Recently purchased a 2003 F150. The other night I went to lower the spare and found the "Key" to the lowering mechanism was missing. Upon further checking I found that the key had apparently been wrung off in the lowering unit shaft end; the little star shaped slot that mates with the key is filled with a hard material which I assume is the remains of the key. Tried to pick it out with a long screwdriver to no avail, so even if I had access to the proper key I couldn't get in the slot. I'd really like to lower the spare without resorting to cutting the cable. Any ideas on how to do it? Thanks, Piffery1
After several hours of beating, banging, bumping and blasphemy I was able to get a long narrow blade screwdriver lodged in the keyslot and managed to lower the spare and then remove the whole mechanism. After cleaning out the keyslot it looks like it may be still usable with the proper key.