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PopNLock Lock Replacement

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by ph16drive, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. Jul 30, 2009 at 5:30 AM
    #1
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    Okay, so I live in Ohio and the weather last year killed the lock on my PopNLock tailgate lock and this was only after 1 winter. The problem is that sometimes after putting the key in, it wouldn’t even turn (unlock) and I got tired of leaving it unlocked. Even into this summer it would do that. And the dust shield was in a permanent open position so nothing was preventing dirt or salt from getting in the lock. Not to mention, I found out that even sticking a screwdriver in it GENTLY and turning with like the smallest amount of torque unlocked it – so it didn’t even lock!! WTH!

    So I decided to locate a replacement. After much searching and verifying dimensions, I located one and ended up paying only $7.15. If anyone is having the same problem, here’s how to change it.

    Difficulty level (0-10) = 1.5

    1. First, the lock I bought is at www.mcmaster.com – they’re an industrial supplier. The lock will come with (3) different cams that will not be used. Instead, the cam from the old lock will be used. Other parts from the new lock that will not be used are the trim washer and the 180° cam lock plate. Here’s the part number:

    [​IMG]




    2. Here are the tools you'll need:
    • T-30 torx driver
    • 7mm nut driver (or socket)
    • 1.5mm hex (allen) wrench
    • 7/8" open end wrench (22mm wrench will work also)
    • White lithium spray grease (optional)
    • Phillips-head screwdriver (forgot to include in photo below)
    • Dremel tool (optional - see step 10)
    [​IMG]

    3. Open the tailgate (and remove it if you prefer). Remove the 15 torx head screws using the T-30 torx tool. Once the screws are removed, you’ll have to lift the cover up slightly to disengage the tab on the inside of the cover (see photo below).

    [​IMG]

    4. With the tailgate cover removed, loosen the (2) nylock nuts (shown below) and remove the PopNLock assembly. Removal Tip: lift the tailgate handle halfway and you’ll have a little more room to remove it. Be careful not to scratch the paint.

    [​IMG]

    5. Now, WITH THE LOCK IN THE LOCKED POSITION, disassemble the lock mechanism as shown in the photo below. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO AND DOCUMENT EXACTLY HOW THE CAM, THE CAM LOCK BENEATH IT, AND THE LOCK BAR ARE ORIENTED SO THAT WHEN ASSEMBLING THE NEW LOCK, YOU CAN PUT THEM BACK EXACTLY THE SAME. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screw from the back of the lock. Then, use the 1.5mm hex wrench to remove the screw retaining the pivot mechanism. Lastly and the most difficult, use the 7/8” wrench to remove the nut from around the lock. I found that the flat stamped wrench like I have shown works best because it is smaller than a conventional open end wrench - so if you can get your hands on one, I advise you to do so. It makes the job much easier.

    [​IMG]

    6. Set the lock body and nut aside but keep the pivot mechanism and cam from the old lock. The cam is the round piece with the square hole in it that was retained with the Phillips-head screw. If you want to keep the chrome finish of the lock just the way it is, skip to step 8. Otherwise, I decided I wanted to paint the part of the lock that will be exposed black. Note that I did not paint the circular area on the face of the lock where the key goes in. I decided I was going to sandblast the chrome off the lock so I masked it with electrical tape (see below). From experience, electrical tape works great for staying in place and not getting blasted away inside the sand blast cabinet.

    [​IMG]

    7. (Optional) Paint the lock. I went to Ace hardware and bought some semi-flat black.

    8. Reassemble the lock in the reverse order of step #5. Use the new 90° cam lock plate, lock nut and screw that came with the new lock but use the old cam. Sorry I didn’t get a photo of this but it’s not that difficult. The correct locked position will have the lock bar pivoted away from the body of the PopNLock and the cam will be rotated clockwise (when looking at the lock from the back). Remember to have the lock in a locked position so that you can remove the key and then start the assembly. I lightly greased the pivot and cam groove. Once again, the hardest part is tightening the nut around the lock body. Don’t go nuts with the torque on the lock nut; the hole that the lock goes through will prevent it from turning.

    9. Once assembled, test the key in the lock to make sure that it operates freely. I noticed on mine that when in the unlocked position, it got a little tight and I found out that the lock bar was hitting the body. So I ground the body a little bit with a dremel and this freed up the mechanism. Do this only if yours seems to get tight towards the end of the unlock position.

