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Old 08-16-2014, 07:56 PM   #16
Silver Wagon
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yup.. as designed. would you mind posting a pic of your valet key? If it's original, does it have an "I" on it?
my "original" key that came with my car on the left and the one i acquired from the yard on the right. you can clearly see the I and the S respectively.

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Old 08-20-2014, 12:40 PM   #17
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my "original" key that came with my car on the left and the one i acquired from the yard on the right. you can clearly see the I and the S respectively.
Thanks for posting! that's great validation.

Have been driving and calling around for steel key locksmiths in Chicago West burbs. Same story on every call from 5 different locksmiths:

- "oh no we don't cut steel keys."
- "they'll burn right through a $200 key cutting wheel in one try"
- "I don't know of any locksmith in the area that cuts steel keys"

Pretty sure this is a North America thing. Found a *great* article about steel key retrofitting for locksmiths:

http://www.locksmithledger.com/artic...l-key-solution
Quote:
For the North American market, locksmiths have been cutting softer metal key blanks, mainly brass and some aluminum. The only steel key blanks I can remember from many years ago are automotive. Most of them were gold plated presentation key blanks. Some were special orders for European model vehicles and only available in steel.

North American cylindrical key machines - originating and duplicating - are designed for brass key blanks. Most of these key machines operate at about 800-1000 revolutions per minute (rpm) for high speed steel cutters.

Steel content key blanks can dull or break the teeth of a key machine’s rotary cutter operating at about 900 rpm. A key machine that cuts key blanks containing ferrous metal should operate between 1600 and 2000 (about twice the rpm) equipped with a carbide cutter.
Just need to keep hunting for the right locksmith I guess.
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:41 PM   #18
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Score! Local BMW dealer set me up.

Spoke with the shop foreman who said "We have a key cutting machine but it hasn't been used in 8 years.... we'll have to set it up". Nobody but him had ever used the machine

Anyway I have 2 brand new illuminated keys cut from wallet masters... they work and look great.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:25 PM   #19
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Good call. Thank you.

Thought that leather key holder was at least 450.
Hahahahaaha I got you guys bad!!

When my mother bought the 87 325is in 1986, it didn't come with a lighted key... just the general plastic, valet, and wallet keys. hmmmm. Maybe I should head on down to the dealer and file a 28 year old complaint.


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Old 09-03-2014, 07:24 PM   #20
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this looks damn cool - if it works with a REC43T remote setup.. awesome

http://www.amazon.com/KEY-BLANK-FOLD.../dp/B00FG9G5DG



UPDATE: Kinda pricey but I ordered one anyway. Will let you know how it works out.
Interested in the results of this. Just bought one of the REC43T setups and I'd love a more OEM-looking fob
Arrived about a week ago. Definitely a brass key unfortunately (it can bend or even break in your lock so caveat emptor). On the plus side:

-- your local hardware store can cut it.

-- the unit is programmable for several different types of remotes. Haven't gotten around to trying it out yet but I will.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:28 PM   #21
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Key blank update:

Looks like your favorite BMW online dealer can get you every key blank and key accessory shown in the first post except for the standard (valet?) key. I did find an overseas seller for 32321109801 on ebay though.

And yeah I picked a couple of the infamous key holder..

UPDATE: Ship notice from Egypt.. booyah.

Last edited by bradnic; 09-04-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:53 PM   #22
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S vs I key

I took the 4th ("S") and 3rd ("I") Hartge keys from the first post and compared them below. I had heard that the valet key was shorter and that's clearly the case. Also looks like only the part of the key to the right of the line is used by the valet key. The one thing I couldn't confirm was that the center channel is supposedly wider on one compared to the other. That doesn't appear to be the case.

UPDATE: check post 35 below



Anyone know for sure?

Last edited by bradnic; 09-02-2017 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by 15Michaeljoseph View Post
Hahahahaaha I got you guys bad!!

When my mother bought the 87 325is in 1986, it didn't come with a lighted key... just the general plastic, valet, and wallet keys. hmmmm. Maybe I should head on down to the dealer and file a 28 year old complaint.


--Mike
Hey there Mike. I don't think anyone could tell if you were serious or not about that key holder post in the rare parts thread....
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:38 AM   #24
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Hey there Mike. I don't think anyone could tell if you were serious or not about that key holder post in the rare parts thread....
I mean in a way it IS a rare part, I don't know anyone with the original one that came with the car, completely unused, still in it's plastic bag..... It's just that you can get a new one for what? $10?


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:53 AM   #25
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uh... no not rare. Doesn't say West Germany on it anywhere or something like that does it? My rebuilt Lobro axles say West Germany on them - paid $60 each

I'll take $100 each for these though lol


PS.. the cases don't seem to make much sense if you have a remote FOB.

