Thursday, August 8, 2013


One of the first things I did after we got Vlad was order a new set of locks. She had a different key for every lock - doors, boot (trunk to you Yanks), glove box and ignition. I ordered a matched set so that we didn't have to jangle around 4 keys and try to figure out which one is which every time.

On Tuesday, T had an unexpected, and very welcome, day off. When I get unexpected 'free time' I often like to take advantage of it by being as lazy as I possibly can. My dearest T-Rex on the other hand is gnawed by guilt when he sits doing nothing. I am too, but I'm pretty good at ignoring guilt. Irish Catholic's don't get off so easy. So he decided late afternoon Tuesday was a good time to start putting in the locks. I begged to differ, not liking the prospect of spending a hot sweaty evening (it had rained heavily earlier) in the garage with no AC. I lost (this actually happens a lot. I don't always get my way. But I choose my battles well.)

He started with the boot, and had that one switched out in no time. It was a simple straight swap and not a difficult location to get to. I stood around and took photos for this part, pretending to be helpful. It's usually best not to interrupt stubborn engineers in their natural habitat to offer 'helpful tips', they can become aggressive.

Removing the old lock. 

The new 'trunk' lock.

In she goes. Get in your home, lock.
 After the relative ease of the trunk lock switch, T was lulled into a false sense of security. And also bitten by several mosquitoes. So he changed from his shorts into the uniform of the lesser-spotted desert-dwelling mechanic: overalls and flip-flops. The next lock, however, proved more difficult.

I'm in a boat. With my flippy-floppys.
Not as easy to get at the door locks. 
 The door locks were more difficult to get out. After removing the door panel, you can reach inside and pop out a small little metal piece (sorry for the confusing highly technical terms) that sits between the lock cylinder and the inside of the door. Ours was stuck, due to sitting there for 47 years, and a little bit of rust. After struggling with it for a while and requesting a tool that was nowhere to be found, I suggested spraying on some WD40 and leaving it a while.

After much frustration on both our parts searching for the magical tool that would grip this thing, I decided to just go next door and ask our neighbours if they had one. Unfortunately I didn't know what it was called, only what it looked like, so I had to say "Hello, do you have a thing that looks like a wrench, but it's not a wrench, but it grips things and is adjustable." He kindly put me out of my misery by just letting me look through his tool chest, where I immediately found 3 (little, medium and big) and took them all.
Little did the trick. And now thanks to the power of Google, I can tell you that the tool needed was 'adjustable pliers'. See how educational this blog is already? You're welcome readers!

This is the last picture I took, as it started to get dark and even hotter and I wanted to hurry the feck up.
With the right tool (and WD40 as suggested by moi) the drivers lock was out quickly. The last two keys to switch were the ignition and the glove box. I volunteered to tackle the glove box, since somehow working on the ignition meant T was upside down on the front bench and I figured we could both do one at once and get the hell out of the sweaty garage. When I looked at the lock, it was immediately apparent what to do and I felt like a genius!  A small screw inside the glove box held the lock in place, and unscrewing it, it popped out straight away. Yippee! All I had to do was pop the new one in and screw back in place. Except, hang on. The new one's in, but it won't close.... oh hamburgers.

The new lock has two edge pieces - similar to the hole in the picture above - the hole it fits in is not a circle, but has extra holes in a cross shape to accommodate pieces of metal to make sure the lock goes in straight. Well the new lock seems to have slightly fatter pieces, preventing it from sliding all the way in to the hole, and  therefore from closing properly, as the latch can't quite reach. So my easy job then went to trying to adjust the catch plate inside, but I was unable to bend it enough. We got it temporarily shut in the end, but it definitely needs some adjustment - either bending the plate, or maybe sanding down the extra lumps of metal a bit? Was far too sweaty to care at this point, and T had finished the ignition (which I paid no attention to, so no idea how, sorry. I'll ask him later and edit this in case anyone needs that info!)

Now Vlad's keyring is considerably lighter, and we won't have to fumble around trying to figure out which key to use!

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