Removing RX-7 door locks
Removing the door locks in the 1st gen RX-7 is actually quite easy. You may want to change for various reasons -
whether you're changing the locks, looking for the key code, lubing the tumbler, using the lock as a template for a
locksmith to cut you a key, or removing the locks to paint the car, the method for removal is the same regardless.
First, the door panel has to come off. It's as simple as:
- Remove the phillips screw in the door handle plate, then remove the plate.
- Remove the 4 plastic caps (if they're still there) along the armrest and pull-handle. Use a thin flat
screwdriver to "dig" them out.
- Remove the 4 phillips screws that were covered up by the caps. You may need a thicker/larger phillips screwdriver
to do so.
Once the panel's off, you may have to peel back a bunch of plastic that's glued/tarred on. It's easy if
it's warm out - if not, use a heatgun or hair dryer to heat/soften things up so you don't rip the plastic. Be
very careful though - it's easy to melt the plastic! Next, with the plastic off (or peeled back, you'll be
looking at this:
You'll see the green arrow in the above pic. Now look to the picture below. There are 2 clips you have to
The first (#1 in the below picture) basically connects the metal arm to the lock. Use a flat screwdriver (or
possibly your fingers if you're strong enough) and disconnect the clip from the arm by pushing it sideways. In this
case, you push it from the right side towards the left, and it should pivot off the arm. Careful. If it's freezing
out, or if the clip's brittle, it may crack/break in which case you'll have to salvage another clip from
another car. I haven't had one break even in the cold, but it's plastic so be careful anyway.
Once it pivots away, remove the arm by pulling it right out of the hole (towards you).
The second (#2 in the below picture) is the metal clip actually holding the lock to the door. It's actually
latched/clipped-in in on the sides. Use a flat screwdriver and pry the clip away from the side - once it's loose,
you should be able to wiggle, rotate, and pull enough for the other side to come out. Try not to drop it - if you do it
will probably end up in the bottom of the door (still reachable), but there's no guarantee where it will fall.
Once both clips are disconnected, the lock should be able to push right out. It'll look like this:
Simple. Note that there's a circular rubber "gasket" that comes out with the lock. You probably
don't want to lose this - aside from keeping water from getting in, it also helps to keep things tight when
Reinstallation is the opposite of removal. The only thing to really take note of is that the metal clip you see on
the left (above picture) is bent in such a manner that it makes things tightest if it goes on one way. If you
reassemble and the lock is a bit loose, you may have to pop it off and reverse it.
If you lose the circular gasket (or if it falls apart - hey, they're old), the lock will probably be loose no
matter what. You can probably cut one from a gasket (or use a rubber washer or seal), but if the replacement is a bit
thick, you may have to flip the metal clip around (the "wrong" way will become "right" if the
gasket's thicker), and possibly force the clip to clip-in by pushing the side in with a screwdriver while pulling
mercilessly on the lock.
List of my RX-7 pages:
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