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post #1 of 7 Old 15th April 2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Daniel Booth
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Unhappy Snapped locking wheel nut key

Hi all, anybody know how to remove the locking wheel nuts when the key has snapped. Who ever had the wheels off last, seems to have done them up incredibly tight and the key completely snapped off when trying to release them?
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post #2 of 7 Old 15th April 2019, 07:59 PM
Trizzuth
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Was this a set of OE wheel locks? Just curious as that is what I use...

Sounds like you may have no option other than to drill out the lug bolt head in order to get the wheel off then maybe you could have better access to what's left of the stud and use some heat to get it out?

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post #3 of 7 Old 15th April 2019, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hi yes, they are the black oem ones. They seem to be made by a company called mcgard from what i can gather on the net. They also seem to have some sort of a rotating ring around the outside preventing the old method of removal (hitting a smaller 12 point socket over the top). I have called up three local garages who all say the same thing when i mention that its a BMW "we can't get them one off sorry". BMW have quoted me 80 per hour labour and that they may need it for 2 days plus, they also said it may cause damage to the rims. They would not give me an exact price, but said it is not cheap to get them taken off. I am honestly shocked that this is such a big problem for BMW when they are the ones who fit these to the vehicle in the first place!
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post #4 of 7 Old 15th April 2019, 08:46 PM
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All they told you is right. This is a nightmare problem to deal with and there is an extremely high chance of wheel damage if the bold needs to be drilled out, or another method used to extract the bolt. I have a friend who had lug bolts seized on so badly that a shop spent several hours attempting to get it off and were not able to make it budge one bit, and that was a standard lug bolt, not a keyed one.

If you have any mechanical skills, and are willing to spend the time to try to do this right, it might be worth it for you to try the drill the head off method (but again high chance of wheel damage here). Once the head is off, you can at least get the wheel off, or once you are sure the wheel can actually come off and you've drilled the head out, put the wheel back on with only 4 lugs, then take it to a shop to have them extract the stud, probably much easier for them to attempt this with the wheel off and more room, they coul even do some welding to the stud which might make removal easier. It's the drilling of the bolt head and all that cautious stuff that is where the time and money goes.

Good luck and report back once you find a solution!

New (old): 2003 E39 M5 TiAG
Old: 2001 E46 330i Steel-Grey Metallic (Totalled)
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post #5 of 7 Old 15th April 2019, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trizzuth View Post
All they told you is right. This is a nightmare problem to deal with and there is an extremely high chance of wheel damage if the bold needs to be drilled out, or another method used to extract the bolt. I have a friend who had lug bolts seized on so badly that a shop spent several hours attempting to get it off and were not able to make it budge one bit, and that was a standard lug bolt, not a keyed one.

If you have any mechanical skills, and are willing to spend the time to try to do this right, it might be worth it for you to try the drill the head off method (but again high chance of wheel damage here). Once the head is off, you can at least get the wheel off, or once you are sure the wheel can actually come off and you've drilled the head out, put the wheel back on with only 4 lugs, then take it to a shop to have them extract the stud, probably much easier for them to attempt this with the wheel off and more room, they coul even do some welding to the stud which might make removal easier. It's the drilling of the bolt head and all that cautious stuff that is where the time and money goes.

Good luck and report back once you find a solution!
Thank you!
I will have another look around tomorrow and see if i can find someone to drill them off. I think a garage will probably be cheaper than BMW's inflated prices. Will report back when i find a solution to this nightmare.
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post #6 of 7 Old 16th April 2019, 12:10 AM
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I recently had a set of 4 spinning wheel lockers with no key, I got them off using a dremel grinding bit to remove the spinning collar (you need to grind a channel top and bottom so the collar is in two halves and comes off). You can then use a wheel stud removal tool to undo the stud. Takes a while but small risk of damaging the wheels if you are careful.
Google dremel 453 or 454 for the bits, one is 4mm and one 4.8mm, I used the bits in a battery drill but it would have been better with a proper dremel tool as it spins much faster. Use very light pressure, I went through a few bits but they are cheap and only seemed to fall apart if you use too much pressure and they got too hot. Good luck.
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post #7 of 7 Old 16th April 2019, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trizzuth View Post
All they told you is right. This is a nightmare problem to deal with and there is an extremely high chance of wheel damage if the bold needs to be drilled out, or another method used to extract the bolt. I have a friend who had lug bolts seized on so badly that a shop spent several hours attempting to get it off and were not able to make it budge one bit, and that was a standard lug bolt, not a keyed one.

If you have any mechanical skills, and are willing to spend the time to try to do this right, it might be worth it for you to try the drill the head off method (but again high chance of wheel damage here). Once the head is off, you can at least get the wheel off, or once you are sure the wheel can actually come off and you've drilled the head out, put the wheel back on with only 4 lugs, then take it to a shop to have them extract the stud, probably much easier for them to attempt this with the wheel off and more room, they coul even do some welding to the stud which might make removal easier. It's the drilling of the bolt head and all that cautious stuff that is where the time and money goes.

Good luck and report back once you find a solution!
Okay gents, so finally got them off today. After searching the net for hours i managed to find this company www.lockingwheelnutremovers.co.uk
The chap arrived this morning and all four were off in literally 15 minutes, i was absolutely gob smacked. The man that arrived removed all four as if they were not tight at all. He said it's a very common problem on these BMW's.
Thanks everyone for all your help and support!
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