Cutting a X-shaped key
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Thread: Cutting a X-shaped key

  1. #1
    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Cutting a X-shaped key

    Hello folks,

    My XM has one of those X-shaped keys with 4 different faces that need to be cut. I got a blank and took it to the head office of the biggest locksmiths in Melbourne (Stewarts). They had several machines but could only cut the 2 main faces by machine. They tried to cut the 2 side faces by hand but could not make the key work. The locksmith did not want to give up, he worked on it for over an hour but eventually gave up, charged me nothing and gave me another blank.

    Any idea where I could get one cut in Victoria?

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    Thanks,
    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson
    Hello folks,

    My XM has one of those X-shaped keys with 4 different faces that need to be cut. I got a blank and took it to the head office of the biggest locksmiths in Melbourne (Stewarts). They had several machines but could only cut the 2 main faces by machine. They tried to cut the 2 side faces by hand but could not make the key work. The locksmith did not want to give up, he worked on it for over an hour but eventually gave up, charged me nothing and gave me another blank.

    Any idea where I could get one cut in Victoria?

    Thanks,
    Roger
    He stocked the correct blanks but couldn't cut them ?

    My mum tried to get a key cut for her Xantia and ran into similar problems. Most people refused to have a go, but the one who did didn't succeed either. The key is able to open the doors, but not turn on the ignition.

    Looking at it carefully the cuts were in the right place, but what is (probably) wrong is the tip of the key was not the right shape and length. Unlike a lot of other keys, the keys on the XM and Xantia have a tip that is very very fussy, as the tip engages in a mating hook at the end of the barrel and pushes the tumblers along to line up with the key.

    If the tip is just slightly too long or short, or the wrong shape, it wont work even if the tumbler cuts are in the same place. Have a look at the following document for repairing XM locks:

    http://homepages.igrin.co.nz/simon/i...door_locks.pdf

    You'll notice in two of the pictures it shows what happens when you engage the key, and the tip of the key hooks into a hook at the end and slides the entire tumbler mechanism along.

    If you're really desperate to get a key cut (as you should be if you only have one ) Then you could temporarily take the barrel out of your passenger door and take it in with you to the locksmith, as its very easy to get the barrels out of the door without removing any door cards or anything. Seeing the key engage inside the barrel will most likely show the locksmith what he's doing wrong.

    And perhaps just try somewhere else.... sometimes the biggest isn't the best, sometimes a smaller locksmith, especially if they're older with more experience can do a better job on a tricky key...

    Good luck.

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

  3. #3
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    I have a late BX with the + section key and a replacement was cut on the high street, a friend locked himself out of his Xantia and approached the Cit dealer for help, once he had proved ownership they sold him a new one for £12, as a bonus the new key looks a little more pointed and actually locks the car from the drivers side, something that the original worn one could not do.
    Stewart

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    Member MikeHolt's Avatar
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    hi Roger, acording to Oakleigh locksmiths ( who claim have done the keys for Melb Cit ) cutting a copy without the key code to help the machine is often not accurate enough. getting the code used to be possible but I seem to be having trouble with Z now they have taken over. I am trying to get a spare key too.

    mike
    98 XM

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    Local Tyrant gibgib's Avatar
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    I was lead to believe that motor vehicle keys these days have a micro chip in the plastic part (like dog & cat microchip) that is read by the car when you go to start it.
    Feature for engine immobolisation?

    Mandrake, get your copy key in the ignition & hold the original really close to test this theory.

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    Member MikeHolt's Avatar
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    Yes I was told that too, and the Locksmith I mentioned say they have a computer thingo to read that code and to program the blank. But they need the car for that bit.
    But you still need to contact Citroen with your VIN number to get the key code to have the key cut right.
    This is theory because It is still WIP.
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by gibgib
    I was lead to believe that motor vehicle keys these days have a micro chip in the plastic part (like dog & cat microchip) that is read by the car when you go to start it.
    Feature for engine immobolisation?

