So you just bought your first game from the arcade auction but it’s locked and their was no key provided. You might be tempted to just pry the door open but that usually tears up the cabinet. In this post, we will discuss how to remove and replace a lock from a coin door without doing damage to your arcade cabinet.
Replacing A Coin Door Lock
Here is an illustration to show some of the parts of a lock that you might not be familiar with.
Arcade cabinets typically have locks on the back, coin and service doors to keep people from gaining access. While these locks can vary in size, we will be covering 7/8″ locks in this post because it is the most common. Most of the locks on your arcade cabinet can be removed easily without doing any damage. Since not all of us our connected enough to know a locksmith, we’ll discuss how to remove the lock using a drill and a flat head screwdriver.
First, find a drill bit that’s about the diameter of the key hole on the lock you want to remove. Place the bit in your drill and lock it in place. Now it’s time to drill out the lock. Start drilling into the key hole of the lock applying consistent pressure to move the drill bit forward. This will drill out the pins that the lock uses to identify that you have place the right key inside of it.
Once you get about 3/4 of the way through the lock or when you feel the lock break loose, stop drilling the lock and get your screwdriver. Insert your flat head screwdriver into the now drilled into key hole and attempt to turn it just as if it were the key. Sometimes this is successful and sometimes it’s not. Just continue drilling until you get all the way through the lock which should drop the cam (or lock bar) and allow you access to the cabinet. You may have to gently pry the door open at this point but it should require a lot less force than if you had not drilled the lock at all.
Now that you have the door open, it’s time to take off the lock. Some tools you will need to accomplish this are a 7/16″ nut driver (brown) or Phillips head screwdriver and a 7/8″ Socket. Use your nut driver or screwdriver to take off first nut or screw attached to the lock barrel. You should now be able to easily slide off the cam and the stop cam (or pac man) washer. Make sure you save these pieces as they can come in handy for other projects. Take your 7/8″ socket and unscrew the barrel stop that attaches the lock to the cabinet. You should now be able to remove the lock from the door.
Next, we need to get a replacement lock for our door. You can get new locks from Bob Roberts, Happ Controls or Home Depot. Bob Roberts has some excellent information on his site that can help you select the right lock for the job. Check out this information at http://www.therealbobroberts.net/camlocks.html.
Once you have your new lock, we can now put it on your door. Take the barrel stop off of your the barrel of your new lock. Put the barrel through the door and screw the barrel stop back on to attach the lock to the door. You can use your 7/8″ socket to tighten it down. Take the cam stop washer and place it on the barrel the way you want the lock to turn. You should be able to play with it and your key to get it the way you want it. We usually set it so that you turn the key to the right to unlock it. Finally, take the cam and line it up with the barrel, tighten it down with the nut or screw that comes with it and you’re done. You have now successfully installed a lock in your door.
While the sizes and positions of locks might be different, this method of lock installation pretty much works for any lock. Being able to drill out and replace locks will help you a lot as you continue to work on arcade games. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions by posting some comments below.