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Shadetree Locksmith, cut your own keys.


Otis413

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Disclaimer: The Ranger Station.com, The Ranger Station.com Staff, nor the original poster are responsible for you doing this modification to your vehicle. By doing this modification and following this how-to you, the installer, take full responsibility if anything is damaged or messed up. If you have questions, feel free to PM the original poster or ask in the appropriate section of The Ranger Station.com forums.

Tools needed: the LISHI Key Cutter, or similar tool for cutting/notching keys. A good file and an old dull pocket knife to use as a de-burring tool.
Parts needed: Cheap blank keys to practice on.

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Most Ford dealerships want over 100 dollars to cut and program a chip key, Ace Hardware wants $89 to clone one. I can get (and have bought) Ford OEM blank chip keys for less then $20 each on Amazon, the only problem is finding someone willing to, and with a modern enough machine to cut your key for you. The solution? Cut your own! Use a tool like the LISHI Key Cutter. I bought it and 10 cheap blank keys to practice on.


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Just hold the blank key in the cutter using your original key as a guide, cut the big notches first and then the smaller notches. Use a file and a dull pocket knife to clean up the sharp edges. Practice till you're good at it then you can cut your own expensive (10 to 25 dollar) chip keys.

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You can measure your Ford key (8 cut, groove 82 style) keys and write down the number for future reference, a locksmith with the right equipment can make you a new key just from the "cut numbers"
Or, you could make a non-chip copy and keep it somewhere safe in case of emergency..

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If your key cylinder goes bad or some jerk messes it up trying to steal yer ride, you can "re-key" a new or used key cylinder to match your original keys by changing out the wafers to match your key. (the wafers are numbered, and match the "cut numbers" for your key, see above.)

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There are many good videos online on how to "re-key" a Ford Strattec key cylinder, I recommend watching a few of them before trying it, then get a used cylinder or a cheap replacement to practice on (I got one off Amazon for $11.95) So far I haven't seen one that describes the difference between a "sidebar" and a "non-sidebar" style key cylinder, so hopefully the reference material listed below will help with that.

The difference between sidebar and non-sidebar wafers.

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The difference between a sidebar and non-sidebar key cylinder at a glance, they fit the same and look almost identical.

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The sidebar system was used up to about 2002 and was replaced with a more reliable system using only the wafers to lock the cylinder.

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The non-sidebar wafers protrude upward and downward from the key "plug" into slots in the cylinder housing. (see FIG. 1) Each wafer matches a "cut" in the key, when the proper key is inserted the ends of the wafers move to a position out of the slots allowing the key plug to rotate.


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Sidebar style wafers do not protrude from their slots in the plug (see FIG. 5, above) and rely on the sidebar to keep the plug from rotating until the proper key is inserted.
 

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Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

Otis413

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Replaced the pictures, hope I got them in the right place....
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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First time I noticed this article. Thanks for writing it up.
 

Uncle Gump

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Me too floored... he slipped in through the cover of darkness.

Gonna have to take a closer look at it...

Thanks for taking the time to share it Otis
 

Drag

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Adding a short video of how you do this would be awesome
 

91stranger

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Interesting but counter-productive if you spend $200 in blanks trying to get it right and $40 for the tool when its $100 at the dealer.... I'd rather have someone else cut and program it because if it doesn't work then it is on them, if you mess up then its on you and now you spend more money. Just my 2 cents.
 

Otis413

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Interesting but counter-productive if you spend $200 in blanks trying to get it right and $40 for the tool when its $100 at the dealer.... I'd rather have someone else cut and program it because if it doesn't work then it is on them, if you mess up then its on you and now you spend more money. Just my 2 cents.
Blank keys are about a buck each (or less in bulk) I think I paid $8.oo for 10 blank non chip keys on Amazon. I got it right on the third try, two Ford OEM keys for abt $30.oo, got them both right first try. I guess it's just how you want to spend your money.
 

TacticalKarma

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About all this, I can add that an ordinary locksmith can replace or pick up the keys to the door, car, etc. And let's say if your car key or the key to the front door is damaged, a locksmith will be able to repair it and provide a replacement kit. But of course, not every locksmith can do this, but I have known the company for a long time mylocallocksmithtx.com, which I often use when there are problems. But it usually wasn't always like that because I used to call locksmiths on an ad, and they did their job somehow negligently and took a lot of money for it.
 
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19Walt93

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I had a young lady at the hardware store cut the pattern for my 93 Ranger on one side of a 10 cut blank and the one for my 77 Mustang on the opposite side, all I do is flip the key over and it will do both vehicles. She was a little dubious but I told her she wouldn't be responsible if it didn't work. It worked perfectly and it only cost me $3, I've made keys with just a file before and it isn't worth it. Cloned keys are slightly better than no key, I much prefer to have an actual, programmed duplicate key.
 

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Very interesting. I've always had an interest in lock-smithing. Thanks for posting
 

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