Lock Bolt Wouldn't Open/Close All the Way

I installed a Lock Bolt on my back gate. I modified the gate to have a 2 x6 on its edge and bored the lock hole at the shorter setting. After screwing up the hole placement and starting over, with two days or so of minor carpentry work it was functioning! (I suck with a chisel).

Next week, I find myself locked out of my gate because the deadbolt wasn’t always opening. The short explanation is:
a) the route for the deadbolt wasn’t deep/wide enough
b) fence stain to make it look nice got crud on the deadbolt

At first I used a smaller chisel to bore out more wood material so the hole for the deadbolt had plenty of room. This allowed the gate to close better. I still had to manually align the deadbolt with the lock plate before pressing the lock button. To fix this I added a wood block so the gate, when closed fully, perfectly aligns the bolt with the lock plate. I thought the job was done and I was happy…
…until I noticed that sometimes there was a lot of resistance at the very end of the travel for the manual-locking handle. This was happening regardless of whether the gate was open or closed so I knew the problem was no longer the chisel-route for the bolt. With the gate open I manually opened and closed the dead bolt repeatedly. Only every 3rd or 4th try would the bolt completely recess into the frame as it was supposed to. When the handle wouldn’t rotate fully, a hard twist would get it to close, or a gentle touch on the end of the bolt itself.

To troubleshoot, I took the lock completely apart. First, I noticed a bunch of rain water was sitting inside the lock housing :frowning: . Perhaps a bead of caulk around the lock is in order. Second, I noticed some fence-stain on the bolt itself. Don’t get paint on your deadbolt! I scratched it off with some effort. Next I visually inspected the deadbolt housing to see if anything was inhibiting it. Everything looked good. Since the deadbolt mechanism has the twist-ability for lengthening/shortening the hole inset, I checked to see if it got twisted in some way. Nope, that wasn’t it.

Then, I used a Phillips-head screwdriver in the center of the deadbolt to open and close the mechanism repeatedly. Same as when using the handle, the bolt would not always recess into the housing. The problem was the bolt mechanism itself. While opening and closing the bolt with the screwdriver I noticed two things:
a) when the bolt was twisted to the deeper inset setting, it had a much easier time closing. (if I had to do this project over, I’d use the deeper inset when building my gate)
b) if I held the bolt mechanism facing skyward, just the addition of gravity caused the lock to always shut fully with the screwdriver turning the mechanism.

These observations gave me hope that it was just a slight adjustment could make it function properly. I searched and found some wd-40 household oil in the garage. I noticed a small hole on the side of the deadbolt housing. Here I squirted in some oil. Instantly, the lock fully closes every time.

I’ve now reassembled the whole lock into the gate and it’s working flawlessly. Hopefully, it will have a long and useful life. I love the auto-locking feature… I also hope my experience helps someone with similar troubles.

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Oh, this is tempting! I kind of want to put this on my back gate and my shed. I am a little worried that the IPx5 rating is only for the keypad side of it though (for putting it on my fence/gate). Let us know how well it holds up for you in the rain. I am tempted to try this.