1. Realizing that access to my entry latch mounting bracket nut was not going to happen through the provided interior access opening, I was consigned to face my fears and bust into the door assembly since the edges of the interior door panel blocking access to the backside of the exterior latch is fully retained within the door's perimeter channels. Using ALL of the power available from my DeWalt 20V Impact Driver (even breaking one Philips bit), I removed all the screws retaining the door's rear edge channel to the frame, except the top two which were only loosened in order to maintain vertical support of the channel. Beginning at the bottom and pulling the channel back out away from the door frame, I was able to free the interior door panel edge, pull it back slightly and easily gain adequate access to the retaining bracket and nut at the rear of the latch.
2. After releasing two linkage retaining clips, I easily removed the latch along with those two links from the outside of the door.
3. I then removed the C-ring and lever from the end of the lock cylinder, allowing it to slip out of the front of the latch casting.
4. As can be seen in the last two photos, my "ah-ha" moment came when I saw that the 6th (innermost) lock pin slider was bent (and broken), preventing my key from full insertion into the slot to properly push the remaining five slider pins out into their "unlock" positions.
5. Realizing at this point that I could simply remove the broken slider pieces from the cylinder and convert the OEM 6-slider lock to a 5-slider configuration, I am currently communicating with TriMark Corp to see if I they can supply a new replacement slider pin of the proper configuration (w/ spring) to replace the damaged slider. Barring my ability to obtain a suitable replacement slider pin and spring, I will simply reassemble my newly reconfigured 5-slider lock cylinder into the latch, and be on my merry way, having saved approximately $100, learning a little something, and all the while retaining the use of my original key! As Col. John 'Hannibal' Smith of The A-Team
TV series used to crow. . . , "I love it when a plan comes together"!
Once again, many thanks to the iRV2 experts who responded to my plea for help, and I sincerely hope that this post helps someone else on the site who may find themselves in a similar situation.