14 October 2015

Keys to the Kingdom

The car came with 2 keys.  One was the original "master key with light" which can do everything and also has a built in LED light.  The light lets you find the keyhole in the door at night.  [Just think, someday you will have to explain to your kids we actually lived in a time before comfort access.  We even managed to get by before keyless entry at one point.  Oh, and we even had to turn the ignition key to start the car!]  The other key it came with is the full-scale gray valet key.  It can start the car, open the doors, hatch, and gas cap (see * paragraph below) but cannot lock or unlock the glovebox.

The lighted master key was pretty worn and tired, so I ordered new keys:

Master Key with Light,  51218205441, $75.24r
Master Key without Light (Black Body),  51218205442, $62.89r
Master Key Cover,  51218201225, $0.89r 

I ordered the Master Key Cover because I wanted to replace the battery on the original Master Key and I know when you pry on parts like that you inevitably leave pry marks, so it's nice to have a new replacement.  The replacement battery is type CR 2025.

There is another key that originally came with these cars.  It is the small plastic "wallet" key, part number 51218205444  In all my years of BMW cars and motorcycles, I have never used one of these.  I didn't get one with LC61037 and I didn't bother ordering a replacement.  But, for completeness I mention it and if you are "perfectly" restoring one of these cars you should consider ordering one of these.

I also ordered some Original BMW key chains.  We own several vehicles and it's nice to be able to easily tell the keys apart.  I also just plain like Original BMW keychains.  Over the years they have sold some really nice ones and I like collecting them.

Motorsport Nylon Keychain,  80272285867, $20.00r
Leather Loop Lock Keychain,  80272344461, $16.00r

I was excited about the Leather Loop keychain, it appeared to be a lot like the earlier "Loop Lock Keychain" that is now NLA.  I use a Loop Lock for my S54 and Andy does on his coupe too.  This one is not as nice.  It pierces the leather and leaves a permanent puncture every time you move the metal barrel.  Not cool.  Luckily I know a leather guy.

There was an old tale that BMW makes keys for your cars and they are chipped and there are only 10 in the world and once you use them up you are done.  Completely false.  Keys have part numbers.  I had to show my driver's license and current, correct registration in order to order them.  BMW NA cuts them for your car on demand and makes you a new key when you order.

*  This 2/99 build date coupe surprised me the first time I filled the tank: it does not have a locking gas flap.  It has a locking gas CAP, which is keyed to the ignition key.  But the solenoid-driven plunger I expected to see is not on the car.  I assume all early-build M coupes were made like this?  The plunger mechanism isn't there at all on this car.

Total retail cost of this mod: $175.02r
Total spent to date on LC61037: $672.29

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