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Old 01-17-2013, 12:47 AM   #1
LockDoc
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Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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This "How To" is for the guys & gals that have a tailgate lock for their Suburban but no key. It is pretty straight forward but I have had a couple of people ask me how to get a key cut for them.. First thing you have to do is remove the latch and lock assembly from your tailgate (if it isn't already out). (picture 1) Then remove the two screws and remove the lock assembly (picture 2) and set the latch aside. Push down on the bottom spring cup and remove the snap ring. (picture 3) Then slide the spring assembly out making sure to keep the parts in order.(picture 4) If you will notice the spring cups are different on each end of the spring. After you have the spring assembly out slide the lock cylinder and shaft out. You don't have to worry too much about this as it will only go back in one way. On the cast piece just below the chrome cap you should find a code number stamped.(picture 5) A good full service locksmith should be able to cut you a key from that code number that will fit the lock. I can't guarantee there will be a code number on every lock, but if there isn't, a full service locksmith can remove the chrome cap and make a key by "reading" the wafers in the cylinder.. If you can't find anyone in your area to cut a key from the code # or by reading the wafers let me know.

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Old 01-17-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

Very nice write-up, LockDoc! One thing to mention is the rarity if some key blanks. My 67 uses the same key for all the locks and ignition. Since I only got one key with the truck, I wanted a couple spares. Nobody in town had the blanks! My key is a small GM/Briggs and Stratton with an octagon top. There were 3 or 4 different blanks commonly used back in the day, but mine was not so common. I had to order blanks from key-men.com at a cost of about $7 a blank! I got 5, and had them all cut for my Burb at a small Chevy dealership that still had an older style key cutting machine. They all came out perfect, and the guy at the parts counter didn't even charged me for cutting my keys!
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Originally Posted by gearboxx70 View Post
Very nice write-up, LockDoc! One thing to mention is the rarity if some key blanks. My 67 uses the same key for all the locks and ignition. Since I only got one key with the truck, I wanted a couple spares. Nobody in town had the blanks! My key is a small GM/Briggs and Stratton with an octagon top. There were 3 or 4 different blanks commonly used back in the day, but mine was not so common. I had to order blanks from key-men.com at a cost of about $7 a blank! I got 5, and had them all cut for my Burb at a small Chevy dealership that still had an older style key cutting machine. They all came out perfect, and the guy at the parts counter didn't even charged me for cutting my keys!
Thanks.

Yes, those Briggs & Stratton octagon head blanks are getting hard to find. They were only used on the '67's and some '68's. 7 bucks each is actually not a bad price. I have quite a few replacement ones but only a few of the original GM ones. There were only two different ones used on the trucks, the '67 used the "A" keyway and the '68 used the "C" keyway. You can also use the "A" keyway blanks with the larger rectangular head on them. They will work fine on your '67

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

THanks for the How too, But here is my question: How do I rekey the doors and the back hatch to the same key? The back hatch is original, and I tried to have it rekeyed to the doors and ignition set. They said it could not be done because the original hatch lock uses an odd type key configuration that's not used anymore. And they couldn't rekey the other locks to that type key? Am I making sense?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

My guess would be you have a lock that uses the old octagon key like I have for all the locks and ignition on my '67. Not sure if anyone makes a "newer-style" lock that fits your gate. (I'm speaking of the one that uses the oval top GM key that was used for centuries on nearly every GM car and truck!) Maybe LockDoc will chime in on this one. If anyone would know, it would be him.
Maybe swap out the whole mechanism for one from '71-'72?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

Maybe. My key isn't octagon top though. It's gold and square top. Looks like the other one I have, but the keyed part looks different as far as the grooves.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:05 AM   #7
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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THanks for the How too, But here is my question: How do I rekey the doors and the back hatch to the same key? The back hatch is original, and I tried to have it rekeyed to the doors and ignition set. They said it could not be done because the original hatch lock uses an odd type key configuration that's not used anymore. And they couldn't rekey the other locks to that type key? Am I making sense?

