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Thread: E38 Key Cut

  1. #1
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    E38 Key Cut

    Hi everyone,
    Bought my first E38 a couple weeks back, I own an e32 and have owned e32's and e36's. Bought the 740 as a backup car, runaround car. The previous owner handed me a wad of electrical tape with a piece of metal sticking out of it and called it a key. Figured I had better get a replacement pronto. Does the 96 740il have EWS? And if so where would it be located? Ive decided to go the route of an AK94 programmer and new diamond head key. Any help in this area, including anyone that may know a simpler way to program the key to the car, would be greatly appreciated.

    wrestlerdad

  2. #2
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    E38 Key Cut

    Cutting a matching key is the simple part.
    From some reading I have done not only do Dealer sourced keys have a passive ‘chip’ of which would have to be programmed into a new key ‘chip’, though ‘chips’ can be transferred from key to key.

    http://www.unofficialbmw.com/images/BMW_EWS.pdf


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by bluptgm3; 06-14-2018 at 12:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    He probably busted the key fob case. There is a chip inside that case that is required to start the car. It's been known to fall out when the battery is changed. Any key fob from a '96-'98 can be programmed to work the locks. You would just need to transfer the key itself and the chip. I used to have two or three extra fobs from parts cars but I recently got rid of all my extra parts.

    gm.jpgThe EWS is up under the dash behind the glove box.
    2007 ES350
    2002 Dodge Dakota

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayorchuck View Post
    He probably busted the key fob case. There is a chip inside that case that is required to start the car. It's been known to fall out when the battery is changed. Any key fob from a '96-'98 can be programmed to work the locks. You would just need to transfer the key itself and the chip. I used to have two or three extra fobs from parts cars but I recently got rid of all my extra parts.

    gm.jpgThe EWS is up under the dash behind the glove box.
    Thanks so much for the info! Yes that's exactly what the PO did. I'm in the process of cleaning that up as well.

  5. #5
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    Maybe purplcty will weigh in. He could make you some new keys.
    2001 740i Sport | 2008 X3 | 1988 325i Vert | 1995 Ford F-150

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Since you have a 96 e38...you can save all the hassle of purchasing an AK90 and the hardware to hook up to the car so that you can retrieve the ISN (individual serial number) that has been burned into your EWS/DME, and transmitter receiver, then purchase a blank writeable transponder then install it into a new style/diamond shaped key that may or may not charge in the ignition if it has a chargeable battery due to your Ring Antenna being an iteration prior to EWS 3.2 that can charge the battery while in the ignition.

    A simple method for your situation due to you having the old style remote with its loose transponder chip...would be to find another blank old style key and a keysmith that can cut the blade, then swap the innards of your old remote into the new remote. DONE!

    With your model year...the remote key innards looks like one of the two keys below...if it has the two 1220 batteries, then it DOES NOT have the red status LED...if it has the single 2016 battery then it does:


    Again, its real simple if you just can get another old style remote and find a keysmith that can cut the blade...you can then just pop the guts of your old key...or at least the EWS transponder chip:

    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  7. #7
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    QSilver7 that is indeed an eloquent solution. After removing almost a half inch thick wrap of duct tape from the remote and disassembling I discovered two small cracks that were the failure points. A little cyanoacrylate glue and pressure has seemed to fix that issue. If I want an extra key with the same functions what would be my best route?

  8. #8
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    Your best route is to contact David Sarkin the BimmerKeyGuy - dsark55@yahoo.com. I have a 96 740il too and just made me a new F10 fob that is wonderful. You will need to send him your key with transponder and VIN or pull your EWS from behind the glovebox in the 96. Write to Dave first so he knows your details. Great guy, great service, great price.

  9. #9
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    Just a request for info about the F10 remote fob...does it use a replaceable battery like the old style remote...or does it use a rechargeable battery that gets charged by the ignition's Ring Antenna?

