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GimpyMcFarlan
12-14-2003, 08:14 AM
Fellow 'Festers,
I would like some current opinions on what wheel locks people like to use. I change my wheels twice a year so it is important that the locks handle frequent use while still provide security.

I currently use the "European style" locks available through Bavarian Autosport, but I'm disappointed in how they have held up to frequent wheel changes. Also, I recently tried to contact the manufacturer to buy replacements, however both the business and fax numbers were disconnected. :thumbdwn:

I know Bavarian carries locks from AC Schnitzer and I've heard that BMW sells 2 different types. What other brands / types are out there? Which are the "best" in your opinion and why? :dunno:

bren
12-14-2003, 08:17 AM
On the BMW I have the locks that were put on by the dealer, but on my other vehicles I always used McGard (http://www.mcgard.com/)

LDV330i
12-14-2003, 08:42 AM
On the BMW I have the locks that were put on by the dealer, but on my other vehicles I always used McGard (http://www.mcgard.com/)

I have used both and have seem to held up fine. The McGard locks seem to make it ittle harder to get the key to line up with the bolt.

GimpyMcFarlan
12-14-2003, 09:34 AM
On the BMW I have the locks that were put on by the dealer, but on my other vehicles I always used McGard (http://www.mcgard.com/)

Bren,
Thank you for providing the link to McGard! I have heard that dust and dirt can build up inside the lock portion of that style. If it gets bad enough, it makes impossible for the key to fit. Have you ever experienced this with your McGard locks?

ObD
12-14-2003, 10:40 AM
I know Bavarian carries locks from AC Schnitzer

I had these for my summer wheels. I would not recommend them. Look good but I stripped the key socket while taking off one of the summers. They only supply one key. I was lucky enough to realize that if I positioned the lug wrench 180 deg from the stripped portion I could get enough bite to loosen it. Alot of cursing was involved till then. :angel: I'd recommend any lock with a spline ala the BMW ones which I have for winter. The McGard is similar to the ACS so caveat emptor.

doeboy
12-14-2003, 11:54 AM
Hey Gimpy,

Mike at Pure Motorsports (http://www.purems.com/) carries RAD Wheel locks (That's the name... not what I'm saying about them :p ). They're supposed to be pretty good from what I'm told.

He also carries McGard too if you want.

When I get around to getting some rims, I'm going to give the RAD locks a try.

elbert
12-14-2003, 12:11 PM
Bren,
Thank you for providing the link to McGard! I have heard that dust and dirt can build up inside the lock portion of that style. If it gets bad enough, it makes impossible for the key to fit. Have you ever experienced this with your McGard locks?

I've used McGard for years and I've never had that problem. Some key patterns do seem easier to engage than others, but it's a crap shoot what pattern you get.

Kaz
12-14-2003, 02:44 PM
McGard style 'flower' locks are WAY too easy to strip. The BMW OE splined ones are pretty good, though they don't seem to have enough key combos. The RAD locks are the same splined style but inverted so crap can't collect in the head. I had a set of Gorillas once that were splines but had much fewer mating surfaces and fit a bit loose.

elbert
12-14-2003, 03:30 PM
McGard style 'flower' locks are WAY too easy to strip.

Maybe you should be more careful ;)

In case you use an impact wrench, the instructions specifically state you shouldn't use it, which is a pretty big downside. You also need to be careful and make sure the key is fully seated. McGard has a spline type available, but I haven't used them.

Kaz
12-14-2003, 03:39 PM
Maybe you should be more careful ;)

In case you use an impact wrench, the instructions specifically state you shouldn't use it, which is a pretty big downside. You also need to be careful and make sure the key is fully seated. McGard has a spline type available, but I haven't used them.

That's easier said than done when it's on your parents' cars and they go to some random place to have car work done (all impact wrenches of course). Ultimately it was easier to just get rid of the locks altogether.

I've seen the splined McGards and they're nearly identical to the Gorillas I've seen.

bren
12-14-2003, 03:50 PM
Bren,
Thank you for providing the link to McGard! I have heard that dust and dirt can build up inside the lock portion of that style. If it gets bad enough, it makes impossible for the key to fit. Have you ever experienced this with your McGard locks?
I've never had any problems with them at all. I have a set on my Grand Cherokee that I have had since 1994, they were originally on my Wrangler which I used to take off-road frequently. I also routinely use an impact gun to remove them without any issue :dunno:

elbert
12-14-2003, 03:52 PM
Ultimately it was easier to just get rid of the locks altogether.

:eeps: Actually, with my new impact wrench, I might end up doing the same. Hey Gimpy, you wanna buy a set for cheap?

GimpyMcFarlan
12-14-2003, 05:15 PM
Ultimately it was easier to just get rid of the locks altogether.

