Locksmithing/Dead Bolt removal


I just moved into a condo and I wanted to either replace the dead bolt or have it re-keyed. I'm very mechanical and normally remove and reinstall all kinds of things including door locks. I have a Defiant dead bolt with a key on the outside. I took the two screws out and removed the turn knob on the lock from the inside. Normally the outer lock cylinder will now push out when the key is in the lock however the rotatory flat rod that extends and retracts the dead bolt when the cylinder is turned is twisted and will not push through the the rotational part the moves the dead bolt. There must be a trick to removing the lock cylinder but I can't see any kind of release. Nor can I find anything on the internet. I hope I explained this correctly so you understand. I wish I could send you a picture or had the correct terms for the lock components.

Hello Tom.

I'm first going to highly recommend replacing that lock with something better.  A Kwikset 660 would even be better.

Here's a listing of quite a few that are better: http://www.jmlock.com/deadbolts.aspx (stay away from the IC / Interchangeable Core ones -those are generally for commercial applications and will only cause you some headaches).

Now for your other issue, with the inside thumbturn removed, grab the tailpiece (the rotary flat rod) with pliers and turn it to straighten it out until you can slide the outside assembly out.  Once removed, remove the bolt mechanism then throw the whole thing into your metal recycle bin.

Replace with a better lock.  Replace the strike plate with one that's installed with 3" wood screws and you'll be better off.

The tailpiece twisted because the alignment of the bolt was off and someone has been forcing it to either lock or unlock.  Make sure you check the alignment with the new one so this doesn't happen and so you don't get locked out or in.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I do not answer Safe or automotive questions. Period. I am knowledgeable in almost every area of Locksmithing. This includes locks, keys, lost keys, residential and commercial lockouts, rekeying, masterkeying, high security locks, access control, electric locks, security cameras and home safety. I have been running an online business since 2004 where I sell all types of lock and security hardware to everyone from apartment renters to business owners to the US government. Before that I started a locksmith service in 1999. I deal with many types of security equipment including high security safe locks, heavy duty padlocks, exit devices, biometric readers, electric strikes, magnetic locks, full surface hinges and I only sell what I personally stand behind 100%. The online business has given me a more in-depth look at the locksmithing industry, helping me to learn more about each and every product that I offer, as well as products I don't have but end up finding for customers to solve any issues they have with security or door hardware.

Please don't submit any automotive or safe questions as these aren't areas that I can help in.


I have been Locksmithing since 1999 and own my own Locksmithing business. I have many years of hands-on experience through the many services I have performed for my customers. I've run my business the way I wanted, treating everyone as I would like to be treated and knowing that any customer could be my last if I didn't perform my locksmithing duties as I had promised.

I have a diploma in Masterkeying, Advanced Locksmithing & Locksmithing from Foley-Belsaw.

Past/Present Clients
US government, colleges, schools, city and state governments, large and small corporations, home owners.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.