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Old 01-22-2019, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

This will be my first posting to the forum, hope it is helpful.

I just purchased a very clean 2005 140' low roof passenger van. Vehicle is in good condition, with a number of small common Sprinter problems. (Glow plugs throwing MIL; Fan resistor had failed (replaced already); heater controls stiff and having issues). None of these are deal breakers. The best thing is relatively low miles (139K) and a clean original interior. Rust had been addressed prior to my purchase, as the vehicle was used as a school transport.

The van came with only one key, and it is of the Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) version, though the RKE does not work. (Yes, I tried to 're-pair' the fob to the car, but no joy). The bigger issue is obviously only one key. Lose that, and game over, flatbed to stealership, etc. That said, I wanted to get a spare key (or more) made. As much as I want another key fob (and both of them to work, the quickest thing was to get a standard transponder key made. Looking over the forum, it appears that my choices were dealership (order key, pair to vehicle, $$$); or looksmith and get a clone key (moderate priced, but....)

Being the inquisitive type, I started to research key cloning. The advantage is instead of a finite number of keys, I could have as many keys as I wanted (the car just thinks I'm always using the same key), and I could make new ones whenever I wanted. So, I was looking on line for key cloners that would handle the T5 Silca chip (chip that is in the key blanks). Found an number of cloners in the $150 and up category. Mmmm... Not very cost effective. Then I stumbled on a chinese clone of a Turkish key cloner called the Zed-Bull.


For $35 off eBay, I figured I'd give it a go (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Type-S...72.m2749.l2649)

Then for another $12.95, I ordered two Sprinter key blanks off of eBay (https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-New-Repla...72.m2749.l2649)

Fortunately, because I have to copy keys for some rental properties, I have access to a Belsaw key cutter

Quite a simple machine, and it does take a bit of getting used to adjust, but it does the job.

So I started out with the blank and my existing key.



About 5 minutes later I had a key cut.



Once the key was cut I tried it in the van and got the immobilizer starter error, which was expected.



The Zed-Bull can be used to identify a key for a transponder and which type. Here is what it read for my original and for the 'virgin' blank





Not surprising the transponder on the blank key was all zeros.

I then ran the key through the copying process.

Simply insert the original into the machine, press Copy. It will prompt you to press R to read



Once done, the machine prompts you for the correct chip type, and to press W to write the key.

20 seconds later, voila, chip is copied.

I went back out to car and the car started!

So.. what's the take aways?

-- The immobilizer on the T1N is an early generation one that does not use rolling codes
-- If you have access to a key machine the blank is readily cut (as it is not a side cut key)
-- For $35 you can own the cloning machine
-- For $6 a blank, you can make a copy that works.

Yes, I could've just gone to the locksmith, but now I've learned something new, and if I need to copy ANY chipped key that the cloner can handle, all I have to do is get a blank. It's a great feeling not to be leave yourself in the hands of the dealer or locksmith.

Last edited by Boeingpilot; 01-22-2019 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys

Here are his images, presented as in-line visible attachments:
(i've also made the non-functional IMG tags into URLs so that you can visit the original photos)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boeingpilot View Post
Then I stumbled on a chinese clone of a Turkish key cloner called the Zed-Bull.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t4lidrfcu2...%2019%20PM.jpg
KeyCut0.jpg
Quote:
Fortunately, because I have to copy keys for some rental properties, I have access to a Belsaw key cutter https://www.dropbox.com/s/gq4an966rt...%2024%20PM.jpg
KeyCut1.jpg

Quote:
So I started out with the blank and my existing key.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rdqh2lq9ot...%2032%20PM.jpg
KeyCut2.jpg

Quote:
About 5 minutes later I had a key cut.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rdqh2lq9ot...%2032%20PM.jpg
(.... which looks like the previous photo, and i'm trying to keep within the forum's 5 photo limit)

Quote:
Once the key was cut I tried it in the van and got the immobilizer starter error, which was expected.
[url]https://www.dropbox.com/s/r54zvtas9b9x4jx/Photo%20Jan%2021%2C%207%2020%2010%20PM.jpg[/Iurl]
Likewise i'm omitting the "Start Err" dashboard display.

