Where can I get door lock cylinders for my plane? I have a cylinder with a worn down lug; the door handle itself is fine.
I have been told unequivocally that the lock cylinders for our aircraft are no longer being made by anyone; that the manufacturer is defunct, and that Raytheon has been unable to contract with a new vendor. It is possible that some small numbers still exist in wayward stock here and there. After a lengthy search, I finally located some usable new lock cylinders; see the BAC Classifieds.
I understand why some folks keep recommending the Wag-Aero Beech-like exterior door handle and lock, as it can be made to work on some of the planes. It absolutely will NOT work on all of the planes. There is considerable dialog on this in the MM archive. Most of it is relatively old; it is most easily found by logging on to BAC and doing a MM Archive Search on “door handle”.
One statement has been made that if the original latch assembly has in-line mounting screws, the WA handle will work; and if the original latch has staggered mounting screws, the WA handle will not work. The original handles are H2532-13, made by Hartwell (who just gave me a hard time when I approached them about the poor quality of the handles). According to the parts books, The H2532-13 exterior handle is the factory equipment on airframes M-1485 and after; MB-617 and after; and MC-181 and after. I think that they are on all of the Model 76’s (Duchess), but I don’t know about the 77 (Skipper). If someone finds that the WA handle fits any of these later planes, I believe that it is highly probable that some undocumented mod has been made in the internal latch/mount assembly.
NOTE: Virtually all wear on the protruding drive pin is caused by incorrect user technique. These cylinders were not intended to be rotated 360 degrees, but far too many people do just that. When everything is new and snug, the cylinder will only rotate 90 degrees left or right, to lock or unlock. You can easily feel the resistance when the normal travel limit is reached. The cylinder key slot is then supposed to be returned to vertical before removing the key. If this is religiously done, drive pin and cylinder wear is almost nonexistent. It does not take much force at all to rotate the pin beyond 90 degrees. Doing so grinds down the soft pin against the steel slider on the back of the handle, and springs the slider’s drive pins from the plastic body. Like so many other things on airplanes and in life, a gentle touch can reap great rewards.
And finally, the plated plastic Hartwell used to make the H2532-13 handles does not tolerate any type of liquid lube that I have yet found. The plastic seems to readily break down from use of any kind of liquid lubricant; even most silicone sprays (might be the carrier they use). The only safe lube I have found for these handles and cylinders is dry-powder graphite.
UPDATE 02/04/2005! A limited number of new lock cylinders have been found! They have no remaining documentation, and can be installed only under the “owner produced parts” authority. Please refer to the write-up in BAC News and Downloads.