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Old 03-14-2009, 12:41 PM
normanoid normanoid is offline
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Lost Ford Spare Tire Key? This Works Great!!!

The spare tire key on Ford trucks is nothing more than an adapter in the original older Ford spare tire hoist. Ford will tell you there are 16 different key designs. Not all Ford dealers have the full key set to find out which one you have. I lowered my spare with a SEARS CRAFTSMAN stripped bolt head remover kit. You can get the set at Sears for about $30 bucks if you dont already have it. They fit in a standard socket. You will need a long 3/8" extension to reach the key, or a few of them together. Just chuck up the extension in a 1/2" cordless drill, reverse drill direction(counter clockwise), push the bolt remover onto the key with a little pressure and the tire will drop in about 5 seconds! Once it is down, pull off the plastic tube for the crank, use a flat screwdriver to pop off the key revealing a rectangular hole in the tire hoist. You can then either leave it off like I did, or take the key to Ford where they should be able to order the correct replacement. Replace the crank tube and your done. Also, if you dont have a factory crank kit you can use that same 3/8" extension to raise and lower the tire without any socket on the end of it. The extension will fit in the hole in the hoist by itself.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:09 PM
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Awesome.I'm gonna have to give this a try.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:42 PM
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That sounds too easy. There's gonna be several folks banging their head against a wall wondering why they didn't think of that.

Thanks for sharing that tip. Sounds like a very simple solution.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:15 PM
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Strange first post...

I would be hesitant to try it..
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:35 PM
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If it worked on the outside of the bolt head I would try it, but an easy out would require drilling a hole. I've thought about using my "gator socket" which has a bunch of pins that push in to grip the head.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:40 PM
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I'm pretty sure he's talking about the bolt extractor that fits over the head.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donjamer View Post
Strange first post...

I would be hesitant to try it..
Fact is the man know whats he is talking about. And it works.
The keyed set up Ford uses is a joke if you spend any great amount of time on gravel, dusty, and muddy country roads. The road gunk will get into the small insert of the truck mounted part of the cylinder and not allow the two pieces to align and interlock. The smartest thing you can do soon after you buy a Ford truck is to lower your spare tire. Remove the entire cable hoist, pull off the long plastic alignment tube and use a screw driver to pry off the lock cylinder from the end. This will leave the slotted end that has been the standard used before Ford felt the need to install the semi-worthless key set up. Then reinstall the set up in the reverse order. You will then in the future just use the rod under the hood with out attaching the key/lock for raising and lowering your spare tire.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:37 PM
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normanoid,
Thanks for bringing up this subject. I have meant to do so many times and have just never gotten around to posting it. It is one of those easy fixes that you really can't appreciate unless you find yourself on the side of a busy interstate in the rain trying to lower the spare tire either without the key or the key won't insert due to crap built up in the groove of the under mounted portion of the set-up.
For this you deserve some rep points!!
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:47 PM
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And I need to go check my spare tomorrow and make sure I don't have too much junk built up around the thing to get the key on.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:55 PM
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I will have to keep that in mind.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonrjen View Post
normanoid,
Thanks for bringing up this subject. I have meant to do so many times and have just never gotten around to posting it. It is one of those easy fixes that you really can't appreciate unless you find yourself on the side of a busy interstate in the rain trying to lower the spare tire either without the key or the key won't insert due to crap built up in the groove of the under mounted portion of the set-up.
For this you deserve some rep points!!
Ditto. I fought with mine when my 2005 was less than a year old. Once I got the spare tire down, I figured out the "lock" is simply an insert, and the crank works better without it. One thing Chevy did right was having the keyed lock cylinder in the bumper with an adequate cover to keep the crap out. Luckily, I live in an area where spare tire theft isn't common (a mostly wore out tire on a steel rim helps too), but if it were, I'd use a cable and padlock versus Ford's worthless key thing. I try to get the word out to as many superduty owners as I can to save them trouble down the road too.
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:38 AM
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I like how some manufacturers use a keyed a like cylinder to lock the hole. That seems more effective. I'm sure anyone with a dent puller could pop it out though....
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Old 03-15-2009, 06:42 PM
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i never needed my spare and i did'nt relise that there was a key to get it down. i tried today to get it down i used the jack tools, 3/8" extension 1/4" extension, allen sockets and torx sockets. no luck. is there another way to lower the cable? i'm going to see if i can find a spare tire key in one of our work trucks tommorrow, and then i'll remove the lock from the cable. if not does ford still sell them?thanks
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:34 PM
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Yes, Ford does sell them, but as mentioned, there's like 16 different key possibilities. There's a good chance the key from a work truck won't fit. Some dealers have a complete set they can test to see which key you need, then order the correct one.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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thanks, i'll give the dealer a shot. mine looks to be female. it looks like the tools you posted in post #6. thats why i tried the tools that i did. i'm glad this came up. i would have hated to relise this on the road while towing my camper with my family.
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Old 03-15-2009, 07:58 PM
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