Bob's Studebaker Resource Website

Removing a Trunk Lock Cylinder with no Key

Removing a trunk lock cylinder with no key.
January 2016


                I just thought I would pass along the method I used yesterday to remove the trunk lock cylinder from the 51. I did quite a bit of research on drilling but did not come up with much that I thought would work. After trying to pick it and trying other keys did not work I decided that I was going to drill.

      I began with a small hole in the center. I marked the bit with tape at 5/8" so I would not drill too far. 3/4" probably would not hurt anything.
      I gradually increased the size of the hole using larger bits until it was large enough to insert a carbide rasp which was about 1/4" in diameter. The rasp has a flat end so it would not grind deeper into the cylinder. I then used the rasp in my drill and proceeded to carefully grind up and down until there was only a tiny amount of the original cylinder wall left on the top and bottom. That also destroyed the pins in the cylinder and the pieces could be pulled out with a hooked pick. I used a narrowed hack saw blade to cut the remainder of the cylinder walls. That may not be necessary if the cylinder will now turn.

      I then turned the cylinder a bit and inserted a small allen wrench into the hole on the bottom side of the housing, which is accessible without disassembling anything, and pushed the spring loaded retainer which released the cylinder. It is easy to feel the spring loaded retainer when you have it lined up.
      Installing the new cylinder required using a small strip of plastic to force the retainer into the cylinder so it would fit in the housing.
      Total time estimate if I were to do it again would be 15 - 20 minutes.

      Steve Brown