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Bill Grumbine
10-26-2006, 2:40 PM
Greetings all

I have toolbox trouble. I have a very large, very nice Delta toolbox on the back of my truck. I have been experiencing problems with the locks - again. Delta replaced the first set of locks under warranty a couple of years ago, and now the current locks are doing the same thing. So, I called to get replacement locks again, only to find out that:

a) the company that made these locks are out of business (no surprise to me, given the quality) and

b) Delta does not have a retrofit.

The box is only about 3 1/2 years old, so I do not want to have to scrap it because of bad locks. The Delta guy suggested WD-40. I will give it a try, but I am not sure it is going to work. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with this sort of thing and might have a suggestion. With the tools and traveling I do, I need a box this size, and I need it to lock, and I need to be able to get in and out of it without having to wrestle with the locks.

Thanks.

Bill

skip coyne
10-26-2006, 3:08 PM
hqve you tried a locksmith ?

sems like they should be able to advise you

Bill Grumbine
10-26-2006, 3:31 PM
I haven't tried a locksmith yet, but I just got off the phone with Delta again. I am getting the "so sorry but there is nothing we can do" story. I responded with the "so sorry, but if I have to fork out for another toolbox, it AIN'T gonna say Delta on it". I have been passed on to the quality control manager, who is out of the office until Monday. The next guy up is apparently the president, and they didn't really want to pass me on to him. :mad:

It seems the whole issue revolves around the warranty, which expired about six months ago. They are apparently replacing boxes still under warranty. I told the lady I did not want anything but to be able to replace my locks, and I certainly could not consider buying again from a company which is going to delcare products obsolete and unsupported after a measly three and a half years, especially when those products are supposed to be durable.

edit in: I forgot to mention, WD-40 has actually made things worse! For some reason now, the lock does not want to turn! :mad:

Steven Wilson
10-26-2006, 3:46 PM
Bill would one of the Large Recessed Lathes from Reliable Hardware company work? I'm thinking about the A3000. I've used these on road cases and they work quite well. You would cut out the current latches, fit these, and then rivet them in. You might want to check into the Toolbox latches on the Eberhard Manufacturing (Canada) site. They look a lot like the ones I remember seeing on Delta tool boxes.

Norman Hitt
10-26-2006, 4:01 PM
I

edit in: I forgot to mention, WD-40 has actually made things worse! For some reason now, the lock does not want to turn! :mad:

Bill, I have been using WD-40 for nearly as long as it's been available to keep locks freed up and working, in both areas that have a lot of dust/sand/moisture, and areas with salt in the moisture. Sometimes if I have waited too long give them a treatment, it takes a little "EXTRA" effort to make it work, especially if the inside has corroded with moisture or salt spray. The secret I've found is to use the little red tube stuck into the key slot and flush it then run the key in and out several times without trying to turn it, and then flushing it again and repeating until the excess doesn't seem dirty, and then without much pressure rotating the key back and forth many times and then flushing and repeating the rotation and flushing until whatever bit of corrosion or other that had dislodged and locked it up had been crushed and dissolved and flushed out. I have occassionally spent a half hour and a "Large Portion" of a can of WD-40 on those occassions, but so far, I have never been unable to free up a lock yet, thank goodness, and I usually remember (for a while, that is) to give them the treatment more often. The other thing that will cause a lot of extra work, is if someone has used the powdered graphite to lubricate the lock, and then the WD-40 at first, incombination with the graphite will tend to lock it up and it takes a lot of fiddling with it before the graphite is all flushed out and the lock will free up and operate normally. I know that most locksmiths advise against WD-40 and really push using the graphite, but from my experience I think it is so they will get called for a repair job, because the worst problems I've ever had were caused by packed graphite. I haven't used that stuff in over 25 years now and I'll stick with my WD-40.

Keep trying, and I hope it will work for you.

