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Ignition Key vs. T-Top Key

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Ignition Key vs. T-Top Key

Old 08-09-2016, 11:45 AM
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Ignition Key vs. T-Top Key

So when I bought my 87 Z31, the owner was convinced all you needed to unlock the t-tops was the ignition key. I didn't know any better, so I followed along.

So now that I've had it a month and have gone through the manual, service manual, etc., it appears as though the t-top uses a different key! Is that right?

My tops are actually in the unlocked position and the ignition key definitely does not turn in the tumbler, but I haven't tried to take them out yet.

If it does use a different key (and one I definitely don't have)...is there anything I can do to get a key made maybe?
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:50 AM
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Agree, the t-tops have a separate key and it does not fit the ignition. Much smaller key. Since tops are not locked down you can take one or both in to any professional locksmith and get a key made or maybe the core changed. Even if they are locked, a locksmith can pick the lock in-place and take the top out.

Last edited by zxguy1986; 08-09-2016 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:07 PM
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Okay, cool. That at least tells me something can be done about it. Thanks for that input!
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:30 PM
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Geeza in all the 20+ years of driving Z31 I do not think my T tops were ever locked. I do not think I ever saw any of the keys..I'll check mine tomorrow out of curiosity!
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:07 AM
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Ha! Nice! I've reached out to the previous owner. We'll see if anything pans out from that.
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:19 PM
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Nissan should be able to make new key from your VIN#. You may have to show your title to prove its yours but worth a try.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:29 AM
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Problems can happen when you mix and match parts from different model years.

1987-89 OEM T-tops use the same key for the T-tops as the ignition/door/hatch. A previous owner of your car must have replaced the OEM original T-tops with T-tops from another z31.

1985-86 OEM T-tops use a different key than the ignition key.

1984 OEM T-tops didn’t come with locks but aftermarket T-top locks could be purchased. The T-top locks use a short length tubular key. I have them on my car.

Take the T-tops to a Nissan dealer’s parts dept. and ask them. First they’ll have to determine which model year the T-top came from. Then they’ll have to determine the key no. in order to cut a key for you. A key no. is a 4 digit number. The original key no. for your car is printed on a placard on the glove compartment door. The no. is not stamped on the key nor the lock cylinder for theft prevention reasons.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:23 AM
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It’s also possible that you do have the right key but you’re using the valet key instead of the master key on the T-tops. When you bought the car, the previous owner should have given you both the master key and the valet key.

The master key locks/unlocks the ignition, doors, hatch, glove compartment, hatch security compartment, and T-tops.

The valet key locks/unlocks the ignition, doors, and hatch.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
Agree, the t-tops have a separate key and it does not fit the ignition. Much smaller key. Since tops are not locked down you can take one or both in to any professional locksmith and get a key made or maybe the core changed. Even if they are locked, a locksmith can pick the lock in-place and take the top out.
Great advice, i am surely going to do the same and take mine to the locksmith. I really hope this will work for my key.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by zxguy1986 View Post
Agree, the t-tops have a separate key and it does not fit the ignition. Much smaller key. Since tops are not locked down you can take one or both in to any professional locksmith and get a key made or maybe the core changed. Even if they are locked, a locksmith can pick the lock in-place and take the top out.
T tops keys are smaller that's why they won't fit in the ignition and if locked somehow then call the locksmith, they will help you to take out.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:22 AM
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Two things: one is just of interest. Stealing T-Tops used to be quite the thing back in the day. probably not so much at risk now.
Second. You can take it to the bank for collateral. You CANNOT get a key made from the VIN. The VIN source of key code only goes back 10 years.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:37 PM
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I also prefer 24 hour locksmith atlanta for every lock issue as their technicians are available all the time for customer support. Even they once helped me with ignition lock problem also.
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Old 01-31-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Frydaddy View Post
Nissan should be able to make new key from your VIN#. You may have to show your title to prove its yours but worth a try.
Maryland Locksmith have given a try and it worked for my nissan.
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Old 02-18-2019, 05:08 AM
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Taking T top keys to the dealer and ask them to make new for you because locksmith won't have the proper tools to make that key.
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