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tboudre tboudre is offline
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Car: 2011 BMW 335xi E90 N55
Default Wheel Locks - Never Again - 09-12-2019, 02:21 PM

I ordered some BMS wheel locks circa 2014. I went to change my brakes a few months ago. I went around with a 24" breaker bar & a 17mm deep socket to loosen up the lugnuts. I got caught on the front driver's side tire with the locking lug bolt not budging. I got my foot on the breaker bar and *****d down low & the lock key slips & messes up the key and the bolt. I went around the car with the remaining wheel lock key and easily loosened the locking bolts on the passenger side, but when I got to the rear driver's side the key sheared off inside the bolt. The splines were still good on the rear, but messed up on the front. Maybe I should have been using an impact wrench, so I went and bought a battery operated one. After trying a few things I decided I needed to drill out the bolt on the front wheel. First step is to use a punch to bend that "security" tit in the middle back & forth until it breaks off. I found this bit at Lowe's: https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-1-2-...l-Bit/50413712
The "Pilot Point" not so much a good idea for this job. Between that bit and a few different sizes of standard 135 degree bits, after some time drilling, I was able to get a #7 screw extractor to grip the inside of that bolt and it came out fairly easily from that point.

I ordered another set of wheel locks and contacted BMS asking them to send just the keys and extra keys instead of the locks. The current keys/locks they are selling are apparently not what they were selling in 2014. I contacted them again and they were as helpful as they could be and looked for some older wheel locks and sent them to me to try. None of these worked.

As a long shot I went down to the BMW dealership and asked if they had a key that matched up, they did have one coded ABC32 that fit my wheel locks. They broke their key on my wheel lock. I didn't want to mess up the splines if there was a chance that I could get the wheel lock off with the proper key, but ordering one from BMW was in the $60 range, and I could find them on eBay in the $30 range, but who is to say that those won't break off again. Yes, I put liquid wrench all over that wheel before all of this. BMW estimated $300 for them to drill it out. I had already invested way more than that to remove these bolts.

I was waiting for Harbor Freight to have a good sale on titanium or cobalt bits. Cobalt was $60 for a set but they didn't sell singles. I broke the tit off and gave it a shot with the titanium, but those from Harbor Freight were garbage and dull in minutes, the set I used for the last bolt were dull as well. Ordered 1/2", 7/16"(3/8" out of stock), and 1/4" cobalt bits from Amazon. These actually did cut that hardened steel, but it still was slow going. I had a grip on it with the #7 screw extractor two different times, but it just bored out the center more. I finally drilled deep enough for the screw extractor to get a good grip and I put a 24" crescent wrench on it and finally got it to break free.

I just wanted to share some information in case anyone else was stuck in this situation. I never thought changing my brakes could be this difficult. I'll never put wheel locks on a vehicle again. IDK if I'd get custom rims that I'd worry about anyway. These are the stock M-sport rims. I've got several of the wheel locks I can send to anyone if you've broken or lost yours. I can also send you a screw extractor locked in a bolt if you have a vice or something to be able to pull them apart.

I'm not trying to single out the guys a BMS or the technology of lug bolts. Just saying I'm not doing locking lugs of any kind ever again for all that trouble.

I also had trouble getting the rims to come loose from the brake. At this junction and where the brake meets the hub I have applied "Never Seize" (not to the bolts or threads). I've seen some mixed comments on internet about putting that stuff on bolts such as lugbolts, I'm thinking that's not such a good idea.

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2011 335i xDrive ///M-Sport LeMans Blue Navigation iDrive 15% Tint N55 E90 - BMS Intake, Le Mans Blue Grilles, Le Mans Blue Rear Diffuser, Alpina B3 TCU Flash, Misc Coding, Matte Black Badge, Gloss Black Exhaust Tips, Blue Calipers*, VRSF Charge Pipe*, Cyba Scoops*, JB4 ISO 5.5, Sport Oil Cooler Valve, FlexFuel (Fuel Rail Pressure) Wires, GoFastBits DV+, Ethanol Content Sensor - No problems up to E70 fuel mix
* Painted 7251 Cobalt Blue Metallic - Matches LeMans Blue
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Nanometer Nanometer is offline
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Default 10-16-2019, 11:32 AM

No idea on the root cause for this. But I can tell you that I've had seized bolts too. And always were a result of some grease monkey using an impact. Always use recommended torque, and always install bolt into a clean hub, and ensure the bolts are clean too. Sorry about your experience, but great you could figure out a fix.

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vwetish vwetish is offline
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Default 12-03-2019, 07:37 AM

12 point socket hammered on also works well, I think size 21-22mm
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Mike_L Mike_L is offline
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Default 12-03-2019, 04:54 PM

Definitely caused by some idiot with an impact. Iíve had 14 cars, all had wheel locks. Only issue I ever had was with my Lightning, which bent the key because some schmuck used an impact on it.
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LessIsMore LessIsMore is offline
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Default 03-01-2020, 08:50 PM

I might try just taking it up to the local Discount Tire and asking them to remove it. Between the impacts and experience with stuck lug/lock nuts, plus probably a huge lost and found of old Lock nut keys from cars over the years, you might get lucky.

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