The bolt lock on our front door sees a lot of work and eventually it broke and now the key turns forever and the lock will not unlock. It still unlocks fine from the inside though. I took it apart and figured out that the solution is a tiny replaceable part and I’ll show you how to fix yours…
Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-How To Repair a Broken Bolt Lock
- Kwikset E Keying Clips (a 100-pack is still cheaper than replacing all your locks and making extra copies of keys)
Step 1: Remove the two screws on the inside of the bolt lock.
I needed to put the lock in “lock” position in order to be able to get at the screws:
After you unscrew the first one note that as you unscrew the second, it will push the other side of the lock out and will eventually fall. The other side is pretty heavy so watch out if you are wearing flip-flops 🙂
Step 2: Remove the front and back faces of the lock.
This is where I discovered why this lock would not work. When I took off the side that you put the key in, the shaft that should extend into the key mechanism was not connected:
Here is a diagram of how this lock should fit together, from the Kwikset website:
The tail piece pulls right out:
Step 3: Reconnect the tail piece to the cylinder.
At this point you will need a replacement E Clip. See my parts link at the top of this article for the part. Here’s the bag of them I ordered:
Ready to install:
Insert the tail piece into the back of the cylinder. Center the slit on the tail piece with the notch in the cylinder:
This is what it should look like:
Insert the E Keying Clip around the outside (in the groove) and the center should insert in the hole (pictured above):
And this is what it looks like when the clip is fully installed:
Here’s another angle:
Step 4: Reassemble the lock.
Insert the tail piece (note that it is D-shaped) through the latch and into the other half of the lock (the part you turn the knob from the inside). You need to orient the D-shaped tail piece so it fits in:
Then start your screws by hand. I’ve found that it is easier to pull the lock apart a bit so I can guide the screws into their holes. Start them by hand first to make sure you do not cross thread them:
Line up the front and back halves of the lock and then begin to tighten the screws. These screws are fine-threaded so they will not loosen up with use so tighten them pretty tightly:
Now you’ve repaired your lock and saved some money!