Join the Push to Simplex

Dec. 15, 2004
With so many new products hitting the marketplace on a daily basis, it is reassuring to see some longtime favorites which are still going strong.

With so many new products hitting the marketplace on a daily basis, it is reassuring to see some longtime favorites which are still going strong. One such product is the rim-mounted Simplex '900 series door locks by Kaba-Ilco. The familiar lock with its teardrop-shaped outer escutcheon plate and five push buttons in a circle has been a stalwart locksmith item for decades.

Simplex push button locks were a product almost ahead of their time when first introduced. Keyless push button locks have now become a staple item. The Simplex 900 series provides an easy-to-install mechanical alternative to more costly electronic products. The 900 series competes well against electronic products with available features such as spring deadlatch or deadbolt styles, key bypass, latch holdback, reversible handing in the field and speedy combination changing without removing the unit from the door.

Simplex 900 Series locks are an ideal product for installation on storerooms, computer rooms, residences and just about any application where there is a steady turnover in help, when continuous access is required through a common door, or when children or adults will not always have a key handy.

Instruction booklets included with each 900 series Simplex lock contain a template which must be cut out of the booklet and temporarily affixed to the door. Templates have secondary folding lines which set the lockset farther away from the door edge for jamb clearance on outswinging doors or when a riser plate is being used. Check each different door jamb design and visualize which strike plate type will be used and if a riser plate is necessary, then affix template as needed for the particular installation. Be sure to check for all contingencies before proceeding.

Kaba-Ilco recommends installing the 900 series lock approximately 8 to 10 inches above the existing knob lock. Carefully mark each of the drill positions on the instruction sheet. Six positions were marked for this installation. Note: Large and small holes must be drilled in close proximity to one another, so care must be taken to mark each drill point on the centermarks of the template.

Hole sizes of 1-5/8" and 3/4" are required for installation of a standard 950 lock. If a key bypass cylinder will be installed, an additional 7/8" hole must be drilled. The instruction sheet recommends using hole saws for drilling. (Flat, spade-shaped drills tend to wander off center.) Drill each hole from the marked side of the door until the pilot drill emerges on the opposite side of the door. Restart drilling where the drill emerged. This is especially important on wood doors to help eliminate chipping of the wood surface as the hole saw breaks through and completes the drilled hole.

A 3/4" diameter pin tumbler cam lock is used for key bypass operation. An outer trim ring, inner cup flange, retaining screws and thin spacer are included. There is just one position for the lock tailpiece to operate the 950 lock, so the cylinder must be installed for key insertion with cuts upward or cuts downward depending on the hand of the door. A small part of the inner cup flange is visible after final installation, so a thin metal spacer is furnished to cover over the flange. Break-off lines are marked on the cylinder tailpiece to facilitate shortening of the tailpiece according to the door thickness.

Use an 1/8" drill to make holes for the three lock retaining screws. Three sheet metal screws are included and can be used for either metal door or wood door installations. For a firm fit on wood doors, drill only a partial hole about half to three-quarters length of the screw in depth. Allow the screw to complete the job as it is screwed into place.

Once the lock is mounted, place the holding bracket against the outer lock tube. Drill holes for holding bracket retaining screws and fasten holding bracket to the door. Remove the three screws holding the 900 series lock in place and slide the lock partially out of the door. Install the teardrop-shaped face plate by engaging the edges of the plate onto the holding bracket. Slide the 900 series lockset back into place and reinstall the three retaining screws.

With proper pre-planning for strike plate installation as noted in an earlier paragraph, mounting of the chosen strike plate should require a minimum of door jamb mortising to complete the job.

Box strike and surface strike plates are included to allow for either inswinging or outswinging door installations. Riser plates are available which fit under the main lock body and move the lock away from the door surface. Riser plates make strike alignment easier when working with some door jamb designs. Simplex locks are available either in a 100 series for 1-3/8" doors or in a 200 series which fit door thicknesses of 1-3/4" to 2-1/8".

Both 100 and 200 series are available in brushed chrome or satin brass finishes. A subsequent article will describe combination changing and troubleshooting.
For more information, contact your local Kaba-Ilco locksmith distributor or: Kaba Ilco Corp., telephone 800-849-8324, website