Date: 09 Oct 96 12:51:31 -0500
Subject:     Rekeying Door/Ignition Locks

Here it is. Sorry for the dealay.  Is pretty easy, except for maybe the
ignition lock.

Background:  I bought a '73 Z car that came with two
different keys.  I didn't test all the locks with the keys when
I bought the car, however when I got the car home, I found two keys
only worked the ignition and the drivers door.  I couldn't lock the
hatch and I couldn't unlock the passenger door from the outside.
So for a month or two, I just made sure that when I parked the
car, I didn't leave anything in it that I wouldn't really miss if a thief tried
the rear hatch (this included the obigatory emergency tool kit).
Well one day, I had a little mechanical problem on the interstate
about a hundred miles from home.  The starter
shorted out.  The damn thing would not stop.
Ever try to remove the hot wire from the starter 
with a pocket knife, a tire iron and a set of jumper cables before
it ran down the battery, caught on fire or worse?
I had no tools in the car because I couldn't lock it.  But I digress.

Eventually, I remembered I had an '83 parts car with one key
and working locks.  After a days work, I now have a 1 key
240 Z with working locks and some emergency tools in it.

This technique will work for any L6 car, but I haven't looked at
any Z-cars later than '83 so I can't say for sure that you 
can get parts from a 300 ZX for an L6 type car.
I know; you can go to a locksmith, you can go
to the dealer, you can go to Pep-Boys and try to
buy aftermarket locks,  you can sell you car to an
unsuspecting boob or you can get
someone else to do it for you,  but this is for
those who don't want to do any of those things. But, judging by the
reponse I got from my post a week ago, there are many of
us who would just rather suffer and do it ourselves and recycle
the junk at hand.

Scenario 1.  You have access to a parts car with one key that
works all the locks and you want to make them work on your
driver.  Problem is the cars are different years, and the locks do not

This makes no difference, as all you want from the parts car
are the little brass sliders from the lock cylinders.  

1.  Remove locks from parts car.  
2.  Remove locks from driver.-
3.  On driver and passenger doors, there may be
a metal (stainless steel) plate on the face of the
lock. This is what holds the lock together.  It is bent
over the outer cylinder of the lock at the edges.  Carefully
bend back the edges just enough so you can pry this
stainless steel cover off the lock.  I used a small electronics
needle nose pliers for this.  Be gentle, you can damage the
soft metal cylinder doing this.  You can also dent or otherwise
deform the stainless cover.  Remove the inner cylinder from
the outer cylinder on both locks.

4. Note the little brass sliders in the inner cylinder.
 remove the little brass sliders from the inner cylinder of
the lock that will be going on the driver.  Now remove
the sliders from the parts cylinder and put them in the 
slots on the driver.  Note that they must go in in the same
order/location in order for the key from the parts car to 
work on the driver.  Also note the little springs in the
cylinder (under the sliders, on the edge).
Make sure you don't lose these and they
they are in position before you insert the sliders.

5.  Reassemble the lock.  Lubricate the lock
(for those in cold weather climates, use graphite
type lock lube), test the operation of the lock.

6.  Put stainless steel facing plate back on the
lock.  It helps if you have a small panavise
(jewlers type vise with brass jaw option)
 to hold it together while you stake the outer lip 
of the face plate back around the outer lock cylinder.
I used a small pin punch for a staking tool and little
piece of 1" dia. aluminum scrap with a longitudinal
hole on the backside of the lock so it wouldn't "walk"
out of the vise.  If you have messed up the edge of the
outer lock cylinder when you took the faceplate off,
you may have difficulty putting it back on.  In that case
use a jewelers file or dremel tool to smooth and reduce
the thickness of he outer lock cylinder edge.  Finally test
the lock again for operation and reinstall it on the driver.

7.  The ignition lock is a little harder.  On my cars, there are
security screws holding the lock to the steering column.  I removed
the steering column so I could have some room to work,
and drill the heads of the security screws off so the lock
could be removed from the column.  You may not
have to remove the steering column or the lock from the
column to do this part, though.  In fact, you may
want to just move the whole ignition from one car
to the other if you can and avoid the following disassembly
procedure.  If the locks won't swap out intact, read on:

Again, you will need to remove the face plate from the
lock.  The facplate is that part that has the acc/lock/run/start
around the keyhole.  I simply used some curved jaw vice grips
to rotate and pull off the face plate.  With some finesse, this can
be done without deforming or damaging the face plate.  Depending
on the year, you may or may not have some little gizmos just under the face
plate which provide the key in ignition buzzer.  Carefully remove
these little plastic parts without breaking them.  What you are
going to do is slide out the inner workings of the lock from
the outer housing.  The inner workings are retained by a small
sping loaded pin which can be seen from the side of the outer
housing.  You will see a very small hole with a pin in it.  To release
the inner working use a small pin punch to push this pin in, while
try to pull the inner workings out with some needle nose pliers on one of
the ears protruding from the inner housing.  Be gentle as these are
again very soft and fragile.  Do this to both the driver and parts car.
The idea is the same here, you want to replace the brass sliders on the
lock your keeping with the sliders from the donor lock which you have a
key for.  Make sure the go in the same order as they are in the
donor lock cylinder.  As they say in the Haynes manuals, reassemble
in reverse order!

Scenario 2.  What if you don't have a key that works in the parts
car?  What you can do is this.  You will need to file down the
inside edges of the sliders that are being pushed  to
far by the key.  For the sliders that are not being pushed
far engugh by the key, put a slider in that hasn't been filed down
as much as the slider in that position.
Use the donor car for spare silders.  You
also may be able to rearrange the order of the sliders you have
on hand in order to get the proper size for the particular part of the
key. This is trial and error, file - fit - file -fit, but no big deal really.

Anyway, it is a good idea to have some extra sliders
because, well,  you might mess a few up!

John Burgess
Advanced Systems Administrator
Voice: 512-602-3387
Pager: 888-582-8096