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Old 12-12-2021, 11:00 PM   #1
subabird
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Unhappy can't get wheels off - stolen wheel lock tuner key

My 2002 2.5TS was stolen a few months ago, just a week before I planned to move across the country. Luckily I got the car back (a friend spotted it in my old neighborhood with a dude passed out inside). There was damage (ignition, lock cylinder, steering wheel, etc.), but the biggest pain in the neck has been that the thief threw out the tuner lug nut key for the wheel locks. I've searched ebay and contacted all the major wheel lock manufactures without luck trying to find a replacement key. Various mechanics and tire places have told me they can get the wheels off, but none have been able to. I want to put snow tires on and to not be SOL next time I get a flat.

Anybody happen to purchase American Racing wheel locks back in the day for their subaru and have a spare tuner key I could buy off you?! (3/4" diameter, tuner style, open end lugs with 6-flat point design composed of alternating wide & narrow flat points-- NOT spline). The rims were already on when I bought the car used, so I don't have the wheel lock serial number. I do have photos of the locking lug nuts but noob status or ineptitude are preventing me from attaching.

Thanks in advance for any helpful ideas about what the heck to do or where to get ahold of a replacement key!


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Last edited by subabird; 12-14-2021 at 09:54 PM. Reason: adding photo
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Old 12-13-2021, 01:24 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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A picture or two of what you're dealing with would help. How do you know the lug nuts are American Racing? If they're open ended I wouldn't think you'd be able to see a logo on them.

There are all sorts of videos on Youtube of how to remove locking lug nuts without the key. I'm quite surprised you weren't able to find a shop to do it; from what I've seen this should be a "bread and butter" job for any competent wheel & tire shop.
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Old 12-13-2021, 02:11 PM   #3
Mach V Dan
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A 12-point socket hammered on will usually do it. Or there are whole wheel lock extraction kits you can buy online. A lot of tire shops will have them.

Either technique will destroy the locks in the process, so have some new locks, or at least some extra lug nuts, handy to replace the mutilated locks.

Dan
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:50 PM   #4
subabird
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Thanks for the reply, Patrick. I'm setting up the image account now so I can post photos... The rims are American Racing, but you're right, I can't see a logo so I don't definitively know that that's what the lug nuts are. I have searched the websites of Gorilla, McGard, White Night, etc. and talked to their reps/ sent photos but they all said the lugs weren't theirs. None of the 'master kits' I've seen so far have a match either.

Unfortunately because there's so little space between the locking lug nuts and the wheel which they're about flush with none of the methods I've seen advertised seem like they'd work, but I'll keep looking!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
A picture or two of what you're dealing with would help. How do you know the lug nuts are American Racing? If they're open ended I wouldn't think you'd be able to see a logo on them.

There are all sorts of videos on Youtube of how to remove locking lug nuts without the key. I'm quite surprised you weren't able to find a shop to do it; from what I've seen this should be a "bread and butter" job for any competent wheel & tire shop.
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:08 PM   #5
subabird
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach V Dan View Post
A 12-point socket hammered on will usually do it. Or there are whole wheel lock extraction kits you can buy online. A lot of tire shops will have them.

Either technique will destroy the locks in the process, so have some new locks, or at least some extra lug nuts, handy to replace the mutilated locks.

Dan
Mach V
FastWRX.com
Thanks for the reply, Dan. Unfortunately because there's basically no gap around the top of the lug nut a 12-point socket won't fit around it. The kits I've seen don't have the right tuner pattern, but I'll keep looking. And yes- good reminder, I do need to get some new lug nuts with the hope that SOMEDAY I'll get these old things off. No wheel locks for me next time!
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Old 12-13-2021, 10:24 PM   #6
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If it is absolutely essential to you to remove them, you may mutilate your wheel and a stud, but it will work. You could have a friend who is good with a welder, weld on a large nut so that you can remove it. It would damage quite a bit but has worked before.
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Old 12-14-2021, 12:02 AM   #7
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Yea- i'm starting to think your idea is what it may come down to! I'm going to ask around and see if I can find someone who might be able to able to do this. Thanks for weighing in..


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Originally Posted by Amarillo.sp View Post
If it is absolutely essential to you to remove them, you may mutilate your wheel and a stud, but it will work. You could have a friend who is good with a welder, weld on a large nut so that you can remove it. It would damage quite a bit but has worked before.
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Old 12-14-2021, 09:11 AM   #8
Elbert Bass
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I have been using the above kit professionally for 30 plus years. Sold under various brands. this is the Ken-ToolŪ - Wheel Cover and Wheel Lock Removal Kit Have yet to find a nut I can't get off. The only issue is when the friction fit sockets are new they require a little extra oomph hammering on to bite...
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:01 PM   #9
subabird
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here's a photo of the wheel locks.
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:01 PM   #10
subabird
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[sorry for duplicate post]

Last edited by subabird; 12-14-2021 at 10:05 PM. Reason: accidental duplicate post
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:22 PM   #11
subabird
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Thanks for sharing pic of your kit, Elbert... I'll look into that one. Has it worked on similar tuner style lug nuts like the photo I posted?

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Originally Posted by Elbert Bass View Post

I have been using the above kit professionally for 30 plus years. Sold under various brands. this is the Ken-ToolŪ - Wheel Cover and Wheel Lock Removal Kit Have yet to find a nut I can't get off. The only issue is when the friction fit sockets are new they require a little extra oomph hammering on to bite...
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Old 12-14-2021, 10:37 PM   #12
subabird
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Someone just recommended using a short length of hex stock and making a new key from that using a dremel, or taking it to a machinist if we can't do it ourselves. Hopefully it'd only be necessary to make the 3 wider ears of the pattern. Seems like it'd be easier, cheaper and less destructive than the option of having someone weld a bolt on each of the 20 lug nuts, and presuming I still can't find a good enough match in one of the master key kits...
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:53 AM   #13
Elbert Bass
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subabird View Post
Thanks for sharing pic of your kit, Elbert... I'll look into that one. Has it worked on similar tuner style lug nuts like the photo I posted?
Now that you have images - no that won't work - best bet is buy a hex socket and a big hammer...
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:54 AM   #14
Patrick Olsen
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