Last edited by bradnic; 09-02-2017 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:27 PM   #26
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uh... no not rare. Doesn't say West Germany on it anywhere or something like that does it? My rebuilt Lobro axles say West Germany on them - paid $60 each

I'll take $100 each for these though lol


PS.. the cases don't seem to make much sense if you have a remote FOB.
Darn it you know what I mean! Yes, I get it you can buy them from the dealer but those ones didn't COME with the car off the lot in 86! It will always be special to me :,)

On a side note, my bilsteins say 'made in W. Germany' on them :b


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Old 09-08-2014, 08:15 AM   #27
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Valet key background info

parking valet key info. this is where I found the blurb about it being thicker than a regular master key. One guy says it's thicker, the other guy says only the slot is

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...from-Valet-Key
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e30/mis...formation.html

this thread claims the valet key is just an older model E12 and E21 BMW standard key for cars without the deadbolt feature. Makes a lot of sense
http://www.unofficialbmw.com/phpBB/v...ic.php?t=29405

Quote:
Know that the E30 came with 2 different lengths of keys.
84 -> early 85, non-deadbolt, same as E21 320i and E12 528i
late 85 with-deadbolt -> '92 cabrios, same as E23, E24, E28
and the crucial quote I'm looking to verify - cut a standard key back to get a valet key (without the "I")
Quote:
You can make it work in an early E30 if you have the key maker cut
the tip off so its the same length as the early key blank.
The key pattern is otherwise the same.
and a great quote here from 2001 (glad I'm saving it on this thread...)
http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/144...=1#post1444584

Quote:
Valet (submaster) cuts 8-11 are cut to max depth
I am a career locksmith. The first thing I did when I bought my car was to decode my key and recut another on my code machine.

I JUST researched BMW vallet keys on one of my key code software programs. I haven't tried this on my vehicle but, as it states, the sub-master [e.g., valet key] retains the origional cuts on spaces 1-7 and is cut to the maximum depth of 4 on cuts 8-11. The master key can also "lockout" the "sub-master" by using and additional amount of rotation. I hope this is vaugly understandable. Feel free to ask any other related questions.

Russ Wilson
Head Locksmith
University of N. Alabama
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:11 PM   #28
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I have two keys I ordered from the dealership. They were both wrong, I plan to return with the part # in hand to make sure I get the key I want. I will post pics soon with the part #s, because in the factory pics, the picture didnt match what I got.

I wanted the key on the right in post #16, but got the one on the left. This was after they ordered the wrong key for me. The wrong key was one that I believe is for the one with the light or something...
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:18 PM   #29
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Repair and Replacement Kit Part Numbers

Interesting.. I thought the "Standard" key was NLA.. post 21 shows how I found them on ebay.

If you ordered a CODED factory key, AND if BMW's records aren't messed up, AND if you're locks weren't swapped out at some point, then you WILL get a brand new properly cut key. I ordered coded keys for 3 different E30s, and all have worked for me.

There could be a PROBLEM though if your locks are worn. First one to go is the driver's lock for obvious reasons - it's used the most. Rebuilding the driver's lock is very easy, and the repair kit is not expensive.

So:
1) MAKE SURE the key you received is really wrong - compare it to your current keys. If the new key looks mostly the same just not worn, then a door lock rebuild will likely resolve.

2) If they DON'T look the same then you have some choices to make (see below)

Here's a GREAT diy for the driver's door lock (which includes the deadbolt function) - about 1.8MM views!. You need to buy this kit, 51-21-9-061-343. Costs about $19:



There are other lock rebuild kits as well (ignition, trunk and passenger, glove box)

Here's a pic for the other repair kit shown on the realoem front lock page, 51-21-9-556-313. This is the passenger and trunk lock cylinder replacement kit (there's no deadbolt function with this lock cylinder):


And here's the glove box latch repair kit that includes the glove box cylinder 51-16-9-061-387:


So going back to your original problem, if the dealer ordered coded key comes back and it doesn't match your current keys, you have a few options:

1) figure out if BMW's records are hosed, and haggle for correct keys
2) rebuild your locks using the kits above. you can insert the new keys into a driver's door lock cylinder and figure out which metal bits are needed. Write those down and keep them safe.
3) hit the salvage yard or ebay for a complete replacement lock set. you won't be able to order coded keys for this option, but you can still order steel key blanks. You may end up rebuilding them anyway though.

EDIT: You can also replace ALL your locks with brand new parts by ordering 51-21-1-904-727. THEY WILL NOT BE KEYED LIKE YOUR ORIGINAL KEYS THOUGH. Comes with the full set of 4 BMW keys. Hat tip to@jph for the ECS link. https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...t/51211904727/


Last edited by bradnic; 09-02-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:11 PM   #30
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I think Im going to have to rebuild my locks, and I believe they have been changed at some point. Probably going to buy a factory VIN cut ignition, and rebuold the door locks myself. Not sure about the trunk lock though

edit: The keys I got match each other, just not the one on my car, so I think my car is the problem. Id rather have VIN matching keys...
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