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E30 Key FAQ

 
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: E30 Key FAQ Reply with quote

My '84 Eta came with only 1 key, so I set out to get some duplicates made.

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

You can tell the difference by looking at the key, the deadbolt version
is slightly longer between the shoulder and the tip, and may have an 'S'
stamped near the shoulder.

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.

*deadbolt is the lock that let's you turn the key 90 degrees and pull the
key out, in that position you cannot open the car from inside and can't
'jimmy' the lock

1) local old-time hardware store, McClendons, they had a blank that worked, but the person behind the counter running the machine was kind of clueless.
Result: they key is cut off the tip instead of the base so you have to
fiddle with it to get it to work. About $5

2) Lowes: no joy, they just had this no-brainer system with no provision
for BMW keys

3) BMW Bellevue dealer, they had to look a bit to find the right blank,
but they had the shorter small round/oval head key in stock, they
cut it and it worked perfectly the first time. around $10
They didn't have the lighted head key, or the large head rubber key,
one of each is what I wanted. They could order them in from BMWNA
with the VIN and BMWNA would cut the key according to their records.
The lighted key I'm guessing around $30.

4) Locksmith in Lynnwood next to Fred Meyers on 196th.
He had the exact blank, cut it in about 30 seconds, tossed it to me,
worked perfectly. But, it's the generic blank style, not the rubber head
BMW style. About $5.

5) Ordered 1 lighted key blank and 1 large rubber head key blank off
of ebay, around $30 for both shipped from CA, got them Friday.
http://stores.ebay.com/eluka-com
item 200090184514 $7
BMW # 51 21 1 900 892


item 200098855302 $18
BMW # 51-21-1-900-894


6) Home Depot: same exact setup as Lowes, no support for BMW keys.

7) True Value, West Seattle: they had a similar key blank selection to
McClendons and the Locksmith in Lynnwood
I asked them to cut the rubber head key, so see if they could do it
and not risk the expensive key. They cut it just fine, but
they had some back and forth about the length of the key. $3 to cut my blank

Cool I think I'll bring the expensive lighted key blank into the Lynnwood
locksmith on Monday instead of risking it at the closer True Value.
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jlevie



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 553
Location: Huntsvile, AL

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you have a unused master key with no wear, your best bet is to oder the key from your dealer.
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that keys can get worn down and not make good duplicates, but my 23 year old car with 240k+ miles on the clock had 1 key, an aftermarket duplicate, and it has worked fine as the source for 4 duplicates at 4 different places so far.
Use your old key at a locksmith, and if the new key doesn't work, they will refund your money, or if nothing else, you're only out $5.
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4710
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "S" stands for steel, and requires special cutters at the locksmith's. They also have non steel keys that anyone can cut.
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought the Steel key to McClendons Hardware today, and they wouldn't cut it as they only had a brass cutting wheel and didn't want to trash it on the steel key.
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85-325e



Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 4710
Location: Southampton, NY

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I had to wait on mine until the got the right grinder...
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DJB



Joined: 19 Jan 2007
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

51-21-1-900-892 Standard key blank $6.10
51-21-1-900-875 Standard key cut w/ code 11.50/9.78
51 21 1 900 894 Illuminated key blank $19.70

The code is a 7 or 11 digit number, with each number being a cut depth from 1 to 4.
An 11 digit code is for the "master" key on the cars which double-lock. The 7 digit code is for the "valet" key that won't turn far enough in the driver's door cylinder to double-lock or open the glove box. You can disassemble a lock cylinder to read the code numbers stamped on the wafers.

One of our local hardware stores has blanks that fit, ILCO BMW3P, a chrome plated brass blank with a black plastic head. They cut copies for $1.99 each and sometime have 2-for-1 coupon specials. I think the proper exclaimation from me to those not so lucky is "na na na".

Varta V625U, battery for key.
1.5V alkaline stepped coin cell
15.6mm diameter x 5.95mm
LR09 / PX625A / D625 / EPX625G / V625U / KA625 / RPX625A / V625U / EPX625BP.
51-21-1-935-001 lighted key lamp 3.75 ($3 pelican) 2.40/2.04
1.5V 0.135W T1 SC flange base
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dale



Joined: 22 Aug 1999
Posts: 3085
Location: Seattle, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went into the Lynnwood locksmith today, he cut the steel key in less then 1 minute, and charged me $1.
Works great.
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