1991-1996 NSX Keys
The NSX “Titanium” Key – Exposed!
Despite what your Acura salesman may have told you, the NSX key is not titanium, platinum, unobtainium, or any other bizarre metal.
It is made of Monel, a nickel alloy composed of about 70% Nickel and 30% Copper. This alloy is used in many marine applications and is highly resistant to saltwater corrosion (as in sweat.)
The (nickel) “Titanium” key part number is 35113-SL0-A11. Somewhat difficult to machine, it’s a “sticky” alloy. Machining properties are like some of the more unpleasant (not free-machining) varieties of stainless steel. It grinds OK. It is not hardenable. It requires a cutting machine that will copy an original key; the stamping machine that goes off the key code will not do it. They are not cheap. Suggested retail is over $100. Regular key blanks work fine too.
[MCA – 99/4/8] The standard key (metal with black plastic w/ red NSX letters) is part # 35113-SL0-A01 and sells for about $11 (includes cutting).
[WMO – 2001/10/10] The exact ILCO key blank for the early NSX is a HD99-P, with a black plastic head. Acura keys can be cut to factory specifications by any locksmith with a computer controlled cutter, just by using the 4-digit code stamped into the surface of the key about 1/4″ below the plastic head. Be advised that the ignition lock may be worn somewhat, making the cutting very critical. The person operating the cutter must turn the blank over to do the second side, and it is very easy to get the key slightly misaligned for the second cut. The problem may be the fact that aligning the key for the second cut depends on using the side first cut, and this is now hardly a long, straight surface. Out of 2 keys I had made, the first key had to run through again to turn out perfect on both sides, and the second still only had one good side after two passes through the cutter. I am now trying to get perfect copies of the one good key, without going the factory code route. My criticality probably results from having a very worn factory key, possibly indicating a somewhat worn ignition lock. I had initially tried getting a key cut from my worn old key, but that key did not work in all the locks or positions, and it was made on an automatic two-side cutter. If nothing else, I suspect that the key is rounded off in the horizontal plane from being turned so many times, while the new key has very sharp edges.
|[VB – 2001/11/2] Most have a dull flat matte finish to them. Mine was that way too. Well, I took some Blue Magic metal polish to the key a few times and it produced a very lustrous shiny finish. The polish is silicone based and leaves a silicone coating over it to maintain the luster. After three three years, it’s still shiny. Two pictures appear of my key sitting in a custom NSX glass that my sister made for me.|
1997+ NSX Keys
The ’97+ keys have a chip embedded in them that is part of the antitheft system, and the fancy nickel alloy key is not available with this chip. Cheap duplicates from a hardware store won’t work to start the car. You can use cheap ILCO blanks to unlock the car but you will need the special Acura key with a properly programmed chip to start it.