Opel Key Master
Opel keys and codes explained
After several posts about getting replacement Opel keys for lost ones, or vehicles that did not come with keys, here is a little guide to the mystery of Opel keys. This article will cover the GT model, but in most cases will carry over to the 68-75 model Opels.
The GT came with 2 separate keys from the factory. One would unlock both door handles and also turn the ignition switch. The other key was for a gas cap.
These cars generally came only with 2 types of key codes. "What are key codes?" These are a group of alpha-numerical numbers that give a formula on the key cut profile. These so called codes could be used by the dealer to cut new keys, without having to depend on a worn key to cut from, or for a lost key situation.
"Where do I find my key code?" On a GT the key codes are stamped on the door handle stem, and on the ignition switch casing. Unfortunetly the gas cap does not provide any key code information, so trial of old keys is the only solution, unless you have it rekeyed. There is another article dedicated to this procedure. Also if you have your original factory keys, in many cases the code is stamped into the key itself. (Picture 1,2,3)
"What if my ignition key was a different key?" If your ignition and door handles have been swapped out, most cases the ignition lock would have to be removed and rekeyed or replaced, as a key is needed to remove the lock to access the code on the casing. If you lost your keys that worked the door and the ignition, you can simply remove a door handle to get the key code, and have the key cut. It should work for your ignition as well.
"What types of codes are there?" There are only two types of codes that are on the GT and most models 68-75. The are "CC" and "BB" codes. They will fall in a format such as "BB508" or "CC1207".
Opel Key Master
"How many different Opel keys are there" There is about a dozen or more different styles of keys used during the 50's and up. But the common ones for a GT are these three (Picture 1) The key on the left is a Gas cap key-these are "BB" profile, but with a larger head to the key. The middle key is a "BB" profile with ignition door style head. And key to the right is a "CC" profile key with standard head. Most of what I can tell, all GT gas caps are a "BB" profile. There happens to be 250 different codes for the "BB" profile, which I am in the works of cutting each one. So no gas cap can go unkeyed!!!
"Once I have my code, where do I get the key cut?" You must find a locksmith or (myself) that has the appropriate key cutter. Then the proper craddles for the cutter must be used as well as an indexing wheel. This isn't something that is available down at Wal-Mart, nor online, as it is an antique. (Picture 2)There are two cradles color coded for each series code such as "BB Cradle" "CC Cradle". All the key codes are printed in a factory service bulletin 71-1-07 and previous ones. (Picture 3) The cutter has the two cradles that are indexed 1 thru 5. The wheel that is mounted is also indexed 1 thru 5. Once a code is established, it can be looked up in the dealer service bulletin, and another set of 2 number groups is given. Each set of numbers are 5 digits. One set is for the shoulder side of the key, and the other is for the plain side of the key. This allows the cutter to know which side to cut in what depths. The rest of the mumbo-jumbo is all part of working the cutter, which is irrelevant for this page. (other pictures)
Opel Key Master
"How could another key fit my gas cap?" Opel keys although I have seen numberous codes used, they were often reused over and over. I have gotten lucky trying keys in gas caps and ignitions. Sometimes an old key is worn so much, it may work for the wrong code, as the wear has changed the profile.
"I have 4 different keys, how can I eliminate them to 1 or two?" The only way to eliminate all your keys to 1 is to find a gas cap with the same "BB" code as your door and ignition. If your car has a "CC" profile, then it is about impossible. Many of times you can get it back down to 2 keys if you pull your ignition lock out, and find door handles matching that code. I have about 15 pairs of handles with the codes written on the bag, but most people selling handles never list the code-as they do not know about it. I hope more would list them that way so you could find them easier without buying a dozen or more and never getting the correct code.
I hope this article has in some way answered any questions about Opel Keys and feel free to email me more, and I will post them here with a solution hopefully. Always save key blanks as they are discontinued and runs of 300-500 keys have to be made to create that blank again. I am in the works on a "BB" profile key run, but $$$$$ money talks
Thanks again for reading this article
Great article, Keith.
Your Noble Friend ;-)
Very good, Keith! That helps a lot of us!
Kieth, I just sent you an E-Mail as I was unable to send a PM. I need a key made BB642 I think? The last number is somewhat gone, it could be 644. If there not to much I'll just get both. Thanks Kent
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Last Post: 04-27-2005, 11:00 AM