Slide Lock Tool Co., Inc. has been a research and development facility for over 30 years specializing in the how-to art of automotive entry through step-by-step manipulation. We manufacture and supply the professional lockout technician with an affordable, compact, up-to-date tooling system focusing on damage-free opening methods utilizing as few high quality, versatile tools as possible so as not to overwhelm you or your employees. Less is best in this business.We only use designs which pass the high standards expected in lockout tooling. First, they must be damage-free to make their way into the Grand Master Z-Tool System. Second, each tool must unlock a wide range of models. And third, they must have the ability to unlock the wide range of vehicles with little training beyond looking up each model in the extensive Vehicle Index Guide. ?Dig for it? openings are a thing of the past we leave to the amateurs who tarnish the industry as a whole. Most of our tooling is made of a superior custom made stainless rod that meets important requirements of lockout tooling. We desire thin rods offering high tensile strength – a very difficult combination to achieve. The golden finish on most of the stainless tools is due to a soap like residue burned during the final tempering process. The stainless tools with this finish will brighten quickly as the tooling is used.
Understanding Lock Systems within the Door Cavity

Auto opening is not so much an art of manipulation as it is an art to analyze where the manual lock button’s linkage or other moving parts are exposed to manipulation. We know all vehicles have a primary lock linkage which starts at the manual lock button and travels through the door cavity ending at the door latch. A second available lock linkage travels from the key activated lock cylinder again traveling to the door latch. This secondary lock linkage is seldom assigned for opening newer models of the past 10-15 years which caused Slim Jims? to become obsolete. This is due to the higher security of modern key cylinders that prevent the secondary lock linkage from moving without the key in the lock. The higher security lock that prevents this linkage from being moved is often referred to as a hard pawl key cylinder. The older low security lock is often referred to as a lazy cam lock which will allow movement of the lock linkage with or without a key inserted into lock. The method to open vehicles containing the phased out lazy cam locks are viewed at illustrated opening method #2.

The manual is constantly revised. . . not only on newly introduced models, but on ones that have already been researched and published in previous editions. Many obsolete illustrated methods have been upgraded or removed as new knowledge is gained or as new tooling is introduced such as the Inverted Z-Tool and others. Please feel free to call us to note any problems you think are obviously incorrect with any of the methods presently being used. This is the only way the thousands of us together can be absolutely sure we are passing into the next model year with the past edition’s flaws fixed forever.

  1. Outside handle assembly and its non-locking linkage.
  2. Manual Lock Button (Vertical Type)
  3. Primary Manual Lock/UnLock Linkage
    Vertical type shown but many models travel horizontally to the inside handle assembly.
  4. Key Cylinder: Rigid Pawl or Lazy Cam
  5. Lock Cam
  6. Inside handle assembly and its non-locking horizontal linkage.
  7. Bell Crank
  8. Key Activated Lock Linkage (useful on older models but phased out).

Two Common Bell Cranks

Z-Tool System seldom assigns a Bell Crank as a target, as there are two plastic clips involved to break or disconnect.

Getting Started with the Famous Z-Tool

Z-Tool and Sister Inverted Z-Tool
The #1 door cavity tool used throughout the world! The simplicity of this system would not be possible without the patented geometric shape and many other features of the famous Z-Tool?. The greatest advantage to having a single Z-Tool is that it does the work of over 30 other tools you would otherwise have to purchase, learn and carry. The one tool does-it-all concept means you quickly develop a consistent feel for what the tool is doing within the blind door cavities. Instruction terminology also becomes second nature as your experience quickly grows due to constant use of the same tool over and over again.

Exceptional Probing Tool: You will learn through experience that the geometric shape of Z-Tool? is ideal for probing thedoor cavity for illusive targets. You will also learn that either the long or short end can be used to move bell crank and most any mechanisms with or without the use of the hooks. If you contact nothing while probing for the illustrated lock mechanism, do not become discouraged, as it only takes slight adjustments to make contact with the intended target. Always keep your eye on the manual lock button while probing as most will slightly move when contact is made with any part of the lock system. Try a second time, but simply pull the exposed end (handle) a little away from the window glass to gain a wider angle within the door’s cavity, thus allowing the probing end to reach the locking mechanism.

Mini Box Hook

Z-Tool’s Mini Box Hooks: The numerous situations involving obstructions within the door cavity are most often overcome due to features designed into both the versatile Z-Tool? and the Inverted Z-Tool?.One such feature is the Mini Box Hooks for slipping past or around obstructions. The hooks are made small and then milled out at the inside to allow a strong positive grip onto the target. Once the target has been grasped, this milling process will keep the tool from slipping off the target at the moment the required pressure is applied to move the lock system to its opened position. The boxed edges should be filed periodically to keep them sharp as you will find they are utilized constantly.

Many vehicles present obstacles within the door cavity, such as a variety of anti-theft window guards, linkage guards and/or shields, and center walls. Centered walled models present the greatest of difficulty as they offer little to no exposure to manipulation. In the cases of no exposures, non-door cavity tooling is assigned. Non-door cavity tooling and others are discussed at the advanced classes.

The Depth Guides: The numbers #1, #2, and #3 are stamped along the shafts of both Z-Tool? and the Inverted Z-Tool? Some instructions require you to pinch the shaft at the assigned # while inserting to the desired depth. Desired depth is achieved when your pinched fingers match the outside weatherstripping located at the base of the window. Pinching the assigned depth guide will allow you to maintain the desired depth while probing for illusive targets without constantly keeping an eye on your depth setting. Any opening which needs the extra help of depth guide usage should alert you to the fact that this model can be tough to open and requires your complete attention to instruction detail. Slow down, carefully review the procedure starting at the Vehicle Index Guide and then onto the assigned opening method. When a new instruction page is successfully learned, make some notes above the illustrations. Doing so will jog your memory the next time you are advised to use that particular method.

A good example of depth guide use is at method 21. Method 21 applies to the new style General Motors lock latch introduced in 1991. It is assigned to those models which are heavily guarded throughout all four door cavities. However, there is available to manipulation a one inch linkage exposure at the front passenger door latch. Learn this advanced method and you will be one of the few who can open the many GM models containing this well guarded configuration.

Bend Chart:
Place proper tool end in alignment with matching drawing. Pinch the shaft firmly and bend to actual size and shape. Double check and reshape if necessary.

Located on the inside back cover of the manual is an actual size bend chart. A small percentage of opening methods will first direct you to shape the Z-Tool?. Simply lay the tool in alignment with the bend chart and bend the stainless steel shaft of Z-Tool? to conform to one of three (3) specific configurations. Again, this saves 3 more tools you would otherwise have to buy, learn and carry. The bend chart shapes (A, B and C) are very accurate, since the configurations are drawn actual size. Other door cavity specialty tools requiring specific shapes will lose their original factory-set shape due to use or abuse. In such cases, corrections are hit-and-miss, but with Z-Tool?, you can shape and reshape, over and over, with this handy actual size bend chart.

Return your tools to their original shape after every opening, particularly after opening models that instruct you to use the bend chart located on the inside back cover. It will then be ready for the next lockout call. Creating a flawless straight shaft is not necessary. A long history of statistics has shown the bend chart will not cause the shaft to break. We know of tools that have lasted as many as 4500 openings with the same Z-Tool?, as all were logged by the same user.

Many of our long time customers order at least one extra Z-tool and an inverted Z-tool. They put the bend ?A? into the extra Z-Tool as ?A? is far more needed then the B&C setting. If the tool is lost they have a back up while the new replacement arrives. Z-Tool alone opens 65% off all openings. If lost, your ability to continue lockout calls are drastically hampered.

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