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Looking for "D" wheel key

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by gregd, May 21, 2019.

  1. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Hi folks,

    I am in need of a wheel lock key in order to install new tires on my car. The old one broke, and the SC is having trouble locating one.

    There are 8 versions of the key. The one I need is marked with a "D" on the end of the shaft.
    Wheel Key.jpg

    Given the risk, I don't want to borrow the key, as if it breaks too (e.g. if the bolt is seized), then we'll both be out of luck.

    Broken part...
    Wheel key broken end.jpg

    Anybody have one that they're not using anymore?

    Thanks,

    Greg

    p.s. Yes, I have new wheel bolts on order, and the word is that they have arrived. The key will be to exchange the locking bolts for regular ones.
     
  2. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    I’ll have a look, my summer rims are on and they have longer bolts so my locking set are in a box in my garage. I’m not there for a week though
     
  3. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    More proof that the Roadster studs were plated or finished wrong making them prone to snatching and breaking. The cure is a very light coating of anti-seize: thoroughly apply a light coating and then remove almost all of it with a paper towel.

    Re removing the keyed stud the usual way (using a pipe of the right i.d.) probably won't work on the Roadster due to lack of clearance to fit in a sturdy steel pipe. Same for extractor cups. :(
    --
     
  4. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    Looks more like they used an impact gun with the locking bolt
     
  5. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Mine were so snatchy I was concerned just using a breaker bar.
    --
     
  6. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Actually, it's worse than that. I'm told that the usual way shops remove a bolt sans-key is to grab the outside and turn from there. Besides the clearance issue, Tesla put a swivel sleeve on the outside of the bolt, so it will simply spin if grabbed.

    The latest from Tesla Support folks (via Chat) is that they located a key "in another state", but that SC hasn't responded to the local SC's plea for help. Sheesh. The claim that Tesla can remove the wheel without the key, but asked how they'd do this, the chat person didn't know. Given that all the tire shops had no way to do this, I'm reluctant to let Tesla have at it. There is no "master key" to my knowledge; if there were, this would be done by now.

    My brother (a mechanical engineer) suggests 3D printing one in steel... Interesting thought. He also suggests copious application of Liquid Wrench via a needle, and using a torch to heat up the bolt for easier extraction. Nixed that idea.

    Since the non-keyed bolts have come in, I'm going to drive down to the SC tomorrow and at least pick them up. Perhaps they can clarify how the wheels can be removed without the key, or given their track record of poor communication, perhaps the key is actually on its way and they just haven't let anyone know.
     
  7. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    Drill 4 holes in the lock stud and 4 pins the locking bolt. We used to do it a lot. It gets you used to not doing the locking one up so tight, most places are overzealous when tightening wheel bolts and we were never allowed to use the gun on alloys, they had to be done by hand, along with chrome bolts. I also use copperslip religiously as it was drummed into me by 2 generations.
     
  8. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Kind of thought of the pins idea already. Talking to my brother, I suggested simply taking a flat-ended rod and drilling holes for pegs (nails?), one for each of the "flower pedal" tips. His gut feel was that it wouldn't be strong enough, given that the original key failed.

    The Tesla manual states 77 ft-lbs for torque, but I think most cars are 80, so it was probably done that way. In any case, the bolt is only a quarter inch from center to the flower peak, so that would be, what, 80*12*4/6 = 640 lbs shear force on each of 6 pegs? I don't think it will work, either. (But, I'm an EE, not an ME. What's a foot-pound in volts?)
     
  9. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    Lol depends on how many amps you have. You can harden the ‘key’ easily enough. Back in the 80’s a lot of locking bolts had 4 pins and that was the security, all were slightly different, we had one where we only had 1 pin and we used that for lost keys, I’m pretty sure people worked that out so maybe that’s why I don’t see that type any more
     
  10. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Actually the amps don't matter until the bolt starts moving. Just sayin'

    I've seen the pins idea work using two pins 3/16 in or larger.
     
  11. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Yep. Torque -> pressure -> volts was the logic. Certainly must be some sort of conversion factor between the two, no? When I was studying Physics, there seemed to be a "k" or two in every equation.
    Ah, but the key here (no pun intended) is to drill holes the bolt in the car for the pegs. Perhaps that's what the SC was going to do.

    I was thinking to just use pegs that fit into the existing grooves. Much smaller (6 or 8-penny nail size, I think). I only need it to last for 3 bolts (one has already been converted). I'd kind of rather not destroy the existing bolts, but I guess that's an alternative. Added to the list, thanks.
     
  12. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Easier than drilling might be just hit the head of the stud with a carbon arc till its more than red hot for a few seconds. That should relax the tension for a cup extractor to work.
    --
     
  13. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Quick update, hopefully the second-to-last.

    Replacement bolts have been received, and I picked them up this morning. According to the invoice, it's P/N TMISRV001 (really?), Qty 1, which resulted in a set of 4. $29.60 + tax.

    After the in-person visit to the local SC, an online chat with Support, and a pleading phone call to the other SC that has the key I need, it appears that the two SCs are now talking. The other SC has agreed to send the key to the local one (in exchange for who's first born, they didn't say), and I should be able to get the bolts swapped out next week. Success in making this happen was at least partly due to liberal application of "squeaky wheel getting the grease" on my part.

    The other SC, by the way, is actually closer than "another state", but still outside the reasonable range for making a service appointment with them. That was what the chat folks offered. Would have taken an entire day just for travel, due to charging. Didn't seem to have a clue how ridiculous that was.

    For future reference, the local SC revealed that the way they would remove the bolts without the key would be to drill out the center and use an extraction bolt. That, of course, would destroy the keyed bolt. Given that these parts aren't made or perhaps even stocked for replacement, I prefer not to waste the otherwise perfectly good bolts, as someone else might need them in the future. Fortunately, it appears that we don't need to go that route. Fingers crossed...
     
  14. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    YAY!!!

    The key came today, and I brought the car in to the SC for the swap. Done quickly, with no further drama, so apparently the bolt wasn't frozen or anything like that.

    Tires get swapped on Friday. Let's hope that goes as smoothly.
     
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