Typical 914 Door Lock Front
914 Door Lock Rear
Tumbler Restraining Screw, Spring and Cam
Removing Tumbler with Key
Tumbler Incorrectly Keyed
Inserting Tumbler Pin into Tumbler
Lock Rekeying Kit
Correct Tumber Pins in Tumber
Correct Tumber Pins in Tumber
||Forward: This article centers upon
rekeying locks for Porsches, however, the principles are nearly the same for all cars.
With the knowledge gained here, you should be able to rekey just about any lock on
Very often the locks on older cars do
not match the original keys. This could be for a variety of reasons: the locks get
broken and replaced, the keys get lost or worn, or the tumblers in the locks become worn.
Either way, having more than one key for the car can be a pain, especially if
different doors use different keys. This Pelican Technical Article shows you the
easy way to rekey your locks. Whether you have a 356, 911, 914 or other Porsche, the
principle of rekeying the locks are the same.
The first step is to remove the lock from the
car. This may vary depending upon which car you have. This article uses the
914 door handle as an example to follow. For more information on removing and
replacing 914 door handles, please see our technical article, "Replacing &
Repairing 914 Door Handles." (Coming soon...) Figure 1 shows a typical 914 door handle.
This one has actually been anodized black by the previous owner of the car.
Once you have the door handle, trunk lock, or
other lock removed from the car, you begin by removing the inner tumbler.
Figure 2 shows the back of the 914 door handle.
Here you can see that there is a small screw that holds the end cam to the door
handle. Remove this screw, the cam, and the inner spring as shown in Figure 3.
Once the cam, screw and spring are removed,
then you can remove the inner tumbler from the door handle. This is most easily done
by inserting a key into the tumbler. The key that you use does not have to match the
tumbler in order to pull it out. Inserting the key helps to reduce the amount of
pressure that the tumbler pins are placing on the walls of the lock cylinder. With
the key inserted into the tumbler, it should easily push out from the rear, as shown in
5 shows the tumbler with the key inserted. If you look carefully, you can see
the tumbler pins sticking up out of the lock. These get stuck in a groove inside the
lock cylinder and prevent the tumbler from turning. Your goal is to swap or replace
the tumbler keys with ones that will not stick up out of the tumbler when the key is
This next step is one primarily of trial and
error. With your fingers or a pair of needle-nose pliers, remove one of the tumbler
pins, as shown in Figure 6. Becareful not
to lose the small tumbler springs that push the pins outward. These are very small
and have a tendency to fall out when you least expect it. In order to perform the
lock rekeying properly, you need a set of replacement tumbler pins. These pins come
in four different sizes, and are labeled 1-4. Figure
7 shows a typical lock rekeying key complete with a bunch of tumbler pins and
replacement springs. Figure 8 shows a
typical Porsche tumbler pin. The arrow points to where the pin is marked with a
Now, replace the pin that you just removed with a pin
that has a different number. Unfortunately, some of the pins aren't always marked,
so you might have to guess at the right one. Replace the pin in the tumbler, and
then insert the key. The pin should be flush with the top of the tumbler. If
it isn't, then pull out the pin and try a different one. Repeat this process until
all of the tumbler pins are flush with the top of the tumbler on both sides. Both
sides of the tumbler with the pins flush at the surface are shown in Figure 9 and
When you think that all the pins are correct, check
the tumbler in the lock cylinder. Sometimes the pins can be worn, and look like they
will work, but in reality, they don't. When the lock turns smoothly, then reassemble
the cylinder, and reinstall the door handle.
Well, thats about it. Unfortunately, as mentioned
previously, you need a set of tumbler pins in order to be sure that you will have the
Remember, that your continued support of
DriveWerks assures that these tech articles will remain on the web, and that development
of other articles will continue. If you have any questions or comments about
rekeying locks, please drop us a line.
Robert Waple (firstname.lastname@example.org)
While you have the tumbler apart, it is a
perfect time to clean the tumbler and the housing that the tumbler fits into.
Ive found that on older Porsches, and even my 944, that the grease used at the
factory tends to harden a bit. This causes the tumbler to be hard to turn when
locking/unlocking the door from the exterior of the vehicle. The trick is to use
some type of sovent to break that grease up. Personally I use rubbing alcohol, not
too harsh and dries fairly quickly. Use a small bowl and do all your work in
there. The springs that push the pins out of the tumbler when the key is
removed, thus preventing the tumbler from turning in the housing, are small and have
an uncanny ability to blend with any surrounding that theyre dropped
onto. You think finding a dropped contact lense is difficult, drop one of these
springs on the kitchen counter and you may spend ten minutes looking for it! Be
smart, use a bowl, as the solvent breaks up the old grease, the springs will fall out of
the tumbler. If your re-keying your locks, after cleaning is when you want to
perform that particular step. Afterward you figure out which pins need to go into
which notches on the tumbler, pull them all (keep them in order!!) and apply a small
amount of new grease to the tumbler. Work a small amount into each hole where the
springs reside. This helps keep them there while you re-assemble the
mechanism. Also coat the outside of the tumbler and the part of the door handle that
the tumbler fits into. Personally I use white lithium grease. You
dont want to apply too much, or youll be wiping it off your key every
time you use it for the next six months. Slide the tumbler back into the door handle
and reassembly everything. Insert your key and make sure everything works before
installing on the vehicle.
Youll love the smooth operation of your door locks every time you unlock