bloodowl89

Wondering about keys/unlocking

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Hey everyone. I have been wondering about this '60's Chevy C10 and the '70's Dodge Dart (found out it was a Custom at that). I have been asking about these vehicles in other posts as well. I need to get into the vehicles to see if the original titles are there or anything else worth noting. I have no clue where the keys are. No one would I highly doubt it so my question is with vehicles that old would it be possible to buy a generic key online and use it to unlock the vehicles in question or what options do I have here? I have heard some wild stuff like just having any old long key to get it to turn to unlock and others so I would love to hear from the experts. Thanks again everyone. Hands down the best forum I've been involved with and I want to keep it that way. You all are beyond awesome.

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I have or had both of those vehicles. 

If it was me, I would buy the correct NOS key blanks (ebay or other sources), then go talk to a lock smith.

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No, I don't believe you can buy any kind of a magic key to get in, unless you have the codes. You would have to pick the locks, or have a locksmith do it, and locks that have been sitting a long time might not even be pickable if they got all wet and corroded.

 

Let's start with the C10. I have a 66. This one is going to be pretty confusing if you are accustomed to modern cars. First of all, are you sure it is locked? Try both doors. You might be surprised.

 

Assuming its 66 or older (is it?) the locks lock from the inside, and there is usually only one key lock on one door. Look at the inside door release handles. They should point toward the rear of the truck. You pull up on the handle to lock a door, and push down to unlock. You also push down to open the door. If someone put the handles on pointing forward then everything is backward.

 

There will be usually only one key lock on one door. It is probably the driver's door (mine is), but maybe not. A long time ago you were expected to exit from the curb side, so it might be on the passenger door. All the key lock does is lock up the button. Here's how it works to lock the truck. You reach over to the door that has no key lock, and pull up on the inside handle. This locks the door. Then, you get out the side that has the key lock, and lock the button with the key. The door is technically still unlocked as far as the door mechanism knows, but since you locked the button, nobody can push the button.

 

To unlock, you have to either pick the key lock, or you have to get inside somehow and push down on a door handle. Either side will do. If a window was a little down, or a door not all the way latched, you might be able to get something in to push down on the handle. Also check the wing windows. If one is unlocked, you might be able to tilt it open from the outside, and get something inside to push down on the door release handle to unlock it.

 

There is also a tool called a "slim jim" that works on many older cars (but I'm not sure it will work on this one). Thats a question for your locksmith if none of the other ideas work.

 

Once inside, you can take the door apart and remove the outside handle that has the lock button in it. The lock button will have a code on it somewhere that you can get a key made from. I am not sure how far you would have to take it apart. You might have to pick the lock before you can see the code. I don't think so though. If nothing has been changed since new, the key you have made from the code will also fit the ignition, (and the back door if it is a suburban). Worst case, you can just take the whole door handle to a locksmith.

 

That should get you a key for everything. If not, then move on to the ignition.

 

The ignition lock also has a code (the same one) but would definitely need to picked in order to see it (thats why you start with the door lock, because it might be stamped where you can see it). To get the ignition switch out of the dash needs a special tool. You have to either buy one, or make one or maybe (not sure) a snap ring pliers might work. The round chrome thing on the outside is just a nut that unscrews. They don't make it easy to get a grip on though, thats what the tool is for. Once you have the nut unscrewed, the whole mess just unplugs from the wiring harness, and you can take it in to the locksmith to be picked, and a key made.

 

I'll get to the Dodge in a minute.....

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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And now the Dodge Dart. This has a more conventional (for the 60s and 70s anyway) lock system. The key cylinders actually lock the internal door mechanism, as do the inside lock buttons.

 

It may have lock buttons that are mushroom shaped. If so, an old trick is to bend a loop or hook in a coathanger, and try to get it past the outside of the window or door frame, and pull up to unlock. It is easier if the car is a hardtop. If it is a four door post sedan, more difficult. Also, sometimes people put lock buttons on that don't have the mushroom head for "anti-theft". In that case, you probably need a slim jim.

 

A slim jim is a piece of spring steel that can reach down inside the door and move the rods inside the door to unlock it. If you have never used one you are probably going to need the assistance of a locksmith.