Bill Grumbine
10-26-2006, 5:53 PM
Okay, the locks are working marginally better, and most likely it is going to be relatively short lived. I disassembled them as far as I could. It is not actually the lock cylinder itself which is the problem, it is the crummy design. The lock is part of an oblong push button. The lock cylinder rotates just fine, or at least they did for a long while. But since Day One the pushbutton has been stiff, and getting stiffer. I discovered two O rings wrapped around the body of the button. Removing them freed up the action quite a bit, and now they are sliding much easier. Of course, the cylinders themselves are chewed up from me trying to operate the locks. The push button is such that it binds and twists in normal operation, causing it to stick in its housing. The O rings just made the problem worse, although I suspect their job was to keep water out.

I am not holding out a lot of hope for any help from the company. The attitude seems to be that even though these things have been defective since the beginning, and they know it, they are not going to do anything for me besides "try" to see if they have a lock that I could modify. When I told the guy on the phone that if I could not get this to work, I would have to buy a new tool box, he had the gall to actually say he would be glad for the business! I will give him the business all right! ;) But I wouldn't buy another tool box from him.

Bill

Joe Pelonio
10-26-2006, 5:55 PM
Norman,

I too have always used WD40 to lubricate locks, especially on my '72 El Camino where they tend to get sticky. Always seemed to work fine.

Then one day I had a locksmith in changing the lock on the shop door after firing someone, and he sprayed something different to lubricate it so I asked him about it, and who knows if he's right or not, but thought I'd pass it on.

He said that WD-40 is not really a lubricant but a solvent and water displacer. It's so thin it coats the metal and protects from rust but the lubrication ability lasts a very short time. If you use it you have to repeat frequently. He uses a teflon based spray lubricant. He also said that graphite works well only when that's all you ever use. When mixed it gums up as you said, so he never uses it since someone some day will probably put something different in the lock. He did have WD40 in the van but uses it as a cleaner mostly on disassembled parts.

Brad Schmid
10-26-2006, 6:14 PM
I feel your pain Bill... No matter the brand, I've never had good long term service from these toolbox locks. I finally gave up on these cheesy things and retrofitted my boxes with hasps and weatherproof padlocks. Not the most elegant looking solution, but it's much more secure, and if a good padlock does eventually become problematic, you can pitch it and get another in a hurry. I would also prefer the original manufacturer provide better hardware, but I am a realist:rolleyes: Good luck in your quest!

Lee DeRaud
10-26-2006, 7:15 PM
He said that WD-40 is not really a lubricant but a solvent and water displacer. It's so thin it coats the metal and protects from rust but the lubrication ability lasts a very short time. If you use it you have to repeat frequently. He uses a teflon based spray lubricant.Yup. I use Breakfree gun lube for stuff like that: it's available either in aerosol or liquid...a bit pricey, but a small can of it seems to last forever.

Joe Tonich
10-26-2006, 7:18 PM
Rem-Oil gun oil with Teflon is what I use for locks n' stuff if they're not out in the elements. I spray Lithium grease into the cylinders of the outside locks. Keeps em workin for me.

Mark Cothren
10-26-2006, 8:28 PM
Hey Bill, is that a Delta Pro toolbox? If so, I have one of their truck boxes and have had problems with the locks starting less than a year after I bought it. I disassembled as much as I could, cleaned, lubed, said voodoo witch doctor incantations over it (okay, not really) and nothing has helped.

The oblong pushbuttons stick when you push 'em in and won't return. The locks seem to work just fine - just the springs aren't working properly.

I, like you, will not be purchasing another Delta tool box.

Bart Leetch
10-26-2006, 8:41 PM
Hi Bill

I have been using a produce called Tri-Flow recommended by my locksmith to keep 62 door locks & 56 mailbox locks working for 13 years with very few replacements the apartments are 29 years old so I don't think thats to bad. I am pretty much sold on this product. I use it on all four vehicles too.

Bart

Jon Eckels
10-26-2006, 8:47 PM
Bill, what sort of lock is it? if it's a cam lock body it'll be easy to replace just the cylinder. I do some locksmithing work on the side (though i'm not a bona fide locksmith). If you can give me a good description of the lock, or maybe a picture i might be able to find something.

Oh and btw, never use WD-40 (or any other sort of oil) to lubricate any sort of lock, pin, wafer or otherwise. go with graphite powder, or liquid graphite (Graphite powder in alcohol solution). WD will gum up a lock quicker than just about anything. what a wonderful experience it is to have to clean out all the pin holes of a household cylinder when the customer needs it rekeyed, after they've sprayed WD into it a bunch of times. whoo wee!

