Removing old Chevy ignition lock

Discussion in 'General Automotive Questions' started by Denny, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Denny

    Denny In Maximum Overdrive

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    I didn't want to hijack BB's thread but it got me to thinking that some of you probably know a simple answer to this.

    My son just got a 1964 Chevy El Camino. It has the ignition switch in the dash. The ignition key was lost by the previous owner, but you can start it by just turning "ears" on the switch. A replacement lock cylinder was easy to find, but we have not been able to remove the old one without the key. Can anybody tell me how to remove the old lock cylinder without having a key?
     
  2. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    First un hook the battery ground cable. Now take a look at the face of the lock cylinder. Should have a tiny hole that a paperclip would poke into. Turn the lock to the "Run" position then poke your paperclip into the hole untill it bottoms. The lock cylinder should release and be able to be pulled toward you out of the switch. The new cylinder goes back in the same way aligning with the "Run" position but you don't need the paperclip. Just stick it in then turn it off and it's seated. Look at the new lock and you'll see where the anchor pin is located. Some of those GM switches require you to unscrew the bezel first then do the paperclip trick, I can't tell you what you have without seeing it. Don't force it, it will separate with mild pressure when you have everything in the correct position.
     
  3. Denny

    Denny In Maximum Overdrive

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    Hillbilly, I tried it and still no luck. This switch has two small holes (the replacement switch also has two). I tried inserting a paper clip into both of them but they don't go in very far.

    A Chevy guy told my son that the switch needed to be turned to the ACC position and then insert the paper clips. We can't get the switch to turn to that position with no key so far.
     
  4. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    Get a key blank and make a key using the impression method.
    http://www.gregmiller.net/locks/impress.html

    Or cut a bump key and bump it to the Acc position.
    http://www.lockpicklibrary.com/bumping-locks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2011
  5. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    The ONLY way to do this without damaging anything is to remove a door lock and take it to a locksmith to have a key made.

    The GM locks have a sidebar in them and they are impossible to pick, unless they have been apart before and parts left out.

    Not sure if your 64/5 has the same door locks as my 66, but on the 66 all you have to do is to open the door, pull the lock retainer and the cylinder will come right out------no rods to disconnect or nothin'. Again---not sure about the 64/5 cars

    You have to have a key to get the cylinder out. Once that lock cylinder has been turned to the "Lock" position---the sidebar pops out and it will not (should not) turn in either direction. Inserting the correct key allows the sidebar to pull back into the cylinder so the cylinder will turn.

    You will have to hope and pray that the cylinder has never been replaced before---or the door locks.

    Once you have a key
    Turn to ACCY
    insert the pin into one of the holes----you should be able to feel a spring in one of them---and that is the hole you use.
    Push the button inside the cylinder just a bit----not too far or the pin will keep the cylinder from turning.
    turn the key past ACCY a little bit and then it should pull right out.

    Only other way to do this is to loosen the bezel and then cut it off with a dremel or something (careful of the dash) and then replace the switch and the cylinder.

    I would suggest getting the key------ignition switches for this application are getting a bit hard to find (altho you could probably make a later switch work)

    Good Luck----and take car of the Elky:D
     
  6. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    Go with Bryan's method. Saves lot's of heartburn especially if the door lock matches the ignition.
     
  7. Denny

    Denny In Maximum Overdrive

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    I would be inclined to, but the ignition cylinder is already damaged (no key required to turn it), not to mention that my son has already replaced the door locks. I was surprised that he was able to find replacement door locks and ignition cylinder in stock at the local O'Reilly's store.

    I was hoping that someone would know a quick and easy method to remove the ignition cylinder - like the car thieves do it on TV;). I'm sure Ribald's method would work but I don't really have the time to learn the tricks of the trade. I'll probably take Bryan's other advice about the Dremel tool and just replace the cylinder and the switch. Thanks!
     
  8. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    And miss the chance to learn how locks work?
    Not this guy, that is for sure.
    And Bryan, when the lock that can't be picked gets invented a LOT of people will be locked out forever.
    I have impressioned several GM keys, it is very easy to do. The sidebar does not prevent bumping, and that is even easier than impressioning.
     
  9. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    Okay---I will concede to have mis-spoken.

    A GM lock is more difficult to deal with than a Ford or Dodge.

    I can pick the older (pre 97) Ford and Dodge locks with little effort.
    Not a big deal to impression with a blank either.

    The old guy that taught me this stuff must have had issues with GM locks, as he ALWAYS popped a lock to gain access to a vehicle.

    On the other makes----he either picked them or made an impression.
    Usually took all of 3 minutes for the impression and a file.
     
  10. ribald1

    ribald1 Banned PLATINUM MEMBER

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    3 minutes is close to world class. Most locksmiths don't bump as the goal is to have a key, not just get past the lock. In this case he has a new work so bumping is an option.
    Bumping with a snap rig works on those locks also if the base covers the side (or in other apps end) pin. If you want to pick the lock old school style, cut the top off a key and use it rather than a lever and stoke the pins.
    Locks are machines, built by men. Every gearhead wants to know how they work.
     
  11. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly In Maximum Overdrive

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    My favorite locksmith must have been bored because one day when I presented him with a pile o' parts Lincoln having three different locks he offered to give me a quick lesson on Ford locks. Took him up and he bumped the driver's door in about that magical three minutes. He used a blank plastic key like the wallet key Ford gives out to impression the other door. For the column lock he broke out a tool that took him less than one minute to find the key code with. The real lesson began when he told me to pull all the cylinders because we were going to key all of them alike. Ribald I think understands what's in a lock cylinder. It works really simple just placing those little parts is a tedious job, especially for a rookie. Ain't no black magic. Denny, I just went out in the yard and checked both a 60 and 61 Pontiac wagon and found the key can be removed without locking the switch. If you turn the key all the way back to lock then remove the key it's locked. The 57 Chevy is the same, you can pull the key and still work the switch as long as you don't go to the lock position. 64 Rivera Buick is identical too. I bet all the older GM locks are like that.
     
  12. Bryan59EC

    Bryan59EC In Overdrive

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    Yep---up to 68
     

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