Converting a Fixed Key to Flip Key - Pontiac G8 Forum: G8 Forums - G8Board.com
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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How To: Converting a Fixed Key to Flip Key

Recently did this write up for the Caprice board where all we have are fixed keys from the factory. Then saw that you guys also have some of the fixed keys as well. If you want to convert them over to a flip key it is possible as long as you have a good bench grinder. No programming or key cutting needed.

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I bought some aftermarket flip key cases from China a few months back ($12.00 each off Ebay, multiple sellers) but never got around to doing the conversion since I figured I would need the assistance of a locksmith to cut the new key. Since I broke my fixed key any way figured I would tear into it and see what could be done. Turned out very nice.

So first I confirmed with the key unlock buttons detached from the key you can still start the car. Which means there is a transponder chip somewhere in the head of the key assembly. I could really only see one area that was thick enough to house it. I scratched a bit at the surface of it thinking the chip would be housed in some silicone or something but all I felt was hard plastic. So started ripping and tearing at the plastic to see what I could remove. Not much is the answer. So I moved to a bench grinder to thin out the plastic walls a bit.








So once the chip was loose I then inserted it into the head of the new flip key case. It goes in the top section where the key pivots. You remove the small Phillips head screw at the back to separate the key pivot section of the case. Then you will see the spot for the chip. Pops right in.



Then I turned my attention to the key shaft. Still had a lot of plastic attached to it after I broke it out of the case. Turned to the bench grinder again to remove the plastic attached to the metal shaft.



Once it was all clear of black plastic I could see the shaft was very similar to the key blank that came with the new case. All except for a pin slot at the top of the key shaft that is used to hold the key in the base by inserting a metal pin to wedge it into the base.



So lining up the shoulders of the new and old key shafts I could see the slot runs right through the middle of the hole that is present on the original key. SO I used a dremmel cut off wheel and made a slot right through the middle of the hole. Went a little too deep on mine so be careful those things cut fast.



Getting the key shaft back into the base was a bit difficult. Seems the factory key is a bit thicker and wider at the top than the China clone. Not much, but enough to cause an issue. Little fineness on the grinder made it slide in. Re secured the pin into the base to lock the shaft in place and it formed a solid unit.



Reassembled the case ( I may need to do a video on how to do that it's a bit involved ) and put a Holden sticker on the back and it is good to go. The case came with a Pontiac and Bow Tie Sticker but I got the Holden ones from the "Badge Man" Gary Whitby. I swapped over my internal circuit board and fresh battery into the new case but you can just transfer over your original buttons and battery if you prefer. They should fit just like factory.



On Ebay a good search term for the item is "3+Panic Key Fob Case caprice"

From what I hear you can get replacement chips and program them to the car. Might be a better option than grinding the old one out? Anyone looked into those?

EDIT: Found out some more info on the Chips: The chips are Philips 2nd Generation Crypto chips. You can get them individually. I see one on ebay now for about $9.00. The Philips Crypto 2nd generation transponder chip is also known as the 46 chip or the Philips Crypto. All the ads I see says you have to take them to the dealer for programming but many of the G8 guys have been programming it themselves successfully using the instructions in the owners manual . Basically you have to have a good working key to do it. Turn the car on with your good key, turn it off and within 5 seconds put in the new programmed key and turn to the run position. Done. May want to buy one in case the grinding gets out of hand! LOL
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Last edited by smwalker; 11-26-2015 at 02:03 AM.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 08:36 PM
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Nicely done!

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 08:57 PM
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Awesome write-up. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, but haven't gotten around the issue of the dealer cutting the blanks. This gives a good option for us, thanks.

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 09:52 PM
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Good info!
Just FYI, if you need more key help than posted here. There is an excellent seller on the 'bay who I've used and has over 4,700 positive reviews. My key fob was getting very worn so I bought a new fob with cut key installed, worked perfect. He can cut the key from just a clear photo of your key. For this particular setup you do need to have at least one working remote key to facilitate the programming of the new remote key after you receive it. He includes the programming instructions. I would post his username, but not sure if that's against the forum rules.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 11:16 PM
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Very nice. Thanks for posting

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_xfire View Post
Good info!
Just FYI, if you need more key help than posted here. There is an excellent seller on the 'bay who I've used and has over 4,700 positive reviews. My key fob was getting very worn so I bought a new fob with cut key installed, worked perfect. He can cut the key from just a clear photo of your key. For this particular setup you do need to have at least one working remote key to facilitate the programming of the new remote key after you receive it. He includes the programming instructions. I would post his username, but not sure if that's against the forum rules.

Don
OP--great write up. Thanks for sharing!

Don--I think you can post a link to one of his auctions without problems.

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 05:19 PM
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Link to one auction by the seller I mentioned earlier in thread. Just send him an email if you want him to cut your key.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OEM-2008...item2ebf099c92

Don
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 09:08 PM
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After seeing this thread, I ordered two flip mechanisms. Can't wait for them to get here. Coming from China, of course. I guess I'll get them in time for Christmas!! Lol.

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_xfire View Post
Link to one auction by the seller I mentioned earlier in thread. Just send him an email if you want him to cut your key.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-OEM-2008...item2ebf099c92

Don
Thanks for the link. Added to my bookmarks for future reference!

