DC, I would spend  my downtime practicing on the patio.  Just the other day, I found a no traffic area in the corridors of the building I work in now.

Posted in: Everything Else by swmoore No Comments

There is nothing wrong with green hair!

I trained under the apprenticeship program at PR @ Partners for a year and a half, and now I am working at their Salon in Tysons Corner (VA) as a hair stylist. Here is a picture Jamie (my wife) after I gave her a cut and color.

fade with green highlights

fade with green highlights

Posted in: hair by swmoore 5 Comments

Mural Commission Progression 8×15′

This is a progression of a mural I recently finished (mostly, anyway).

This is my first serious mural, so the process was fairly new to me.

Other than the people, nothing in this is an exact copy of anything, and the whole painting (other than the people) is entirely fictional.   It was requested that I paint two Victorian style figures in the grass, so my brother and his partner were kind enough to pose for some reference shots.

I started with a rough sketch, had it approved, made my rectangle where the painting was going to be, and copied my sketch onto the wall.  I would say that centering and making a perfect 8×15′ rectangle was the hardest part of the entire thing.

As for paint, I went to Lowe’s and picked out the most saturated swatches I could find for blue, green, brown, yellow, and red.  I went with Valspar Interior Eggshell for all of the colors.  Using those paints as a base, I mixed over 50 different colors to work with.

I’m going to go back to finish it up (border, mostly) at some point, but right now it is pretty much done.

mural progression 1

mural progression 2

mural progression 3

mural progression 4

mural progression 5

mural progression 6

mural progression 7

mural progression 8

mural progression 9

mural progression 10

mural progression 11

mural progression 12

mural progression 13

mural progression 14

mural progression 15

mural progression 16

Posted in: mural art by swmoore 1 Comment

Body Art

After realizing that there are two posts (excessive imo) with shirtless pictures of me in a row, on top of feeling a little overzealous about the idea of updating my website more frequently, I thought I’d go ahead and follow up with some body paintings I did a little while ago.   (Which means shirtless pictures of other people instead!)

body art - black pattern


body art - trees

These were both painted with Kryolan Aquacolor body paints.  I recently learned how to use my airbrush/compressor that I purchased a while ago, and it is absolutely incredible.  Hopefully I will have something worthwhile to show of it soon.  It has a 6 year warranty so there will be plenty of time.

Posted in: body art by swmoore No Comments

Moore Internet Presence

After realizing that my website completely owns the search results when you Google my name, I decided that maybe I should stop doing such a fantastic job of neglecting it!

Right now I am working on an 8×15 foot mural, and gathering clients for a small business my brother Trevor and I have started.  (Does this make me an entrepreneur too??)

So here goes: – chances are, you don’t need our services.  Either way, I think the website I designed is pretty spiffy.

I’ll throw some pictures of the mural up here when I’m done – should be less than a month.  (Yay!)

Anyway, I’d hate to leave an entire post here without an image (seriously, what’s a post without pictures?  Text…  Lame.) so here’s an image from a photo shoot we did for my wife and my last anniversary!  Still waiting on the ones that have both of us in them.

Jumping...  With a cloth!

Jumping... With a cloth!

Auf wiedersehen!

Posted in: Everything Else by swmoore No Comments

Painting In Dupont

I’ve been working on a painting in Dupont Circle, (Washington, DC) on and off for the past year (weather permitting).  I’m hoping that I can finish the painting as early as possible within the next couple months.

Dupont is one of my favorite parts of DC, so I absolutely do not mind spending an entire day there every week.  After the sun goes down, the lamp posts with varied light spectrums scattered around under the trees creates a very unique atmosphere.  There’s generally a  nice, and for the most part friendly feel around Dupont.  Certainly not a dull place; Jamie and I once witnessed a homeless man bathing in the fountain while yelling, “Thanks for paying the water bill!”

photo by M.V. Jantzen (

photo by M.V. Jantzen (

Fruits and Vegetables!

A few years back, when I lived in West Virginia, and had plenty of free time to let my mind and creativity wander (sometimes in really weird directions), I thought it would be hilarious to make a comic about fruits and vegetables.  I’ve noticed that after it became somewhat internet famous (I’m estimating around half a million or so views), that various other comics based on fruits and vegetables started popping up (on the intrawebs).  I have no idea if that was my doing or not, but sometimes I like to say it was!

Fruits and Vegetables

If you liked this, you should definitely check these out!



Posted in: comics/humor/weird by swmoore 3 Comments

Fever Reunion Progression

This is the progression of the painting Fever Reunion.  

The painting was based off a morning after an event called Fever Reunion at Paradox in Baltimore.  The event took place inside the warehouse in the background, and didn’t end until sunrise.  Fever was a regular party thrown in the 90’s at Paradox, and I believe this was the 15 year reunion.  One of the best crowds I’ve seen; there were good people all around.  

I particularly like the part where everything is finished except for Jamie.  The Washington City paper actually decided to put up that stage of the progression in one of their issues.  The thing is, I’m pretty sure I told them it wasn’t finished.  I guess they just liked it that way!  Granted, it was interesting, but I’m a fan of the final version.

I actually painted all of Jamie’s clothing and body with the smallest brush I could buy.  I think it was a number 1.  I can’t bring myself to use a big brush, even for the expanses of solid color.  In fact, every painting I do gets a little bigger, and it seems like my brushes keep getting smaller.  Hopefully the trend will stop eventually, otherwise I might be in trouble 20 years from now.

fever reunion progression 1

fever reunion progression 2

fever reunion progression 3

fever reunion progression 4

fever reunion progression 5

fever reunion progression 6


click here to see the painting finished


Posted in: painting progressions by swmoore 1 Comment

Ultimate MS Paint

Quite awhile back I spent a huge deal of time drawing this thing pretty much pixel by pixel.  Hooray for pop culture references!  Obviously I wasn’t planning on making any money from it.  Be warned, it’s  kind of long (10,000px).


(click post title if image does not show up!)

Posted in: Ultimate MS Paint Image by swmoore 141 Comments