It is really hard to say without seeing it. I keyed the locks in this set alike last year with no problems.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=557871

Can you tell me what the letter designation is on the keys for the ignition/doors and on the keys for the tailgate lock? They should be "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", "H" "J", or "K". Let me know.

I'm betting I can key it like your other locks. That's the difference between a good "regular" locksmith and a "maverick" locksmith...

LockDoc
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #8
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

Was able to purchase a Briggs & Straton NOS (dated 1974) locking unit with two keys from a member on this site. Just got it installed today and it works great.

As I am new to working on a 69 GMC Suburban rear lock setup the drawing and information were great help. Thank you for posting the pictures.

I will say that it would be great if the two front door locks and the rear lock were keyed alike. Is this possible?
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:44 PM   #9
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Was able to purchase a Briggs & Straton NOS (dated 1974) locking unit with two keys from a member on this site. Just got it installed today and it works great.

As I am new to working on a 69 GMC Suburban rear lock setup the drawing and information were great help. Thank you for posting the pictures.

I will say that it would be great if the two front door locks and the rear lock were keyed alike. Is this possible?

No problem on posting the info. Glad to do it.

Will the key for the front door locks slide into the rear door lock? I know it won't turn it but will it go in? If so the lock can be keyed to match the front doors.

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Old 10-19-2013, 12:20 AM   #10
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

I need help too, LockDoc. I just picked up a 72 Suburban, and the ignition and front doors are keyed the same, the key slides in the rear lock. but the button stays popped out, the PO added a hasp he riveted into the hatches. the access door is missing so I can see inside. The tailgate opens when the button is pushed but the hatch never locks. What do I need to do to make the button work again?
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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I need help too, LockDoc. I just picked up a 72 Suburban, and the ignition and front doors are keyed the same, the key slides in the rear lock. but the button stays popped out, the PO added a hasp he riveted into the hatches. the access door is missing so I can see inside. The tailgate opens when the button is pushed but the hatch never locks. What do I need to do to make the button work again?

I'm not sure what you mean when you say that the "key slides in the rear lock. but the button stays popped out". The key doesn't have anything to do with whether the button pushes in or not. If you insert the key into the key hole can you turn the key in either direction? Be sure and spray some penetrating oil into the key hole before you try it. (not WD-40) Make sure the key is in all the way and the button is not pushed in when you try to turn it. Oh, and don't force it, you will screw up the tumblers in the lock cylinder.

My Burb has barn doors so I'm not familiar with how the hatch and gate work together. I just picked up a gate and hatch yesterday so I will look at them in the morning to see how everything locks together...

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Old 10-20-2013, 09:42 PM   #12
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Here are the pictures of the latch for the upper hatch. The latch is actually located in the lower tailgate. Be sure and spray everything with a good dose of penetrating oil (not WD-40) before you try any of this. That would include the top latch, the side latches, and all linkages and pivot points.

With the upper hatch open, push back on the latch and it should click to the locked position and stay there. When you push the outside button it should move to the unlocked position. If it does this it is working correctly. If not there is something hanging up or the adjustment screw needs to be adjusted. Reach in and move the lever with the adjustment screw up and down. It should be spring loaded.

Let me know what happens when you try all of this.

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Old 10-21-2013, 01:18 AM   #13
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

I oiled everything up. i didn't really understand how the mechanism is supposed to work. the tailgate closes well and locks, the hatch locks into place just fine. the button releases the hatch and then the tailgate just fine. the adjustment screw is about a 1/4 inch from touching the hatch latch, the key doesn't turn in the cylinder, it slides in but does't turn. I appreciate you helping me through this.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:16 AM   #14
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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I oiled everything up. i didn't really understand how the mechanism is supposed to work. the tailgate closes well and locks, the hatch locks into place just fine. the button releases the hatch and then the tailgate just fine. the adjustment screw is about a 1/4 inch from touching the hatch latch, the key doesn't turn in the cylinder, it slides in but does't turn. I appreciate you helping me through this.

It could be that the key is not going into the push button all the way. If you haven't, put the penetrating oil nozzle into the key hole and spray it. Then insert the key and remove it 3 or 4 times. The picture below shows approx. how far the key should go in.

