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re: aargh, more damage

> > Is it possible to re-use my old lock tumblers with a new lock mechanism on
> > my car, too, I wonder?
> Yes.  When I replaced the door handle on my coupe a couple of years ago,
> I dismantled the "core" of the lock itself, and measured the five (?)
> little pins that fit my old key.  I then went through my collection and
> used five less worn or even new pins that were the appropriate sizes,
> since the old pins were getting rather worn and the key fit was iffy.  I
> kept careful notes of what went where and had no trouble.  New handle,
> new lock, new pins, old key - sweet.

Measuring the pins seems tedious... what I do is insert into the 
cylinder the key that will unlock it in its "target" configuration, 
then remove pins which stick out too far with those that just come
out flush with the cylinder. Just did this a few weeks ago when I
bought a new OEM locking gas cap. It comes with an empty lock
cylinder. The parts guy told me I could just insert the lock cylinder
like that and use it. But then even a screwdriver could have unlocked
the gas cap.

Now, it opens only to my (and probably a few others') key.

Anyway, as to the technique, as far as effort goes, it may be
six of one, half-dozen of the other.

-Douglas Hurst Quebbeman      (dougq@iglou.com)
"The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away."  -Tom Waits