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Den41Buick

GM Locks

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I have a 41 GM and do not have keys to lock the doors. This has not been an issue since I have never left the car unattended. What is my best solution? Thanks

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I'm trying to recall the '41 Buick lock set-up. Don't the glovebox lock, the door locks, and the trunk lock all use the same key? I could be wrong, so hopefully another late 1930's-early 1940's Buick owner will chime in. It has been awhile since I've thought about this.

If these locks are all keyed alike, it might be easier to remove the glove box lock (rather than the door lock) to take to the locksmith. John

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I own a '37 Pontiac, and on the trunk handle/lock assembly, there is a number stamped on it. I was told that with this number, a locksmith can easily make a key for it. So far, I haven't gone to the locksmith yet, but when I phoned one, they told me "yes".

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The number of the lock cylinder to cut a key is correct on more recent vehicles, but I do not know on prewar vehicles.

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Most locks and or cylinders will have number code stamped on them. Any dealership or locksmith can cut a key from that code. I can do it, if you find the code.

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Buicks used a single key setup. Pull the glove box lock and take it to a locksmith. Your ignition key should also lock the doors, glove box and trunk, unless someone changed the ignition lock. Does your ignition key lock anything else? I'm assuming this is a Buick. Other GM cars used a 2 key system in '41. The door and ignitions should be the same, with the other key fitting the trunk and glove box.

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The GM key code system goes back to the mid to early 1930's....

I once had a '36 Chevy pick-up with no keys; I found the code # (four digit?) on the ignition lock, and took that to my local Mom & Pop locksmith; he looked-up the code in his book, got out his ancient key-punch pliers, and the appropriate blank, and in less than five minutes, I had two correct keys.

He did this on at least two other 1930's - '40s GMs for me...

Good luck !

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Thanks for all of the advice. I had already replaced the glove box because I did not have a key for it. Also I did not get a key for the ignition and door locks. As most already know you really do not need an ignition key to start the car. Nice security feature!! I pulled the ignition lock today. I was unable to locate any numbers on it. Also, I can not be sure if it is original or not. The removal of the door lock set looks like quite alot of work. Any short cuts? Thanks

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I know that on my 37 Pontiac, its real easy to pull the trunk handle. You might want to check there, just in case it is the same key as the doors.

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If you still have the old glove box lock, take it along with the ignition lock to a locksmith. That way you can make sure it is the same key. Even without a number the locksmith can make a key. If the cylinder pins are removable, he can make the key based on the pin lengths. If not, it can be made by the impression method. This is a little hard on the lock, but it works. If you do not have the old glove box lock, take your replacement along. He should be able to rekey it so it matches the ignition, door and trunk lock. I've had about a dozen keys made in these ways over the years.

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GM locks have sidebar mechanisms, not pin tumblers like Ford or Mopar. I believe these are tougher to impression than the others.

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GM locks have sidebar mechanisms, not pin tumblers like Ford or Mopar. I believe these are tougher to impression than the others.

Maybe thats why they have the numbers stamped in them, so a key can be easily be made.

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good discussion, I have the same problem with my '56 Chevy wagon. I have keys for the doors and ignition, but the back hatch(sedan delivery type) is completely different. I have not dealt with it yet.

Wayne

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Sorry if this is long,,,wey back I bought a 1925 Packard,,,no keys,,,the Ign had a lever and the key locked that,,Called locksmith and he asked for the #,,gave it to him and he looked in the book and said it was listed,,could i drive over,,not a problem we had just driven DC-Boston[Cambridge actually],,when I got there ,,he handed me the key on the counter,,,as I recall these were the same blank as GM,,Later he cut a Yale blank to fit Rods 1907 Packard 30,, again from the #, [The new blanks are larger],,,Needless to say he cut all my keys for years,,and now the grandson runs the shop,,,Cheers,,Ben