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 09:32 PM
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Yes! Thanks for the link! Very timely. My flip key just started...uh...not flipping yesterday. Already trying to figure out how to get a replacement and this helps a ton!



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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Although I did not have the key blank cut in the new flip case I bought I noticed something I should bring up in case any of you are planning on getting the new key blank cut. It seems all the sellers on Ebay list Caprices and the G8 as compatible with a HU43 key blade. When in reality Caprices and the G8 come with a GM45 key blade. Slight difference so maybe they are compatible and will work either way but I am not sure so I just thought I would point it out. Seems the HU43 came factory in the GTO's so not sure if the sellers are just assuming compatibility in later years with all Products from AU? Anyone have any experience with the difference?? They still work?



Last edited by smwalker; 10-11-2015 at 01:17 PM.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 09:51 PM
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Interesting catch. While I can't comment specifically on the PN interchangeability, I can say that the key I received precut from the 'bay seller I mentioned above (delivered precut) works perfect and looks like the GM45 photo.

Thanks, Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by smwalker View Post
Although I did not have the key blank cut in the new flip case I bought I noticed something I should bring up in case any of you are planning on getting the new key blank cut. It seems all the sellers on Ebay list Caprices and the G8 as compatible with a HU43 key blade. When in reality Caprices and the G8 come with a GM45 key blade. Slight difference so maybe they are compatible and will work either way but I am not sure so I just thought I would point it out. Seems the HU43 came factory in the GTO's so not sure if the sellers are just assuming compatibility in later years with all Products from AU? Anyone have any experience with the difference?? They still work?


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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 10-11-2015, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red_xfire View Post
smwaker -,
Interesting catch. While I can't comment specifically on the PN interchangeability, I can say that the key I received precut from the 'bay seller I mentioned above (delivered precut) works perfect and looks like the GM45 photo.

Thanks, Don
Yea better to go through someone who actually does keys for a living. They would know the difference and send the correct one. I fear most of the Ebay sellers who just resell the cases are just sending out stuff with the wrong blades. It seems that way in most of the auctions. Unless they are just using the wrong picture. No issues if you are just reusing your old key blank. Only issue comes if you need a new key assembly all together.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-10-2015, 07:54 PM
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Worked for me too.

I did this today. I removed the chips from two non-flip keys (obtained from the key recall) and installed them in two flip key housings from ebay/china.

Only difference was my chips never revealed themselves like in the fourth pic of the OP. Mine were completely encased in epoxy, so it was a little tricky grinding right up to them but not grinding the chip itself. The only way to tell I was close was the color of the plastic gets lighter when you get to the epoxy. I used a plastic grinding wheel on a Dremel.

Thanks to the OP for this info. I had found what I thought was the chip location, but this thread confirmed it, and reassured me I was on the right track. Only downside for me, I had already paid to have my ebay/china keys cut. I saved the key blades from the destroyed dealer keys. Probably never need 'em, but just in case.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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I saved the key blades from the destroyed dealer keys. Probably never need 'em, but just in case.
jp

A nice little side project you could do with those extra key blades is get a washer welded to the end of them and use it as a hide a key somewhere outside the car in case you ever get locked out. They wont be able to start the car but if your keys are inside at least you could get in.


Also can you comment on the HU43 key VS the GM45 key? Did you get the HU43 with your new cases? They seem to work OK once cut? Or did you get a GM 45 with your cases and get those cut?
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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2015, 09:08 AM
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A nice little side project you could do with those extra key blades is get a washer welded to the end of them and use it as a hide a key somewhere outside the car in case you ever get locked out. They wont be able to start the car but if your keys are inside at least you could get in.


Also can you comment on the HU43 key VS the GM45 key? Did you get the HU43 with your new cases? They seem to work OK once cut? Or did you get a GM 45 with your cases and get those cut?
Thanks for the suggestion on the spare blades, I will do that if I can find/figure out a way to attach it. So much plastic it's hard to find a place a magnetic holder will stay put.

All my keys (GM and China)look like the GM45 to me.
My two salvaged GM keys on the left, the China key on the right:
jp
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 05-24-2016, 01:25 PM
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Just used this as a basic outline to replace a worn-out and separating flip with a new flip from Amazon. It was a few dollars more than the eBay keys OP mentioned, but the quality was top notch. The transponder is a little more visible in the flip case and just needs to be Dremeled out in the same general manner to transfer. Better still, the actual key can be reused and attached to the new spring, lock, and button assembly so there's no need to pay for cutting the blank. If anyone wants the seller, I'm happy to PM the details - quality was great and it's under twenty bucks.

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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 02:43 PM
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This is exactly what I was looking for. However I only have one key for my car. Does anyone have any better pics on getting the transponder out case it's molded into? I'd hate to ruin my only transponder and not be able to drive my car.

Apparently we can't buy just a transponder? I've Google'd and zon'd and found nothing nothing.

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 04:01 PM
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^^^^^ The way I read when searching on "gtog8ta.com", is that you can buy as many as you want (I guess), for $12 bucks a pop. They have it listed as being 08-09 G8 KEY FOB GM ID 46 or product ID LMG1234.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-03-2016, 04:10 PM
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I did see that but wasn't sure if I was allowed to post links to other sites here. I may just order one from them or they have the front piece on eBay with a transponder and pontiac logo on it. Probably would've been easier/cheaper if I had ordered a complete fob to begin with but I'm in with this one now.

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