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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:06 PM
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CoreyMNK CoreyMNK is offline
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Diamond Shape Key Makeover

I only have one master key and it's taken a major beating over the years. It's scratched, all the buttons are worn, and it's missing the BMW emblem in the middle. I've tried searching for a couple specific threads where people have done similar things, but I can't seem to find them. What I want to do is buy a blank case off ebay such as this one: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/UNCUT...item4cef575d53 or even just a used key that's in great shape and take all the guts from my key and put them in the new one... yes, that includes the blade too. A new key from the dealer is just too expensive and the key I currently use still functions so I can't see forking out the money just for cosmetics. While transferring the guys over I'll also change the battery to a new rechargeable one. My questions are:
1) Can someone please post a thread that shows how to take apart the diamond shape key.
2)What battery best fits the diamond shape key.

I know there is a thread out there with all this info in it, I'm just having some major trouble finding it. Thanks for any help! If I go through with this mini-project I'll post pictures!
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2010, 06:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyMNK View Post
I know there is a thread out there with all this info in it, I'm just having some major trouble finding it.
When I do a browser find (control f) in the bestlinks sticky for "diamond" (and hit F3 to see each find), I see this:
- Diamond key charging and "battery" replacement & recoding (1) (2) (3) (4)

If that's not what you're looking for, and if you find what you're looking for, please add it to the bestlinks sticky so others don't have to look any harder than that.
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  #3  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:07 AM
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Maybe i can help. Go to forum.bmw5.co.uk and type in "My cheap solution for a 3 button diamond key remote". A member called ipbr21054 posted this not long ago and i made a photocopy of the instructions as i have a missing twin key.
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:51 AM
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Blue, that's perfect! I'll use that thread to change that better and Solo man's thread ti actually change over the guts because the person in that thread used a blank case off ebay like what I'm going to do.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Solo man View Post
Maybe i can help.
Very nice innovative idea in that thread!
- My cheap solution for a 3 button diamond key remote.

The best links are those that others recommend, and I see that the OP kindly added it already to the bestlinks thread now ... so that the NEXT person is the beneficiary of your expertise!

CoreyMNK ... good work.

Keep us informed. Take pictures. Add to the knowledge level any way you can!

Thanks,
BB
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2010, 09:44 AM
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Dude. Just bedazzle your old key.


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  #7  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:28 AM
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Thanks bluebee! I get my new car Tuesday, and then I'll take on this little project. I'm going to wait until after I get my new car just in case I screw up my current key since it's the only master key I have. I do have a valet key, but it doesn't work at all because my ignition cylinder thing (tumblers) is going bad and since the valet key is never used it for some reason doesn't work MatWiz, I'm not even sure how to bedazzle my key. It's hating life right now! I've attached two pictures. One of my current key, and one of the new beast


Info on the Volvo: It's a 2004 V70R. 300HP 258 foto lbs of torque, 2.5L turbo 5 cylinder. 5 speed geartronic. Active suspension (3 settings: Comfort, Sport, and Advanced). The whole car is in EXCELLENT condition. It has 75,xxx miles and the previous owners took amazing care of it. It's been under Volvo's new car and extended warranty it's whole life, up until about 5 months ago. Great service history and I can't wait for it to get here! The dealership is delivering it because the tires that are on it now rub when making a sharp turn, so they're replacing all 4 tires with the correct size. Take a look at the front bumper, it kidna reminds me of the M5 bumper

Pictures taken with mah 3G INCREDIBLE!!
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2010, 10:38 AM
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WARNING: I hope that anyone attempting the mod that was linked to the UK forum takes the time to READ the entire thread. I think there may be a HUGE MISTAKE. The author originally identifies the large copper wrapped component on the circuit board as the "EWS transponder" (see pic below with red arrow pointing at it)...but then realizes that he may have made a mistake in identifying the transponder...and I agree with him.

I believe the transponder is one of the other (black) chips on the IC inside the key diamond shaped key. But since I don't have that type of key and don't particularly care to ever really own one (excuse my personal dislike for the diamond shaped key ) I haven't taken the time to really learn much about the specific inner workings of the diamond shaped key...I'll leave that to those who lust for them.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2010, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
but then realizes that he may have made a mistake in identifying the transponder...and I agree with him.
I agree with you that to take out the charging coil (which is what I 'think' he removed), would be a mistake.

He even wonders aloud himself, but, unfortunately he never wrote back with a long-term report - nor did anyone on that forum ping him on it.

So, it's an unknown - but - the good news, is it only pertains to those who are disassembling one key to replace with another.

Here's the bestlink suggestion so far (I modified it twice today):
- BMW diamond key opening, charging, recoding, battery replacement & recoding (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)

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  #10  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:44 PM
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I was wondering what he was taking out. I didn't think it was the transponder. Hey blue, it might take ma a couple weeks to get this project done since I'm probably not going to order the key until after xmas. So once I get this project done, should I make a new thread with the DIY in it... or just post it back here. I figured I would ask you since you like the god at organizing threads/ posts into one place.
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:55 PM
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Corey...my suggestion would be to try to find a blank diamond shaped key with an empty case. That way all you'll need to do is find a local keysmith that can cut the blade correctly, and then all you need to do is open up you old key and swap the innards (the whole IC board) over into your new key's case.

That would be the easiest and simplest way to gain a master remote key in great condition. Every now and then you'll see these diamond shaped empty key cases with uncut key blades show up on eBay...and if you can't find them in the USA...try some of the Euro eBay sites that speak English...or if you can speak/read/understand another language...try those country's eBay sites, too.

Good luck.

