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Recovered stolen 96 Accord - need to unlock steering wheel

Hi there,
I wish my first post here would have been for some other reason, but I’m in need of some help with my 1996 Honda Accord lx. I recently got the car back after it got stolen awhile ago. Thankfully, it seems to be in good condition minus several parts on the doors/windows. Unfortunately, the thieves messed up the ignition pretty good with a screwdriver or something. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the car yet, but the first thing I need to do is steer it into the driveway. Banging on the ignition with a screwdriver/hammer and my key/hammer didn’t get the wheel unlocked. Does anybody know how I can get the wheel unlocked?

I would try either a tool called a slide hamner to rip out the lock cylinder or drilling the pins out of the lock cylinder. Either will cause further damage to be repaired later, but it would enable you to unlock the wheel.

My son had his 96 stolen years ago. When we got it back there was a lock fixture on the steering column. Ours was cracked so the wheel wouldn’t lock, but I never replaced it. Maybe it’s not the same but if you take the trim moulding from under the steering column, you should see a heavy cast metal ring and there is a button that fits into it to lock the wheel. Either push the button out, or dismantle the ring and the wheel should turn. Of course something in the key lock should move it out of the way too so maybe look first before wrecking anything. When they turned the key with the screwdriver, they must have unlocked it though.

Usually have to get to the point you could remove the igntion lock ass’y, which you have to do anyway it appears. Never done it on a Honda, and I know of no simple method, but on the Corolla you have to remove portions of the dashboard covers in that area, covers in the driver’s knee area, steering column covers (may need to remove the levers first), and I believe there are some special sheer bolts involved that you may have to twist or drill off or some similar method. The new ignition lock will presumably have new sheer bolts. Make sure the battery is disconnected of course.

If the car disappeared on you it seems that someone was able to turn the ignition lock with a screw driver. Did you try to rotate the ignition lock before you gave it a beating?

If you can get the ignition lock to turn, the steering should unlock and when in the run position pushing the retaining pin should release the lock cylinder for removal.

If you plan to reuse the ignition housing don’t use a hammer or slide hammer on the lock, drill it out with a 3/8" drill bit, pick out the tumbler pieces and the lock should turn.

I couldn’t get the ignition lock to turn, maybe they messed it up too much after doing it multiple times (it’s been over a month).

Ok, so I went with trying to remove the whole ignition lock assembly by taking out the two shear bolts that clamp it onto the steering column. I used a hammer+chisel to get them loosened. That allowed me to rotate the wheel. From what I understand, I’ll need to replace the whole assembly, right?

From what I see on Rockauto you can get the complete lock, keys, switch and housing for $120.

Sounds like you are on top of it OP, good job.