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looking for key to hub cap lock


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I have an '80 Buick Riviera with the original rims and hub caps. I have lost the key to the hub caps and I am now looking to buy a key to unlock and remove the hub caps. The key in question is shaped like a small pipe with three small notches. If anyone knows where I can find keys to these hub caps, I would appreciate a reply.

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If it's a plastic wrench that removes a nut from a stud under the pop off center cap, then color code of the nut is necessary and they should be available from GM Parts. The wrench should be about 3/4" in outside diameter and plastic and would remove a large nut with particular lobes (flat spots) on it's circumference to index with the wrench, plus a reasonably large handle to grab on to. A one piece plastic item.<P>If the nut on the stud is smaller, completely round with notches in it, that lock is probably from McGard or another aftermarket vendor. Could even be an accessory lock kit from GM from when the vehicle was new. If the locks were "production", there should be a small piece of paper in the owner's manual papers, about 3" wide and about 5-6" long with a code number on the top and a 1-800 number to call to get another wrench. This gets you the exact same wrench you had, but there's no guarantee those locks might not have been changed somewhere along the line.<P>If the nut is the round one with notches spaced around the outer edge, the wrench will be a two piece metal affair, a cross bar and the shank that has the "key" end on it. These wrenches are only available from the respective vendor and NOT GM Parts. Hence, the phone number and code.<P>I don't recall specifically which lock type your vehicle might have, but I've mentioned the two different types of locks GM has used over the years for factory installations.<P>If by chance you can get the lock nuts off, you might find the thread is 1/4-20 so you can put a regular nut and washer on there and fix up a small ratchet and socket to take them off. If the "people" are interested in those wheel covers, they'll probably get them anyway, but they might not be expecting to need a regular socket to get them off either.<P>Key thing is to determine which type of locks you have on the vehicle--which will determine where the wrench will need to come from.<P>NTX5467

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u mite try an independent tire dealer. They usually have these keys laying around. IN FACT, THATS where they usually wind up LOST!. once u get them unlocked LEAVE THEM UNLOCKED!!!! OR replace them. Its not worth it. In fact, it amazes me that people actually paid extra money for those when they bought the car new. Locking wheel covers deserve a special anatomical location for their resting place.... which is the SAME PLACE they usually wind up when the key is lost.

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Guest 70 Electra

Relative to leaving them "unlocked"....<P>Don't know if it applies to these Buick covers, but certain Pontiac wire covers in the 80's used the locking bolt to actually retain the cover to the wheel. If you didn't install the lock bolt, the wheel cover would not stay on the wheel (it had no retaining tabs).<P>The nice thing about this was that you didn't have to whack 'em on with a mallet, so there was no chance to ding up the outer edges. However, turning the darn lock bolt with the special wrench, while holding the cover on with one hand, was a bit awkward!

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Hey 70Electra. do u know Wally Komondy there in Rochester???? He lives over on Clovelly street just north of auburn rd and west of John R or maybe dequindre.

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I checked the parts database last night at work. It appears I forgot about the special bolt on the earlier covers as opposed to the later special nut to the later ones.<P>The ones with the bolt will have a metal wrench and there are about 7 different color codes. These wrenches are or were available from GM Parts.<P>I highly suspect you'll find the thread to be the previously mentioned common 1/4 x 20 thread. The tire dealers might have an accumulated bunch of keys, as mentioned, but they might be more later model at this point in time. Some wheel cover shops had "master" sets they purchased when the cars were new. <P>Kent-Moore Tools (now SPX) had "special tools" to remove the locks when the key was lost. <P>I discovered the thread specification by accident. When the last generation Caprice came out, there were no wire wheel cover options. Our new car people bought some wire wheel covers from a wheel cover vendor, which dressed up the cars quite a bit.<P>A customer came in wanting a wrench to get the wheel covers off. Upon examination, I found a regular bolt holding it on instead of the special bolt. It was a common 1/4 x 20 bolt about 1" long. With that deal, you just need a cheap deep socket and a ratchet instead of worrying about a special wrench that could get lost. An inexpensive solution to a possible somewhat tense future situation.<P>The wheel covers still have the clips along the outer edge just as they always did, but the center lock bolt/nut would be the default method of retention. So, it would be a good idea to have those in place. Plus, without the center bolt/nut in place, the stamped cone they attach to can rattle as the wheel turns.<P>Enjoy!<BR>NTX5467

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