1994 Ford Explorer - how to rekey locks

I need to replace the ignition lock and one of the door locks due attempted theft. Can’t seem to find a set with all the locks an explorer needs. (Most sets don’t even have a lock for the tailgate.) So it looks like if I don’t want three keys for the car on my keychain I’m going to need to do some rekeying.

I’m sure a locksmith could help, but I like to do things myself and I don’t imagine it’s too difficult. Anyone have experience with this?

[Edited to add: Just talked to a locksmith and he said most locksmiths don’t do them anymore. He recommended buying a set from Ford, but I just went to fordparts dot com and they don’t seem to stock any lock cylinders for 94 explorers.]


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Tester you must know by now that I’ll do almost anything before paying somebody else to do something that I think I can do lol.

Someone just came out and installed a new windshield, so I can sometimes make compromises.

Just called a locksmith and he said it’s just not worth their time to do them anymore. He recommended that I buy a set from Ford, but my search of fordparts turned up nothing.

Currently looking for a wafer set…

Do the recycle yards keep the keys/locks?

It’s a matter of replacing the tumbler pins inside the lock to fit the key. Maybe you can use the pins from your old locks to use in the new locks. Otherwise you have to source the parts. It really is a simple job for a lock smith if you have the lock out. Last time I had it done it was about ten minutes and $20. Or just remove all the tumblers except one that the current key will work with. No one will know the difference until they try to pick the lock. I did that too on a corroded lock.

If a locksmith told you they don’t do that anymore, either you want them to remove the locks themselves, or maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to deal with you. It happens. I remember being with a contractor that told a guy he just couldn’t fit the work in. Then he told me that guy is a chisler, trying to get everything for nothing and not worth dealing with.

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Ah. So starting to understand. Would I be correct in saying that the ignition lock is wafers and the door locks are pins? If it’s just a matter of repinning the door locks to a new ignition key, that should be no problem at all. (once i figure out how to get at the pins)

edited to add: also I just put a call in to the locksmith to ask if the situation would be different if it was just door locks and I brought them in. waiting for a callback.

For those old door lock cylinders we usually had to cut the exterior bezel off to remove the barrel. We had replacement bezels in the kit.

The tumblers can be rearranged to match your old key, you should be able to get 4 out of 5 to work.


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Okay here we go. Could you be a little more specific about how you cut the bezel off? How did you fix the bezel to get the rekeyed lock into service?

You need to look closely at your lock door lock cylinder to see if the bezel/cap can be popped off. If you cut them off, you need a replacement, we had those in our lock kits.

You might be able to find an aftermarket lock set, this is for a Mustang, might be the same parts. There are probably other sets available.

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Hmmm. I did find this set but it didn’t have the bezels. Must be some bezels out there…

Yeah, that looks right, but needs one more for the tailgate :slight_smile:

Just fyi this is what I’m looking at.

I can’t speak to your particular car’s lock configuration, but I diy’er re-keyed my Corolla’s passenger door lock using a dremmel tool to grind the top of some of the wafers so they properly lined up when the key was inserted. I didn’t need to do much grinding b/c the problem was the key and tumblers had worn together on the driver’s door, but not the passenger door. All I needed to do was add some wear to the passenger door lock. The hardest part was removing the lock from the door without breaking anything. oops! I did break something, so fixing what I broke was actually the hardest part of the job.

I can’t imagine a locksmith refusing to do this job for you as long as you offered to pay them for their time at their hourly rate. Might be somewhat expensive, so get a price quote before deciding.

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This is my last comment, but that is the whole cylinder. The tumblers are inside of that. You pull the internal cylinder out of the lock cylinder. Usually it’s put the key in and use a paper clip in the small access hole to release it. I haven’t seen a dimes worth of difference in car or house locks. But just take those things to a lock smith to re key.

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OP, if you find you have to take a lock completely apart & remove wafers/tumblers to resolve this issue, suggest to do task this on top of a big white piece of cloth, like an old sheet. There are super-tiny springs you don’t want to lose inside the lock, and they will fall out very easily once the wafers are removed.

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Is that a free public service offered in your area?

They are all wafers

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Like I said last time I had a lock rekeyed it was less than $20. About the cost of a breakfast at McDonald’s.