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Old 10-25-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
d_rock
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Default How-To: Dismantle Door Lock and Remove Key Fragments (w/pics)

My first How-To!

This is to show you how to dismantle a door lock and remove broken key
fragments. This is assuming conventional means such as graphite and
lubricants could not remove the broken key.

This guide should apply to most door locks, but this particular How-To uses
pics from my 95 SW2 hatch lock, which was clogged with road salt and stuck
in the "unlocked" state.

Tools needed:
Precision screwdriver set (optional, but helps)
Needle-nose pliers
Bench vice
Ultrasonic cleaner (if lock is clogged with road salt)

Step 1:
Remove lock assembly from car door/hatch (not covered in this How-To)

Step 2:
Dismantle rear of lock assembly. In this example, the spring must be
detached from the lock housing.


Step 3:
Remove wedge clip, allowing you to remove rear bracket and spring


Step 4:
Remove all rear components (bracket, spring, clip)


Step 5:
Remove the front faceplate. This is going to be tricky, you want to keep the
plate as intact as possible, being careful not to damage it. You will want to
re-attach this later and it will be more difficult if you bend it out of shape. I
used needle-nose pliers and precision flatheads to gently loosen it. Be
CAREFUL when removing it as the inner plate may fly out due to the springs
compressed against it. Do it slowly and over a flat surface.


Step 6:
After removing the faceplate and inner plate (don't lose the tiny springs!),
you are in a position to remove the inner lock assembly from the housing and
assess your situation.


Step 7:
Here is where things will get interesting. I will show you how I solved my
problem, but yours may differ depending on your key fragment and the
condition of your lock assembly. The key (hehe) issue is getting those
tumblers (the gold plates that are engaged by the key) to be freely moving
so that you may position them in a way that will allow you to remove the
fragment. In my case, road salt had solidified all over the interior of the
lock! My tumblers were frozen in place and so was the key fragment. My
solution...? An ultrasonic cleaner! This literally shook the salt from the
metal and allowed me to do some fiddling with the tumblers.


Step 8:
At this point, your tumblers need to be freely moving or close to it. This is
where precision screwdrivers help as they will allow you to get into the
crevices of the assembly and move the tumblers into their unlocked position.


Step 9:
Using a bench vice, you can use two screwdrivers to engage both sides of
the housing, experimenting with the tumblers and trying to fish out the key
fragment. This is where graphite and lubricant can help greatly. With
patience, you should be able to get out your key fragment and celebrate!


Step 10:
At this point, I would lay all your components out and lube them up, this will
prevent future issues and will prepare you for re-assembling your lock. This
picture also serves well for reference.


Step 11:
For me this was the hardest part as it requires a lot of patience and a little
careful tinkering. Once the lock is reassembled, you need to re-attach the
front faceplate, while keeping the inner plate and its springs in place. I used
a bench vice to hold the assembly steady, while I held the faceplate on and
bent all its edges carefully back to where they needed to be. It took a lot of
work and some creative vice usage, but in the end I prevailed, and so can you!


I hope this guide will at least prove useful as a reference to those who are
interested in the innards of your door locks, and will hopefully be a
step-by-step guide for those who need to fish out stuck key fragments.

Please leave comments and suggestions...thanks for reading!

...
"Pessimists see the glass as half empty, optimists see the glass as half full. Engineers see that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."

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Old 10-25-2008, 06:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: How-To: Dismantle Door Lock and Remove Key Fragments (w/pics)

good how-to ...

I have a door lock that works only sometimes ... maybe i'll try this for a few reasons:

cannot find new cylinders at the parts stores and also I want to be able to use my orig key anyway

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Old 10-25-2008, 06:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: How-To: Dismantle Door Lock and Remove Key Fragments (w/pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97sl2DOHCaut1.9 View Post
good how-to ...

I have a door lock that works only sometimes ... maybe i'll try this for a few reasons:

cannot find new cylinders at the parts stores and also I want to be able to use my orig key anyway
That's exactly why I went through all that trouble...I wanted to use my original key! And did not want to admit defeat and buy another lock, haha

And thanks!

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Old 10-25-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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Happy Re: How-To: Dismantle Door Lock and Remove Key Fragments (w/pics)

Good write up!

Charlie, do you think you can move this to the How To section?

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Old 10-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #5
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Thumbs Up Re: How-To: Dismantle Door Lock and Remove Key Fragments (w/pics)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994Saturn View Post
Good write up!

Charlie, do you think you can move this to the How To section?
I agree! The thread has been moved!

Charlie

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