It just came in the mail today. And I was a little dissappointed initially when I first weighed the plastic box in my hand and it reminded me of some cheap Asian-made plastic toy. Anyway a closer inspection. After taking it apart and reassembling it left me very impressed and yes it is worth $30. But I won't pay more for it. In fact, the dealer will make you pay MORE to laser cut it to your car's VIN# specifics . That is if they agree to cut it (I will find out tommorrow-The rumor is some dealers don't touch aftermarket products)!
Anyway My reason for getting it was to see if I can incorporate my current Prestige Brand Keyless Alarm 4 button(Open, Lock, RemoteStart & Options) FOB onto the Flip FOB. The Flip FOB was suprisingy easy to pull apart. I took both items apart and inside of both the Real Prestige Alarm FOB and the fake Ebay E36 Flip FOB are pretty much similar. I only posted pictures of the E36 Flip FOB. Inside both FOBs are flat green circuit chips. In my real Alarm FOB there is a tiny AAA battery that powers it and four specific areas where the four external buttons touch when you press them. In the FLIP fob, as you can see, there is that same circuit chip with the red bulb at the end and a tiny button soldered onto one side the chip that activates the light when the external "LOCK" button is pressed. At the distant end of the Flip FOB chip is a "watch" battery that powers the light. All external dummy buttons are actually real buttons that when pushed would touch specific areas on a chip if these areas were placed in the FOB. Therefore you can most likely easily incorporate a 3 button FOB chip (Open, Lock and Panic buttons) into this Ebay Flip FOB. You would need to consider the shape and size of the chip you are transplanting naturally to get it to fit. (Also a transplant would most likely disable or make you have to remove the red light that originally comes in the Ebay E36 Flip FOB.)
If you are able to do both this transplant then and you get the dealer to successfully laser cut the key stem then you would get a great deal. Even if you dont have an alarm FOB that you could transplant just the Flip Key alone when cut would be cool.
As you can see in the pictures my Prestige Alarm FOB is wider than the EBAY Flip FOB so I can't do a DIY transplant and I'm not sure if it could be professionally done. And if so, would the costs be worth it.
Also another cool thing about this is the steel key stem portion can separate from the FOB via the base of the key that screws into the flip part (see pictures). So you could always recut another key body (say for another car or if you broke the current key stem) and solder it to the base that screws on to the flip part of the device. This will also be good so for me when I go to the Dealership tomorrow. I will only take the un-cut key stem and not have to show them the flip FOB. I'm hoping they would charge me less.
BOTTOM LINE: Although I had reservations at first about the build quality of this device after a few hours of taking it apart and going thru it I realized it is a tough little FOB that is also versatile. You can just about do anything with it and come out happy. Hopefully the cost for cutting the key at the dealers wont be too much. For $30 as is this item is a steal and the next MUST HAVE for E36 modders who drive to impress!!!! Recommended!!!!
BMW wouldn't cut it for me but an inside guy there told me the only place in the New York area that cut BMW keys. It was an old rustic locksmith shop on the Upper East Side. The old guy there used an ever older drill-like machine that traced my original master key and cut the new key at the same time. In 3 minutes and for $20 dollars I had a new master key on my Ebay Flip FOB! You could imagine I was skeptical at first but the darn key worked! Well it sort of worked so read below (BTW BMW charges $100+ for a master key):
What the key does:
The FOB does turn on its own into the number 2 position in the ignition. This is the position that turns all the electrical function in the car (lights, radio, etc...). The key was cut to master key specs and also opens the doors, glove box, and trunk.
What the key doesn't do (for 1995-1999 E36 owners):
The only thing is, and I found out after the fact, my Original Master key for my 1995 318i is chipped! So the FOB does not start the car's engine (turn to number 3 position in ignition) unless the Original master is nearby (say dangling on the same the key chain for instance). Also if I start the car with the original master key and I take it out I can start the car with the FOB (on its own) within a 30 second period.
Also my electronics guy told me you could place my Prestige Keyless Alarm in the FOB to replace the little red light circuit that comes in the FOB but it wasn't worth the bother or cost.
it wouldn't be too hard to make that key work to start the car, all you would have to do is take a spare key (or the master if you really wanted to) open up the main plastic part, inside you will see the small chip, take the cip out, place it in the new FOB as far to the front as possible, and you are done. new fully working key. as for the alarm part, if you can fit the chip for that in the FOB i don't think it would be extremely hard to figure out how to run that so that it works either, actually you could if you wanted cut holes in the back of the fob that match those of the holes for the buttons of the alarm fob and place the alarm parts directly through that, it wouldn't be too hard. this of course means the alarm parts already fit in the new fob, and you doing it yourself would cost you basically no more money when you do it yourself. good luck with your decisions.
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The pictures should pretty much sum it up.
Its about 2 inches in length, 1 inch in width and about 0.5 inches deep. With the key extended it's four inches long.
One thing though...if your 1995 E36 car is chipped then the key will only turn to the number 2 spot but wont start the engine. You can get the FOB to start your engine if you install the chip or keep your original master key nearby when starting the engine (Also if you start the engine with the orig. master, then you can remove it and insert the FOB and the FOB will start the engine but you got like 30 seconds) I'm still confused over why my 1995 car is chipped because the dealers swear cars were not chipped until 1996/1997.
Also the inside of the FOB, where you'd be replacing the silly flash light chip is a little narrower than the outside shell. About 0.8 inches. See that last picture and you'll get what I mean. Good Luck!
Originally posted by epheterson@Dec 11 2004, 04:57 PM I noticed the lock/unlock/panic buttons on the key, are those functional? What system do they work with (I'm interested in installing keyless entry on my car).
I thought I answered this already.... used , if not sorry. No those buttons are not functional but you can insert a similar shaped fob chip inside this faux flip fob. I mean there is space inside to do an insert. Check my measurements above!
Originally posted by bimmer_boy@Dec 26 2004, 02:15 PM So were you ever successful inserting the prestige alarm functions into the fob?
no my prestige was too wide to fit in the fob. The guy at the alarm place told my i could buy another alarm if i wanted and he'll install it into the fob with the whole installation package for installing the new alarm...basically about 200-300 dollars...
its something i could live without...but if you dont have an alarm yet in your car then you can shop around for an alarm that comes with a narrow fob that would have an internal chip that would match up with the ebay fob's dimensions. It can be done though!
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=7][SIZE=1][COLOR=red]i have a 95 honda del sol a wanna be sports car to bmw owners but im thinking about buying a flip key for my honda a bmw kwy un cut i would like to know how to take the blank dye out of the flip mecinis pictures would help
Originally posted by areyoufunky2004@Jan 7 2005, 02:19 PM [FONT=Arial][SIZE=7][SIZE=1][COLOR=red]i have a 95 honda del sol a wanna be sports car to bmw owners but im thinking about buying a flip key for my honda a bmw kwy un cut i would like to know how to take the blank dye out of the flip mecinis pictures would help
it's easy once you buy the flip fob....
1)flip it out and look at the base of the key stem and you'll see a small star point screw-
2)screw it out and key stem comes loose
3)now you probably have to somehow slice the key stem into two...the stem-which you don't need and the base of the stemm that screws back into the fob which you need.
4) Once you get a matching key stem for your honda you gotta weld it on somehow to the flip fob stem and then screw it back onto the fob....
voila...it may work....not sure about welding keys though used and how sturdy they may be. You may be better off buying an E36 instead.... :lol:
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