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Building the Ford Door Lock

This guide explains how to build a door lock using the Ford Barrel kit. Another of these guides explains how to build the ignition lock and the reader is recommended to read this too, as many of the parts are common.

Yet another guide explains how the old lock may be removed and the new one fitted to the door.

The part number for the Offside Barrel kit is 1 046 299 and cost me £25.92+VAT.  The Nearside Barrel kit is part number 1 046 300 and unlocks in the other direction, anti-clockwise. 

The only tools required to build the lock is a set of outside circlip pliers.  As a degree of fiddling with small pieces is entailed optional extra tools might make life easier. 

 Get your key 'read'

 When you purchase the lock repair kit have the parts guy read your key code. It will be something like 241121 for example. This describes the depth of cut at each position on the key. You will need to know which direction the code has been read – normally, this is from the end of the key in towards the key handle.

The lock you build is to be tailored to your key, so it is useful to know how to read the key.  The picture left has been annotated to show the appropriate code - 341322. 

The deepest key cut is referred to as a four.  Two thirds the depth of a four cut, is a three.  Half the depth of a three cut, is a two.  Finally no cut at all, is a one!  Along the length of the key are six possible cuts.  As you can see from the examples shown here, the six cuts are not necessarily all the same width.  Lets hope Ford make their engines with better tolerances than their keys! 

As you can see from the second example of a key, as they become worn the code becomes even harder to decipher.  

The code is always read, from the plastic end to the tip.   When you buy your kit from the dealer, it is a good idea to ask them to read the key pattern too, as they are likely to have had more practice than you.

Guide to Parts   

This illustration shows the major parts of the kit.  

The largest piece is the body of the lock, which hereafter shall be called the barrel.  The barrel is the part into which all the other parts fit.  It is shown here resting face down on the key hole.

The plug, is a locksmiths term for the inner barrel, the part that turns within the barrel.  For clarity it has been shown here the wrong way up in relation to the barrel.  

Within the plug is a multi-layered sandwich of wafers and spacers (see below for more on these).  In this picture I have only shown one wafer, where as with the kit you get twelve.  The five spacers that come with the kit have not been shown either, but can be seen in the picture below.

The locking pin as it name suggests is the part that stops the lock being turned by any key other than the correct one.  In the finished lock it sits within the small hole that can be seen on the left hand side of the plug.

Once the plug has been placed in the barrel it is held in place by the plug locater.  If you look carefully at the picture of the barrel it fits just inside the top rim.

The sprung activator fits over the plug and the ends of the spring go either side of the lug that can be seen on the top of the barrel.  As the key is turned in the lock the sprung activator provides the resistance and returns the plug to its centre position.

The activator arm fits on the end of the plug.  The smaller hole is where the metal rod, that is part of the door catch mechanism, connects to. 

Finally a circlip (not shown) is provided to hold the activator arm in place on the plug.  It fits in the grove that can be seen on the bottom of the plug.

This illustration shows the plug, with spacer washers either side of it.  

I don't know why there are two different designs of spacers, as it appeared not to make any difference in which order they were used.

The lock itself relies on the locking pin and the black circles in this illustration show how the pin is orientated to these parts in the completed lock (parallel to the axis of the key).  

The four designs of wafer are shown corresponding to the codes read from the key.  Each wafer is stamped with the number with the exception of the 4, when they appear not to bother.  

All the spacers and wafers are shown in the correct orientation to the plug and could be neatly dropped inside.  The important thing to remember is to align the recess for the locking pin (on the edge of each wafer and spacer) with the hole for the locking pin in the side of the plug.

As mentioned previously the kit comes with 12 wafers, three of each type.  I guess this is a clue that if your key code has more than three occurrences of the same number, you have probably read it wrongly.

Orientation of Parts

Just to get the orientation of the parts right, place the lock outer body flat on the table (with the outside key hole plate on the table).  The highest part of the body is a lug, which should be turned furthest from you to provide us with the orientation of 12 o’clock.  Looking down into the body you should see the inner face of the keyhole, pointing at 3/9 o’clock.

The plug has two longitudinal lugs that are at 12/6 o’clock, a small side lug at 3 o’clock, a large side hole at 9 o’clock, and most importantly the smaller locking pin hole at 5 o’clock.

Placing the plug in the body it should be free to rotate +/- 2 hours.  Machined inside the body is a grove from 5 to 3 o’clock that the locking pin may turn in.  A point of interest is this design allows the car to be locked by any key!  From 5 to 7 o’clock there is no leeway, so for the plug to turn the locking pin must be flush with the outer face of the plug.  For this to be possible the plates must be aligned so that there is a corresponding grove along their outer edges, into which the pin may rest.  This only happens when the corresponding key is inserted in the lock, so only one key can unlock it.

The barrel has a large hole from 8 to 10 o’clock.  When the plug is inserted in the body this too has a hole, which aligns with this.  I don’t know the point of this but a guess would be that it is to let any moisture that may gets into the body of the lock to drip out.

Remember here that I am describing the right hand door lock, that to unlock is turned anti-clockwise.  If you have a left hand door lock I believe that it is a mirror image, so you may well need to mirror these orientations!


OK lesson over, let’s get to work.  Take out the plug and turn it round so that it is balanced and you now have a keys eye view!  The professionals at this point will clamp this to stop it falling over.  The side lug should be at 9 o’clock and the locking pin grove at 7 o’clock.

You should select the correct 6 wafers, ordered from left to right to correspond with the code read from the tip to the plastic end of the key.  Interspersed between each wafer is a spacer washer.  Remembering that in the finished lock the key will fit inside the plug the first wafer in should match the code for the tip of the key.  So when you insert the wafers into the plug start from the right hand end or the row, and work left. 

The wafers should be oriented so that the pin grove is at 7 o’clock and the longer cutout from 8 to 12 o’clock.

Those that can do jigsaw puzzles will be able to work out which way up the wafer should fit into the lock, remembering that the grove for the locking pin is the most important alignment.

The spacer washer is similarly fitted.

I found it easiest to hold the locking pin in place to ensure the disks did not rotate as the lock was assembled.

Once all the wafers are in the plug, the barrel is slid over the whole assembly.

Once enough of the locking pin is within the barrel of the lock it will stay in place.

Once fully home, hold the plug in place and invert the assembly. At this point it would be best to insert the key and check that it works, because when the white plug locator is locked in it cannot be removed without damaging it. Next insert the white plastic plug locater with the castellation.  Insert the narrow side first and push down firmly, the castellations will bend in slightly and all of a sudden it will pop in place and be flush with the top of the outer body.

At this point the plug should be able to rotate (without the key) by about 2 hours. There should now be very little longitudinal movement.

The black plastic sprung activator is the bit that provides the self-centering of the lock body and provides the resistance when you turn the key.  

It too has a lug, which must align with the lug on the barrel, such that the ends of the spring wire fit either side of the barrel lug.  N.B. do not let the spring ping off, as it is hard work to get back on!  When you finally get round to fit the lock to the door the two V arms (opposite the lug) are the part that works the activator (part of the door electrics) to provide the signal to the central locking that the lock has been turned.

The penultimate piece is the black plastic activator arm, that should face the opposite way to the barrel lug (when you fit the lock to the door this activator pulls/pushes the wire to directly work the mechanical lock).  

Once on the plug, its top flat side will just reveal the grove on the central shaft of the plug for the final piece the cir-clip. 

The finished lock should look like this. The job is not as difficult as this might sound when you have the parts in front of you.

 Have fun. 


Thanks to Jethro F for words and pix




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