DIY: How to remove stripped lugs or wheel locks without a key - MY350Z.COM Forums



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Old 04-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #1
Phreakdout
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Thumbs up DIY: How to remove stripped lugs or wheel locks without a key

OK, you've searched the trunk, the interior and the entire garage ... and the wheel lock key can not be found. Of course, you immediately blame the last tire shop for not returning your key.

None the less, you have a wheel that needs to be removed and you feel like a complete numbty because you can't get the wheel off.

Here's your solution ....

Here's a sample of a key and lock. This is for another car of course because the key to my Z's wheel locks is no where to be found.




If you're like most folks, the wheel doesn't give you much access to the lugnut. You can't get a set of pliers on them. Even if you could, how much damage would your wheels take?



To start, you need a few items.
1) A heavy mallet
2) A 24" Breaker Bar
3) A 3" extension.
4) Craftsman part number 47392 (Lug nut removal tools) You can buy this from Sears for $39.99. You can find it in the socket section.
5) A bench vise








There are three sockets in the kit.
1) 7/8"
2) 19mm (3/4")
3) 17mm

Each socket has two sides.
This side has 6-flutes. It is used for normal hex nut lugs. You can see the socket extension fits deep into the center.




The other side, has 12-flutes and is designed for grabbing onto the smooth surfaces such as the lugnut pictured above.



These sockets are hardened steel and will take a lot of abuse. Keep in mind, they are Craftsman products, so if you get a little too exuberant with it, you can amaze the Sears salesperson by asking for a warranty exchange. (Really, you shouldn't need to get that crazy)

Let's get started:

Find which socket fits best over your lugnut. Personally, I went against the directions and used the 6-flute on the smooth lugnut. It seemed to fit best and the sharp six edges really digs into the chrome lugs.

1) With one hand, fit one of the lug removal sockets onto your lug.




2) Take the mallet and give it a couple smacks for press it into the lug. Try to hit it straight on so removal tool will fit straight on.



3) Fit the extension into the removal tool. Attach the breaker bar to the extension.



4) You don't want the removal tool to shift around when you start to turn it so use your right hand to keep it straight on the socket and your left hand to loosen the lug. If the tool starts to spin on the lug, go back to step #2 and smack it on so the tool is tighter on the lug.



The lug nut should loosen and come off. The nut will be stuck in the removal tool. It will look like this:



Take the removal tool and the the stuck lugnut over to the bench vise. Clamp the lugnut down and lightly turn the nut back and forth to get the tool's teeth out of the lugnut.



The old lugnut will look like this. Note the teeth marks. you can see how this would work.



It took about an hour to remove all 20 lugnuts. Of course the lugnuts are scrap now so I will order another set.

BTW: I found the lugnut key 20 minutes after I was done. I hate Murphy's Law!
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreakdout View Post
BTW: I found the lugnut key 20 minutes after I was done. I hate Murphy's Law!
Nice write up! That sucks that you found the lugnut after the work was done. I always take a walk if I am unable to find the stuff in hope to find it the second time I search for it.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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Great write-up! Very useful if the need ever arises.

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Old 04-26-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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Awesome! my buddy was just asking me about this same thing
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:20 PM   #5
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DIY: A bulletproof guide on how to steal someones wheels!

Just kidding. Nice writeup
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:00 PM   #6
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Very nice write up, I hope this is not used against us...
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:47 PM   #7
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nice....this is a must STICKY
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:30 AM   #8
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so it seems like im getting a set of new wheels after this diy
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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It's okay, I've been two hours away from home only to have debris puncture a tire and realize I left my wheel lock key at home. Stupid me.

Thankfully, I was lucky enough to find someone in a group of friends that had one I could borrow.

On a side note, a person that used to work under me at at&t had me do this with his totalled z before the insurance company hauled it away.
- My payment for doing this was a set of oem brembo brakes.
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Old 04-27-2010, 05:58 AM   #10
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I LOL-ed once you said you found the key 20 minutes after you were done.
Thanks for a DIY.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:25 AM   #11
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[QUOTE=freedonutss;8336249]DIY: A bulletproof guide on how to steal someones wheels!

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Old 04-27-2010, 09:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freedonutss View Post
DIY: A bulletproof guide on how to steal someones wheels!

Just kidding. Nice writeup
I debated if I should publish this.

1) If you have a shock sensor, hopefully the hammering on each lugnut will trip the alarm. Aluminum lugs are soft and require less hammering. They may not trip the aftermarket alarm. Hex type are easier to remove than the smooth type.

2) I am a big fan of using wheel locks on all five lugs on each wheel. If you can, use more than one set with different keys. The most important thing is to make it inconvenient for the theif so they will pass your car and move to the next one.

3) Thieves will loosen all the lugs first before jacking up the car. Don't rely on the car being shifted to trip your alarm. Often they jack it up, grab the loosened wheels and drop it on cinderblocks. (Even while the alarm is going off)

There is one lug that this kit will not work on:

Gorilla makes a smooth lug with an outersleeve that rotates. So if you get a hold of the sleeve with this tool, it will just spin and not loosen.




Here is their website:

http://www.gorilla-auto.com/gorilla.guard.locks
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:00 AM   #13
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i broke the lug key to my tunner lugs i over tqed them and it blew it out i went to a aftermarket car and truck shop not auto zone or pep boys and i got a new one $7 they had every kind but if thats to easy you could always just hammer on a socket and do the same thing you just did just make sure its a cheep socket or a craftsmen so it will be free replacment
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:19 AM   #14
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Turns out that Sears has this set on sale in their outlet store for $14.00. (Damnit, I overpaid!) $14.00 to not have to destroy sockets (which don't work so well on the smooth lugs) is a good deal.

I've seen the socket technique on Youtube. Since I had 20 to remove, I wasn't going to try it. It does work though!
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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does this work on mcgard locks from Nissan?
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlipZ View Post
does this work on mcgard locks from Nissan?
McGards should be just as easy as the Gorilla locks I killed.
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Old 05-22-2010, 05:27 AM   #17
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My McGards anti-theft lug also called "Cone Seat Lock " stripped on me over the weekend. Thank you for this info. It definitely made my life alot easier and saved me some money rather than dropping it off at a shop. Once again THANK YOU!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:16 PM   #18
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great diy op
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:19 PM   #19
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Excellent post. Never knew about these...
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:47 PM   #20
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Makes buying locks useless now that thieves have this ish.
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