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 Feh. I lost my keys.

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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Feh. I lost my keys.   Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:26 am

Gosh, I haven't been on here in a while. (Last sign in was January 15th, 2014...about the same as the last time I drove my wagon.)

Unfortunately, I only had the one set of keys for said wagon and they looked like copies. I told myself I'd get another set made, but nobody around around here does a particularly good job of it. And now, they seem to have dropped right off the face of the earth. I've looked everywhere. I'm starting to fear that the fell out of a pocket or something.

I did have a door key cut from the VIN long before this ever happened. It revealed that at some point in this car's life, someone rekeyed all the door locks. I don't know about the ignition key. Maybe I'll get lucky when next I venture down to the dealership and ask them to cut an ignition key. I'd really like to drive my whale again. Sad

I have at least managed to get into the car without damaging anything, since one of my brothers was able to borrow a lockout kit. Before he did that, I had my own ideas about how to get in. By the time I had my good idea, though, the battery was completely flat. (That probably gives a hint as to what I had in mind. Yes, I am being intentionally vague.)

Interestingly, the dealership told me that if I were to bring them the lock cylinder, they could figure out how it's keyed, or even reset it to the factory arrangement. I really don't want to take apart the steering column, nor do I have the tools. I'm also not crazy about taking the door trim off and trying to get that lock cylinder out.
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MalibuSSwagon



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:14 am

You could also just replace the lock cylinder. We just rebuilt the steering column for my gf's 81 Z28, and I bought a new AC Delco lock cylinder for $20. Came with 2 GM "Mark of Excellence" keys.
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Fred Kiehl

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:07 am

A good locksmith should have a tool that will unlock the lock, and produce the combination of the key. The tool is electric, and rotates the "key" through the entire series of possibilities in a few minutes. Call around and see if you can find one who can do it for you. It should be reasonably priced. You probably need it for the doors as well.

In the future, an easy, convenient, and inexpensive way to make a copy is to take a picture of the key and keep it on your computer drive. You can take it to a locksmith, and get the key made to match.
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:16 am

I suppose I'm going to place some calls tomorrow and see what I can find out.

I have pictures where the keys show up in the background, but I never thought to take one of them "straight on" and none of what I have found so far offers sufficient quality or the ability to see all of the key.
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:29 am

I called around to a bunch of locksmiths today. The news isn't good. I live in the stix, and the car's in a garage right now. Of the locksmiths that said they'd make a house call, they estimated nearly $400 to do everything. Assuming a tow truck could be hired and that the driver could get it out of the garage without wrecking anything else, I don't see a long distance tow shaving much of anything off the price. (I could almost certainly disconnect the shifting linkage and get the car into neutral to roll it out of the garage, but I wouldn't have steering and that might be a problem.)

All of the locksmiths have said similar things so far--the ignition key is no big deal. They'd have to pull the lock cylinder and take apart the steering column. Not all of them are willing to do that. They are certain that they could make a replacement key for it.

The door locks are another story. I've been told that in order to make a door key, that they'd start with the lock cylinder in the glovebox or rear storage compartment area and do a little guesswork with the key cutting to figure out what will make a suitable key for the door. I told them that the door key I had cut from the VIN won't work any of the door locks, but it does work the glovebox and rear storage compartment locks. (The door key I had would not work those locks, at least not well.) They said that might spell trouble for any attempt at making a door key.

No one I've spoken with has ever heard of this machine that would try all key combinations and find the one that works.

The cheapest option thus far is to have the dealership cut an ignition key from the VIN. Maybe it won't work, but even if it doesn't, I'll only be out $10 and then at least I will know. I also plan to ask the dealership where I bought the car if any other keys ever turned up for it--an equally long shot, but one that would cost nothing to try. Maybe they would even put me in touch with the previous owner?
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:25 pm

1. If you can get the doors open, remove inner door panel (any door) and remove lock assembly. Take assembly into dealership as it will have a code stamped into it.
2. Try the VIN for the ignition to see if it works.
3. If the VIN key does not work, than you will have to remove the lock set. The FSM has a procedure if original key does not exist. Dealer may print out a copy for you.

Locksmiths generally charge through the nose for this kind of thing.