    Mandrake, get your copy key in the ignition & hold the original really close to test this theory.
    Ok,

    I'll try it however I dont think its the case in this instance as its a 1993 Xantia, and I don't think they had anything like a microchip system until the Series 2 models. (If at all on the Xantia...)

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandrake
    Ok,

    I'll try it however I dont think its the case in this instance as its a 1993 Xantia, and I don't think they had anything like a microchip system until the Series 2 models. (If at all on the Xantia...)

    Regards,
    Simon
    Ohhh yes they do!!! This pic is the spare key set I look after for my friends Xantia Activa. The big key even activates the factory anti-theft device!
    john s
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cutting a X-shaped key-car-parts-080.jpg  
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    Quote Originally Posted by smiffy1071
    Ohhh yes they do!!! This pic is the spare key set I look after for my friends Xantia Activa. The big key even activates the factory anti-theft device!
    john s
    Hi Smiffy,

    The car in question is a 1993 1.9TD SX, nothing fancy. The Activa didn't come out until 1995. The key looks nothing like the one in your picture, it is a bog standard key with no "insides".

    Edit: If there is a transponder, does that mean if I disconnect the battery I'll find that I won't be able to turn the key ? Or does the lack of a transponder just mean turning the key doesn't do anything ?

    Regards,
    Simon
    Last edited by Mandrake; 3rd March 2006 at 07:48 AM.
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    CitroŽn, what else? smiffy1071's Avatar
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    Now that's a question I can't answer. If you have it, I'd read the owners handbook. john s
    2005 C5 2.0 VTR Hdi 138, 1986 Kawasaki GPz 750G2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson
    Hello folks,

    My XM has one of those X-shaped keys with 4 different faces that need to be cut. I got a blank and took it to the head office of the biggest locksmiths in Melbourne (Stewarts). They had several machines but could only cut the 2 main faces by machine. They tried to cut the 2 side faces by hand but could not make the key work. The locksmith did not want to give up, he worked on it for over an hour but eventually gave up, charged me nothing and gave me another blank.

    Any idea where I could get one cut in Victoria?

    Thanks,
    Roger
    I had exactly the same problem in Perth with the Xantia about 5 years ago. I got a blank easily and the locksmith couldn't cut the 90 degree faces in the machine. However, he did them manually, by eye, and it has worked perfectly ever since. He didn't file the end at all, just did a good, old fashioned craftsman's job!

    Diamond Lock and Key on Main Street, for Perth folk. Can't remember the suburb but it's up the road from Scarborough Beach Rd where rumour has it Allpikes may be moving.

    Cheers
    FedGrapes likes this.
    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW
    I had exactly the same problem in Perth with the Xantia about 5 years ago. I got a blank easily and the locksmith couldn't cut the 90 degree faces in the machine. However, he did them manually, by eye, and it has worked perfectly ever since. He didn't file the end at all, just did a good, old fashioned craftsman's job!
    Hi John,

    Thats pretty much what I thought - a locksmith of the old school who was a craftsman and knew how to copy a key by hand should be able to do it. I think theres a lot around now who rely on the machines to do the job and if it doesn't work they shrug their shoulders and say it can't be done... (even though they stock the appropriate blanks!)

    Even I, as someone who doesn't have much experience with locks could see the mistakes on the copied key that were probably preventing it working... Logic says if it is exactly the same shape, it will work...

    I'm sure its just a matter of finding the right place to go, but knowing my mum, she will wait until she locks herself out of the car before she does something about it

    (Luckily for her I've programed her car to respond to my plip, as she doesn't have a plip, so at least I can open the doors for her...)

