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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-20-2010, 12:46 AM   #1
eedna
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flip key

I want a flip key, like volkswagens have.

I found this casing on ebay a couple months back, and even though it doesn't list E46 I think it will work.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FLIP-...Q5fAccessories

here you can see the internals of the casing



compared to the OEM key casing


compared to the guts of a stock key



I'd have to replace the rechargable battery with a regular one, but I think it'd work.

the PROBLEM for me is I only have one key, and I REALLY don't have 200 bucks to drop on a new one if I screw it up

I guess I'm looking for some other opinions, or if anyone has a key that doesn't work or to a car they don't have anymore and would like to donate it so I can try to make a proof of concept demo that would be unbelievably cool

Last edited by eedna; 08-20-2010 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:02 AM   #2
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I'm pretty sure I saw a DIY for this very mod a few years ago in this forum room.
Guy in a 98 323i wanted to update his keyfob and a guy in a 01 325i had a battery die so they
came up with some steps for swapping the internals, etc...

Also I thought replacement keys are like $75


BTW I did this mod on my 1995 318i a years ago. Everything swapped over but getting the key cut for the fob can be impossible
lucky for me someone at BMW OF Manhattan revealed to me an old shop on 95th and 1st Ave in Harlem that could cut a BMW key (I don't remember correctly but you need a rare/unique machine to cut the key).
He did it and only charged like $19. I paid $20 for the fob on eBay and the DIY cost nothing and took me about an hour since the E36 keys have less electronics in them the swap over was a breeze.







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Last edited by delmarco; 08-20-2010 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 09:21 AM   #3
eedna
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yeah, ive been on the phone with locksmiths all morning and theyre all telling me the same thing that steel blanks mess up their machines, theyll only cut brass. im gonna keep looking but that is encouraging information.

also, new keys with internals and everything at my local dealer are $245, the cheapest place anywhere to get them that ive heard of is bmw of watertown they only charge 175ish

Last edited by eedna; 08-20-2010 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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I think it's BavAuto that sells a flipkey that they claim is compatible with the E46. You could try contacting them for some info on the process of transferring everything over.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post

BTW I did this mod on my 1995 318i a years ago. Everything swapped over but getting the key cut for the fob can be impossible
lucky for me someone at BMW OF Manhattan revealed to me an old shop on 95th and 1st Ave in Harlem that could cut a BMW key (I don't remember correctly but you need a rare/unique machine to cut the key).
He did it and only charged like $19.
do you remember what the name of the shop was? i can't find any locksmiths at 95th and 1st looking on google maps. was it a hardware store, or an auto parts store?

Last edited by pone; 08-26-2010 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:12 AM   #6
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Did you ever do this?
I was thinking about doing it myself.. Why do you think you would have to replace the battery?
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:12 AM   #7
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not again..
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:25 AM   #8
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:12 AM   #9
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I agree the key looks like a bad fake, but I really like the flip key format and that is the only version that fits... I just did this mod but dont have the bmw here to try it.. I guess if it doesnt work I'll have to buy a new diamond case from fleabay.. Mine was scratched up anyways..
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:42 AM   #10
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FYI for anyone trying this.. It doesnt work.. The flip key is too long and the car doesnt read the rfid to start the car. Probably wouldnt charge the battery either.. Oh well..
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Old 03-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #11
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:37 PM   #12
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I own a 320d e46 from 2000 I bouth a key like that and it will not work, the thing is the guts from the diamond shaped key fit fine on the flip key but the circuit gets too far from the ignition and the magnetic rings on it are not able to read the transponder info, you wil be able to open the car but you will not be able to start it cause of the block system. I spent 9 bucks for that key on e-bay so it was not such a big loss, i would love to see it work but unfortunately it didn't.
It will only work i guess withprevious versions of the diamond key where the transponder is not attached to the circuit board and you can put it in the litle hole upfront on the flip key, but with keys like the one on the picture(wich is what i have it does not work) unless some sort of engenius guy can make a way of expanding the transponder signal or make some sort of antena with a wire that you can move to that empty hole on the flip key ant that way the car can turn on the ignition.

If there is someone with such knowledge please share

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Old 05-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #13
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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Ill bet it will work with the 323/328i old style key like mine
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:48 AM   #15
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:45 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxtime View Post
FYI for anyone trying this.. It doesnt work.. The flip key is too long and the car doesnt read the rfid to start the car. Probably wouldnt charge the battery either.. Oh well..
THIS, your ignition wont read the transponder in the key, because its too far away, and the car wont start. Been there, done that.

Last edited by soul rebel; 02-09-2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:43 AM   #17
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