    Is there a reason why one would want it over the regular old style battery other than its newer design is associated with current BMWs? (...this is not a knock...just a general observation of human nature to be drawn to newer things )

    Personally, I prefer the old style remote due to its functionality more so than its design. The old style remotes that use the easily replaceable CR2016 battery that can be purchased almost anywhere including the jewelry counter at your local Walmart...also has the red status LED which is a visual indicator that a signal is being sent from the key to the aerial embedded in the rear windshield (or left side cargo window in the Tourings & SAVs)...as well as being an indicator when the battery is dying.

    The new style remotes without the red LED always leaves you guessing if the key's remote features are working or not. YOu don't know if the battery is dead inside the key or if the issue is on the car's side of things. And if the battery is dying, you have to either send it off for replacement or carefully cut it open (hoping not to knick the copper induction coil or other stuff soldered to the IC board) then have some soldering skills to remove/replace the battery.

    I'll take the old style remote over the new style remotes any day of the week. It may not be "pretty" or "fancy"...but it is 100% user friendly AND communicative as to its functioning. Plus, when the rubber buttons wear down, you can get replacements that will "refresh" the look of the key (see pic below of my 97 e38's old style remote with new rubber button pads that cost $3):

    {the rubber button pad was replaced in 2010 (after 13 years of use)...the 2nd pic below was taken in 2012 after 2 years of use and the 3rd pic in 2015 after 5 years of use}





    Last edited by Qsilver7; 06-14-2018 at 12:52 PM.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  10. #10
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    Charged with the ring antenna, it also has a led behind (underneath) the middle BMW logo button. It lights up a red ring under there when it's sending a signal.

    I really like mine, the starting action is much easier as you have more leverage. When I switch back and forth I just prefer the F10 fob. It is heaver, but folded it's a bit shorter than the diamond keys.

    I would NOT want to carry it on a ring with other keys and remotes. Just too much. But I have a belt ring I keep all my keys on, I just take off the one I'm using currently. Keep that one only in my pocket. I can't sneak up on anyone cause I jangle, but still worth it.

    And I don't get poked in the leg or the junk by a key. So that's a plus.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    2001 740iL "Silver Beauty"
    1986 Porsche 951 "Silver Bullet"
    1987 Porsche 944 NA Auto (rebuilding for my son's first car)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 951Dreams View Post
    Charged with the ring antenna, it also has a led behind (underneath) the middle BMW logo button. It lights up a red ring under there when it's sending a signal.

    And I don't get poked in the leg or the junk by a key. So that's a plus.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    LOL...well that last part is a DEFINITE plus. Thanks for the quick review.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  12. #12
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    The build quality of the F10 is solid. It does have replaceable batteries - a stack of two CR2016. Blade folds in. That’s very nice. I like it a lot.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHP View Post
    The build quality of the F10 is solid. It does have replaceable batteries - a stack of two CR2016. Blade folds in. That’s very nice. I like it a lot.
    I stand corrected. They do not recharge. I had misunderstood from Dave, guess we talked about to many things that day and I'm getting old. Confirmed with him.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    2001 740iL "Silver Beauty"
    1986 Porsche 951 "Silver Bullet"
    1987 Porsche 944 NA Auto (rebuilding for my son's first car)

  14. #14
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    So this appears to be a switchblade or flip-out key (of sorts) and not the two-piece "modern" BMW fob? In my mental Rolodex...I'm seeing a remote fob that comes apart to reveal a keyblade stored inside.

    This is what I'm imagining:

    Last edited by Qsilver7; 06-15-2018 at 09:53 AM.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  15. #15
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    Guys,
    I spent the better part of yesterday exchanging emails and photos with Dave. The man is a class act! I've decided that buying two F10's from him and sending him my key and EWS is a lot less trouble than trying to muddle through this myself and ending up with two keys that half work. The best part is the price is unbeatable for what I consider to be custom craft work. After the e38 is square he's going to make new keys for my e32 750 as well. DAVE IS THE MAN.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qsilver7 View Post
    So this appears to be a switchblade or flip-out key (of sorts) and not the two-piece "modern" BMW fob? In my mental Rolodex...I'm seeing a remote fob that comes apart to reveal a keyblade stored inside.

