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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ilco HF59R (NOT X222) is the correct key blank for the early Elise.
Ilco HF59 is correct for the later Elises (it just so happens that X168 is an equivalent part number)

Some additional info:
These are Opel keys. Opel makes the ignition for Lotus. Not Mazda. X222 is a Mazda key. In this thread, I will tell you how to make proper copies of your Elise key using the correct blank, and if you don't have a good existing key, how to make a factory new key using only a key code from Lotus.

I made a little illustration to show the differences in the keys:



Hopefully this will save others lots of time:
It is pretty amazing that in the last ten years, not a single person has posted here the correct key blank for this car, and companies are even selling aftermarket remote-integrated keys with the wrong blank. When I bought my Elise two months ago, I only received one key with the car -- a bad copy on a X174 blank that didn't work well in my ignition. The cuts on the key weren't even right, so I couldn't use it to make a copy. The only option I found that would actually work was to order a new key cut from Lotus shipped from England for $140. After much research, I found the correct key blank, and how to use it to make copies yourself for a tenth of the cost.

If you want to make a factory correct copy of your early 2005 Elise key:
1) Buy the correct key blank (Ilco HF59R or corresponding part from another manufacturer) online or possibly locally if you can find it. You can also use key blank DWO4RAP, which has a black plastic handle. I had a DWO4RAP key of these made too and it works great. Do not use X222, as it is not even close to correct (see picture above).
2) Take it to any locksmith. Unlike the X222 (because it's the wrong key blank), any key copier should be able to make a working copy. If you want a copy using the DWO4RAP blank, you'll have to find a competent locksmith because it doesn't exactly match HF59R.

If you do not have an original key, or if you want a brand new key made using only the original key cuts specified by Lotus:
1) Call a Lotus dealer and ask for the "key code" for your car. They may just give it to you or they may ask you to fax/email registration, etc to prove you own the car. A locksmith uses a database to look up the key code and translate it into the actual key bittings (cuts) that will be made on the key. This only works for the correct blank.
2) Buy the correct key. You can also use the Lotus OEM key if you want it to be fully OEM (use Lotus part number above).
3) The key code they give you should be D, followed by four numbers (DXXXX). The Elise is in none of the locksmith databases. After much research, I discovered that the Early Elise key code series corresponds to "Opel 1984+" so just tell the locksmith to match the key code to "Opel 1984+".


I ended up buying 10 HF59R key blanks online so I have several copies left over if anyone wants to purchase for $5 shipped each.
Some equivalent part numbers for common manufacturers: Silca YM28, JMA OPD
 

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Thank you sir
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the kind words!

I forgot to mention some places I found that sell the key blanks:
Ilco version - HF59R
JMA version - Key blank, Fits Opel - JMA

I bought the JMA version. It ends up being about $11.50 shipped for one key, but it gets a lot cheaper if you buy a higher quantity.
 

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I had a spare made about 6 months ago. I was told the blank is a B 61 for General Motors, and also that the Ilco number X161 I think? ....my new key works fine! Cost $4
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I had a spare made about 6 months ago. I was told the blank is a B 61 for General Motors, and also that the Ilco number X161 I think? ....my new key works fine! Cost $4
B61 is X168 (not X161) aka HF59 above. You have the later key which has been correctly reported on here. The early key was the problem.
 

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With the Ilco version, does it look like if you lop off the top square, that it would fit in the Blackwatchracing Unikey 2? This makes sense why the blank given with the kit was way longer than the original.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
With the Ilco version, does it look like if you lop off the top square, that it would fit in the Blackwatchracing Unikey 2? This makes sense why the blank given with the kit was way longer than the original.
I didn't mention this earlier, but the "later style" HF59/X168 key is the mirror reflection of the "early style" HF59R along the length of the key, as you can see in the picture in my first post. R presumably stands for reflection or something similar.

Blackwatch Racing is currently providing a shaved HF59 blank for the later style, so if they can provide that, then there is no reason why they cannot do the same thing for the mirror reflection of that key.

Actually, if you look at their pictures of the two key blanks on their site, you can see that the HF59/X168 key blank they sell has some of the top square remaining, where the X222 does not, due to the extra length of the X222 that you mention.

I should also mention that I bought a UniKey 2, and I have not been able to use it yet because of the incorrect blank. I'm looking into how to correct this issue. I have contacted them about it and am waiting to hear back.

