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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Yakima Lock Insertion?

    Somehow (not sure exactly how...) I managed to unintentionally remove the lock core from my Yakima cargo box.

    I tried inserting it using what I think is the special Yakima gold key for just such purposes, but no such luck.

    Looking at the picture below, seems the problem is that some of the lock core teeth (or whatever they're called) are not flush (as they should be?). Maybe the gold key is not universal, and the gold key I'm using is from another set? Or maybe the lock cylinder was damaged upon the [unintentional] removal?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback. (My nearest dealers appear to be Dick's Sporting Goods and the notorious Adventure Outfitters, so I don't hold out much hope there. Will be driving past West Hill Shop on Thursday, so that's another option.)



  2. #2
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    The key you need is just a blank Yakima key. If the gold has been cut (or whatever they do to put teeth on keys) it wont work. If you are still having trouble getting it in, you can buy a new core and it will come with insertion key.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    I have had the "teeth" sort of get stuck out when using the install key on my cores. I was always able to got it to work by moving the key in and out a bunch. that is until this fall, when apparently the same thing happened while trying to remove cores from my bike mount. I never could get it out, or back in.

    Mine are 14 years old so it makes sense that its wear/corrosion related. Replacement might be your best bet.

  4. #4
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    Your problem is it's not a Thule.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    yes, from what it looks like the "gold" key you have inserted is just the blank spare that came with your cores. If you didn't get it cut to match the key the cores came with, it won't do a thing.
    Dollar sign that bitch.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Different box, different problem, possible same solution. Broke off the key on my Thule. Played for an hour trying to get the piece out. Took it to a locksmith. He played with his special tools for 1/2 hour. $20. Maybe cost you $10? Another mag might have your answer.

    Oh, and make sure you tie or strap the lid closed on the trip.
    Last edited by wooley12; 02-22-2011 at 03:28 PM.
    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    Looking at the picture below, seems the problem is that some of the lock core teeth (or whatever they're called) are not flush (as they should be?). Maybe the gold key is not universal, and the gold key I'm using is from another set? Or maybe the lock cylinder was damaged upon the [unintentional] removal?

    Your core is not unlocked completely, some of the pins are in the lock position. (this is clear in your picture)

    The gold key (no cuts) is used to install and remove the core when the core is completely unlocked.

    Try unlocking the core with your cut key and pliers holding the core.
    (or picking it for those pins) you need to be applying a twisting pressure while you work the pin around the cylinder -start from the back and work towards you

    Then use the gold -no cuts- key to install the core back into your housing.

    If this doesn't work take your cut key into the shop and try and find a set of cores that have the same key code (this is the number stamped onto your cut key) that way you spend less by not having to buy 4+ new cores.

    You should be able to fix this without a locksmith,
    however any locksmith could correct your core in a few minutes (if not, then they suck)

    Good Luck

    :edit: If you lose your keys and haven't written down the imprinted code (found on the key) -easily replaced, or broken one off inside the slot

    -you can drill out the core (use a metal cutting bit) be careful you don't damage the housing, the core should slide out with a little help from some pliers

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    The good news is that with all the feedback (thanks!) I figured out how to get the lock core so that all the pins are retracted.
    The bad news is that even in that state, the lock core still can't be inserted fully into the lock housing. Hmm, why?
    So looking back at the lock core picture, you'll see a little protrusion at the bottom of the lock core. Not pictured is little protrusion on the side. These protrusions are fixed parts of the core, not pins. The relationship/orientation between these two protrusions is that if the bottom protrusion is at 12 o'clock, then the side protrusion is at 7 o'clock. The lock housing has a slot into which the side protrusion is clearly designed to fit, along with depression at the bottom that accepts the lock core's bottom protrusion. The problem is that the lock housing has a different orientation than that of the lock core.
    I believe that the depression is the part that is moved by the action of the key, and the depression when turned thereby moves the cargo box's interior slat back and forth.
    The orientation is thereby off because the core was unintentionally removed when the lock was in a position other than "remove/replace" and the lock core can be reinserted only when in the "remove/replace" position.
    So, the solution would seem to be rotate the little depression relative to the lock housing, either by directly manipulating it, or by moving the interior metal slat. Unfortunately, neither of these approaches is working...