Good luck

Bill
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:39 pm

If you are lucky enough to have a working ignition key, I have an idea. If you don't want to/can't figure out how to tear the door apart, why not just get a remote start installed? It locks and unlocks the doors, and on hot/cold days, leaving the ac or heater turned up is a real nice luxury, for only about $175 installed. I have one (it came with the car) and I love it. Of course if your battery dies, you are stuck again....
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:25 pm

What color is your interior? If it's dark blue I have a solution for you. I have a complete steering column with key from a 92 RMW. All you would have to do is swap your steering wheel over to get the Chevy logo back. $50 and u pay the shipping. I'm sure I'd have to remove the airbag to ship it though.....unless we can figure out a way to hand carry from Florida to Ill...





I knew I was keeping it for a reason....
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Mark 96 Roady



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Mon Jun 16, 2014 10:20 pm

That was my next question.....
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:10 am

First off, thanks for all the replies and suggestions. They are much appreciated.

convert2diesel wrote:
1. If you can get the doors open, remove inner door panel (any door) and remove lock assembly. Take assembly into dealership as it will have a code stamped into it.

I can get into the car, my brother borrowed a "lockout kit" and popped it open in short order. I'll probably have to do remove the door panel at some point. I'm not sure if the code will be useful, as someone definitely rekeyed the door and tailgate locks.

convert2diesel wrote:
2. Try the VIN for the ignition to see if it works.

I've got plans to do this very soon. It's a darn sight cheaper than hiring a locksmith, and who knows. Maybe whoever rekeyed the doors left the ignition alone. (I'm given some hope by the fact that every locksmith I've called has said that they'd develop keys for the door locks by examining the glove/storage compartment box locks and working from there. Maybe someone decided it was easier to replace or rework them.)

Mark 96 Roady wrote:
If you are lucky enough to have a working ignition key, I have an idea. If you don't want to/can't figure out how to tear the door apart, why not just get a remote start installed?

I have no keys at all right now. I'm not averse to taking the door apart, I'll have to at some point because one of the rear doors has a window that falls over and won't close properly without help. More's the pity that GM didn't put lock cylinders on the back doors, as I could have killed two birds with one stone. My door panels are in great shape, though, and I don't want to break them. Remote start might be a thing that happens someday, but I'd want to have a really reputable shop do the job, as I don't want my wagon's wiring butchered. I'd probably get it on my daily driver first, though that's neither here nor there.

Sprocket wrote:
What color is your interior? If it's dark blue I have a solution for you. I have a complete steering column with key from a 92 RMW.

The car has a dark blue interior. (Curiosity driven question: would a blue wagon have come with any other interior color?)

Replacing the whole steering column is definitely more serious surgery than I think I want to get into. I've "road tripped" before to get random stuff (my other sickness is antique computer collecting and rescue) but Florida is a bit far and I don't think my current financial situation could see me there and back, what with driving "thirsty truck".
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:12 pm

"I can get into the car, my brother borrowed a "lockout kit" and popped it open in short order. I'll probably have to do remove the door panel at some point. I'm not sure if the code will be useful, as someone definitely rekeyed the door and tailgate locks."

Highly unlikely the guy that re-keyed the car would have gone through the trouble of doing a tumbler exchange to establish a new key. The lock sets for these cars are cheap enough just to replace them all, thus the code stamped on the lock set would probably match the key code. Again, only a $10 try it while still in the dealership.

As an aside, most dealerships should have the equipment to re-key a lock.

Bill
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: I've not been this elated in a while...   Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:43 pm

I went to the dealership today, with the title for the wagon and various other proofs that in addition to being the rightful owner of said wagon, I'm also who I say I am. Every time I've been there in the past, the dealership employees have made it seem like cutting keys from the VIN is a Big Deal and that they're being watched to make sure they don't cut keys for just anyone. Which is perfectly understandable.

Today was different. The guy behind the counter was like "I know you, and I trust you". Off he went with the VIN. Five minutes later and $4 poorer I had a newly cut ignition key in my hand. I couldn't get home fast enough to try it. bounce I kept telling myself that there was a 50% chance it wouldn't work and that it just HAD to work.

Got home. Stuck the key in the ignition. It turned. Car starts. I've never been so happy to hear that seatbelt reminder chime as I was today.

