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Old 01-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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FML! Shredded locknut key!

So my nice new (to me) YJ has a flat tire barely a week after I got it. Got it jacked up this morning, got four of the nuts off... then dug out the key for the locknut... and found it completely stripped. AAAARRRRGGGHHH. Given the fact that the original owner is passed and his estate's executrix (his daughter) is now back in Ontario, even IF there's a second one somewhere, I'm not likely to get ahold of it.

Stock Jeep mags are too deep for a nut splitter. Looked at Canadian Tire's funky "rounded nut removers" but they aren't big enough. Neither are their "Grip-Tite" sockets (almost bought a set anyway since they're on for half price).

So... any other ideas on getting this thing off? It's a McGARD key, the part number is still legible... who else carries them besides Crappy Tire (who didn't have a replacement in stock)? And better yet, does anyone sell JUST the key, since I already have more nuts than I need?

Ideally I'd find someone who has the same key that I could just borrow long enough to rid myself of these abominations...
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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Depending on the shape of the lock nut u can just use a sledge hammer and hammer a normal socket onto it and it will get the job done that's how I got all 4 of mines taken off when I lost my lock key.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:00 PM   #3
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Agreed...hammer and socket worked when I lost mine. A tip if your having trouble getting the socket to bite...cut the finger tips off a set of nitrile gloves and sleeve it inside the socket. That way when you hammer it in and start turning it will bind up and give you alittle more grip inside the socket.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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Thanks, will give that a go.

I'm guessing this pretty much destroys the socket?
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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If the style of wheel allows it, hammering on a small socket is effective, BUT it will likely destroy the socket if its not impact grade. Lifetime warranty FTW.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:06 PM   #6
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Nope my sockets came out perfectly fine because I had nitrile gloves sleeved in...but if If you don't want to destroy your socket just find the right socket side and pick up and el cheapo one at princess auto or something.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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I've collected a dozen bits-and-pieces socket sets over the years, depending on the size, I probably have a few I can sacrifice
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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+1 on BFH and a socket. Did this a few times
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Hmm, well a 22mm went on snug but then spun out, might have to try that glove trick, and/or find a 21mm. Looks like a 13/16" should work too, but it's getting dark and cold out now and there's nowhere I can take the tire to get fixed at this point anyway... *sigh*
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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mcgard locks? any chance they might be factory chrysler/jeep wheel locks??

we have a special set similar to these 305TTWYA, Set, Socket, Impact, Twist, Shallow (5 pcs.) (3/4" to 1") at work...
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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mcgard locks? any chance they might be factory chrysler/jeep wheel locks??
Possible, although when I google the actual key number, most of the hits that come up are for Fords. Then again, from what I know of the previous owner, it's entirely possible he took them off a Ford and put them on the Jeep. Or they could be aftermarket.

I'd actually love to find the proper key, otherwise I'll need to hammer off and replace all four to avoid future problems.

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we have a special set similar to these 305TTWYA, Set, Socket, Impact, Twist, Shallow (5 pcs.) (3/4" to 1") at work...
Yeah, I looked at the ones Canadian Tire has, but the largest one is 3/4", which won't fit.
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #12
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Can you post a pic of the wheel and locknut style?

There are other ways and I'm not far from your place.

Also, in the future, locknut on last and off first.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:06 PM   #13
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:13 PM   #14
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BTW, I noticed when putting air in the tires the other day, they're all the same brand and tread pattern, but three are P235/75R15s, and one (left-rear I think) is P225/75R15. Doesn't seem to noticeably affect the handling, I imagine the smaller tire will wear a little slower than the others... other than that, should I be particularly concerned? The spare is a P235/75R15 but a different tread pattern... lesser of two evils?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:30 PM   #15
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Gaaaaawwwwwdaamn. I was hoping it wasn't that wheel.

When are you free tomorrow? Can the tire be plugged temporarily or is it a sidewall/bead/valve leak?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:39 PM   #16
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i'm not sure but when i needed one of sockets CT didn't have a great selection, but the lordco on great northern way near main carries irwin bolt-grips, they had a variety of sizes, but i can also check the set i bought tomorrow, might have 21/22mm
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:58 PM   #17
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Gaaaaawwwwwdaamn. I was hoping it wasn't that wheel.