Edit: Being curious...I thought I'd check eBay...and sure enough after typing in "BMW remote key shell" I found a few being sold. BUT I do caution that you make sure that the key blade is correct (take a GOOD LOOK at your key)...plus make sure that you have a keysmith in your area that can cut the blade correctly...the local Sears keyshop usually does NOT have the correct equipment. Click this link to see what I mean: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BMW-3...item20b5f15a49
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

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  #12  
Old 12-19-2010, 08:13 PM
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Thanks Q. I was under the impression that the diamond shape key couldn't be cut, that's why I was thinking of switching over my key blade. I'm going to start calling some local lock smiths to find one that can do it. When I was looking around on ebay I did find a couple of empty cases. Should it matter if they're OEM or not? Will it be alright to get a Chinese copy? I don't see any problem with a Chinese copy since the actual key blade isn't used for anything more than just turning the ignition switch. The coded part of the key (transponder) is wireless and so is the battery charger. If those things required contact of the ignition and key blade, then I would worry more about getting an OEM key.
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2010, 08:25 PM
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Your thinking is correct. If the blade is correct (again, take a good look at your key's blade to see it's thickness and the knotch near the head of the key) it doesn't matter where it comes from. And if you can find an empty shell...then cutting open your old key to swap it's innards into the shell...shouldn't be a problem either because everything will be intact. The battery and EWS transponder chip are both soldered to the IC board in the new style "diamond" shaped key.

But also be careful because some are empty key shells...and some are uncut BMW keys which still have the electronics inside them. If you wind up with one of those keys...you'll have to carefully do surgery to open the key, then gut it so you can install the innards from your original key...then find a way to secure the key shut (screws or some type of adhesive).

Good luck.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

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  #14  
Old 12-20-2010, 10:07 AM
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I went to the dealer and got a new one for $150.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyMNK View Post
I was wondering what he was taking out. I didn't think it was the transponder. ... should I make a new thread with the DIY in it... or just post it back here
It's always good to add to a thread when you have not a lot to say, but to create a new thread when you have a lot to say. Generally a DIY is a lot to say so it would be natural to be a new thread.

Generally you cross link in that DIY to other threads, so that the other thread information can be taken into account, as a reference.

But it's up to you (I'm not the thread police ... but I am sometimes a grammar nazi! )

BTW, he DID appear to also take out the transponder (see pic below). I think the only thing we worry about though was the coil as I'm not sure any of us know what it actually does.

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  #16  
Old 12-20-2010, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
It's always good to add to a thread when you have not a lot to say, but to create a new thread when you have a lot to say. Generally a DIY is a lot to say so it would be natural to be a new thread.

Generally you cross link in that DIY to other threads, so that the other thread information can be taken into account, as a reference.

But it's up to you (I'm not the thread police ... but I am sometimes a grammar nazi! )

BTW, he DID appear to also take out the transponder (see pic below). I think the only thing we worry about though was the coil as I'm not sure any of us know what it actually does.

The transponder that he shows in that picture is from the small wallet key though. I think that he believed the coil on the innards of the diamond-shaped key is the transponder for the diamond-shaped key. If my DIY is detailed enough then I'll make a new DIY thread... if not then I'll just post back here with the results.


Mack, I might be able to remodel my key for as little as $20 if I don't screw things up. If I happen to break my key then I'm going to just buy one from the dealer I guess.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:10 AM
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Yeah I don't blame you for trying and if it works good deal! My battery was getting weak and all the DIY's on here seem to be hit or miss at best! Especially with the battery soldering crap etc..etc.. I just got sick of it and went and got a brand ditty new one. Love it. Goodluck bro!
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2010, 11:22 AM
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Yeah I don't blame you for trying and if it works good deal! My battery was getting weak and all the DIY's on here seem to be hit or miss at best! Especially with the battery soldering crap etc..etc.. I just got sick of it and went and got a brand ditty new one. Love it. Goodluck bro!
Thanks dude! Yeah I'm starting to get scared of the whole battery thing. I'm not sure I'm going to change my battery yet of not. I know it needs it, but this whole soldering thing has got me scared.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2010, 11:35 AM
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Thanks dude! Yeah I'm starting to get scared of the whole battery thing. I'm not sure I'm going to change my battery yet of not. I know it needs it, but this whole soldering thing has got me scared.
What are you talking about, what battery? You never said that your key needed a new battery.

I'm telling you again. Just bedazzle your old key. lol.

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Old 12-20-2010, 11:46 AM
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Oh heyl yes.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:52 PM
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Oh heyl yes.


There ya go! He thinks I am kidding..

mw
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:42 PM
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hahahahaha I'm seriously going to do this to my old key! I'll post a pic when I do

Another question, what do you guys think of the mini cooper key: http://redjar.org/jared/blog/wp-cont...key_remote.jpg

I bet that would work too since it's made by BMW
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  #23  
Old 12-20-2010, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CoreyMNK View Post
hahahahaha I'm seriously going to do this to my old key! I'll post a pic when I do

Another question, what do you guys think of the mini cooper key: http://redjar.org/jared/blog/wp-cont...key_remote.jpg

I bet that would work too since it's made by BMW
Post a picture of your old key?

I wanna see how worn out out is.


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Old 12-20-2010, 05:37 PM
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Post a picture of your old key?

I wanna see how worn out out is.


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See post post #7...he put up a pic of his key there.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:00 PM
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Posts: 15,901
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
See post post #7...he put up a pic of his key there.
Ah, thanks. These kind of things can go unnoticed in the BimmerApp thing.

Yep. Definitely need, and can be saved, with bedazzling.


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