    Regards,
    Simon
    1998 Xantia Mk2 V6 Auto Exclusive

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    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks for your comments folks. The locksmith who tried to do my job seemed to be a competent professional, he wasn't a young punk or a has-been or a couldn't care less type. He cut the main faces by machine, filed the side faces, shaped the tip, and it still didn't work. He spent an hour on it and was visibly disappointed with himself that he could not succeed. He even tested it with some interrogation device to make sure it had no chip in it. That's why I am at a loss as to what to do now. I was hoping for a recommendation for someone in Victoria who is known to be able to do it. I do have two keys (one with plip, one without) but I want a third one to hide somewhere on the car (any suggestions?).

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    Thanks for your comments folks. The locksmith who tried to do my job seemed to be a competent professional, he wasn't a young punk or a has-been or a couldn't care less type. He cut the main faces by machine, filed the side faces, shaped the tip, and it still didn't work. He spent an hour on it and was visibly disappointed with himself that he could not succeed. He even tested it with some interrogation device to make sure it had no chip in it. That's why I am at a loss as to what to do now. I was hoping for a recommendation for someone in Victoria who is known to be able to do it. I do have two keys (one with plip, one without) but I want a third one to hide somewhere on the car (any suggestions?).

    Roger
    What was the outcome Roger? I need another cut now, as we seem to have lost the good original key. Bugger. We are working on the handmade spare right now, which is a worry.

    Cheers

    John
    JohnW

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    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    This is an old thread!

    Oakleigh Locksmiths in Melbourne can do them from the 7-digit code. If you have the code, call them. I have only ever dealt with them over the phone. If you don't have the code you will have to measure the key and I will have to find the code manual. The code manual was provided in another thread that was lost in the Great Crash, but I think I have a copy somewhere.

    Roger

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    It is a bit old. I did a search!

    Can you remember, please, where the 7-digit code can be obtained?

    I remember the "measuring up the key" thread from way back.

    Best wishes



    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    This is an old thread!

    Oakleigh Locksmiths in Melbourne can do them from the 7-digit code. If you have the code, call them. I have only ever dealt with them over the phone. If you don't have the code you will have to measure the key and I will have to find the code manual. The code manual was provided in another thread that was lost in the Great Crash, but I think I have a copy somewhere.

    Roger
    JohnW

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    You can buy the mechanical key code from Martin at "Citroencodes" for £20-ish. He never sleeps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    This is an old thread!
    Roger
    G'day,
    aaww, come on Roger, it is only 8 years.
    regards,
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    BVH Roger Wilkinson's Avatar
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    No need to pay £20. Here are cut-and-pastes from the original posts, dated July 2008.

    The info itself, which came from an XM forum:

    >>>>
    Citroen use a unique reference code for each XM key. This is listed in the original vehicles documentation. From this code a few Citroen dealers will cut keys to order and Citroen will supply new keys and locks to special order.
    If the code for your locks has gone missing this self help will explain how to measure a key blade to reconstitute the code number. Even if you have a record of the code it is as well to check it against a working key before ordering. Car locks do get changed for various reasons and there is always a risk that the new code does not get recorded in the vehicle history.

    The key blank for an XM has a cruciform cross-section to the blade measuring 8.10mm across the wide part of the cross and 4.15mm across the narrow part. Two types of key blank are available the difference being the plastic head to the key. The SX9 type is a standard key plastic head. The other type is a small plastic section to fit in a plip. This plip key will fit either Mk1 or Mk2 plips.

    Key Blade Dimensions when cut:

    A cut XM key is actually two identical sets of notches 180 degrees apart so measuring with calipers across the key in the notches allows you to calculate Citroens key code. There will be up to 4 matching pairs of notches on the narrow part of the cross and up to 5 matching pairs of notches on the wide part of the cross. I used the term "up to" as on some key blade positions a full key cross section may be used to operate a key tumbler so that that bit of the key cross-section is missing its notches. The notch positions are equally spaced down the side of the cross but there is an offset between the wide and narrow sets of notches. There is also a critical dimension between the point of the key and the notch positions. A locksmith with general purpose key cutting machines will have to correct these dimensions manually four times to cut each side of the key correctly.