Nancy Laird
10-26-2006, 9:08 PM
Hi Bill

I have been using a produce called Tri-Flow recommended by my locksmith to keep 62 door locks & 56 mailbox locks working for 13 years with very few replacements the apartments are 29 years old so I don't think thats to bad. I am pretty much sold on this product. I use it on all four vehicles too.

Bart

I have to agree with Tri-Flow. MUCH better than WD-40.

Nancy

Chuck Wintle
10-26-2006, 9:56 PM
what about getting some dry graphite into the lock? Try coating the key with graphite then inserting it and see whay happens.

Mark Pruitt
10-26-2006, 11:21 PM
No wisdom here beyond what's been said, but I would suggest reporting them to BBB. BBB can then contact the company and "encourage" them to make things right. If they don't, then at least they'll be on record as having failed to address customer concerns. As for the idiot who said he would be "glad for the business," that deserves to be reported to his higher-ups.:mad:

Jack Ferrell
10-27-2006, 12:07 AM
I also was recommended Tri Flo by a locksmith and just used some on a frozen mail box lock which now works like new. It's in a black can with orange lettering and can be found at fishing stores (used for reels) and in the fishing department at Wally Mart.

Norman Hitt
10-27-2006, 4:49 AM
Bill, what sort of lock is it? if it's a cam lock body it'll be easy to replace just the cylinder. I do some locksmithing work on the side (though i'm not a bona fide locksmith). If you can give me a good description of the lock, or maybe a picture i might be able to find something.

Oh and btw, never use WD-40 (or any other sort of oil) to lubricate any sort of lock, pin, wafer or otherwise. go with graphite powder, or liquid graphite (Graphite powder in alcohol solution). WD will gum up a lock quicker than just about anything. what a wonderful experience it is to have to clean out all the pin holes of a household cylinder when the customer needs it rekeyed, after they've sprayed WD into it a bunch of times. whoo wee!

Reread my post. (I don't consider WD-40 a lubricant, either, just a cleaner), and I have never had WD-40 do anything but clean the locks up and make them work right. The only REAL problems I have ever had on ANY kind of lock were those that have had powdered Graphite put into them, and I will NEVER use Graphite. Everyone to their own I guess, but I'll stick to what has worked for me on hundreds of locks ever since WD-40 came out.;)

Bill Grumbine
10-27-2006, 2:06 PM
Hey Bill, is that a Delta Pro toolbox? If so, I have one of their truck boxes and have had problems with the locks starting less than a year after I bought it. I disassembled as much as I could, cleaned, lubed, said voodoo witch doctor incantations over it (okay, not really) and nothing has helped.

The oblong pushbuttons stick when you push 'em in and won't return. The locks seem to work just fine - just the springs aren't working properly.

I, like you, will not be purchasing another Delta tool box.

Hi Mark

I don't know if it is a pro or not, but it was the biggest one I could get (and the most expensive) at Tractor Supply. But, the problem you describe is identical to mine. I am going to try some lithium grease and see if that helps. Of course, with the design of these things, there will be lithium with dirt mixed in in very short order.

Bill

Bill Grumbine
10-27-2006, 2:10 PM
No wisdom here beyond what's been said, but I would suggest reporting them to BBB. BBB can then contact the company and "encourage" them to make things right. If they don't, then at least they'll be on record as having failed to address customer concerns. As for the idiot who said he would be "glad for the business," that deserves to be reported to his higher-ups.:mad:

Hi Mark

The bad news is, this guy is the higher up. I talked to two women there who were both mystified as to the chain of command more than one level above their own positions. The one lady has only been at the company for a few months, so she gets a little leeway, but the other one seems to have been there for a while! They both were literally paralyzed when I asked to speak to someone who was higher than the boss above them, who was out of the shop for the rest of the week. When I asked to who he reported, neither knew. One finally hazarded a guess and put me in touch with the guy who thinks I am going to buy another box from them if they don't take care of this one.

