Locked the keys in your pickup, far from home? Cowboys ain't supposed to cry, so make a simple tool on the spot from found materials that will let you in quickly and without damaging the vehicle, so long as the truck has a sliding rear window. I carry a more deluxe version of the tool in my truck and have used it to help other drivers in this predicament. Once you see how easy it is to break in, you might want to fix your window so no one with bad intentions can unlatch it, then hide a spare key to use if you ever lock yourself out. First photo is an interior view, with the window slightly open, of the kind of latch that can be opened with this tool, working from outside the locked truck. Second photo shows the boss on the interior window frame that the latch grabs to lock. To see my related Instructables, click on "unclesam" just below the title above or in the INFO box to the right. On the new page that appears, repeatedly click "NEXT" to see all of them.
Step 1: Tools, materials, construction
The tool and a piece of folded heavy paper, the weight of a playing card, that helps prevent damage to the sliding window's weather seals. The solid-state linear computer provides a 12-inch comparison scale.
Tools and materials (deluxe version):
Wire, 8 1/2 inches long, from ordinary heavy-duty coat hanger
Pliers with wire cutter
Card stock, such as the cover of a school spiral notebook
Cut a paper strip 6 inches long by one inch wide, fold it in half lengthwise
Bend the wire to create two legs 3 1/2 inches long each connected by a length of wire 1 1/2 inches long, all falling in the same plane. File the wire ends round and smooth, and remove all burrs. Bend the end of one leg up out of the plane as shown in the photo, make a small loop in that end.