    Narrow side of cross

    Code -- Dimension
    The deeper the cut the higher the letter.
    A -- 4.15mm
    B -- 2.98mm
    C -- 1.86mm

    Wide side of cross

    Code -- Dimension
    The deeper the cut the higher the number
    1 -- 8.10mm
    2 -- 7.20mm
    4 -- 6.20mm
    6 -- 5.20mm
    8 -- 4.20mm


    Measurement starts at the notches nearest the head of the key and progresses a notch at a time towards the point.

    This will give you a sequence of 4 letters followed by 5 numbers.

    An example might be: A C B B 2 1 4 2 6

    The 4 letter part of the code now needs to be converted to a 2 digit number.

    Letter conversion table:

    AABB - 01.. ACAB - 12..BABC - 23..BCAB - 34..CABC - 45..CBCC - 56
    AABC - 02..ACAC - 13..BACA - 24..BCAC - 35..CACA - 46..CCAA - 57
    AACB - 03..ACBA - 14..BACB - 25..BCBA - 36..CACB - 47..CCAB - 58
    AACC - 04..ACBB - 15..BACC - 26..BCBB - 37.CACC - 48..CCAC - 59
    ABAB - 05..ACBC - 16..BBAA - 27..BCBC - 38..CBAA - 49..CCBA - 60
    ABAC - 06..ACCA - 17..BBAB - 28..BCCA - 39..CBAB - 50..CCBB - 61
    ABBA - 07..ACCB - 18..BBAC - 29..BCCB - 40..CBAC - 51..CCBC - 62
    ABBC - 08..BAAB - 19..BBCA - 30..CAAB - 41..CBBA - 52
    ABCA - 09..BAAC - 20..BBCB - 31..CAAC - 42..CBBC - 53
    ABCB - 10..BABA - 21..BBCC - 32..CABA - 43..CBCA - 54
    ABCC - 11..BABB - 22..BCAA - 33..CABB - 44..CBCB - 55


    So in the example above: A C B B becomes 15

    So the key code for replacing that key is:-- 15 21426
    >>>>

    My own observations a few days later:

    >>>>
    I have just received my key in the post from Oakleigh Locksmiths, ordered by phone and cut by numbers from the code I determined by measuring according to the instructions above, and it works fine. Mark was a little incredulous that I, a mere mortal and not a locksmith, could measure the key and calculate the code, but was eventually persuaded to cut it for me. The fact that I was willing to risk my money on it may have helped.

    Anyway, here are a few more tips:

    A set of vernier calipers is ideal to measure your key. An accuracy of 0.1 mm is quite enough. You measure from the bottom of one cut to the bottom of the corresponding cut on the other side of the key. Because you are measuring the combined depth of two cuts, the difference in depth of cut is doubled, so the accuracy needed is halved.

    If the key is worn, the distance measured might be slightly less that the quoted dimension, but it will be a lot more than the next smallest dimension. In other words, if the dimension you measure is not spot on, round it up a little rather than down a lot.

    Dimensions A and 1 represent virtually no cut at all. Dimension C represents a cut almost to the backbone of the key.

    The cuts on the wide part of the key (1 to 8) are narrower and closer together than the cuts on the narrow part of the key. Cuts 1 to 8 are about 3 mm apart, whilst cuts A to C are about 4 mm apart.

    The distance from the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8 on the wide part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 6.5 mm. The distance from the centre of the closest wide cut (A to C on the narrow part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 8 mm. The centre of the closest wide cut to the head of the key (A to C) is about 1 mm closer to the head of the key than the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8).

    Roger
    >>>>

    I grabbed this thread from the cache in the days following the Great Crash. I thought it would come in handy one day!

