Early A door lock conversion

Early A-Body Discussions

  1. Rainy Day Auto

    Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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    So I recently ran into the problem of not being able to find replacement locks for my 63 Valiant. well, I did find a set of restored ones on ebay for 189. dollars but with that being a bit more than I want to spend to secure my car, I had to consider options.

    Thanks to the insight of @slantsixdan and @65 Dartman , I concluded the solution was to upgrade to the more readily available 66-8 lock set which I found on ebay for 30. dollars.

    This is how I did it.....

    First we have the valiant door as its been for the past 54 years. I don't have the key that goes to this lock and I cant even get any other key in it because it is jammed and wont turn voluntarily.

    After removing the door panel and the window crank, inside latch handle and the arm rest...I gained access in the door and removed the cylinder. You can see it with cylinder removed, a very unique upside down key hole shape.

    also pictured is a bare 1971 A-body door that shows the end goal of the keyhole we are after

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    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  2. Rainy Day Auto

    Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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    after using the 71 door to test fit and mark the stepped drill bit ...it was time to get brave and drill it out

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  3. Rainy Day Auto

    Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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    I used a black marker paint pen to mark the notches on the later cylinder to make an imprint where the notches should go .....and used a square file and a ton of patience to file out the notches. With a lot of test fitting and eyeballing it and trimming a little at a time I was almost there. I was amazed how much material just a little filing took off, this is where patience is a must

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    • Rainy Day Auto

      Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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      The notch on the top needed a little rounding on the very top ....the notch is too wide for the new cylinder. when I have time and restore the car I will be welding that notch shut and filing to exact fit the newer cylinder

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      • Rainy Day Auto

        Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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        So after about an hour ...here is what I ended up with and the cylinder was fastened in very snug with the clip. I filed slowly and little at a time so the notches are very tight which is how I wanted it.

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        • MOPARMITCH

          MOPARMITCH Mekong Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          You Go Girl !!!
           
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          • Rainy Day Auto

            Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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            on the other side ...the original rod is too long so it requires a custom made rod ...either you can bend it how you want it (if you have the arm strength to bend it) or you can just make a new rod from something else. if you make a new rod, keep in mind the end needs to have a retaining notch cut in ...with like a pipe cutter

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            Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
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            • Ben Drinkin

              Ben Drinkin Rani's future ex-boyfriend

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              Nice work...
               
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              • slantsixdan

                slantsixdan =..=

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                Real nice work! That lock looks like it belongs there. Did your new door locks come with the gaskets?
                 
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                • Rainy Day Auto

                  Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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                  Thanks ...yes my new ones come with gaskets (in the mail) ...the one in the pic is just one I used from another car to do this today
                   
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                  • Rainy Day Auto

                    Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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                    I still have to figure out what to do with the tail gate.....it is a V200 so it had a power tailgate window and the there is a lock cylinder in that assembly ....or alternatelity I have a manual window crank off a spare tail gate that also has a lock cylinder in it.

                    I don't mind two keys, one for doors and ignition and one for the tail gate, but I think originally they had one key all around. so the saga will continue another day
                     
                  • SSVDP

                    SSVDP FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    Can you remove the tail gate cylinder and take it a lock smith to see if it can be made to work with your new door key?
                     
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                    • Rainy Day Auto

                      Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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                      it is the large cylinder just like the doors previously had ....I am thinking I might be able to find a single with a want ad. The problem is usually finding a set matched to the ignition, but a single from say a passenger door might not be as challenging to find. I am totally cool with two keys because that is really the same as any other car.
                       
                    • timmy.1953

                      timmy.1953 timmy.1953

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                      great job
                       
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                      • Rainy Day Auto

                        Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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                        I did the passenger side tonight as well....didn't think I would have time but of course the second one took half the time as the first one.

                        On thing I did and it dawned on me after I was almost done ....and slantsixdan had mentioned it in another thread so I don't know what I was thinking.....

                        the rod I had made for the driver side went in the passenger side because in order to have both sides lock going clockwise and unlock going counter clock wise...the rod I had made for the driver side needed to go on the passenger side and I need to make a longer rod for the driver side. On the back of the cylinder is a little "C" clip...on the driver side, that C clip needs to come off and the arm needs to be flipped to the opposite side, to make the correct directional effect.

                        More pics to follow but I am tired after a day of lock cylinders so tomorrow or whenever will be a continuation to the saga. As of now, I have the passenger side, locking clockwise and unlocking counter clockwise, so it was a good day.
                         
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                        • Killer6

                          Killer6 Well-Known Member

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                          Nice job & great pics to go along w/it!...................
                           
                        • JDMopar

                          JDMopar Well-Known Member

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                          If you take your ignition switch, door locks, and tailgate lock to a locksmith, they can all be keyed alike unless the newer keys won't slide into the ignition switch. Good job on the lock upgrade!
                           
                        • armyofchuckness

                          armyofchuckness The Flying Valiant

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                          I had to do this on my '64. Unfortunately, I forgot I did this and I got a really nice NOS set of the early door locks during my restoration, and now I realize they won't work because the hole is too big. Glad you could make yours work!
                           
                        • Jay W

                          Jay W Member

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                          Great write-up, wish I had seen it before I got the set off eBay. I have one key for door & ign and one for trunk. My car was missing everything but the ign cylinder.
                           
                        • Naplm00

                          Naplm00 Well-Known Member

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                          Great thread! Question for anyone who has done this. Are the outside bezels of the door locks the same diameter from early to late? Id like to do this mod but dont want to repaint my doors
                           
                        • 65 Dartman

                          65 Dartman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          i took my 65 tailgate lock along with some 66-later door locks and the key for my 80 J Body steering column ignition to the locksmith who rekey everything for my ignition key. I was concerned about the key working with the 65 tailgate lock but it did
                           
                        • AbodyTim

                          AbodyTim Well-Known Member

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                          Thanks for the write-up and pics. :thumbsup: Something to keep in mind for sure. I haven't tried mine yet but will get around to it. :)
                           
                        • famous bob

                          famous bob mopar misfit FABO Gold Member

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                          Hotrodding 101 .
                          I don't think I ever had a Chrysler vehicle that didn`t have 2 keys , new or used . ???
                           
                        • Naplm00

                          Naplm00 Well-Known Member

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                          I did some measuring and unfortunately if you do not want to paint your doors this mod is not ideal.

                          The earlier locks are considerably larger diameter on the face. Late locks are physically smaller.

                          Otherwise this is a great mod
                           
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                          • Rainy Day Auto

                            Rainy Day Auto Fabo resident FABO Gold Member

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                            You are right in saying that paint is necessary with this mod.

                            I drilled the hole bigger to fit the "later" locks so the cylinder on the latter ones is larger
                             
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