I saw the first concept version of the new Camaro (Photo 1) at the Detroit auto show in 2007, and ever since then, I have been looking forward to taking one apart. In early October of 2009, I finally got my chance and spent four days doing everything I could imagine a locksmith having to do to...
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Once the lock has been turned back to the proper position, the clutch will automatically re-engage and the lock should work normally again with the correct key. In this same photo you can also see the retainer that secures the lock cylinder into the lock housing.
Rather than try to dig the retainer out of the housing, it is much easier to remove it with an old pair of needle-nose pliers that have had one side ground back about a quarter of an inch. (See photo 18)
To remove the retainer, insert the long end of the pliers inside the lock housing and under the bottom of the retainer. If you have ground the other end back far enough, you should then be able to squeeze the pliers and the retainer will pop up out of the slot. (See photo 19)
After the retainer has been removed, the lock cylinder and the clutch pin will slide out of the housing easily. (Photo 20) Do not drop or lose the clutch pin as you disassemble the lock.
After the cylinder has been removed from the lock, the plug will slide out easily, allowing you to service or rekey as needed. Be careful as you slide the plug out because the individual tumblers do not have any retainers and they can fall out easily. Photo 21 shows a new lock that I assembled for this article, and I intentionally left out the grease so that you could see the components better. In real life, the lock plug and tumblers as well as the outside of the lock cylinder would have been coated with a layer of white grease.
Both the door and ignition locks have all eight tumblers, so the easiest way to generate a key for the Camaro is to remove the door lock and decode it. All of the tumblers are stamped with their depths as shown in photo 22. The tumblers for the right hand side of the keyway are stamped 1 – 4 and the left-hand tumblers each have a one stamped in front of the depth so they read 11 – 14.
Reassembly of the door lock is simply the reverse of the disassembly except for one thing. The driver and clutch assembly can be installed in two different ways and only one of them is correct. To help with the reassembly, Strattec offers an assembly tool (photo 23), the GM Free-Wheeling Door Fixture P/N 7017698. The tool consists of a tube that holds the plug and clutch as you assemble it and a 1/16” pin-punch to drive the roll-pin back into place.
Once the plug has been inserted into the tube, the clutch and driver are installed onto the tail-shaft of the plug. If you attempt to put the driver on in the wrong position, the hole for the roll-pin will not be visible. The opposite end of the tube has a step built into it so that the entire assembly can be easily clamped into a vise while you seat the roll-pin. The lock can be reassembled without this tool, but the tool makes the job a lot easier. After the roll-pin has been seated, all you have to do is slide the lock cylinder into the lock housing along with the clutch pin and then seat the retainer.
Servicing The Ignition Lock
As shown in photo 4, the ignition lock can be removed quickly as long as you have a working key and know where the poke-hole is located. Depressing the retainer will allow you to slide the plug out of the outer sleeve so that you can disassemble the lock. Photo 25 shows the components of a new ignition lock before assembly. The replacement lock service packages include enough wafers to pin the lock up to any combination and a small packet of grease. Because the tumblers come packed with the locks, there are no plans as of yet to provided traditional pinning kits for these new locks.
In the case of a failed ignition lock, you will have very few options. If you cannot get it to turn one more time so that you can remove it, you will probably have to drill it out.
Because these locks are designed to work with a transponder system, there is no hard-plate protecting the face of the lock. Photo 26 shows the assembled ignition lock along with a replacement key blade for the flip-key assembly.
The blades in the flip-keys are designed to break off rather than cause an injury in a collision. This means that they may also break off if the owner does something stupid like attempting to open a can of paint with the key. In that case, you can easily replace the blade by driving out the roll-pin that secures it, and then installing a new blade. Strattec provides an assembly fixture (Strattec P/N 7017699) (photo 27) to make that job easy and to prevent accidental damage to the flip-key housing.
These new Strattec high-security 2-track locks are intended to become the standard lock system for future GM vehicles.
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.