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Regarding not needing a key to start the car, here is my experience; I had a '40 Buick when a poor college kid, and it had a 3 position ignition lock cylinder, I think it could be locked off or turned off in the other direction without being locked. That is, to the best of my recollection, it was over 60 years ago. Your switch may have the same positions and perhaps that is why you don't have to have a key to turn it on and off. Mine also had a vacuum switch that activated the starter when the gas pedal was pushed. It de-activated as soon as there was vacuum. My ignition switch was defective and had to be tweeked a little bit away from its normal "on" position in order to make contact. No one knew that but me, so I never "locked" it, and with the defect no one knew how to start it but me. Occasionally it would slip off the tweeked position while driving and the engine would cut off. I knew when it happend and would just re-set it and keep on going. I do miss that big Roadmaster, a fixed up $75 wreck. It had rear-ended a '39 Ford and stood it on its end!

Edited by Dave Henderson (see edit history)

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P. S. Those Briggs and Stratton locks and keys the '30's-'40's GM's had got pretty sloppy after a lot of wear. Friends and I discovered that keys to one's car would work on anothers, maybe with a little wiggling!

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There were only a few hundred key variations at best, so the odds were good that a large sized parkling lot had several cars using the same key.

My aunt had a '55 Buick and one night after a Bingo game she, my cousin, and my mother all got in what they thought was my aunt's car to go home. As they drove up the street, my cousin spotted my aunt's Buick still at the curb. They took the wrong car! My aunt quickly re-parked the other Buick in the same spot, no harm done.

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GM locks between 1935 and 1965 were sidebar locks with a four digit code number between 8000 and 9500. The number was usually stamped on the door locks and sometimes could be seen if a hole were punched in the edge of the door adjacent to the lock. the hole could later be covered with a rubber plug.

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My late uncle was an old school mechanic, having opened his shop when he got out of the Army in 46. He kept a 3 pound coffee can (remeber those?) and threw old keys from wrecks, etc. in the can. I lost a key to a Chevy once and he said get the key can and start trying and you will find one withing 5 minutes. Sure enough, I found one in a couple of minutes. He said that the Briggs & Strattion locks used by GM in the 30s, 40s and 50s had a very limited number combinations and with few odd keys you would find they would fit a number or cars.

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I have a 53 Buick and and 60 Bel-Air. No keys to anything.

Does anyone know how these should be keyed (in terms of "do doors, glove box, trunk and ignition match?")?

Also, what is the least intrusive means to find the code on these models? I'd like to get going without disassembling door panels if possible.

Any chance code would be on glove box?

Thanks.

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I have a 53 Buick and and 60 Bel-Air. No keys to anything.

Does anyone know how these should be keyed (in terms of "do doors, glove box, trunk and ignition match?")?

Also, what is the least intrusive means to find the code on these models? I'd like to get going without disassembling door panels if possible.

Any chance code would be on glove box?

Thanks.

Jeff,

The code is stamped on the outside of the lock cylinders. Unfortunately there is no way to remove the ignition or glovebox lock cylinders without a key. The door and trunk are much easier to get to and there is no way around disassembly (which is not very difficult). The 1935-1966 cars used a common key blade, though there were octagonal (door and ignition) and pear shaped (trunk and glovebox) heads. If you do find the four character code, PM me and I can punch you a new key from the code. I have the code book and Curtis Clipper machine to make these keys.

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Excellent, Joe. Thanks so much for the offer.

BTW, do you know whether all locks on each of the car models I mentioned are supposed to be keyed alike? Or is the ignition, for example, different than the trunk?

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The ignition and doors are the same. The trunk and glovebox should be a different key code from the ignition, however not always. My 1962 Olds wagon uses one key for all four locations. Of course, this assumes nothing has been changed in the last 60 years, either.

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I just had trunk keys made for my 1951 buick at the locksmiths ,they just put the year and make n the computer they have and the machine cut the key and they worked great and the door locks were the same,so that worked out for me also as I didn't have door keys,I didn't even have to bring in the lock cylinders.

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