 

Once inside, take the front passenger door apart, and remove the lock cylinder. It is held in with a spring clip, (and maybe a clip to attach the linkage). The passenger lock cylinder should have a code on it that you can read and have a key made from.

 

If nothing has been changed since new, that door key will also fit the ignition switch. That is a good thing because 70s darts have the ignition combined with a steering lock, and it cannot be removed without damage unless you pick it. You would have to get the car, or at least the steering column, to a locksmith. The code from the door might save you from that.

 

The Dart uses a second key for the glovebox and the trunk. Unfortunately the glovebox lock does not use all the notches on the key, so it by itself will not get you enough information to get you into the trunk. If the glovebox is unlocked, look for the owners manual. Sometimes they wrote the key codes in there.

 

The only way to get the trunk open with no damage that I know of is to crawl into the trunk from inside the car. You have to be really small and skinny to accomplish this. I could never do it today. You have to take the back seat out. the lower cushion releases by pushing it (or carefully banging it) toward the rear of the car.then lift up. When it is finally released, get it out of the car, and then there will be 2 screws on straps at the bottom of the backrest. Once those are out push the backrest straight up to release it. Get it out of the car. You will now see a piece of cardboard that you can slide up to unhook. Get it out of there too.

 

Now there MAY be a hole big enough to get in if you are really small. The spare tire and jack might be in the way, You might have to unscrew that stuff and push it back and off to the side. I hope there wasn't a bunch of crap in the trunk. Now you should be able to shine a flashlight in there to see what you are up against.

 

If you are really skinny and small, you might be able to unbolt the latch mechanism from the trunk lid. Depending on how bound up it is, you might have to remove the other half of the latch from the body too... or not.... The trunk lid should at least have bolt heads facing you (I think). A super long extension and a ratchet might come in VERY handy.

 

Once the trunk lid is open you can remove the lock cylinder with a spring clip about like the one in the door. It will have a code to make a key. The key will also fit the glovebox if the locks are original. Good luck.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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A little clarification on the GM vehicles. As noted, for 1966, the door and ignition key is the same (assuming nothing has been changed in the last half century), and GM did stamp the key code on the door lock cylinder that year. The code will be four characters stamped into the side of the cylinder. Removal of the ignition lock cylinder does not require a special tool, only the key and a paper clip. All 1935-1966 GM vehicles use the same key blank. The easiest and fastest way to unlock the door is with a slim jim.

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That is correct. The special tool is to get the whole switch out, and not necessary if you have a key. If you don't, however, it might be a lot cheaper to take the whole switch to the locksmith, rather that bringing the locksmith out into the woods. Hopefully he can just get the code from the door, and avoid all of that.

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Fortunately for me on the Dodge Dart Custom, the rear passenger door window is cracked, so I'm assuming I can get in that way. Just didn't have any tools for that with me yesterday. As far as the C10 goes it's been sitting there for quite some time. Since the 70's I believe and I have tried both doors but for some reason did really think to check the quarter panels. I wish there was a video on the door locks or a video showing someone lock the doors so I could get a visual representation on it but I do understand to an extent what you mean. I might try a show string if I can get it between the door and see if I can catch the lever or whatever I have to move to get it unlocked if possible that is.

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I have a slim jim for old cars but prefer to use the dip stick.

 

GM did not use that many keys, remember when working at GM the guard had this big keyring for locked cars. One would fit.

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7 hours ago, Bloo said:

That is correct. The special tool is to get the whole switch out, and not necessary if you have a key. If you don't, however, it might be a lot cheaper to take the whole switch to the locksmith, rather that bringing the locksmith out into the woods. Hopefully he can just get the code from the door, and avoid all of that.

 

Actually, you need to remove the lock cylinder to get the retaining nut off.

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Does it look like this? (1960-66, 1966 shown,  note the pronounced recess in the side of the body)

N6b-dhMW2VkSbJtqKXmYc-8OD791qr6aKDBwvOXh

 

Or more like this?  (1967-1972, 1967 shown, note the smooth waterfall shaped sides)

 

img_4321.jpg

 

If it is 66 or earlier, inside door release handle pointing toward the rear of the truck (probably), push down to unlock. also, push down to open. If the handle points forward, pull up to unlock or open.

 

Use the side of the truck with no lock in the button, because unlocking is easier than opening, and a locked button will still prevent you from opening the door from outside.

