How do you screw the screws into the deadbolt accurately blind?


Old 06-17-08, 02:53 PM
doublezero's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: canada
Posts: 319
How do you screw the screws into the deadbolt accurately blind?

I'm trying to install a deadbolt. I just spent 5 days resizing the door which the deadbolt is going into. I went through 3 doors and my frustration level is pretty high right now.
The instructions on the $12.99 deadbolt my Dad got for me, trying to help out, have been partially destroyed in our previous attempts.
Now, the door fits and is ready to be re-installed. But I am stuck on the $12.99 deadbolt - Defiant #165-771.
My question is: how do you fit the screws in without shifting the latch so that it is sticking out too far and the door won't fit anymore? These screws have to go through 3 things, or maybe 4, I can't think straight anymore. How are you supposed to get them through these 3 or 4 things when you can't see what you're doing? And since you can't see what you're doing, when you push the screws through the first one or two things, you inevitably end up pushing the third thing out of alignment, thereby forcing the latch out of position and you have to start over? Is there some kind of trick? I've spent a lot of time trying this and I don't know how to do it.
I could hire a locksmith; he'd probably come in a couple of days and charge me $200 to install this $12.99 lock. Or, more likely, he'd tell me he doesn't work on these type of doors or locks and make me buy another door and a different lock.
I would prefer to learn how to install locks myself.

I already feel like sh-- already, so if you have patronizing or insulting comments, please keep them to yourself for now. Thanks.

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Old 06-17-08, 07:22 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
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Not sure what the problem would be...

first off, do you have the backset correctly set on the deadbolt plunger? Standard backset is either 2 3/8 or 2 3/4 as measured from the edge of the door to the center of the hole. Your deadbolt plunger needs to be firmly attached to the edge of the door, the face of it needs to be flush with the edge. Eyeball the plunger through the 2" bore hole, and see if it looks centered. If not, your backset is probably wrong and the plunger needs to be removed and adjusted to the correct backset.

Some deadbolts come with an adapter ring that you may or may not need... which helps keep things centered on the hole if the hole is smaller than standard. But you shouldn't need this, I wouldn't think.

The trick is usually to put the female threaded half of the deadbolt on first, and align the key so that it's up and down... not sure if some tape would help you hold it or not. I just have big hands and hold one side with 4 fingers and as I use my other hand to guide the othe half of the deadbolt on, I use my thumb to hold it in place while I grab the screws. Lining up the screws is usually just a matter of being able to eyeball what straight is as you guide the screw through the holes. If everything is lined up, you shouldn't have much trouble... so maybe you have the deadbolt plunger upside down, or something. If it's still not lining up, I'll ensure that the key hole is still straight, not twisted... and that everything is still centered on the hole. Too bad you lost the instructions... hope you know where all the parts go. In most cases, the deadbolt plunger should not be extended when you put the deadbolt together.
Old 06-17-08, 08:53 PM
doublezero's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: canada
Posts: 319
Thanks for your detailed reply, Xsleeper.<br>
The plunger is flush with the edge of the door, and the backset is set at 2 & 3/8".
I've been able to get the deadbolt onto the door. It just took a few hours of trying.
I'm going to save your instructions for the next time I attempt this because they are very helpful. Thanks again.


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