2000 – 2007 Ford Focus Poses A Challenge To Locksmiths

Both the trunk lock and ignition lock were designed to be replaced rather than serviced.

Some vehicles locks were just not designed to be worked on, but I’ve never let that stand in my way. The Ford Focus built from 2000 to 2007 will probably go down in the record books as one of the least locksmith-friendly vehicles ever made by a U.S .manufacturer. The ignition lock failed so...

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The plug must now be rotated in order to remove it, which is no problem if all you are trying to do is rekey the lock. However, if the lock is jammed with debris, you will have to find some way to turn it before you can go any further.

Once you have turned the plug slightly, it will pull out of the housing, allowing you access to the tumblers. A lug on the inside of the lock housing aligns with the “T” shaped slot that you can see in the side of the lock plug. You can see the lug easily by looking into the rear of the lock as you rotate the plug.

With the lock plug out of the way, you can see the lug inside the housing that has to align with the slot in the lock plug. In Photo 14, I have removed the pin from the lock housing. I’ve done this for two reasons; to keep from losing the pin, and because I will need to thread the inside of the chamber in order to reassemble the lock.

I’m using a tap to thread the hole for a ¼ x 20 thread. The tap will fit the hole without having to do any drilling, but you will have to remove the pin in order to thread the hole as deeply as needed.

Replace the lock cylinder back onto the mounting plate and then rotate it clockwise until the hole in the plate aligns with the hole in the lock housing. Don’t forget to replace the return spring at the rear of the lock plug before you do this.

Slip the pin back into its socket and push it down until it locks the cylinder into place. Check the operation of the lock to make sure that you have it properly reassembled.

Thread a ¼ x 20 bolt into the hole that you threaded earlier and then tighten it down against the top of the pin. Once again, check the lock for proper operation. I could have used an Allen headed setscrew for this.

If you used a bolt as I did, you’ll need to cut the top of the bolt off so that the lock will fit back into the car. I’m cutting the bolt off with the cut-off wheel just as I cut away the lock housing. This step would not be necessary if I had used a set-screw of the proper length.

To prevent the bolt from vibrating out of the lock, I used an automatic center-punch to peen the top of the bolt. I could also have used a thread locking compound to do the same thing. The lock is now ready to go back into the vehicle, and I’m ready for the next challenge.


Ignition Lock

The problems with this particular Ford Focus don’t end with the trunk lock. The OEM ignition lock was built by Huf and it was simply not designed to be serviced. Unfortunately, severe design problems caused most of them to fail. Once the lock has failed, it still needed to be turned to the “ON” position in order to remove it. This job was so difficult that a special tool called the “Focus Buster” was designed to deal with the problem.

As the name implies, the Focus Buster breaks the failed lock so that it can be removed and then replaced. Most locksmiths use Strattec Model 707592 as a replacement lock for the OEM Focus lock. This lock will fit all years of the Ford Focus up through 2011. (The 2012 Focus uses the new Ford side-milled system.) The Strattec lock can be keyed up to match the original key, using standard Strattec 8-cut Ford tumblers. And, since you will be re-using the original key, there is no need for transponder programming.

Because so many of these locks have been replaced, you need to be able to tell the difference between the OEM lock and the Strattec replacement. Fortunately, these two locks are very easy to tell apart. The OEM lock is a sidebar lock that has a keyway that is offset to one side and a rough face. The Strattec replacement is a non-sidebar lock that has the keyway in the center of the plug and a smooth face.

If you ever encounter a Strattec lock that has failed, do not attempt to use the Focus Buster on it. The Strattec lock is constructed differently than the Huf lock and attempting to use the Focus Buster on the Strattec lock will just break your tool.

Apparently something in the design of the OEM lock causes one or more of the tumblers to jam, causing the lock to fail. When that happens, the lock must still be turned to the “ON” position before it can be removed. Normally, that would require drilling out the sidebar. The problem is that on this lock, the face of the lock is surface-hardened to make drilling difficult. If you do drill for the sidebar, drill shavings tend to get down into the lock, making it hard to turn even after the sidebar has been drilled out.

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