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How to use cheap, non-chipped keys in a truck that requires a chipped key.

Discussion in 'Explorer - Ranger Interior Accessories' started by CherryRellik, January 7, 2010.

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    1. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      Hi guys. This is my second post on this forum. Thought I'd share this with you. Hopefully it can save some of you some money just like it saved me.

      I bought my 2000 Ranger with only one chipped key. After locking it in the truck three times, and subsequently figuring out three different ways to break into my truck, I decided it was time to have copies made. I went to a local hardware store, and they wanted $125 to make me a copy. My jaw hit the floor when they told me that. So I started looking around. Seemed my local Ford stealership could do it for about $90. Still way too expensive for me, so I talked to the guys at the parts counter. It seems that there's a ring around the ignition that reads your chipped key when you put it in the ignition. If it reads the right code, then it allows your truck to start. If the chip is not there, or it's the wrong one, no dice.

      Armed with this info, I went to Home Depot and had them cut me a key for a buck-fifty. Then, in their parking lot, I took my dash apart. I pulled out the ignition and then unscrewed the ring that reads the key. It's attached to a wire that runs back into the dash. I zip-tied my chipped key into it, and dropped it back inside the dash. Now my truck is constantly reading the signal from my chipped key. Once I put everything back together, I inserted the non-chipped key, and started my truck with it. Now I can make copies of my key that WILL START MY TRUCK for less than two bucks. Granted, I don't have the 'security' that using a chipped key provides, but that's ok, I keep my doors locked.

      Sorry, I didn't have the presence of mind to take pics while I was doing this. I wasn't even sure it would work until I was finished. It's super easy to do, and only takes about twenty mins, including putting everything back together.

      I went back to that Ford dealership, and you should have seen the looks on the faces of the mechanics there when I told them I started and drove my truck to their dealership with the non-chipped key in my hand.

      So that's it. This is a nice little hack that will save you tons of money when it comes to having new keys made for your truck. Enjoy!:salute:
       
      Last edited: April 23, 2010
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    3. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      Yeah it has been discussed several times before, the issue is that many insurance companies will not cover your car if stolen, if they find out that you left the key in the car, a guy I knew was going to do that to get his remote starter to work, but decided not to after his insurance agent pointed out to him that his truck wouldn't be covered for theft if he went that way
       
    4. Dannyboy

      Dannyboy Other Make & Models Mod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That's a good call. I'm going to tell a guy I work with about this who just had issues with his expedition. What exactly is in the chip? I magnet?

      Funny thing, I have a nice F250 that I paid nearly $40,000 for. It does not have the chipped key. It's considered a contractors vehicle and most fleets don't want to have to be replacing keys for $100 a pop when Jim-Bob the plumber loses his keys. I guess I got lucky.
       
    5. rhyno

      rhyno Active Member

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      I did this too a few years ago. To make things a little safer you can cut off the part of the key that gets inserted into the ignition, and just use the head of the key. That way, there is not an actual working key behind the ignition plastic, just the part of the key that holds the chip.
       
    6. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      Good call on cutting the cut part of the key off. I guess then it wouldn't technically be a key, and you couldn't be liable for having one in the truck if it were stolen.

      To the guy who asked whats in the chip: nope, it's not just a magnet. It's actually an encoded chip that handshakes with your truck every time you insert it into the ignition. There are some great articles on the system on this board. Just search for PATS. Another guy did a great writeup on the details of it.
       
    7. Opera House

      Opera House Well-Known Member

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      Just a reminder. If you have two keys, you can program your own. One key and you have to go to the dealer for $80. I bought an 02 with only one key, had the dealer make a second, and bought a couple of blank keys on ebay for $11 each shipping included. Nice thing about the dealer key is that they make it from the code and not a worn key.

      About every three months I ask my wife (its her vehicle) where the spare key is (under the carpet, vehicle has keyless entry) and she never remembers.
       
    8. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      You could also pry the little cap off the the key, and remove the little RF Transmitter in there (It's an oval piece of glass with a chip inside) and use just that to trigger the PATS, and use the factory Ford key as, well, a key. :)
       
    9. jad2411

      jad2411 Well-Known Member

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      Works only on some keys, on my 3rd gens there's no window, neither on my FIL's 02 ranger, but my sis has a Focus and it has that window, when she changed her ignition switch, the locksmith just took the little pill thingy and put it in the new blank
       
    10. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      Ahh, no experience with the 3rd gens, never even been inside one.
       
    11. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      Mbrooks, you COULD pull the chip out like you said, but it would probably be really hard to secure it inside the receiving ring. I had to use two zip-ties just to get my key to stay in the right position inside it.

      As far as a window in the key goes, mine doesn't have a window, but it does have a cap that it seems like you could pry out if you wanted.
       
