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ddygert 10-18-2010 08:29 PM

Replacing Locks on exterior door
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First off I apologize - I didn't do extensive searching on these forums for my issue. I've searched across the web several times but have not had much luck over the months in finding anything. My issue is with all of our doors - but mainly the exterior ones at this point. Originally I was trying to replace the hardware to the door leading from mud room to the garage. And now we would like to upgrade the hardware on our front door.

The issue is that our doors do not have the 'recessed' plate where the bolt comes out of the edge of the door. It's hard to explain so I attached a picture (I hope that worked). If the door was wood, it would just be a matter of chiseling out a hole - but these exterior doors are not wood (actually I'm not completely sure what they are - aluminum? I doubt steel, but maybe?). Almost all door hardware has the 'recessed' plate with the two screws to attach to the door - can I do something to get that kind of hardware to work? And if not, where can I find the correct hardware??

Thanks in advance!

jlhaslip 10-18-2010 09:55 PM

I call that a 'drive in' slide bolt.

Remove the door knobs. There should be screws on the inside bezel ring to loosen and the knobs can then be pulled off.
Look inside the knob hole and there is a hole in the centre of the slide bolt.
Insert a screw driver into the centre hole.
Using one hand inside and one outside, hold the screwdriver tight and pull the slide bolt towards you. It should come out with one or more good tugs.

When replacing them, check that the new bolt is inserted so that the round part hits the strike plate.

The top dead bolt is a bit different. there will likely be two sets of screws to remove before you can remove the inner/outer parts, but other than that, the process is the same.

If the new lock has a different configuration of bolt, you may need to chisel for the plate. On some of the locksets, the square plate can be removed to become the drive-in style. Read the instructions carefully before modifying the bolt.

ddygert 10-18-2010 11:18 PM

Great info
Thanks for the 'drive-in' info - that's what I needed to at least find some more information. I already knew how to get them off, etc - can't tell from the picture as it looks like we just painted with the hardware there, but we had it off for the first two coats and we didn't take it off for the final coat when the door was up (big mistake).

I did a drive-in search on Home Depot and they have a 'drive-in' springlatch - just the springlatch. So I'm wondering if I can take the replacement hardware we already bought (not drive-in compatible) and substitute this piece and get it to work??

Ron6519 10-20-2010 10:03 AM

To replace the drive in latch with a traditional plated latch, all you need to do is trace the plate on the door edg( with a utility knife or a sharp pencil) and carefully cut out the wood. Test fit as you go to avoid going too deep.

ddygert 10-20-2010 10:24 AM

Yeah - for the interior wood doors that will be 'easy'. The issue is that the exterior doors are 'metal' - so I don't think there's anything I can do about that?? I either need to replace the door or find 'drive-in' type hardware??

Ron6519 10-20-2010 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by ddygert (Post 520076)
Yeah - for the interior wood doors that will be 'easy'. The issue is that the exterior doors are 'metal' - so I don't think there's anything I can do about that?? I either need to replace the door or find 'drive-in' type hardware??

Metal doors are trickier, but can be done. Tools would be different. Grinder, 1/8" drill bit and a metal file. The metal skin is usually over a wood core frame, so once you remove the skin, you're back to the chisel.

ddygert 10-20-2010 07:11 PM

I just removed the hardware to take a peek - and sure enough, there's no wood in there. Instead, its some kind of fiberglass filler or something - definitely not strong enough to attach a deadbolt to....

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