    Roger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    No need to pay £20. Here are cut-and-pastes from the original posts, dated July 2008.
    AABB - 01.. ACAB - 12..BABC - 23..BCAB - 34..CABC - 45..CBCC - 56
    AABC - 02..ACAC - 13..BACA - 24..BCAC - 35..CACA - 46..CCAA - 57
    AACB - 03..ACBA - 14..BACB - 25..BCBA - 36..CACB - 47..CCAB - 58
    AACC - 04..ACBB - 15..BACC - 26..BCBB - 37.CACC - 48..CCAC - 59
    ABAB - 05..ACBC - 16..BBAA - 27..BCBC - 38..CBAA - 49..CCBA - 60
    ABAC - 06..ACCA - 17..BBAB - 28..BCCA - 39..CBAB - 50..CCBB - 61
    ABBA - 07..ACCB - 18..BBAC - 29..BCCB - 40..CBAC - 51..CCBC - 62
    ABBC - 08..BAAB - 19..BBCA - 30..CAAB - 41..CBBA - 52
    ABCA - 09..BAAC - 20..BBCB - 31..CAAC - 42..CBBC - 53
    ABCB - 10..BABA - 21..BBCC - 32..CABA - 43..CBCA - 54
    ABCC - 11..BABB - 22..BCAA - 33..CABB - 44..CBCB - 55
    Anyway, here are a few more tips:
    Dimensions A and 1 represent virtually no cut at all. Dimension C represents a cut almost to the backbone of the key.
    The distance from the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8 on the wide part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 6.5 mm. The distance from the centre of the closest wide cut (A to C on the narrow part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 8 mm. The centre of the closest wide cut to the head of the key (A to C) is about 1 mm closer to the head of the key than the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8).
    Roger
    I grabbed this thread from the cache in the days following the Great Crash. I thought it would come in handy one day!

    Roger
    G'day,
    obviously not long enough...

    Or maybe too long.
    regards,
    Les W.


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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Wilkinson View Post
    No need to pay £20. Here are cut-and-pastes from the original posts, dated July 2008.

    The info itself, which came from an XM forum:

    >>>>
    Citroen use a unique reference code for each XM key. This is listed in the original vehicles documentation. From this code a few Citroen dealers will cut keys to order and Citroen will supply new keys and locks to special order.
    If the code for your locks has gone missing this self help will explain how to measure a key blade to reconstitute the code number. Even if you have a record of the code it is as well to check it against a working key before ordering. Car locks do get changed for various reasons and there is always a risk that the new code does not get recorded in the vehicle history.

    The key blank for an XM has a cruciform cross-section to the blade measuring 8.10mm across the wide part of the cross and 4.15mm across the narrow part. Two types of key blank are available the difference being the plastic head to the key. The SX9 type is a standard key plastic head. The other type is a small plastic section to fit in a plip. This plip key will fit either Mk1 or Mk2 plips.

    Key Blade Dimensions when cut:

    A cut XM key is actually two identical sets of notches 180 degrees apart so measuring with calipers across the key in the notches allows you to calculate Citroens key code. There will be up to 4 matching pairs of notches on the narrow part of the cross and up to 5 matching pairs of notches on the wide part of the cross. I used the term "up to" as on some key blade positions a full key cross section may be used to operate a key tumbler so that that bit of the key cross-section is missing its notches. The notch positions are equally spaced down the side of the cross but there is an offset between the wide and narrow sets of notches. There is also a critical dimension between the point of the key and the notch positions. A locksmith with general purpose key cutting machines will have to correct these dimensions manually four times to cut each side of the key correctly.

    Narrow side of cross

    Code -- Dimension
    The deeper the cut the higher the letter.
    A -- 4.15mm
    B -- 2.98mm
    C -- 1.86mm

    Wide side of cross

    Code -- Dimension
    The deeper the cut the higher the number
    1 -- 8.10mm
    2 -- 7.20mm
    4 -- 6.20mm
    6 -- 5.20mm
    8 -- 4.20mm


    Measurement starts at the notches nearest the head of the key and progresses a notch at a time towards the point.

    This will give you a sequence of 4 letters followed by 5 numbers.

