For a little while now, the rear engine lid locking mechanism had been bugging me. The VW camper had been fitted with a new Autocraft Engineering rear valance, but the position of the catch mechanism in the engine lid was just a bit too tight to work properly with the new rear valance. It had probably worn itself in together with the previous original valence, but this new valence was now a bit too new to work with the original engine lid lock, it was just too tight a fit to operate properly.
The tightness of the fit between the new rear valance and the engine lid lock had resulted in the ‘church key’ for the engine lid lock getting pretty gnarled and the corners rounded.
The same had happened to the engine lid lock recess for the ‘church key’, it had become pretty worn over time and the corners were pretty badly worn and rounded. This in turn meant that actually opening the engine lid with the church key was increasingly becoming a non-event, which when its the sole access point to your engine, is quite a problem!
Having seen the problem, I had ordered myself a 10 piece set of Draper Expert diamond needle files, in the hope that I would be able to access the locks recess and reshape it once again to be square once more. It was this or look at getting a new look which seemed pretty excessive, so definitely worth a shot at trying to repair it first!
With the lock removed, I did my best to get the original squareness back to the locks recess, knowing that as the church key was a square taper, it should fit nicely, even if it goes in a little further! Not perfect, but it looks, and more importantly, works much better than before!
Whilst the lock was removed, I took the opportunity to clean it up a bit and re-greased the internal mechanism so that the whole thing worked and operated a bit more smoothly than before. This would also mean that less force should be required to operate the lock and therefore reduce future wear and tear on the church key corners.
I also took the opportunity to reworked and file square the four sides of the church key so that it would engage properly in the recess of the engine lid lock. The church key ended up looking as good as new again!
Now what was the job I was supposed to be doing in the first place? Oh yeah, fixing the door closure alignment! Funny how you start off with the intention of doing one job and end up doing several other jobs before you even get to the original job!