Bill

Bill Grumbine
10-27-2006, 2:12 PM
Bill, what sort of lock is it? if it's a cam lock body it'll be easy to replace just the cylinder. I do some locksmithing work on the side (though i'm not a bona fide locksmith). If you can give me a good description of the lock, or maybe a picture i might be able to find something.

Oh and btw, never use WD-40 (or any other sort of oil) to lubricate any sort of lock, pin, wafer or otherwise. go with graphite powder, or liquid graphite (Graphite powder in alcohol solution). WD will gum up a lock quicker than just about anything. what a wonderful experience it is to have to clean out all the pin holes of a household cylinder when the customer needs it rekeyed, after they've sprayed WD into it a bunch of times. whoo wee!

Hi Jon

I will try to get a picture this afternoon and post it. I think I might be able to make this work for a while anyway, but new lock cylinders would really improve the situation. It is the buttons they are in that is the problem, but they have gotten chewed up with me pulling on the key to try and get them out so I could open the box.

Bill

Jason Roehl
10-27-2006, 7:49 PM
Bill, my experience with Delta's customer service was much better than yours so far, but I can't say I particularly care for my toolbox. Several years ago, the piano-style hinge totally locked up after several years of owning the box. I don't know how long I was actually flexing metal (instead of the hinge) when I opened the box. I called them and they promptly send me a replacement hinge--gratis. The only part that wasn't free was me having to drill out all the rivets and pop-riveting it back in place. So that part was solved. However, the latches have definitely deteriorated to a point where they are difficult to operate. I may not be large, but I'm no weakling, and I have to put some oomph into the passenger side latch to open the box. Grrr. I hope you get some resolution to the problem.

Jason

Jude Tuliszewski
10-27-2006, 8:52 PM
Wd-40 does have 1001 uses, but long term lubrication is not one of them. As said before, it does lubricate well but must be re-applied regularly. It works good for getting things loose because the solvent/oil is light as oils go and the solvent lets it cut through the gunk.
You said it got worse after the WD-40 and then said after you took out the o-rings it was much better. That is because WD-40 can harm some types of rubber/rubber compounds as it is a solvent. A warning to all NEVER USE WD-40 TO LUBRICATE THE INSIDES OF AIR TOOLS, it can and will damage the seals and render the tools unuseable DAMHIKT.
I second the hasp idea as the weakness of cylinder locks is how relitively easy they are to punch out. Good luck with it

Jude T.

Bill Grumbine
10-27-2006, 9:56 PM
You said it got worse after the WD-40 and then said after you took out the o-rings it was much better. That is because WD-40 can harm some types of rubber/rubber compounds as it is a solvent.
Jude T.

No, this is not what happened. The WD-40 had nothing to do with their function. The whole button functioned better after I pulled the rings off because the O rings were too tight from the very beginning. Pulling the O rings out allowed the button to slide back and forth a little easier. The LOCK cylinder function became worse after I sprayed it because the key would not hold as tight in the mechanism when it came to using it to pull the whole button out, which is the only way to do it.

Mark Cothren
10-29-2006, 12:04 AM
Hi Mark

I don't know if it is a pro or not, but it was the biggest one I could get (and the most expensive) at Tractor Supply. But, the problem you describe is identical to mine. I am going to try some lithium grease and see if that helps. Of course, with the design of these things, there will be lithium with dirt mixed in in very short order.

Bill

I got mine at a local Farm Supply... I betcha we got the same piece of junk...

Bill Grumbine
10-29-2006, 8:32 PM
I got mine at a local Farm Supply... I betcha we got the same piece of junk...

Mark, I would not be surprised. Mine is white painted steel. I am going to call them again tomorrow and see what they are going to do for me. Legally they are off the hook, but ethically, they are avoiding taking care of a customer on a very fine technicality. Fine, they can do that. But, they can't necessarily get away with it. I have several things to point out to them, including the over 500 views this post alone has gotten. Then, a letter to the proper people at Tractor Supply telling them how unhappy I am with THEM since they are the duly appointed representative of Delta, so on and so forth. It might not get my box fixed, but it will buy them a whole lot of bad PR if they decide to give me short shrift.

Bill