    An example might be: A C B B 2 1 4 2 6

    The 4 letter part of the code now needs to be converted to a 2 digit number.

    Letter conversion table:

    AABB - 01.. ACAB - 12..BABC - 23..BCAB - 34..CABC - 45..CBCC - 56
    AABC - 02..ACAC - 13..BACA - 24..BCAC - 35..CACA - 46..CCAA - 57
    AACB - 03..ACBA - 14..BACB - 25..BCBA - 36..CACB - 47..CCAB - 58
    AACC - 04..ACBB - 15..BACC - 26..BCBB - 37.CACC - 48..CCAC - 59
    ABAB - 05..ACBC - 16..BBAA - 27..BCBC - 38..CBAA - 49..CCBA - 60
    ABAC - 06..ACCA - 17..BBAB - 28..BCCA - 39..CBAB - 50..CCBB - 61
    ABBA - 07..ACCB - 18..BBAC - 29..BCCB - 40..CBAC - 51..CCBC - 62
    ABBC - 08..BAAB - 19..BBCA - 30..CAAB - 41..CBBA - 52
    ABCA - 09..BAAC - 20..BBCB - 31..CAAC - 42..CBBC - 53
    ABCB - 10..BABA - 21..BBCC - 32..CABA - 43..CBCA - 54
    ABCC - 11..BABB - 22..BCAA - 33..CABB - 44..CBCB - 55


    So in the example above: A C B B becomes 15

    So the key code for replacing that key is:-- 15 21426
    >>>>

    My own observations a few days later:

    >>>>
    I have just received my key in the post from Oakleigh Locksmiths, ordered by phone and cut by numbers from the code I determined by measuring according to the instructions above, and it works fine. Mark was a little incredulous that I, a mere mortal and not a locksmith, could measure the key and calculate the code, but was eventually persuaded to cut it for me. The fact that I was willing to risk my money on it may have helped.

    Anyway, here are a few more tips:

    A set of vernier calipers is ideal to measure your key. An accuracy of 0.1 mm is quite enough. You measure from the bottom of one cut to the bottom of the corresponding cut on the other side of the key. Because you are measuring the combined depth of two cuts, the difference in depth of cut is doubled, so the accuracy needed is halved.

    If the key is worn, the distance measured might be slightly less that the quoted dimension, but it will be a lot more than the next smallest dimension. In other words, if the dimension you measure is not spot on, round it up a little rather than down a lot.

    Dimensions A and 1 represent virtually no cut at all. Dimension C represents a cut almost to the backbone of the key.

    The cuts on the wide part of the key (1 to 8) are narrower and closer together than the cuts on the narrow part of the key. Cuts 1 to 8 are about 3 mm apart, whilst cuts A to C are about 4 mm apart.

    The distance from the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8 on the wide part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 6.5 mm. The distance from the centre of the closest wide cut (A to C on the narrow part of the key) to the point on the tip of the key is about 8 mm. The centre of the closest wide cut to the head of the key (A to C) is about 1 mm closer to the head of the key than the centre of the closest narrow cut (1 to 8).

    Roger
    >>>>

    I grabbed this thread from the cache in the days following the Great Crash. I thought it would come in handy one day!

    Roger
    Many thanks Roger - much appreciated. I remember seeing that in the dim past!

    Kind regards
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  22. #22
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Great detail on code working out, for which many thanks. To my pleasant surprise, the local Citroen dealer got me the code while I waited (good coffee, what's more) using the VIN number, and I've found a guy in Perth who has a mobile key cutting service, used by the local Renault dealer for funny keys, and says he can cut to that code. I'd better report back when it is done successfully however, in a couple of weeks. If he's OK, no reason not to use him together with Australia Post. If he's OK.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1950 (R1062)
    Renault R8 1965 (R1130)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2006 (daughter's)
    Renault Scenic Series II 2007 (mine)

    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980 (moved on to new custodian)

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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