I recently picked up a steering column that has a lock on it.
The tag is tough to read but shows "SIMPLE" and "Rigid Auto Lock". The lock tumbler has what I expect is the key number of 421DS stamped on it.
Any good ideas how to take this thing apart or how I might find a key?
I think you have to remove the pins or screws that lock it to the threads and it should just screw off.
I don't recognize that particular lock, but frequently, the outer screws on the gearcase threads are for keeping the assembly in place while driving and when locked, there is a single or double toothed gear that drops down into the interior gearset inside the case making it impossible to remove unless unlocked. If you find you can just barely "rock" or twist the case back/forth on the threads barely a degree or two, this might be what is holding it on...If so, my condolences to you...you are now visiting a locksmith.
A locksmith may be able to look up your number and create a key for it. Worked on a locking steering wheel I had with no key.
Here is a picture of the inside of your steering lock. When you unlock it a pin will retract, then you can unscrew it.
Looks like drill time. I tried some small flat tip screw drivers that fit the holes but couldn't find a screw slot for them to grab. Must be driven in pins. I also tried a couple of small allen wrenches but no luck there either (no surprise). I would just as soon take only the head to a locksmith rather than the whole column assembly.
Jim typed the answer while I was working on my last reply. I will visit a locksmith before resorting to the drill.
Closer inspection of Jim's photo shows that a key would release the plunger so it could be steered but there still appear to be pins that would prevent unscrewing the case of the lock from the column. I'll still need the drill to get this thing off. Please correct me if I'm missing something here.
First, if it is locked you will have to turn the tumbler to unlock it. Next, you will probably find that the original pins need to be drilled out to start to unscrew the top of the steering box/gear assembly. After it is unlocked, I would try to turn the gear cover to see if someone already drilled the pins. The holes look like they may have been drilled. Mine were hard to find as they were filled and painted over.
You can drive the pins out from behind and the cover may come off.
Cover will likely unscrew.
An experienced locksmith can make a key without any numbers by "impressioning" it. Most can't do it, especially if they learned to locksmith by a correspondence course. I've had several pad locks and a steering wheel that a locksmith was successful doing (after I had taken it to two or three that couldn't).
Call Jarvis lock and Key in Alderwood Manor Wa,
Jarvis the Mercury Guru will fix you right up.
Drive out the two lock pins from the bottom, see image below, then just unscrew it. You don't need a drill or a locksmith to remove it, (unless it's currently locked, which I don't believe you indicated).