  9. #9
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    Spit on it?
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  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACHTUNG View Post
    yes, from what it looks like the "gold" key you have inserted is just the blank spare that came with your cores. If you didn't get it cut to match the key the cores came with, it won't do a thing.
    the exact opposite of this is actually true. the gold key is intended to be a blank to install any/all yakima cores. i cannot believe anyone would actually have it cut to match the numbered keys.
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Jonathan S. - if you are still having trouble, give me a call at the shop. I fix this stuff for a living and have never failed.

    I own a rack attack type shop - www.backcountryracks.com
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    And almost 8.5 years later, I did the same thing again...
    Immediately remembered that I had done this previously. And that I had I figured out the solution. At the time. But couldn't remember it now.
    Was about to post the problem here, but then remembered that I had posted about the problem at the time.
    Except I didn't post the solution back then!

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    So after I posted again about this, remember that I had ended up just using a bunch o' bungees for that trip.
    Then either later that season or the following season, a friend asked if a friend of his could borrow a cargo box from me.
    Sure, but...
    And somehow his friend fixed it.
    But none of the three of use could remember how now.

    I inspected the lock core this afternoon, and even swapped it into other products to ensure it was okay.
    Then I realized that this had happened when I was testing various keys to see which worked for what.
    The core had popped out when I was using a Thule key, which just happens to unlock my Yakima box.
    However, it also functions as a core removal device!
    I inserted the Thule key into the Yakima core again, and sure enough it depressed even more of the tumblers than does the Yakima removal blank.
    I was able to rotate the Yakima box core cylinder (or whatever you want to call it) by using a Torx 10 in the little depression and by turning the box so that internal rails were motivated by gravity to move in the same direction that is controlled by rotated the core cylinder.
    I eventually I rotated it so that the lock core matched up exactly.
    (Whew!)
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Last year I had a problem with Yakima lock cores that had not been used for 10 years.

    I just sprayed the shit out of them with WD40. Stick the red tube in the lock and the accumulated crap (dirt, hard grease, road salt) will drain out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    490
    I just installed Yakima skyline towers (yeah, Thule = mos-def superior, but the yaks are the only way to extend the **STUPID** 2019 factory subaru outback roof rack). 3 of the 4 lock cores went in no probs, but the 4th refused to lock in there. I swapped out lock cores a couple times and decided it was one of the towers that was messed up. I looked carefully inside to see if anything looked different, and sure enough, there seemed to be one more little cylindrical thingy in the "bad" one. Which looked totally like a manufactured part of the core cavity. But eventually, I realized that thing had moved. It turned out to be a tiny, perfectly round cylinder of plastic, punched out from who-knows-where, that somehow wound up in there. Once I pulled that tiny thing out, the core went in easily.

    Short version: make sure there is no foreign particle in there, preventing the core from going all the way in (in my case, it was like well less than 0.5 mm from going in all the way, so check for any tiny thing).

  16. #16
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    I exchange yak lock sets between vehicles and racks fairly frequently. At each change I always blast the cores and towers with WD40 to clean, wipe and dry, then spray some dry graphite lube into and onto the cores and towers before assembly. Never an issue with the lock function. And yeah, if the core doesn't insert cleanly and easily, something is amiss and usually needs further prep.

  17. #17
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    You can't just leave racks on the car with no maintenance, I left a Thule rack on my golf for a bunch of years in a row and all the threaded adjustments froze solid, the good news is that no locks were necessary

    So now I don't really use locks on my new racks, also I take them off for the winter and smear a little permatex anti-seize in any threaded parts

    WD stands for water displacing and 40 is the 40th concoction buddy tried, so contrary to popular belief WD40 is NOT really a lubricant its mostly a bunch of solvents that evaporate and leave a little bit of thick oil

    I did seize the locks on my truck canopy this spring and I got them freed up with a little heat from a propane torch and penetrating oil
    Last edited by XXX-er; 07-21-2019 at 06:51 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    490
    For the record: my towers and lock cores were new. That bit of plastic found its way into the tower cavity at the factory.

    But yes, zero maintenance on installed rack hardware for years can be big-headache-inducing trouble. Been there. Personally I am too distracted in general to ever manage to schedule said maintenance. But *you* should, lol!

  19. #19
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    Yakima lock receptacles come with a plastic plug insert - maybe part of one broke off and that's what you found.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

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