Re-Keying Spitfire Locks


by Joe Curry

Spitfires typically have different locks for the Ignition and doors and deck lid. If you desire to make one key fit all the locks this is not particularly difficult.

First, you need to remove the cylinder of the lock from the barrel so you can access the individual key tabs. Using a pair of small nose pliers, carefully remove all five tabs from the barrel. Use caution to avoid losing the small springs that exert pressure on each tab. The springs are located in the round holes at the edge of all the tab slots.

Examine the profile of the key you wish to use and select a tab that looks like the correct profile for the very end slot. Insert that tab in the inside-most slot. Insert the key and see if the end of the tab protrudes from either side of the cylinder. If it does, remove the key and tab and select a different profile tab that is longer or shorter as required to remain flush with the barrel with the key inserted. Once this is accomplished (with the spring in its slot), repeat the process for the next tab until all 5 tabs remain flush with the key inserted.

Obviously, it makes good sense to have several spare barrels available so you will have a good selection of different profile tabs from which to choose.

Re-install the completed cylinder in the barrel and you are finished.

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