Pictures on Blackwatch Racing site. Strange, the pictures shown here don't seem to match the X222. The "early style"/"old key" blank shown in these pictures is definitely not an X222, and looks like it might even be HF59R.
[1] http://www.blackwatchracing.com/UniKey-2-p/1127.htm
[2] http://www.blackwatchracing.com/v/vspfiles/photos/1255-2.jpg
 

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Awesome news! I would like to buy 2 of your extra blanks if you don't mind. I am in AFG - Kandahar and my 18 year old is "watching" the car - only 1 key and we have already lost one and been through the Lotus dealer rodeo - we didn't have the code either - very painful experience.

Thanks so much!

LTC Ash Worboys
[email protected]
 

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I can confirm this. I was all smug going into the locksmith shop with my x222 blanks and I wouldn't believe him when he said the key wouldn't cut. Luckily he was really good at what he does and figured out that the DWO4RAP key is a match!

DON'T BUY X222 KEYS!!!!
 

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This is good general info. If you are looking for a replacement keyblank for stock, the OP is correct, the HF59R will work great.

However, IF you are looking for a spare keyblank for your NuKey you must get them from BWR or one of our dealers. These blanks are machined on a CNC Mill specifically to fit the NuKey housing. This fit is designed very precisely to hold the key. As the availability of the HF59R is spotty, we have used the X222s off and on since the original Unikey. We are very specific in the manual that the key be cut lined up from the shoulder. In doing so THE X222 and HF59R will end up identical.

With over 600 Unikey/NuKey's happy customers out there we've seen pretty much everything. We've gotten several cut at the Oracle of Locksmithing Knowledge (i.e. Ace Hardware) :p with no issues.

SLKado, we had a small batch that were machined too long. Email us and we can get you another, shorter blank.

EliseRider, we tried to call but haven't reached you yet. We've been moving the shop so interwebs and phone were down last 2 days. Give us a call.

In summary, if you need a replacement key for your car, HF59R for the earlier keys works great. If you need a replacement blank for your NuKey, give us a call or order online.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just a couple followup notes:
I spoke with BlackWatch Racing (the poster right above me, fzust) on the phone and they were quite helpful and informative. We had a discussion regarding the keys that they use, and other stuff helpful to a new Elise owner like proper alignment (thanks!). They do use X222 key blanks as a base, but they modify them to closely match the HF59R. I think I may have been a little misleading regarding their key blank in particular when I just used the direct comparison shown in the picture in my first post (that shows an unmodified X222 key). I also think this is why I noticed that the key blank pictured on their site looks different than the stock X222 blank, and looks more like the HF59R.

Summary:
The modified BWR key ends up being similar to the HF59R. Like the DWO4RAP key, all one needs to do is find a competent locksmith who can "cut from the shoulders."

Also, the extra HF59R blanks I had were sold within a couple days, and I have gotten more people asking to buy them, so I just ordered some more, and I've posted this in the for sale forum.
 

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Man I just went through this! I bought a unikey and I was first shipped the wrong blanks. I sent British Racing Group the blanks back and they sent over the x222's. They would not work however the locksmith found a GM key that worked fine. He drilled the hole for the unikey and cut off the top. I also had him grind two additional keys for me so I wouldn't have to go thru this hassle again. Just got the key working after a month or so of having it...not to mention the shipping and reshipping and paying for blanks that did not work. I do love the unikey though!
 

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Thought I'd ask here as this looks to have a lot of good info. I just got a nukey from Fred @ BWR and got the key cut this morning. All looks good. It opens the boot (of my Europa S) and even starts the car. But then my problem...

I start the car and 2 seconds later the engine cuts out. I can then no longer start the car with that key. If I change back to the original key the car starts straight away and all good. I've emailed Fred who says it's a weird problem and asked for help, but does anyone else have any suggestions? I doubt it'd be a problem that I have a Europa S, but could it be anything else? Slightly wrong cut key? Groves along the key too long?
 

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The metal key itself being cut only allows you to turn the key cylinder. If the key can be inserted and turned that answers if it is cut correctly.

The only thing I can think of is an immobilizer difference between the Europa S and the US spec Elise/Exige cars. I am only familiar with the US spec cars so I cannot help you there. I just wanted to point out that it is probably not an issue with the key blank itself.
 
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