    This is what I'm imagining:

    If your meaning our F10s from Dave, it's a push button switch blade style, the blade flips out, and you fold it back in. Works just like a actual switch blade.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    2001 740iL "Silver Beauty"
    1986 Porsche 951 "Silver Bullet"
    1987 Porsche 944 NA Auto (rebuilding for my son's first car)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestlerdad View Post
    Guys,
    I spent the better part of yesterday exchanging emails and photos with Dave. The man is a class act! I've decided that buying two F10's from him and sending him my key and EWS is a lot less trouble than trying to muddle through this myself and ending up with two keys that half work. The best part is the price is unbeatable for what I consider to be custom craft work. After the e38 is square he's going to make new keys for my e32 750 as well. DAVE IS THE MAN.


    Quote Originally Posted by 951Dreams View Post
    If your meaning our F10s from Dave, it's a push button switch blade style, the blade flips out, and you fold it back in. Works just like a actual switch blade.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White)
    1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  18. #18
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    Dave is lurking here somewhere, told me he registered last night. I'm hoping he keeps his eyes on key threads here, he does this stuff every day.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    2001 740iL "Silver Beauty"
    1986 Porsche 951 "Silver Bullet"
    1987 Porsche 944 NA Auto (rebuilding for my son's first car)

  19. #19
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    This is what the replica F10 switch blade keys look like. The batteries are replaceable and are much heavier than the diamond keys...

    Sent from my SM-N910T3 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by purplecty; 06-15-2018 at 06:07 PM.
    155,000 Miles

  20. #20
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    This F10 folding key is very solid and very nice. The cons are - the silver frame can catch some fibre in your pocket and tear off. The size of the key head does not allow putting in door lock on some cars (but this goes to the CAS2 type E6x mostly) and there is one con for every FZV based car. At least on the older FZV modules, locking and unlocking works well. But the comfort power window opening and closing when holding the button on the key does not work properly at least on pre-2002 cars from my experience. I was measuring and comparing the signals and it seems that the refreshing of the signal is slower than on the original key. Newer FZV module had no problem with it, the older ones did not work with this feature even if it was coded properly in the GM.
    Martin Voigts
    BMW cars indy and locksmith
    E39 535i V8, Oxfordgreen, in process...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fx323i View Post
    This F10 folding key is very solid and very nice. The cons are - the silver frame can catch some fibre in your pocket and tear off. The size of the key head does not allow putting in door lock on some cars (but this goes to the CAS2 type E6x mostly) and there is one con for every FZV based car. At least on the older FZV modules, locking and unlocking works well. But the comfort power window opening and closing when holding the button on the key does not work properly at least on pre-2002 cars from my experience. I was measuring and comparing the signals and it seems that the refreshing of the signal is slower than on the original key. Newer FZV module had no problem with it, the older ones did not work with this feature even if it was coded properly in the GM.
    Ah ha! That explains it! I had sworn the comfort roll down had worked on my orgional diamond key. (Never could get up to work). But it didn't work with the F10. If I have need I just use the key so no big loss to me.

    Only other thing that I've found different is the truck release on the F10 key seems to be delayed by a couple of seconds. I kind of like it, you push it as you start heading back there, and it opens just about as you reach it.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    2001 740iL "Silver Beauty"
    1986 Porsche 951 "Silver Bullet"
    1987 Porsche 944 NA Auto (rebuilding for my son's first car)

  22. #22
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    The explanation could be that the electronics PCB inside probably are programmable to multiple brands/cars. I use this solution quite often to keep stock of keys not so big. The electronics inside have a place for a header so I suspect this is the reason.

    Normally the route is button - signal, but with these keys the route is button - translator - signal.
    Martin Voigts
    BMW cars indy and locksmith
    E39 535i V8, Oxfordgreen, in process...

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