Rebuilding / rekeying a Toyota lock cylinder - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (19921996 & 19972001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 08-10-2008, 04:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Rebuilding / rekeying a Toyota lock cylinder

Rebuilding / rekeying a Toyota lock cylinder

First note the construction of the lock cylinder. Through the drain
opening on the bottom of the cylinder you can see the spring-loaded lock
wafers. They follow the cuts of the key, and are all flush when the
correct key is inserted. The closed end of the cylinder has a c-clip
holding on the activating lever and the return spring.

Now on to dis-assembly.

Pry off the lock bezel.

The stainless steel cover is staked into place at two places on the
outer ring. You need to partially pry out one of the crimped spots, but
you don't need to bend it back much before you can pop the lock bezel
off.

Insert a key. Even an uncut key will work. This will keep the wafers
and springs from popping out after the next step.

Remove the C-clip on the rear of the lock cylinder. Remove the
activating lever and return spring.

Push the interior assembly from the external cylinder. Push from the
c-clip end, don't pull the key.

Note that the lock cylinder has eight wafer slots. Two of the slots
have split wafers to make the lock more difficult to pick. Each wafer
is lifted by a small spring underneath. If you have the correct key the
wafers will be flush with the surface, otherwise the wafer will project
from one side or the other.

Put the interior assembly into a plastic bag or enclosed area. Pull the
key out. If the lock is still well lubricated the wafers will pop out,
freeing the tiny springs to find dark corners. If the lubricant has
dried out the wafers will remain stuck into place. If you need the key
code, pull the key out incrementally saving each wafer in order.

Each wafer has a key cut depth code from 1 to 4 stamped on it. If you
saved the wafers in order you can read these, starting from the key
shoulder, to get the key code. If you mixed them up, or are rekeying a
used lock to match your key, you can go slot by slot, trying each
wafer size to see which sits flush with the key inserted. With a little
experience you can just look at the key and read off the depth codes.

If you are rekeying an old lock cylinder don't worry if you run short of
a wafer size to fit your key. Not all of the wafer slots need to be
filled. Missing wafers will make the lock a little easier to pick, but
have you ever heard of a car thief using a lock pick?

Reassembly is almost as easy as taking the cylinder apart. Clean the
old lube off of the parts with solvent. Find an appropriate grease --
clean, stable, wide-temperature range waterproof grease. I use white
lithium grease. Fill the upper slot in the outer cylinder with grease.
Force some grease into each wafer slot, taking care to get enough into
the spring end to keep the spring from falling out.

Now we have to load the wafers into their slots. You can incrementally
insert a key while you load springs and wafers into their slots. Or, if
you want to live dangerously, load all of the springs and wafers on one
side, and hold them in place with a finger as you flip it over and load
the other side..

Now reassemble the lock cylinder. Turn the key until it mates
completely. Load the spring into its position, which will require
putting a little tension on it. Install the activating lever so that
it's projection is between the two spring ends, and snap on the c-clip.

If you filled the cylinder upper slot with grease, enough should have
squeezed out to lubricate all parts of the lock. If it looks a little
under-lubricated, smear some into the lower slot and around the spring.
The lower slot can't be packed full of grease or water won't be able to
drain. Insert key a few times, wiping it off each time, to squeeze out
any grease from the slot.

One point of confusion is the lock lubrication. Brass locks are
sometimes lubricated with graphite, but car locks usually use waterproof
grease. Putting graphite into the lock is a bad idea. The wafers are
such a close fit that pretty much you can't re-lube the lock from key
hole.
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice DIY

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Often, it's the loose screw between the steering wheel and the driver's seat that needs to be fixed first!

Stock 1995 Camry, 5SFE, Sedan.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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is silicon grease ok to use on the locks? I had to clean out my lock cylinder because I used graphite and its jammed up and hummed everything up. Sucked
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usadaytrader View Post
is silicon grease ok to use on the locks? I had to clean out my lock cylinder because I used graphite and its jammed up and hummed everything up. Sucked
You're supposed to use a dry lubricant for any lock such as padlocks, deadlocks and ignition key e.t.c..Which graphite lube did u use? That's very interesting......
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Did you read the original post? He says not to use graphite. Graphite actually jammed up my 05 Tacoma ignition. The locksmith told me it was really gummed up. He cleaned it out and said it didn't need to be rebuilt. OP agrees with this, and I can vouch on my bad experience with graphite with this application.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Blue and Yellow can

What about WD-40?
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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WD-40 isn't really a lubricant. It's a solvent-carried corrosion inhibitor with a very low surface tension.
It may do some good: the solvent may carry some of the clean reserve grease (the extra globs) onto the working surfaces.

It may not help with Toyota locks. The grease they used drys out and hardens in some environments. But a spray of WD-40 is cheap, easy to try, and mostly harmless. Just don't use too much. It wicks onto every surface and can turn.. yucky.
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