    [​IMG]


    10. (Optional) After considerable research into what is the best lubricant for exterior/automotive locks, I came to the conclusion that the white lithium spray grease is the way to go in this application. Up until now, I only used powdered graphite in the original PopNLock thinking this was the best but I’ve concluded that since it didn’t work, the graphite must be wicking water which is not good at all in freezing temperatures or for lock longevity. It makes no difference to me what you use but I decided to use white lithium spray grease and I’ve found others with automotive locks doing the same. WTH – I’ll give it a try.


    11. Reassemble the PopNLock to the tailgate and fasten with the spacers and nylock nuts that were removed.


    12. Reassemble the tailgate cover to the tailgate. Don’t forget about the tab shown in step 3. Note that the larger head torx screws are used along the top edge of the tailgate.

    [​IMG]

    13. Test the lock with the tailgate closed and make sure that it locks. Here’s what mine looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jul 30, 2009 at 10:25 AM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Did you try spraying some silicone lubricate in there first?
     
  3. Jul 30, 2009 at 10:46 AM
    #3
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    I assume you're talking about the old lock? No I haven't tried silicone. I tried several other types of lubricants and even tried thoroughly cleaning it out but no lube or cleaning could change the fact that the dust flap stayed open all the time as well as the lock didn't even lock anymore. Something was seriously wrong mechanically in the lock I had.
     
  4. Jul 30, 2009 at 10:49 AM
    #4
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    Sorry Janster, forgot to ask. Is silicone lube something you've had success with?
     
  5. Jul 31, 2009 at 7:42 PM
    #5
    sooner07

    sooner07 1/2 man 1/2 amazing

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    Innuendo or Freudian slip? :p
     
  6. Aug 1, 2009 at 4:16 AM
    #6
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I haven't had trouble with mine yet... but that'd be the first thing I'd try.
     
  7. Mar 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM
    #7
    MarinePhoenix2207

    MarinePhoenix2207 Well-Known Member

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    I noticed that you used the Pop N' Lock for tailgate handles without the b/u camera. How different would the mod be for those handles with the camera?
     
  8. Mar 23, 2010 at 3:07 AM
    #8
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    To be honest, I don't know. But I'd be surprised if they used a different lock with the B/U camera models. I'm sure there's at least one extra step to remove the connection to the camera but beyond that, we'd have to see if someone with a B/U camera type chimes in here. Sorry bud.:D
     
  9. Mar 23, 2010 at 3:59 AM
    #9
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    Great write up. My first lock froze up just as you described after the 1st winter with regular maintenance. Nothing would touch it, lithium grease, silicone, graphite, pb blaster, etc etc. It reminded me of the lock cylinders on the camper shells. Even with a rubber covering, the lock eventually succumbed to the winter elements (ie. salt), at least where I live.

    I have since replaced the pnl with a new one only this winter occasionally removed the plastic bed liner & shot more grease on the cylinder from the back side. That is where I noticed a lot of rust on the non-working one.

    Mine still works but now have a less expensive way in the future if it stops working. Also, yes I use the lithium grease on the backside, that what the lock has on it when it was new from the mfg.
     
  10. Mar 23, 2010 at 4:24 AM
    #10
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    This was the first winter since mine has been replaced and it works just like the day I installed it. Actually, a little smoother since it wears in. I haven't even sprayed it with lithium grease since, only sprayed it once the first time I installed it.

    Sure beats that lock that came with it when I bought it.
     
  11. Mar 23, 2010 at 5:12 PM
    #11
    MarinePhoenix2207

    MarinePhoenix2207 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the tip, and the write up! Just a thought, but do you think if a rubber cover/gasket was installed around the exposed portion of the lock that it would prevent a lot of the issues, or is the winter air/temperatures affecting the inside of the whole assembly from other, non-airtight areas of the tailgate?
     
  12. Mar 24, 2010 at 12:57 AM
    #12
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    On my old lock (the one that came with the pop 'n lock) the dust cover wouldn't close after while and that just lead to it's failure. Whether you add a gasket or not, you really can't space the head of the lock out too far because of the cam and internal workings of the lock which won't line up if spaced out too far.
     
  13. Mar 24, 2010 at 12:20 PM
    #13
    MarinePhoenix2207

    MarinePhoenix2207 Well-Known Member

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    oh ok, I was thinking something more along the lines of a cover like in the pic.
     
  14. Mar 25, 2010 at 1:52 AM
    #14
    ph16drive

    ph16drive [OP] \m/.....\m/

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    That looks like a great idea and now I'm wishing I had one. Where do you get something like that?
     
  15. Mar 25, 2010 at 4:56 AM
    #15
    MarinePhoenix2207

    MarinePhoenix2207 Well-Known Member

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    well i don't have one yet, but i'm thinking something like that might help some folks out. I'll do some more research and let you all know.
     
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