Servicing The 2011 Ford Fiesta

The new Ford Fiesta uses the new high-security side-milled lock system that Ford plans to phase in worldwide. It also has a transponder system that is essentially the same as other Ford products.


Like it or not, we live in a global economy.  Products that international corporations sell in the United States also have to be sold in other countries around the world.  This “globalization” has brought locksmiths a lot of good things and bad things.  As far as I’m concerned, the worst...


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To accurately drill as small a hole as possible, I chose to use a Dremel type of tool with a 1/8” bit.  Since I was drilling freehand and had never done this before, I drilled a little too far and actually drilled away a small portion of the retainer, but not enough to affect the operation of the lock. (Photo 36)

After driving the retainer out with a small (1/16”) pin-punch, you can see the retainer free of the lock.  The scar where I drilled too far should not affect the operation of the lock, especially if I flip the retainer over so that the damaged portion is away from the hole that I drilled. (Photo 37)

Once both retainers have been removed, we can slide the lock cylinder out of the housing.  In photo 38, notice the slot in the outer shell that the retainers fit into.  When the clutch is activated the cylinder will freewheel around the retaining tabs.

In photo 39, you can see the slot that the clutch pin normally rests in.  The grease in the slot trapped a lot of the drill shavings.  Before I can reassemble this lock, I will have to clean it thoroughly, and replace the grease.

The lock plug will slide out of the sleeve, with or without a key at this point.  The collar at the face of the plug is larger than the hole in the lock housing, so the plug cannot be removed from the sleeve until the sleeve has been removed from the housing.  The wafers will fall out of the plug easily, so make sure that you keep them under control as you disassemble the lock.  The assembly tool that you will see shortly on the ignition lock can also be used to keep the wafers in place as you disassemble the door lock. (Photo 40)

Photo 41 shows a full assortment of the wafers that come with a replacement lock.  Notice that each wafer is stamped with not only the depth of the cut, but also the handing of the wafer.  As with other side-milled lock systems, the wafers that rest on one side of the key are mirror images of the wafers on the other side of the key.  Decoding the lock can be done by removing the wafers one at a time and reading the depths that are stamped on each wafer.  The depths are “1” is shallow and “5” is deep.

Also notice that there is a slot on one end or the other of each wafer.  These slots are designed to help prevent the key from being pulled out in the wrong position.

Photo 42 shows the lock shell with the plug removed.  Note the fin that runs down the length of the tumbler chamber.  This fin interacts with the slots on the ends of the tumblers to keep the key from being pulled out in the wrong position.  Also note that the chambers as well as the tumblers have serrations that are designed to prevent picking.

With the key removed from the plug, we can see how the tumblers are grouped in pairs.  Each pair of tumblers contains a left and a right handed wafer.  Moving bow to tip, the wafers are arranged as follows: left, right, right, left, left, right, right, left, left, right.  Once again, this is done to prevent picking.  The door lock contains all ten cuts that are found on the key so after the lock has been decoded correctly, you should be able to cut a key that will also work the ignition lock.  Reassembling the door lock is the reverse of the disassembly. (Photo 43)

Part 2 of our article on Servicing the Ford Fiesta will address the  removal, disassembly and reassembly of the ignition lock.

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