An article on page 42 of the March, 2007 Locksmith Ledger describes new codeable lock technology from Strattec. Strattec is basically using a sidebar locking system which is an advancement of the sidebar system first introduced on GM vehicles decades ago. Initial versions of the Strattec codeable lock were designed for dedicated applications such as the tailgate lock on Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks plus tonneau covers and push button tool box locks.
Early introductions of the Strattec codeable lock products were designed to accept keys having the GM groove 75 keyway. Any vehicle key containing the normal GM depth and space dimensioning was acceptable. Coding a new lock to the owner’s key was as easy as fully inserting the key into the lock and turning the key 180 degrees.
Strattec has now introduced a new high security padlock which is equipped with codeable technology. These padlocks are available in four different keyways for compatibility with GM, Ford or Chrysler vehicles. Keyways include the 75 and 93 grooves for GM, the 83 groove for Ford and the 85 groove for Chrysler.
Strattec estimates that between the four keyways, their new padlock will be compatible with approximately 11 million vehicles on the road.
The Chrysler 85 keyway is also the same one used for select Sterling and International models. This convenient, single-key feature of using the same vehicle key for opening a padlock can also extend to owners of Ford, GM and Chrysler passenger cars.
The new heavy duty Strattec padlock can be used to secure hasps, tool chests, lockers or any other normal interior or exterior padlock application. Padlock features include a rugged cover, weather-resistant lock shutter, solid zinc plug core, hardened steel shackle, automotive grade six tumbler construction and compatibility with thousands of unique key codes.
HOW IT WORKS
This new invention uses individual operating tumblers factory set to be separate from the tumbler portion containing the cutouts for operating the sidebar. Each operating tumbler contains a series of notches. Each portion with the cutout contains a series of projections, or teeth. Tumblers in the Strattec codeable locks are shipped from the factory in a neutral position.
When a key with factory cut dimensions is inserted in the keyway, the six operating tumblers are lifted into position corresponding to the cut depths of the key being used. As the key is turned, a ramp in the lock cylinder moves the sidebar and notched tumblers into the operating tumblers. Teeth in the cutout portions engage grooves in the operating tumblers.
After turning the key 180 degrees, the sidebar fully enters the lock plug and the cutout portions are permanently connected to the operating tumblers. After the key has been initially turned to the working position, a spring-loaded stop allows only 90 degree plug rotation for normal operation of the lock. Strattec codeable locks are designed not to be re-coded.
For more information contact your local locksmith distributor or: Strattec Security Corp. 414-247-3333 or www.stratteclock.com