If that doesn't help you will have to remove the latch as explained above and get a key made from the code number or get the lock cylinder re-keyed to match your existing key.

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Old 10-21-2013, 12:05 PM   #15
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

I ordered a set of locks from Leon, but haven't had a chance to put them in yet. My rear hatch does what I think you are describing. The key will go in, but will not turn. If it is already in the unlocked position, it still functions a normal, but won't lock. If it is in the locked position it will push in, but not open the hatch or gate, and will not turn. I have to put my key in and jiggle it to make it turn. Sometimes it will take a few minutes. Other times I will put it in gently, not ram it in, and wit a light touch turn it and it will turn. I'm hoping the new lock from Leon will fix it. Does that sound like what yours is doing?
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:12 AM   #16
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

Thanks Leon, I'm thinking I will have it re-keyed to match my other set since I have a matched set for ignition, doors, and glove box. But Yeah Shawn, that sounds like my situation. it's popped out and won't lock, now I understand how the lock is supposed to work too so, Thanks Guys. I'll try your suggestions to see if that helps. does the stand off screw not touching the hatch make a difference?
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:36 AM   #17
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Thanks Leon, I'm thinking I will have it re-keyed to match my other set since I have a matched set for ignition, doors, and glove box. But Yeah Shawn, that sounds like my situation. it's popped out and won't lock, now I understand how the lock is supposed to work too so, Thanks Guys. I'll try your suggestions to see if that helps. does the stand off screw not touching the hatch make a difference?

Not as far as whether the lock turns or not. If the hatch and gate open OK I would not mess with it...

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Old 03-17-2014, 09:35 PM   #18
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

Leon,

I got the locks installed in the burb this weekend. It's great to have all of them work with the same key - including the lift gate. Thanks again for offering this service.

For anyone out there thinking about getting all your locks matched up, I recommend Leon's service. Fast, and super reasonable prices.

Regards,
Bill
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:08 AM   #19
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Leon,

I got the locks installed in the burb this weekend. It's great to have all of them work with the same key - including the lift gate. Thanks again for offering this service.

For anyone out there thinking about getting all your locks matched up, I recommend Leon's service. Fast, and super reasonable prices.

Regards,
Bill

Thanks Bill. I appreciate that.

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Old 04-09-2014, 11:00 PM   #20
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

I need the lock tail shaft for a 71 suburban tail gate. Mine no longer engages the plate it contacts. Have'nt found one anywhere.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:19 PM   #21
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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I need the lock tail shaft for a 71 suburban tail gate. Mine no longer engages the plate it contacts. Have'nt found one anywhere.

Welcome to the board. Sorry about the delay in responding to your question. I'm not sure I understand your problem though. Is your tail shaft broken? It only contacts/engages the plate when it is in the unlocked position.In the locked position the tabs on the tail shaft just push through the plate....

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Old 04-15-2014, 09:53 AM   #22
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

I am sure this is a stupid question, but will a suburban tailgate fit, and lock on a pickup? That would be so neat! Thom
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:06 PM   #23
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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Welcome to the board. Sorry about the delay in responding to your question. I'm not sure I understand your problem though. Is your tail shaft broken? It only contacts/engages the plate when it is in the unlocked position.In the locked position the tabs on the tail shaft just push through the plate....

LockDoc
The tab is worn and does not engage after the key is turned to the lock position and then to the unlock position. So I have to leave it in the unlocked position all the time.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:23 AM   #24
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

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I am sure this is a stupid question, but will a suburban tailgate fit, and lock on a pickup? That would be so neat! Thom
I don't know if it would fit or not Thom.

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The tab is worn and does not engage after the key is turned to the lock position and then to the unlock position. So I have to leave it in the unlocked position all the time.
I still don't think we are on the same page here. The unlocked position is when you can push the outside button in and open the tailgate... The locked position is when you push the outside button in and it will not open the tailgate. Any chance you can post a couple of pictures of your latch & lock assembly?

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Old 05-15-2014, 07:23 PM   #25
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Re: Need A Key For Your Suburban Tailgate Lock?

When I can, I will remove the assembly, photo it and try to explain my issue better. May be a while?
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