When are you free tomorrow? Can the tire be plugged temporarily or is it a sidewall/bead/valve leak?
Pretty sure it's a bead. It didn't LOOK particularly low, maybe a little soft, and I drove it for several days... when I finally stopped Saturday to check the pressures, I found the left two a little low (20-22ish), the right-rear at about 10psi, and the right-front (this one) too low to register on the gauge. I put them all up to 30... then this one started losing air a lot faster: it was low again when we went out a few hours later, I pumped it up, then after a stop at Starbucks and Walmart, it was completely flat.

I didn't see anything obvious as far as a puncture, and the sidewall is a bit scuffed, but not really damaged. No noticeable leaks in or around the valve stem either. So I'm thinking the bead was probably loosened by running around with it low, and the flexing from topping it up was enough to break it open a bit. Hoping that once I get the wheel off, a tire shop will be able to just re-mount it and be done. I REALLY don't want to have to buy a new tire right now.


I MIGHT be able to put some air in it and have it hold for a short while... not sure what my work schedule holds at this point, but I am home at least part of the day to work on a PC rebuild.

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i'm not sure but when i needed one of sockets CT didn't have a great selection, but the lordco on great northern way near main carries irwin bolt-grips, they had a variety of sizes, but i can also check the set i bought tomorrow, might have 21/22mm
The Lordco by me was fucking useless. I asked the guy about "rounded nut removal sockets" and showed him my spare locknut and the trashed key... he was pretty evasive after that, told me it was probably a Chrysler-specific key and I'd have to check with them. I reiterated I wasn't looking for the key, I was looking for something to brute-force the nut off, and he just kept repeating that he didn't have anything and I'd have to check with Chrysler I dunno if he thought I was someone planning to steal wheels or if he was just stupid.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:12 PM   #18
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The Lordco by me was fucking useless. I asked the guy about "rounded nut removal sockets" and showed him my spare locknut and the trashed key... he was pretty evasive after that, told me it was probably a Chrysler-specific key and I'd have to check with them. I reiterated I wasn't looking for the key, I was looking for something to brute-force the nut off, and he just kept repeating that he didn't have anything and I'd have to check with Chrysler I dunno if he thought I was someone planning to steal wheels or if he was just stupid.
eek. customer service

yeh i had to go to 3 different ones for them to realize what the fuck i was talking about. even the staff at the great northern way lordco didn't know what it was, my girlfriend just spotted it for me while she was walkin around the store with me. the counter dude was all after i told him that's what i was looking for...
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:45 PM   #19
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Yeah, might need to go back there and just look on the walls myself

Unless ICE BOY comes up with something first
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:48 PM   #20
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BTW, we went through the same thing with our '08 Patriot recently: took it to Fountain Tire for re-balance and rotation (current tires were from there in the first place), and they called me to let me know the key was thrashed and they'd only managed to get one locknut off.

Well... last ones to have the wheels off were Maple Ridge Chrysler. Very nice of them to kill the key and not mention anything - good thing I didn't discover this the hard way... like, on the side of the road with a flat tire. Took it back there so they could remove the tires with a proper key, and just had the balancing and rotation done at that time (cost was about the same). Then had them re-mount the wheels with just standard lug nuts, no more lockers.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:49 PM   #21
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pm me your number, i should be around tomorrow, day
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:06 AM   #22
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pm me your number, i should be around tomorrow, day
On second thought, looking at your avatar, I don't think I want you around...
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #23
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Well... after days of no success getting the nut off, and with some suggestions from ICE BOY, I thought, maybe it's just a valve... so I picked up a set of valve cores from Crappy Tire and swapped it out, the put on my little toy compressor (you know, the 12V "emergency" ones - this one's about 15 years old and still works... well, as good as it ever did, which ain't sayin' much). Got it up to about 20psi, sprayed soapy water all around... no bubbles to be seen.

So, put the other lugs back on, whipped over the Esso to put a proper fill in it... and right there by my ear, I could hear the hissing. AAARGH!! Grabbed the flashlight... and found this:



So, it's back to finding a way to get the @#$*^@# locknut off....
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:30 PM   #24
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You went to Esso and I'm 7 minutes away.....
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:42 PM   #25
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Esso is 30 seconds away, I just wanted to put air in it
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