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GTE Payphone help

Started by wds, December 03, 2017, 05:31:47 PM

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I have this GTE telephone, and can't get the upper housing off.  I have the 219A and 719A tools, and can remove the door to the coin box, but can't seem to get the key to unlock the upper housing.  Is there a trick to it, or do I need the key to fit the lock on the side?


You will need the key to the side lock. That allows the t key to move the levers the open the top.


Is the keyed lock a standard key, or are they all different?  In other words, am I going to have to drill that lock out?


Upper housing locks are different for each telco. We had three different locks/keys for BC Tel in British Columbia. I never did find out why there were three instead of just one.

We used to remove the lower instruction card and drill a 1/4" hole in the upper right corner of the area that the card covered. This was in the event that coins had managed to jamb the area around the lock preventing the lock from turning. Then the ever useful KS "Hunk of ground wire" tool or a long thin screw driver could be inserted to knock the coins out if the way. I would think a similar hole maybe a bit larger would allow something to be inserted and then a hit with a hammer in the right spot could break off the end of the lever. These aren't super heavy duty, the lever just prevents the locking bars from being turned up and down with the T Key. I've never tried it but would think it could be driven further into the housing from a hole in the front so the T Key would be able to slide the locking bars.

For display purposes, if the upper housing key isn't available to go with the phone I have simply removed the tab from the end of the lever on these locks so the phone looks complete on the outside but a T Key is then all that is needed to open up the top.



It is so little room for failure here, the validator almost touches the lock.
Not a bad idea to just drill away the locking pin.
2 pictures of the lock here open and locked (open with visible distances, the locked will have a distance from the center of the lock to the pin of 5/4" But then you get a hole you do not want on the side. 

If you hit the pin, it is fixed with a washer and a nut, and may probably be removed by rotating counterclockwise.
If you drill from the front you may bend it so you may turn your T-key (look at the picture nr 2, It will probably be difficult), and hopefully not ruin the validator, but I am not sure. I f you drill in the front and may get off the cover around the keypad, or just have a replacement , the drilled hole will be invisible.



Ok, thanks.  Would it be easier to just drill the lock out?


I drill mine out. Replacement locks are readily available on ebay.


If you can get a die grinder and ball mill to bore out the lock. The Medeco locks have steel pins inside and will break drill bits. If the housing was ugly and needed a repaint you could drill it on the side or under the faceplate and save the liock. However a replacement costs less than 10 dollars off of ebay and you phone looks nice so go ahead and terminate that lock!

Payphone installer

If it is a standard GTE payphone it took a BJ004 key they are common. I have the key for sale if you need one and it is smart to replace it with a BJ lock so you can always open it.  I always here the conversation of drilling locks which is what everybody attempts to do. Just remember that payphone locks were designed not to drill out,because that was the first thing a bad guy did. Even the phone company did not drill the locks. There were other methods. I have posted the method for drilling the vault door on a W/E single slot in the past. Try the key first locks are getting rarer all the time I remember when 10L locks were everywhere now they are almost gone. It will happen again.


I must be lucky, it never takes more than a few minutes to drill the lock out. If my camera will take a charge I am going to take pics of my tool and some housings I have drilled out. My advice is always skip the drill and use the die grinder


I did manage to drill my lock out, but it cost me a couple drill bits.  I'm guessing they broke when I hit the steel tumblers. 


Hello All,
I have a similar situation. I managed to get mine open using a punch to cut the locking ring of the lock into three pieces and then just force the lock out of the way.
My problem is now that I can not figure out for the life of me how to get the new lock into position.
Any suggestions?


First time I have seen an Automatic Electric single-slot pay phone!