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  #1  
Old 03-13-2004, 02:41 PM
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Default Getting Spare Keys Cut...

This is not a highly technical topic ...but necessary perhaps.

I have a 58 with 55K original miles that I got last May. It came with one set of keys. The ignition, doors and trunk all work smooth and flawlessly.

My problems began when I wanted a couple of spare sets of keys. I bought blanks from one of the TBird parts suppliers and took them and the originals to an auto parts store where they cut duplicates. None of the 4 new keys worked at all.

I took them with the originals to the locksmith at work who ran them through the cutter again. At this point, the two ignition keys will turn the ignition on (but not ACC in one case) but will not open the doors (a desireable attribute!). The trunk keys don't work at all.

So...not much success. Basic question: if I buy new blanks, what is a better way to go about this? Who do you go to?? I mentioned the mileage above because the originals can't be THAT worn so as to make this difficult.

Any suggestions or comparable experiences???

John
'58 Hardtop
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2004, 03:57 PM
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Default RE: Getting Spare Keys Cut...

I have had the same problem you experienced with several keys - both Squarebird keys and non-automotive keys. If the key is cut a little off in height or in lateral direction, it will not work. Sometimes the difference is not so obvious to the eye. A worn key will also cause a worn cylinder, which may make it difficult to diplicate a key for that cylinder.

Your best bet is to buy another key blank and take it to another shop. Use the least worn original key that you can find. If you still cannot get it fit, You can get new cylinders and keys.


Alexander
1959 Hardtop
1960 Golde Top
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2004, 10:08 AM
khanson khanson is offline
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Default RE: Getting Spare Keys Cut...

I have had keys cut for my '49 F-1 pickup from the key I got with it which is nothing more than a few bumps on the keyway. The people that cut it said that it wouldn't work but it did.

It does sound like the key was cut poorly the first time as the second cutting seemed to correct it most of the problem. A key is indexed by the bottom and the notch at the thumb end of the key (as opposed to the tip)for cutting. If either of these are off during setup obviously the key won't work evethough the pattern is the same. Sometimes one of these two points are altered to prevent uncontrolled copies being made, but I can't imagine this would have been done on a car key. It is possible that the first cutting was such that it did not allow for the cylinder points on the second cutting to be right.

If you are trying to lock the doors with the ignition key I do not beleive that it will work as they typically were keyed the same as the trunk.

I just bought an ignition cylinder on E-bay for $13.50 (including shipping) which I thought was pretty cheap as key blanks would cost almost that much. Of course this does not help with the doors, which I do not have a key for. I have been thinking about having a locksmith re-combinate them to the ignition key though (or bite the bullet and get new door locks).

I have a convertible so it does not have an outside trunk lock but a release button on the dash, which is keyed. I am assuming that it would be keyed with the doors/trunk. Does anyone know for sure? Not sure how important it would be to have it working as is seems you would release the trunk by putting the key in to lock it, then you would have to re-close the trunk. In the end the button would be in a locked interior.

Hope this helps

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Old 03-14-2004, 04:41 PM
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Default RE: Getting Spare Keys Cut...

thanks for all the information! I will sit down under some good light and compare the original and "copies" given what you have told me about the details.

I tried them again today (the ignition key on this car is the same as the door key). The copies work flawlessly in the PASSENGER side; not very well in the driver side. Since one would rarely lock the passenger side with a key, I am assuming that it has little wear and hence that (wear) is part of what I am up against on the other side. However after working with each copy for about 10 minutes, they began to work intermittently in the drivers door.

My goal was to have a second set that would get me into the car in the event I locked the originals in (I did this last fall - in the
trunk!). These seem to do the job with a little effort.

The trunk keys also work with some patience and wiggling. The original ain't all that hot either, so some progress.

I will probably get another set of blanks (about $3.00) and have a real locksmith (vs auto parts store) cut them and see if there is any improvement.

_____________

Since we're on the subject of keys, does anyone know if the
ignition key is supposed to be able to come OUT while in the ON position??? I had my dashboard apart last fall and had to move the car. While driving it around, the keys fell out. Having never had a lock in the vertical position (sorry, no wheel stands), I had never checked any car to see if they came out in the ON position before...
Mostly I am just curious to know if anyone else's do...

John
58 Hardtop
96 Subaru Legacy
79 Ford F150 Field Truck
76 Honda 750F
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Old 03-14-2004, 06:39 PM
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Default RE: Getting Spare Keys Cut...

The original worn out keys I had on my 1959 would fall out of the ignition lock when the motor was on. This is not normal. I found out that the key was worn on the projection furthest from the head of the key. I made up a key from another original and I no longer had that problem.

Alexander
1959 Hardtop
1960 Golde Top
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