Krooklok Restoration


This 1965 Krooklok was purchased by my grandfather when they first came out. As a kid I remember him parking the car up and locking it with this bar with hooks at each end. I used to like the sound it made when it pulls out to be extended.

This Krooklok is 55 years old being made in 1965 from what I can work out. It had never been cleaned in all that time and needed some serious pampering to get back to its original condition. The state of the lock was rusted and the extension was very stiff and not free running. The rust was so bad on the back I couldn’t see any marking and wondered if it was an original Krooklok.

The first thing I decided to do was to apply a little metal polish to see what happened.

Some serious rubbing and multiple applications removed some of the grime, enough to show me the marking on the back of the chrome locking tower. But it wasn’t man enough to remove the pitting. I got out the Dremel and attached a nylon buffing pad to the base of the locking tower which removed plenty more before it eventually disappeared to nothing. When I saw the markings were there and the “Pats Pending” I realised this was a rare early model.

I started to buff the rest of the shaft and although it came up better it still wasn’t good enough.

I now started to move up the aggressive scale until I found something that was just enough to do the job. This is usually the wrong way round of course as you start aggressive and then work back to finer grades to remove the previous marks. I settled on a light buff of 180grit sand paper to take the worst of grime and rusting off, then followed with 240grit.

I could see that the steel would buff to a really nice shine and started with the Dremel 240grit sand paper discs and took ages to go over the whole thing, using only the lightest pressure as the discs were much smaller. I then used 320grit to 400grit by hand to finish the look.

Once the sanding had finished it was back again to metal polish and felt buffing pads which would flick the polish everywhere when I used too much.

The Metal bar both inside and outside started to polish up like the chrome and looked great. I had to keep working the notches with the Dremel and a small pointed buffing pad to clean them.

A number of passes would bring the steel almost to a mirror finish. Which pleased me and saddened me at the same time. The cleaning also took the patina away from the lock and it’s age. Due to the rusting and pitting there wasn’t much choice. The item will never be worth a lot of money so it’s not as though I ruined it. As the inside of my Mustang has a lot of chrome brightwork inside it wouldn’t look out of place, but would even compliment it.

The steering wheel end sleeve was very dirty, I allowed a citrus based cleaner to soak a rag in order to loosen a lot of the grime off. This was done by wrapping the damp citrus soaked cloth around the hook. Once that was wiped of after a few minutes the heavy duty cleaners were applied and the handle came back to its almost original colour. The chrome locking tower only needed a little metal polish to bring that back to its former glory.

The completed item gets more buffing and an application of wax to prevent the atmosphere tarnishing the metal again.

The only thing left to do was lubricate the mechanism, a thin application of light oil to the sides and drop into the first few holes. I worked the lock in and out a few times and some dirty oil ran out. I cleaned the lock up again and repeated until the oil was clean. Now the extension moves in and out smoothly. The lock remained free and little squirt of Gibbs in the lock for the tumbles allowed the key to slide in effortlessly, turn and remove just like a good lock should do.

If the lock would have been seized up I would have just soaked the lock in a shallow bowl of degreaser and then relubrication via thin oil again.

In total it took me around 4 hours to clean and buff to a shine. I am well delighted with the lock.

The before and after shots side by side.