That is definitely not an option for me. I've had people try to steal my wheels while parked at my apartment complex overnight so I absolutely need them. :tsk:

GimpyMcFarlan
12-14-2003, 05:26 PM
Mike at Pure Motorsports (http://www.purems.com/) carries RAD Wheel locks (That's the name... not what I'm saying about them :p ). They're supposed to be pretty good from what I'm told.

Thanks doeboy! I like the look of the RAD wheel locks on that web site. They are definitely on my short list now!

Everyone,
The one thing I like about the Bavarian "European" locks I have now is that they come with protective caps that look like regular lug heads. I use Leather Z plastic Lug Bolt Caps to protect the lug nut heads all around. I like how they fill up the large space left over once the lugs are in place. :thumbup:

Do these "flower" type of locks typically come with false caps? (If so they are not listed in the description.) :dunno:

doeboy
12-14-2003, 05:33 PM
Do these "flower" type of locks typically come with false caps? (If so they are not listed in the description.) :dunno:

I don't think the RAD locks come with a false cap. Mike sells some though... not my thing though.. they're chrome finished so it's kind of too :bling: for me.

I think If you have silver lugs like the ones that come with the BBS aftermarket rims, though it will look the same as those until you really get up close so appearance-wise, I wouldn't think the caps are necessary.

Terry Kennedy
12-14-2003, 07:28 PM
BMW OE splined ones are pretty good, though they don't seem to have enough key combos. The RAD locks are the same splined style but inverted so crap can't collect in the head.If you have to worry about thieves that travel around with a set of BMW spline keys, you have bigger problems. :D The BMW spline locks seem to do a good job of discouraging "casual midnight shoppers". And they come with plastic caps. I've used my air impact wrench on them without apparent ill effect - to take them off and to get them most of the way on (I use a torque wrench for the final tightening).

Of course, that's by someone who cares about the car - who knows what a generic shop with an air gun could do to these.

GimpyMcFarlan
01-03-2004, 02:21 PM
Thank you again everyone for your wheel lock recommendations. I ended up picking up a set of OEM locks from my BMW dealership. Although they did come with black caps :thumbup: , I cannot fit my Leather Z cap protectors over them. :( Oh well, something is better than nothing!

BTW, I received the "spinner" lug wrench (pic below) from Griots for Christmas. I used it for the first time today and was very impressed with it. It made removing the regular and wheel lock lugs much easier. If you guys don't have one, I would highly recommend getting it! :thumbup:

Lomag
01-03-2004, 02:51 PM
I see no one's mentioned the locks from Bavarian Autosport. My dealer recommended these so I picked up 2 sets to put 2 locks on each wheel just to be sure. :thumbup:

Any one use these?

http://www.bavauto.com/assets/imglib500/wl2.jpg

GimpyMcFarlan
01-04-2004, 08:50 AM
I see no one's mentioned the locks from Bavarian Autosport. My dealer recommended these so I picked up 2 sets to put 2 locks on each wheel just to be sure. :thumbup:

Any one use these?

Hi Lomag,
See my original post...

I was looking for recomendations to replace the Bavarian version you mention. I found that my Bavarian locks were slowly becoming stripped after repeated uses. (I change from winter wheels to summer and back again yearly.) Otherwise they were very good locks. They saved my summer wheels from being stolen once. Do not use a single handled wrench to loosen them (i.e. The one that is in the BMW tool kit.), get a double handled wrench like the one in my post above. This might help prevent the divots in the lugs from wearing down.

Also, as an FYI, I found out from Bavarian that a single person (a professional machinist) makes these for them as a side business. When I saw that the lugs were beginning to strip I tried to contact him via phone and fax machine to order new ones. However I discovered that both phone numbers were disconnected. Consumer beware...

Lomag
01-04-2004, 10:53 AM
Sorry I missed that in your original post. We'll see how things go. I'll be doing the winter rim swapping also but starting next winter since I'm getting my car around late February. Can't wait! 545, loaded except for HUD & ACC! :D

Did you put a little anti-seize compound on the lugs to make them a little easier to remove later on?

GimpyMcFarlan
01-04-2004, 11:53 AM
Did you put a little anti-seize compound on the lugs to make them a little easier to remove later on?

I do not put any anti-seize compound on my lugs. It wasn't the fact that they were difficult to loosen, it is the fact that the Bavarian locks rely on just 4 points to take all of the load while while tightening / loosening them. This, in combination with using a single handled wrench, IMHO led to the stripping.

otto325ci
01-06-2004, 08:12 PM
I also have a set of the Bav Auto locks, I thought the stainless would be pretty indestructible but after taking them off a couple of times i noticed that the slots were stretching a bit making the key feel loose on the lock. I also bought a set of Rad locks because i needed a longer set of bolts for the rears. They are much nicer IMO and made in Germany.