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Old 11-27-2018, 06:36 PM   #1
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Door lock electric key switch

So I have had my bus about two weeks and have already managed to lock myself out of it.

It is equipped with a key lock for the front lever arm doors but none of the keys that came with the bus seem to work and the key/switch portion--sorry but I am not sure what the part is actually called and there is no part number on it--looks like it needs to be replaced but I had no luck finding one locally. I tried auto parts stores, a school bus repair and parts shop, and Tractor Supply Company.

It kind of looks like an ignition switch but it sends a signal to an actuator on the door open/close handle locking plate. I am including some pictures of the part below--and sorry for the crappy written discription.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cz89a4xxt1...5786.JPEG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ozdalgdey8...5811.JPEG?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/m5le7wkgrh...5852.JPEG?dl=0

The knurled silver end goes on the outside of the bus and is where the key is inserted. The back side with the spade style connectors had a black and pink wire connected that are then routed to the actuator on the door handle locking lever "thingie".

The threaded barrel is about 1" in diameter. There is also nothing mentioned about this part in the AmTran manual.

If it helps the bus is a 1999 International AmTran 3800

Anyone have any idea where I can buy this part? Online is fine.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:10 PM   #2
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Mine had one of those. I removed it and put a master lock combination box on the outside with two momentary on push buttons inside. One for open and one for close.

4818E7DF-F8D1-4863-8D23-FDFDAED9D101.jpg

50516F14-CC81-4D80-A2A2-54831D6EF48D.jpg

D211745B-D2AB-4E95-AADC-AEE3F1E5B2D5.jpg
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizote View Post
Mine had one of those. I removed it and put a master lock combination box on the outside with two momentary on push buttons inside. One for open and one for close.

Attachment 27665

Attachment 27666

Attachment 27667
Thanks for the quick reply. I am not 100% clear on how the thing is even supposed to work normally. Is the key typically a two position key and when you turn it to the right the actuator on the door handle latch is moved to the up (unlocked) position so you can then pry the door open? Then once you have the door open you turn the key back to the left and remove it which then disengages the actuator allowing you to use the door handle from the inside normally?

I know that this is a silly question but the key location on my bus is about 2 feet away from the door so you couldn't hold the key in the turned position and open the door at the same time.


By the way...that is a really clever solution you came up with.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:30 PM   #4
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Mine is an electric door. Turn the key and hold one way and it opens. Turn the key and hold the other way and it closes.

I don’t have an electric lock as you describe, the locking mechanism I have is the electric actuator that opens and closes the door.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:31 PM   #5
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Oh. If you don’t have a multi-meter, buy one. It’s an important tool to have in your tool bag/box and will tell you exactly how your keyed switch works.
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Old 11-27-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pizote View Post
Mine is an electric door. Turn the key and hold one way and it opens. Turn the key and hold the other way and it closes.

I donít have an electric lock as you describe, the locking mechanism I have is the electric actuator that opens and closes the door.
Ah. My door is manual with the traditional handle the driver swings out to open the door. I had originally planned to remove the door and handle and just install a traditional RV type door...but after using it I have grown kind of fond of it.
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Old 11-27-2018, 08:41 PM   #7
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Mine's pneumatic. I've locked myself out twice, but the second time I did it, I used an ice scraper to push up the emergency lever. That master lock key box looks like a brilliant idea.
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Old 11-27-2018, 11:27 PM   #8
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My biggest problem is that I have no idea what the part is called which makes doing a search for it fairly difficult. Pretty weird that it isn't listed in the manual from Am Tran.
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Old 11-28-2018, 12:28 AM   #9
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Before looking for parts check that your getting 12v to the switch.

If so check the switch by disconnecting it from the wiring and using a continuity tester between the
terminal that would be 12v and the other terminals.

You should see changes in the connection between the terminal when you turn the key. If not replace the switch.

If the switch apears good and your gettimg 12v to it you may have a bad connection or short between your switch and the actuator, a bad ground from the actuator or a bad actuator.

Ted
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Old 11-28-2018, 02:30 AM   #10
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If I understand what you have, you have a 1999 IHC chassis AmTran bus with a manual service door with a vandal lock on it. When you turn the key it energizes some sort of switch that pops up the service door lock and allows you to push the door open.

That switch looks like what IC is still using today to open and close the service door from outside.

Making it more difficult is no key that came with the bus will fit that key lock.

Fortunately for you, there were less than ten different lock sets ever used. Most fleets ordered at least all of their vandal locks to be keyed alike. Many even ordered their ignitions to be keyed alike.