    12. thumper477

      thumper477 New Member

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      That must be why a parked F-250 on the street in Texas and Arizona lasts just a short time before being stolen and then disappearing across the border to Mexico.They are a lot easier to steal without the PATS key system.
       
    13. Dian

      Dian New Member

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      Need key

      Why I have to have '2 keys' to make the elusive duplicate key? If I had 2 friggin keys, I would'nt need a third one! Isn't there anyway around giving the 'stealer' $100? I have read most of these threads, and understand the procedure, sort of.:p:
       
    14. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      There is a solution. It depends on how much you value the theft protection that the PATS system affords you. If you don't, like I don't, then you can make duplicates and have them work for the price of a regular key. I think I outlined it above, showing how you can take off the ring from around the ignition, and zip tie in a PATS chipped key, thereby making your car read that signal constantly. Then, you can have a duplicate key made for a buck fifty that will supposedly only open your doors, but low and behold, when you put it in the ignition, it will work bc your truck is reading that chipped key hidden away in the dash.

      I've made three duplicate keys to my truck like this. They all cost me a buck-fifty, and I got them at Home Depot. My wife and I both have one on our rings, and we use them daily. I also have one on the spare set. Hope this answers you question.
       
    15. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    16. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      No, but I did it with no prior knowledge, in about a half hour. There's a black ring around the ignition, it's only held in with one screw. Unscrew it, being careful not to mess up the wire connected to it. Zip tie in the key. I had to use two zip ties to get the position right. Then I just dropped it down in behind the dash, letting it dangle by the wire.
       
    17. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    18. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      That WOULD be sweet. I'd like to use RFID, with a chip implanted in my hand. Put your hand on the door, and *presto*, its unlocked.
       
    19. A Wise Guy

      A Wise Guy Well-Known Member

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      When I had my '98 I programmed up a third key, removed the chip, relocated the ring under the dash with the chip taped to it in order to bypass PATS for my remote start. All was fine until the chip from the ebay key would not give the ring the propper signal on days when it was +95* outside and even more inside the locked truck. Last ebay key I ever bought.
       
    20. techboj

      techboj Active Member

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      I had a second key so making a "duplicate" was fairly easy.

      Technically, if you really want to go the route you did, you could remove the transponder from inside the key itself and then tape this to the inside of the column.

      The "chip" is actually a sealed glass tube - about 5/32" x 3/4" long. You could hotglue this to the steering column cover if so inclined and then you would technically not have a key in your vehicle that would void any insurance claims. Nobody even needs to know it's there right? But I still would not recommend this since $80 is still a small price to pay for not having any security system in you car at all.

      That said, I have my PATS system active in my 99 sport and I even went as far as making a couple extra PATS keys from other Ford keys. Simply go to a junkyard and look for keys --- over where I am, you can readily find vehicles for dismantling with the keys in the cylinder, or you can purchase a key and fob from the counter for about $5-10

      It doesnt matter if the key comes from a Taurus, Windstar, Explorer, etc as long as the PATS is the same vintage.

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268816
       
    21. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      Techboj, I like it. I'm cheap like that, and I would do the same thing. I think the problem that most of us run into is not having that second key with which to do programming.

      One little correction: just hot gluing or taping the RFID chip inside the steering wheel cover will not work. As a matter of fact, even just getting it close is not good enough. The chip HAS to be inside the receiving ring, and not just inside, but in an exact location. I tried to start my truck with a dummy key, while having a PATS key inside the ring, and only in a very specific spot would it work. That's why I had to use 2 zip ties. One for the X, and one for the Y axis, if you will.

      Just a little clarification for anyone interested in doing this mod. It's a great way to save some money.
       
    22. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      There is a way to do it without it being in the exact place using a "key box" for a remote starter PATS disabler thingy. They hold a key, and have a wire that loops around the sensor that picks up the RF signal.
       
    23. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage.

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      Actually, now that I think about it, that wouldn't work. I was thinking for some reason that the key box sent out the signal all the time, which couldn't be the case. It might be as simple as powering the box, but I really have no idea. If it were that easy you could put a valet switch somewhere out of sight.
       
    24. techboj

      techboj Active Member

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      Thanks. I know some people would really never need a 3rd or even a 4th key but it's just extra insurance just in case you do lose your duplicate.

      As to hot gluing - that's kind strange since I had the "capsule" taped right outside steering wheel cover when I programmed it. I held it just outside the plastic cylinder receiver. For me it worked as long as its located somewhere around that piece of plastic - but yeah, you never know... some vehicles may be different and sensitivity may be different as well.
       
    25. CherryRellik

      CherryRellik New Member

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      Bumpity bump bump
       
    26. twiisted71

      twiisted71 New Member

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      Hey Cherry Fellow CC-ite here!!! Thanks for the tip about that ridiculously expensive key work around. I just did the same thing to my '03 S/T after being quoted $130 and $150 at different Stealerships!! I just bought it and it only came with the one chipped key.
       

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