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 solution to the problem lies in the design of the lock. The top of the plug, between the face of the lock and the first tumbler, has a weak spot where a hardened shutter is mounted. If enough pressure is applied at this point, the face of the lock will simply shear off from the plug and fall on the floor. The Focus Buster is designed so that you can easily apply pressure in exactly the right spot.
Insert the Focus Buster securely into the lock as deeply as it will go. Once the tool is in place, use a wrench to apply pressure to shear off the face of the lock. The mistake that many people make is to try to use gradually increasing pressure to snap off the face. The best way to use this tool is to press it into the lock securely and then “snap” the tool with the wrench. I usually warn people not to try to “sneak up on the lock.” Instead, give it one good hard snap. Use as long a wrench as possible for maximum leverage.
If you use the tool properly, the face of the lock and the hardened shutter will fall out into your hand or onto the floor. Notice that the end of the plug broke off jaggedly. Sometimes the plug will break off cleanly to expose the end of the sidebar, and other times it will break in such a way that you will have to break a little more metal out of the way to get to the sidebar.
When the plug does not break cleanly, you will have to dig a little deeper to reach the sidebar. In Photo 27, you can see the jagged edge of the plug that still obscures the sidebar as well as the spring from the shutter. If you look carefully at the photo, you can just barely see the edge of the sidebar peeking out around the right hand edge of the broken plug. All I had to do was insert a small screwdriver between the edge of the broken plug and the sidebar, then twist to break the remaining piece free.
After I’ve cleared the debris out of the way, the sidebar is exposed. The twisting force applied to the lock by the Focus Buster has also served to widen the sidebar chamber, which will make it very easy to grip the sidebar. I can now pull the sidebar out of the lock easily with a pair of tweezers. With the sidebar removed, there is now nothing to keep the lock from turning. I used a large screwdriver to turn the plug to the “ON” position for removal. This entire job can be done in just a couple of minutes.
After you have turned the lock to the “ON” position, you will still need to depress the retainer, and in order to do that, you have to know where it is.
Photo 31 shows a different Focus steering column as seen through the opening in the steering wheel. I apologize for the poor focus (no pun intended) but this was the best I could do at the time. The important thing is to see where the poke-hole is located, just behind the transceiver ring. This is about the only way you can see the poke-hole without removing the transceiver ring.
After removing the transceiver ring, the poke hole is a lot easier to see. You can then insert a tool into the poke hole to depress the retainer. Use a tool with a blunt end because something sharp, like a Shrum tool, will sometimes slip between the retainer and the lock. The retainer can be depressed while the lock is turned to any position, but the lock cannot be removed until the large clip at the rear is properly aligned at the “ON” position.
Once the lock is properly aligned, it will pull out of the housing freely. Force should not be necessary unless you have drilled out the sidebar and you are fighting the drill shavings that I mentioned earlier. Note the large clip of the rear of the plug. Once the lock is out of the housing, you can then do whatever you need to do to the lock.
All in all, I try to avoid dealing with these vehicles, but when I have to work on one, I always charge extra. These cars just take more time than they are worth, but my Focus Buster has really paid for itself.
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