I will have to do something about the door locks eventually, but at least now I can catch up on a lot of overdue quality wagon driving time. Very Happy
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Olds Weighty Eight

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:29 pm

Like driving right back to that dealership and getting a couple more spare keys cut, pronto!  Razz
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:55 am

Olds Weighty Eight wrote:
Like driving right back to that dealership and getting a couple more spare keys cut, pronto!
Soon as this mess is sorted out and the dust settles, I plan to have a minimum of three complete sets of keys made for the car. This is NOT something I ever care to repeat. Next up will be asking questions about the door lock assemblies and figuring out where to go from there. Ideally I'd like to have them set up to work with the keying they had when the car left the factory.

I've gotten into the habit of locking the doors when I leave any vehicle that I own, and that's going to be hard to get past. Sure as can be, I locked the car when I got done testing the ignition key. Embarassed Luckily, I got back in with just a few seconds of diddling around.

I took the car for a 10 mile or so drive to let it charge up the battery and have some road time. Everything worked just fine (including the A/C, which was a godsend in light of all the humidity around here) although the check engine light came on for about 30 seconds and then went out. I suppose that I should pick up some spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor to replace what are very probably the originals. I'd forgotten just how enjoyable it is to drive, especially as compared to my pickup truck and its harsh ride.
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phantom 309

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:09 am

So i find it interesting,. all most unbelievable,. that someone would spend time and money re-keying 2 door locks,. a glove box lock, and the storage box lock,

I wonder if the car actually came with that vin plate in the windshield?? Is the spid tag missing or messed up bad enough you can't read the vin? switching ignition locks or column to match legit tags is common,.

If there is a discrepancy,.personally i,d keep quiet about it,..many cars get re-vin'd over the years,. some for semi legit reasons, other not so legit,..
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95BRMW

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:58 pm

I'd hit up the yards in hopes of finding a wagon, and with all it's keys then pull the locks. Probably get away cheap and learn how to do it in the process.
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Dutch Pete

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:22 pm

95BRMW wrote:
I'd hit up the yards in hopes of finding a wagon, and with all it's keys then pull the locks.  Probably get away cheap and learn how to do it in the process.

+1
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uxwbill

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:30 pm

phantom 309 wrote:
So i find it interesting,. all most unbelievable,. that someone would spend time and money re-keying 2 door locks,. a glove box lock, and the storage box lock,

I wonder if the car actually came with that vin plate in the windshield?? Is the spid tag missing or messed up bad enough you can't read the vin? switching ignition locks or column to match legit tags is common,.

I don't think anything like that has happened. This car belonged to an elderly couple who bought it used in 1996, and I found more than a few things that would prove they owned it (parking permit tags from the retirement home where they lived, pamphlets in the storage pocket of the passenger's side seat from theater productions they attended, a receipt for a windshield replacement that was done in 1998 and a church pamphlet that mentioned the wife's passing. So far as I know, after the husband passed away, their kids got the car and it sat for a long time. They finally unloaded it on the dealership where I found it. The interior is as close to pristine as you're likely to ever see--it is almost like time stopped. The middle row seat looks to have never been sat in.

The SPID tag is perfectly readable. I don't know the reason for the windshield replacement, but I seriously doubt the car has ever been wrecked. The only body damage it has is a spot where the front bumper was rubbed into something (a very common thing on cars owned by the elderly). The VIN as printed on some body panels and the information label on the driver's side door matches the SPID and VIN plate behind the windshield.

95BRMW wrote:
I'd hit up the yards in hopes of finding a wagon, and with all it's keys then pull the locks.  Probably get away cheap and learn how to do it in the process.

There don't seem to be any "you pull it" yards around here. I found one, but it's about 60 miles away. I do plan to stop there sometime and see if they might have any B body wagon goodies.
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convert2diesel



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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:52 pm

Rockauto has the complete set of door locks including the tailgate for about 20 bucks. Certainly not worth ripping apart a wreck in the JY. Glove compartment and rear storage area are a non issue. Disabled both within a week. Pain to always have your keys with you just to open the glove box.

Bill
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Sprocket

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PostSubject: Re: Feh. I lost my keys.   Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:24 am

glad to hear you got it going
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