You should be able to go to any locksmith and find a key that will operate that lock.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:09 AM   #11
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On the threaded part of the switch, I noticed what I think is a set screw. Loosen that and the key assembly should pull out. Take it too a locksmith or just find that same piece with new keys.
If you remount that now without the key part, and reconnect the wiring as it was, you should be able to turn the switch manually and check if the switch itself is good. Much easier than testing with a meter as that is a hard circuit to imagine even in my mind what makes it work.
There are a few mfgs that would make those. A couple are Delco-Remy and Allen-Bradley to name a couple. Those switches are quite common in industry.


John
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
Before looking for parts check that your getting 12v to the switch.

If so check the switch by disconnecting it from the wiring and using a continuity tester between the
terminal that would be 12v and the other terminals.

You should see changes in the connection between the terminal when you turn the key. If not replace the switch.

If the switch apears good and your gettimg 12v to it you may have a bad connection or short between your switch and the actuator, a bad ground from the actuator or a bad actuator.

Ted
I have a key provided by the district where I bought the bus that fits into the lock but will not turn it. So it is either the right key and the mechanical locking mechanism is bad or it is just not the right key.

I don't know how to check the switch on my meter if I can't turn the key. My thinking was that a locksmith can likely re-key the mechanical portion for $30 - $40 and I end up with a 20 year old switch relay that may or may not be functional, or option two would be to replace the entire key switch for $20 - $30 and not have to worry about it for another 20 years.

I just couldn't find an ignition switch / key switch locally with a threaded barrel large enough to fit the existing hole in the cowling. I will keep searching online till I find one. Then if it doesn't work replace the actuator--after double checking the wiring of course.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
On the threaded part of the switch, I noticed what I think is a set screw. Loosen that and the key assembly should pull out. Take it too a locksmith or just find that same piece with new keys.
If you remount that now without the key part, and reconnect the wiring as it was, you should be able to turn the switch manually and check if the switch itself is good. Much easier than testing with a meter as that is a hard circuit to imagine even in my mind what makes it work.
There are a few mfgs that would make those. A couple are Delco-Remy and Allen-Bradley to name a couple. Those switches are quite common in industry.


John
I had thought it was a grub screw as well but it is just a hole--likely for some sort of locksmith type tool.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
Before looking for parts check that your getting 12v to the switch.

If so check the switch by disconnecting it from the wiring and using a continuity tester between the
terminal that would be 12v and the other terminals.

You should see changes in the connection between the terminal when you turn the key. If not replace the switch.

If the switch apears good and your gettimg 12v to it you may have a bad connection or short between your switch and the actuator, a bad ground from the actuator or a bad actuator.

Ted
The issue is that the key goes in easily and "feels" correct but will not turn. Add to that nothing on the switch is marked terminal wise. There is zero marking on the switch at all that I can see. There is one slightly cleaner spot on the side where a sticker may have been so I checked around inside the bay to see if it had fallen off in there but no luck.
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Old 11-28-2018, 07:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
If I understand what you have, you have a 1999 IHC chassis AmTran bus with a manual service door with a vandal lock on it. When you turn the key it energizes some sort of switch that pops up the service door lock and allows you to push the door open.

That switch looks like what IC is still using today to open and close the service door from outside.

Making it more difficult is no key that came with the bus will fit that key lock.

Fortunately for you, there were less than ten different lock sets ever used. Most fleets ordered at least all of their vandal locks to be keyed alike. Many even ordered their ignitions to be keyed alike.

You should be able to go to any locksmith and find a key that will operate that lock.
Yeah if it ends up that I can't find a replacement switch I will end up having a local locksmith take a shot at re-keying it.
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Old 11-28-2018, 10:32 AM   #16
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What I found is that of the four wires there were three white. You can see the pic I posted earlier. I marked all the wires with colored tape.

White/white was 12v
White/blue was either open or close
White/yellow was the opposite of white/blue
Green didnít do anything

I tested by just shorting the white and others to determine their function

The white-white/blue now go to one button in the lock box
The white-white/yellow go to another
The green is terminated
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Old 11-28-2018, 11:20 AM   #17
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Sorry missed the part about a bad key. You could try jumping the terminals to unlock the bus until you can fiqure out the key and switch situation. Maby some wd40 in the swich to unstick it?

Ted
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Old 11-29-2018, 11:44 PM   #18
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Update on the lock situation. I found a replacement key switch and got it installed. The actuator was dead so I managed to find a replacement at an Auto parts shop a mile down the road--turns out the actuator was the same one used on 92 GMC pickup trucks. Was $50 (which was about $25 more than it was online).

My Pop helped install it and we managed to get it to work...sort of. The space where it fits is a little too small so there is some drag on the rubber dust cover boot, and the lever arm geometry is a bit inefficient so the actuator just barely has enough force to raise the door lever lock with the return spring disconnected.

Not an optimal solution but good enough till I get the door moved/replaced with an RV type door. Thanks to all of you for all the help and great advice. My first "win" on the new bus =)
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