Quote:
The Zed-Bull can be used to identify a key for a transponder and which type. Here is what it read for my original and for the 'virgin' blank
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u0nwhn2ui3...%2003%20PM.jpg
https://www.dropbox.com/s/3z3d64rs07...%2027%20PM.jpg
Top image: original key, bottom image: 'virgin' blank:

KeyCut4a.jpg
Quote:
Not surprising the transponder on the blank key was all zeros.
I then ran the key through the copying process.
Simply insert the original into the machine, press Copy. It will prompt you to press R to read
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hfm7jvx41f...%2013%20PM.jpg
KeyCut6.jpg
Quote:
Once done, the machine prompts you for the correct chip type, and to press W to write the key.
20 seconds later, voila, chip is copied.
I went back out to car and the car started!
--dick
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Old 01-24-2019, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys

Thank you so much for that! I will give it a try myself.

I got screwed up last year by the stealership.( Thinking it was the only way to make a copy )..They told me for 100$ they would get me a chipped key that was matching my VIN, so the chip was supposed to be already programmed. To my surprise, when I tried to start the van, the STRT ERR. appeared.

I went back back there to be told I had to pay 150$ more for chipping the key !! No reimbursement was possible ( I obviously did not want to pay that extra 150$ for a damned key..) That was my first and last experience with the dealer :).
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys

@BoeingPilot, where are you located and are you interested in n making keys for me? :)
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuitableSubstitute View Post
@BoeingPilot, where are you located and are you interested in n making keys for me? :)
I'm in Central PA. Be glad to try. PM me

Last edited by Boeingpilot; 01-25-2019 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:13 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Re: DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

Many thanks to Boeingpilot for his pioneering work in sourcing cheap Sprinter keys!

Here is my experience:
My local stealership quoted me an astronomical sum for a new key. Claiming that according to my VIN only the fob was available, they wanted $365 for the fob itself, and another $200 for the programming. All based on bringing the van to them, along with ownership documantation. Including tax the total was $615! Per key!

None of the ACE hardware stores in Seattle had the capability of cloning my key. Then I came across Boeingpilot's incredibly helpful post and followed his lead. Bought the zed-BULL Mini for $38 and two blank transponder keys for $13. A local locksmith charged me $20 to cut both. Total investment: $71, or $35.50 per key.

When the cloner arrived I struggled to follow the directions for installing the software. The Chinese to English translation leaves something to be desired. As it turns out, I needn't have bothered. The basic cloning operation works without the software or, indeed, any computer connection at all.

The cloning process is simplicity itself. Following the prompts the original key is read and the new keys written. The entire exercise took less than 5 minutes. See the photos in Boeingpilot's post.

Thanks again to Boeingpilot!
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Last edited by FahrverSprinten; 03-24-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 07:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

Does the new key fob unlock/lock the doors?
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

I am in the same situation with only one working key. I ordered the two chipped key blanks and the Zed-Bull programmer that were recommended. The programmer seems work just fine reading the old factory fob and writing the new blank key chips. The key blanks do fit into the lock cylinder before cutting. The problem has been getting the key blade cut. The first place, a big box store, said they couldn't duplicate that key. The second place, another big box store, made a very lame attempt that was obviously poorly cut and ruined one of the two blanks. The third place was a hardware store, which cut a key that looked sort of ok, but still wouldn't work and ruined the remaining blank. I did discover how to remove the chips from the blanks, so I may still be able to use the chip for another blank. Now I've ordered more blanks and will be looking for someone that can do a better job of key cutting. Boeingpilot seemed to be able to do it on a basic key cutting machine. Not sure what the secret is. Anyway, thanks to Boeingpilot for helping me get past the chip part of the key duplication.

Last edited by ke4rop; 04-13-2019 at 03:28 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by ke4rop View Post
... Not sure what the secret is.
...
Use a real locksmith. They may balk at using your blank if they stock them (unlikely), but they can cut a brass key on their machine. Maybe get an extra house key or two cut at the same time to make them more willing.

vic
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIY Cloned Keys - Clone and Cutting Machines

Another trick is to have the cut performed using the *shoulder* of the original and new key as the "registration" for cutting the duplicate.

If you use the tip (lazy way), you'll end up with a key you have to "fondle" a bit (pull slightly out) to get it to turn in the lock.

KeyIlcoMB17.jpg

--dick
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