Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-How To Repair a Broken Bolt Lock

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-How To Repair a Broken Bolt Lock
Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-How To Repair a Broken Bolt Lock

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…

How to fix a Kwikset lock that turns forever
How to fix a Kwikset lock that turns forever

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-How To Repair a Broken Bolt Lock

Hardware:

Tools Needed:

Parts Needed:

  • 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:

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-Remove These 2 Screws
If necessary, turn the lock so you can 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:

Missing E-Keying Clip is the problem
Missing E-Keying Clip is the problem–the tail piece is not connected to the cylinder

Here is a diagram of how this lock should fit together, from the Kwikset website:

Kwikset DeadBolt Diagram
Kwikset DeadBolt Diagram

The tail piece pulls right out:

Kwikset tail piece
Kwikset tail piece

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:

My bag of E Clips
My bag of E Clips

Ready to install:

E Keying Clip
E Keying Clip

Insert the tail piece into the back of the cylinder.  Center the slit on the tail piece with the notch in the cylinder:

Center the tail piece slit with the cylinder's notch
Center the tail piece slit with the cylinder’s notch

This is what it should look like:

Tail Piece Inserted into Cylinder
Tail Piece Inserted into Cylinder

Insert the E Keying Clip around the outside (in the groove) and the center should insert in the hole (pictured above):

Starting the E Keying Clip
Starting the E Keying Clip

And this is what it looks like when the clip is fully installed:

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-E Clip Installed
E Keying Clip Installed

Here’s another angle:

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-E Clip Other Angle
E Clip Installed (Other 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:

Insert Tail Piece into Latch
Insert Tail Piece into Latch

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:

Key Turns Forever on Kwikset Lock-Starting Screws
It’s easier to start the screws if you can see

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:

Tighten the screws tightly
Tighten the screws tightly

Now you’ve repaired your lock and saved some money!

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