 

If it is 67 or later there is a button to pull up just like on the Dart, either door should work, and a slim jim should work.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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I'd think twice about poking around these vehicles without knowing the landowner approves.  If the landowner is hostile you could get a visit from the police, and be in even more trouble if you have 'burglar' tools with you.

 

As stated above, there weren't all that many different key-cut combinations back then so if you have a couple of loose keys to try you might get lucky.  The Chevy has  sidebar lock cylinders that are difficult to pick so that option may not work for you.

 

 

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The 1935-1966 GM Briggs and Stratton keys use six tumblers. Each tumbler could be one of four heights. The theoretical number of different keys is 4^6 (4x4x4x4x4x4), which is only 4,096 possible combinations. The actual number is somewhat less than that, since GM did not use keys where all six tumblers were the same (making for a straight key) or where there was more than a two-step change in height between adjacent tumblers. Thus the actual number of different keys was more like 3,500 or so - and again, that's for ALL GM cars made between 1935-1966.

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3 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

Thus the actual number of different keys was more like 3,500 or so

 

Close, sort of, actually only 1500 codes.....

 

8000 to 9499 are the codes. So if the lock shows code 6688, you have the lock upside down.😁

 

The lowest code cuts I have seen is a key I cut to code 9219, cuts are 434343   (545454 on Curtis equipment). Freshly cut it looked worn out!

 

5 hours ago, Harold said:

I'd think twice about poking around these vehicles without knowing the landowner approves.  If the landowner is hostile you could get a visit from the police, and be in even more trouble if you have 'burglar' tools with you.

 

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!  Around these parts there also may be buckshot as a warning..........😯

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If I am not mistaken, the OP said in a different thread he had permission from the title-holder of the land to remove the cars.

 

You can indeed take the ignition switch out of the dash on a 66 (and probably 60-66) C-10 without having a key, and without removing the lock cylinder from the switch. I just now went out to the driveway and did it. Unscrew the outer ring. In any event it should be unnecessary unless some of the locks have been changed.

 

 

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Some of the flat front ignition cylinder switch retaining rings can come off without removing the cylinder, others need the cylinder removed first. I do not know if this is year determined, or what B&S lock cylinder was supplied while the vehicle was built.

 

I have not seen a pouched front (earlier) ignition cylinder switch retaianing ring come off without needing the cylinder removed first. 

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Call a tow truck operator who should have the tool/tools to unlock those doors.

By that time both should be one key cars.

The easiest lock to remove is from the glove box door.

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The Chevy is one key.

 

The Dodge is two. The glovebox wont help. Sure would be nice if it did though, that would be easy. 2 screws. Round headed key fits trunk and glovebox. Glovebox doesn't have all the tumblers though, so it isn't enough to get you in the trunk. A key made for the trunk will unlock the glovebox though.

 

It was common practice to write the key codes in the owners manual. THAT might be in the glovebox.

 

The pentastar-headed key fits the ignition and the doors. The code is on the cylinder in the passenger door. Maybe it's on the driver's door cylinder too, but I wouldn't count on it.

 

Plymouth-Cuda-Key-Blanks-1970-1971-1972.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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On 2/10/2020 at 2:00 AM, bloodowl89 said:

Hey everyone. I have been wondering about this '60's Chevy C10 and the '70's Dodge Dart (found out it was a Custom at that). I have been asking about these vehicles in other posts as well. I need to get into the vehicles to see if the original titles are there or anything else worth noting. I have no clue where the keys are. No one would I highly doubt it so my question is with vehicles that old would it be possible to buy a generic key online and use it to unlock the vehicles in question or what options do I have here? I have heard some wild stuff like just having any old long key to get it to turn to unlock and others so I would love to hear from the experts. Thanks again everyone. Hands down the best forum I've been involved with and I want to keep it that way. You all are beyond awesome.

 

 

Do you own them or just trying to get into them? A brick or crow bar works well. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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Depends on how good you are at raking slots. I always kept a couple of prong paper binders in my briefcase. All I needed and not illegal.

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Just wanted to update that I have got into both vehicles. Found the original ignition key to the Chevy C10 still in the ignition. Haven't found much with the Dodge Dart Custom yet. Thank you all for the advice and tips.

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