How to re-key half-door lock cylinders

MountaineerTom

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A couple years ago I bought a set of half-doors that needed a little TLC off of a guy in Georgia as a project for the future. I'm finally getting around to working on them. I don't know exactly what year they were from but know they are the earlier year TJ's because of the plastic track with door seals that slide into them. I think '97-'02 are those years, but not positive. One of the things I wanted to do was get the lock cylinders to match my keys. I know some think it's a waste to make sure the lock cylinders on half-door, or even full doors, are keyed properly on a Wrangler, especially when you run a soft top. I somewhat agree, but I just want them to match, that's really the only reason. My wife says it's my OCD.

I couldn't find a suitable locksmith in my somewhat rural area of SC, so off to the internet I went. I found the Tumbler Kit on E-bay for $23 dollars. I also bought two black Lock Cylinder Caps form Quadratec. The caps are crimped on and not salvageable. The paint quality on them isn't great so I sprayed a few light coats of Satin Black on them. There are different sized caps. I don't know the specifics of which years/style doors use what, but I know the full doors on my '06 have a bigger cap.
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Here we go...
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Remove the seal. I couldn't find anywhere that sold a replacement that looked like this one. Luckily mine were in good shape.
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Remove the E-clip.
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Remove the arm with the clip that attached to the rod in the door.
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Remove the spring.
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Pry the cylinder cap off. I got it started with a screw driver and then used pliers to peel it off.
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Slide the inner cylinder out.
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Push the tumbler/wafer piece towards the tiny spring and lift up. The springs are very small so look closely and don't loose them. This cylinder was gummed up pretty good with lube, so I had to move the tumbler/wafer towards the spring and lift with a pair of needle nose pliers. The other cylinder wasn't like that. Look at the tumbler/wafers as you remove them; they have a number on them. I made a little drawing on which number was in which position as I removed them.
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Remove the springs and tumbler/wafers and set them to the side in a safe place.
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I soaked the inner cylinders in some WD-40 for 15 minutes or so then scrubbed the inner and outer pieces with a small brush and finished up cleaning with some isopropyl alcohol.
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I used all new tumbler/wafers but did clean up and reuse the original springs. The originals felt more springy than the ones in the kit. The ones in the kit were kind of weak feeling.
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What you want to do is install the springs, then install the correct numbered tumbler/wafer so that they are flush with the inner cylinder when the key is installed. I started with the farthest one and just worked my way back towards the key. Installing one at a time and checking them after each one.
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I put a light coat of white lithium grease on the areas of the inner cylinder that rotates in the outer cylinder.
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Reinstall the inner cylinder into the outer cylinder.
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Reinstall the spring.
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Reinstall the arm with the clip for the rod that's in the door. I put a light layer of white lithium grease on both sides of the plate on the arm.
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Snap the E-clip on.
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Insert your key and turn it each way. Make sure the tumbler/wafers slide under the outer housing. If you can't turn the key, you've got an incorrect numbered tumbler/wafer installed somewhere.
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Install the seal.
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Install your cylinder cap. Line the 4 tabs up with open areas of the cylinder. Press the cap down tight on the cylinder and then bend the 4 tabs down onto the cylinder to hold it on. Make sure your seal is up out of the way before you crimp the caps down. Don't crimp the caps onto the seals.
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I don't have the cylinder cap on in the video. I put a few coats of paint on them and waiting for them to dry.
 
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L J

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great write up (y)

I know some think it's a waste to make sure the lock cylinders on half-door, or even full doors, are keyed properly on a Wrangler, especially when you run a soft top.

Hell, I did it and am not running a top or uppers. :LOL: I had a locksmith key some replacement cylinders for a set of '97 half doors while I was getting my OEM gascap keyed.

Remove the seal. I couldn't find anywhere that sold a replacement that looked like this one. Luckily mine were in good shape.

Omix-Ada (55074799) sells them for a couple of bucks each.
 
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MountaineerTom

MountaineerTom

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great write up (y)



Hell, I did it and am not running a top or uppers. :LOL: I had a locksmith key some replacement cylinders for a set of '97 half doors while I was getting my OEM gascap keyed.



Omix-Ada (55074799) sells them for a couple of bucks each.


Awesome, thanks. I found some that only had 2 notches but never came across these.
 

06lj

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Very nice write up! I still need to get around to it. Currently I just filed down the wafers so my key will work. This will be a great winter project.
 
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MountaineerTom

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It was pretty easy. Honestly, the hardest parts were removing the rusty clip that holds the cylinder in the door and removing the crimped on cylinder cap. I took a wire wheel to the clips and now they are in pretty good shape.
 

RussTJ

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Thanks for this write up. I bought full size doors and couldn't swap the lock cylinders from my original half doors due to different year doors had different size cylinders.
 
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MountaineerTom

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Thanks for this write up. I bought full size doors and couldn't swap the lock cylinders from my original half doors due to different year doors had different size cylinders.

I've not messed with the full door cylinders, but I would imagine its very similar.
 

TDB55

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Will this work for the tailgate lock? The keys that came with my Jeep will not lock it or is there something else I should try?
 
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MountaineerTom

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You should be able to rekey it similarly. Im not positive in this but I think the tail gate cylinder is bigger than the half door cylinders, and more like the full door cylinders. You would definitely need a different cylinder lock cap. A bigger one than the half door sized.

I don’t have any experience with the tail gate or full door cylinders.
 

Daubie3

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This is a very good write up..!!

The only thing different that I'm going to do is to disconnect my interior lock toggle on the half doors so you can only lock and unlock them with the key.
My thought behind this is not to make it any more difficult to break in per say, but to make it much more difficult if not impossible to steal the doors. So even with the top and upper door windows off you won't be able to just reach in and unlock the doors without the key.
As far as people wondering about being able to lock them while driving/riding in it.......Really... the're half doors. So I don't see a reason to need to lock them from the inside. (Full doors, different story)

So again, a very good write up sir, well done.
 

Tob

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I don't even know how this happened, much less how I'm going to get it out. For anyone following this writeup... make sure you don't do this.
 
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Jaredsalinsky

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Same as many...wanting to key my half-door locks to my original jeep TJ keys. Is there a way to Re-key the lock WITHOUT removing one of the original lock cylinders? By using the key itself and working backwards to figure out the tumbler/wafer sequence? OR is there anywhere on the vehicle that tells you the tumbler/wafer code?
thanks
j